Lending an Ear
ReachLink Sees Success With the Florida SBDC at FAU
By Shavantay Minnis
The global pandemic was the catalyst for morphing ReachLink, a therapy company for addicts, into a teletherapy opportunity for all.
ReachLink founder and entrepreneur James Farese said he realized people needed therapy beyond addiction, and converting to teletherapy allowed him to include counseling services for depression, anxiety, mental health and more.
But, even running a successful business, Farese said he was still open to learning more and receiving business mentorship. That’s where guidance from the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) helped him out.
Farese met with the Florida SBDC at FAU business consultant Jaison Raju, who specializes in business growth and government contract work.
The two worked in the same building and casually bumped into one another, he said. “Our conversation naturally grew every time I saw him, and I could tell we both enjoyed the encounter,” Farese said. “It wasn’t until I realized how often I sat down with him to pick his brain on the business challenges that I understood how valuable his expertise was and that I needed his assistance.”
ReachLink, which is located inside Global Venture at Research Park at FAU, offers licensed clinical therapists and client’s access to online therapy across platforms, and now has more than 150 therapists across the country from Florida to California. The company also handles marketing, compliance with insurance companies, note transcribing, customer service and sales, Farese said.
“We didn't set our teletherapy for it to be what it is today, we were lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time, and with the pandemic, there was a lot we weathered through but we also accelerated our growth beyond what we thought we could do,” he said.
After his first few initial meetings with Raju Farese said, he was able to gain clarity and lead in a way he didn’t imagine.
“Jaison has a natural talent for critical thinking, helping me find the answers on my own and asking the right thought-provoking questions. He understands what I need and how to pose the scenarios to help me find a solution,” Farese said. “Even if I need an ear to bounce ideas off of for the company or best practices, he’s there.”
As ReachLink continues to grow in the future, Farese is excited to continue expanding into other areas globally.
“With the pandemic keeping people in isolation for so long, that one-on-one direct communication with a client before they met with their therapist, we found was crucial because it shows we care and we want what’s best for their health,” he said.