sefit: revolutionising exposure therapy through virtual reality

sefit, a pioneering startup founded by Elena Börlin in September 2022, addresses the challenges faced by individuals with impaired stimulus filtering. Recognising the unmet need, sefit employs innovative technology, including virtual reality (VR) and gamification, to make exposure therapy accessible and empower individuals to navigate everyday situations seamlessly.

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In a world bustling with crowds, events, and public transport, individuals with impaired stimulus filtering often find themselves on the fringes of society. The struggle with stimulus overload can lead to stress, fatigue, and panic attacks, affecting the lives of people with ADHD, Asperger’s, migraine, stroke survivors, traumatic brain injury, cancer survivors, and many others. Recognising this unmet need, sefit, a groundbreaking startup, emerged in September 2022 with a vision to address these challenges and integrate individuals with impaired stimulus filtering into society.


Sefit’s founder, Elena Börlin conceptualised the idea and immediately embarked on the Swiss patent process. Following the limitations of traditional exposure therapy due to travel and time constraints, the sefit team embraced innovative technology, including virtual reality (VR) and gamification, to make exposure therapy accessible. Their mission is to empower individuals to navigate everyday situations seamlessly after completing the training.

In 2023, sefit joined accelerators, including at Impact Hub, which played a pivotal role in shaping their journey. Impact Hub not only provided valuable workshops on the doughnut economy but also facilitated networking opportunities and community support. The grant from Impact Hub Basel enabled sefit to develop the first prototype of their VR software, a crucial breakthrough in their mission.


Sefit has achieved remarkable milestones since its inception. By August 2023, they successfully developed the VR software prototype. In November 2023, sefit pitched at the GEW Gala in Basel, attended by 300 people, showcasing the potential impact of their innovation.


The startup secured multiple wins in 2023, including first place in prestigious competitions like Innovation Basel, Swiss Startup Challenge, and Hejuba, as well as securing second place in the University Basel Propelling Grant and Talent Pitch. Sefit also attained the tenth spot in the Swiss Innovation Challenge, a testament to the significance of their work.

In December 2023, sefit secured a convertible loan of 20k from Ziano Ventures, reinforcing their commitment to making a positive impact. Looking ahead, sefit aims to develop a mobile app, a web application, and enhance their VR software from a prototype to a minimum viable product (MVP) in 2024. The team plans to test these applications, preparing for a pilot study scheduled for the end of 2024.


Sefit’s journey is one of innovation, determination, and a commitment to improving the lives of individuals with impaired stimulus filtering. By leveraging cutting-edge technology and the support of organisations like Impact Hub, sefit is poised to make a transformative impact on exposure therapy and, ultimately, the lives of those who need it most.

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