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Founding story

How did it all start?

Living in a neurodiverse family, Jhillika’s passion stemmed from her personal experience as the sister of a non-speaking autistic individual, Vikram. Jhillika’s personal experience ignited her passion to advocate for disability rights as well as a career driven by a mission to create an inclusive world.

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“The job on hand is changing unwritten destiny
Gathering the flock of sun soaking angelic feathers
Building its own stormy seasons of flashing sunshine
Led by the cheering sisterly harbinger of change ”

- Verse from a Poem “Shining Starlight” authored by Vikram Kumar

An image of Jhillika Kumar and Conner Reinhardt.

The founding team

The vision for Mentra was conceived by Jhillika Kumar and Conner Reinhardt in 2019 while studying at Georgia Tech and working with Professor Gregory Abowd on the non-speaking autistic community in Atlanta. To this day, the team is partnered with the Data Science team at Georgia tech.

We’re on a mission to activate the neurodiverse workforce of tomorrow


Who we are

We live & work the way the platform is created

​​Mentra is the brainchild of #neurodivergent recent graduates, working synergistically to change the world! Mentra is committed to reflect the diversity of the users we serve.

Having included neurodiverse individuals on the leadership team, Mentra is committed to incorporating the voices of the community; a key mantra for the team remains “Nothing about us, without us.”

Headshot of Jhillika Kumar.
Headshot of Shea Belsky.
Headshot of Brian Swanberg.
Headshot of Jessye Lavine.
Headshot of Conner Reinhardt.
Headshot of Haley Hataway.
Headshot of David.
An image of the Mentra Team.

Our values

Building careers, not just jobs

Based on extensive research with the Intellectual and Development community, the Mentra team believes that the best way for a neurodiverse individual to achieve job satisfaction and reach their highest potential is by finding a career that aligns with their work ethic, personality, cultural values, skill levels, and environmental preferences in the workplace.

Our global reach

When Jhillika unveiled Mentra’s mission during her ​keynote speech​ at the 2019 Grace Hopper Celebration (the world’s leading Women in Technology conference), the startup gained exposure on public platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter around the globe. In her speech in front of an international audience of over 25,000, Jhillika drew on her vision of a future where neurodiverse individuals are valued for their strengths in the workforce.

An image of Jhillika Kumar during her keynote speech.

Why the name “Mentra”?

A combination of the words:

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Recognition we've received

Genius Within Logo

Inclusion Project of the Year Award

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Difference Maker Award by the Beacon College

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Student of Vision Abie Award Winner

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PitcHer Entrepreneurship Competition

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Ferst Leadership and  Entrepreneurship Award

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