Austin support a guest in ceremony

Enfold Institute

Remember.

Morning meditation

Background

It was a warm summer night in June 2016 when we took possession of our property on a small island outside of Vancouver. We sat on the porch overlooking the ocean and celebrated our new home. It was on that first night that the notion of hosting psychedelic journeys first came up in conversation. We both had a long personal history with psychedelics, but it was never part of the plan when we chose this property or location. Somehow the land spoke through us and it immediately resonated.

From that day on, the work began to reconfigure the buildings and landscape on our property to prepare. Over a couple of years, we completed all the design work, sourcing of materials, and construction with our own hands. After running a number of trial retreats with friends, we hosted our first official ceremony in 2019. Our early experiences showed us how important this work is. Within months, Steve sold his other business and we doubled down on Enfold.

Since then, we’ve been practicing an emergent strategy*, staying close to our intention and serving our highest purpose, while allowing the experience we gained along the way to shape our next steps. And it’s worked. Instead of spending the past two years building pitch decks and raising money based on future concepts, we’ve hosted dozens of group retreats and ceremonies. We’ve built a world-class retreat protocol focused around 5-MeO-DMT, breathwork, mindfulness meditation, and somatic therapy. We continue to learn from each experience and refine our processes, content, and approach.

* Emergent strategy implies that an organization is learning what works in practice. An emergent strategy develops when an organization takes a series of actions that with time turn into a consistent pattern of behaviour.

Steve and Austin, 2021At the heart of the Enfold experience is the presence, integrity, and depth of its facilitators. Steve and Austin’s shared passion is helping people realize the richness of life through deepened awareness, presence, and gratitude. 

Their chemistry and working dynamic offer a shining example of an undefended and loving relationship. The pair provide healthy paternal and maternal archetypal energy that makes people feel loved and comforted in their presence. Steve is the communicator, shepherd, and coach. Austin is the energy healer, mother, and doula. 

— 

BIOS

Steve is a successful social impact entrepreneur, investor, philosopher, coach, and musician. He has a background in technology, brand and marketing, strategic consulting, mindfulness, and personal development.

Steve sits on the board of Grateful Living,  Therapsil, and the Psychedelic Association of Canada. He is a mentor through numerous organizations such as YELL Canada and The Forum

Austin has spent two decades creating moments of love and connection through beautifully designed products and experiences. She is a designer, chef, death doula, and tea master. She is a former functional health coach supporting people navigating cancer and spent a decade as a dominatrix and sex therapist. With a love for minimalism, ceremony and nurturing others, Austin brings a sense of grace and deep presence to everything she does.

Steve and Austin have been life partners since 2011. They have a daughter and two big dogs.

Mens retreat on the deck
Men's Retreat, post-ceremonies

Getting the message

Along the path, the question of growth has come up a number of times. The conversation consistently comes back to how growth can be in service to our mission. We’ve seen firsthand that psychedelics have the greatest potential for healing when they are combined with deep personal connection and trust. So the most important consideration for us is how we maintain the level of care that we bring to every person we serve.  

We’ve meditated on whether growth is necessary and asked the medicine for guidance, and the message has been clear:

“There is more to do.”

To us this message means four things:

  1. We can serve more people while maintaining an exceptionally high level of service and personal care.
  2. We can create more impact in people’s lives by offering more robust preparation, integration, and community support.
  3. We can do better to measure and report on our impact and refine our protocols based on quantitative and qualitative feedback.
  4. We can be torchbearers for the emerging psychedelic industry and work to positively influence the way these medicines are integrated with western society. 

With that in mind, we’re now starting work on:

  • Expanding our current retreat site, here where we live, to be able to serve bigger groups and increase the quality of service. We see this as an interim step that allows us to enhance our offerings, establish our brand, and build demand. This expansion will enable us to offer single-occupancy rooms for our group retreats (increasing value), and host more people overall. 
  • Become the world leader in 5-MeO-DMT retreat experiences, which include access to our community platform (discussed below). Our retreats will be offered in various formats and lengths and offer a number of other modalities combined with medicine ceremonies. Some of these modalities include breathwork, meditation, somatic therapy, hot/cold treatments, nature exposure, sound healing, coaching, and group exercises.  
  • Create a platform to support education, preparation, integration, and community around psychedelic experiences. This will enhance the retreat experience, increase efficacy and outcomes, and make serving our clients more efficient. The platform will host a range of content, workshops and meetups, and be a place to connect with a modern psychedelic community. 
  • Increase the rigour of our data collection strategy, launch an observational study, and integrate wearables and other technology. This will also enhance the quality of our client’s experience through communications, data feedback, etc.
Enfold Medicine Retreats
Pre-journey

Our objectives

We have three primary objectives with our work. 

The first is to offer top-tier psychedelic experiences that include the best client service, safety, and quality of care available anywhere in the world. We want to create beautiful experiences that inspire awe, deeply heal, and create lasting transformation. We hope that the level of intentionality and mindfulness we bring to these experiences can be an example to our guests for how they approach their lives. 

The second objective is to contribute to the thinking, approach, and ethics of psychedelic medicines as they become mainstream. We hope to help uplevel the industry as it evolves and chart the course for the most effective and transformative treatments. For instance, we believe that psychedelics are best accessed in combination with natural surroundings, community, and supportive programming that help people achieve lasting change in their life. We want to become a shining example of excellence for practitioners, participants, and regulators worldwide. 

Part of how we will achieve this is by providing services to the culture-movers in our society. The influencers in various areas of society that move the needle of public perception. An example is Mike Tyson, who has made such a huge impact in very a short time by sharing his experiences. 

Our third objective is to make these experiences widely accessible. This may sound contradictory to the first objective. However, we have seen that when people with financial means have these experiences, they want to share them and pay it forward. We’ve started a scholarship program that offers our services at a tiny fraction of the regular cost. We hope this will extend to entire groups of people having access to this work. We also aim to create training as well as open-source aspects of our protocols in order to ensure that more people can access safe and effective experiences. 

Morning breathwork session

Core model

Our primary mission is to create safe, sacred, and transformative retreat experiences, supported by industry-leading preparation and integration care. This is what gets us out of bed every morning. We believe this can be a profitable and purposeful core business. Beyond our primary mission, we see an opportunity to create value through the IP, data, expertise, and technology that we develop along the way in support of our core mission.
Retreats

We offer our retreats on a sliding scale to offer some flexibility and access while keeping our average price point fairly high. This allows us to offer the level of quality and experience we envision. We’re currently averaging ~ $1250-$1500 per-night / per-person for group retreats. Once we increase our room count from two to four, we can offer single-occupancy for our 4-person group retreats, or four couples, or 8-person private groups. This will allow us to raise prices, increase revenue and profitability.

To increase demand we will be targeting specific high-net-worth networks and activating a PR strategy to build brand equity and awareness. The scholarship program will help create access for those that can’t afford our services. 

Our primary retreat offerings will be:

  • Custom solo and couple experiences
  • 2-Night Group Retreats (“Awakenings”)
  • 5-Night Group Retreats (“Attunements”)
  • 5-Night Couples Retreats (“Undefended Love”)
Platform & Community

Our community platform will be offered on a monthly and annual basis, and will range in price from free to $100/month. The platform will host a wide range of content, courses, meditations, breathwork sessions, workouts, yoga classes, workshops, and community circles. We have already developed much of the mindfulness content through our program Nature of Work, launched in 2019, and have over 100 movement classes, breathwork sessions, and meditations. 

This platform will be open to anyone seeking out support and community for their psychedelic journeys. Beyond our retreat community, we see two large audiences that will be looking for support and community around their psychedelic journeys:

  • People accessing psychedelics on the grey market
  • People who seek medicalized psychedelic treatment

We imagine this to be a high-margin area of our business that will also build brand equity and serve as a pipeline into other offerings.

We also envision an e-commerce component that will offer wares, tools, and merchandise to complement the experience and grow brand allegiance.

Beyond the platform, we will begin hosting workshops and gatherings to foster community and build brand recognition. These will include breathwork classes, trainings, meditations, and learning events. 

Data, Research, and IP

We have done most of the legwork for our first observational research study, in partnership with Quantified Citizen. We will launch this in Q1 of 2022. We will also increase the quality and quantity of data we collect around dosing, session process and outcomes, and other aspects with regards to our service offerings.

We believe there will be value in this data and our expertise as the clinical research around 5-MeO-DMT reaches human-level trials and as companies begin considering how to bring this molecule to market.

User Experience & Technology

To support both the retreats and the Research aspects of our work, we are developing a strategy to provide wearables to our guests in the weeks before and after their retreat. We are mapping out the development of a custom app built on the Apple CareKit framework that will allow us to interact with our clients, collect data, provide a results dashboard, and deliver wellness prompts and content directly to their wrist.

Our approach

The unique backgrounds, experience, and approach we bring to this work are what differentiates us. 

Evidence-Informed

Drawing from a diverse set of well-established scientific, therapeutic, philosophical, and spiritual disciplines to deliver measurable and results-focused offerings. 

Spiritually Grounded

Ultimately we see our work as helping people reach spiritual attunement. We focused on universal wisdom, avoiding rigid dogma and polarizing ideologies.  

Tech Enabled

Technology and platform expertise give us an edge in every aspect of our operation. From client communications, community engagement, data collection and research, to process automation.   

Process Driven

We seek to create offerings that are consistent and scalable. This is possible through an ongoing commitment to documentation, process, and optimization.  

Jay melting
Breakthrough

Themes that underpin our work

Minimal and Modern

Ceremony is an important part of connecting with the divine healer inside us and experiencing transformation. We create modern, elegant experiences that don’t unnecessarily appropriate cultural references and symbolism. Think high-end spa meets spiritual ceremony.

Timeless Wisdom

We seek to free people from suffering and to create a more harmonious world. We draw from a wide variety of history’s greatest teachers such as Buddha, Seneca, Martin Luther King, Ken Wilber and many others to build frameworks for deepening one’s understanding of self and the world. 

Mindfulness & Resilience

Mindfulness helps us stay grounded in the present moment, so we can activate our full capacity and ability to make lasting change in our lives. We help our community build resilience through daily habits focused on sleep, meditation, technology hygiene, work habits, and more.

Meaning & Community

Working to solve the “Meaning Crisis” and help people connect with themselves, their purpose, and foster community.  

Timeline for next steps

The imagined timeline
(Click to enlarge)

Funding requirements

We are seeking $1M at a $5M pre-money valuation. We are open to discussion around terms. The most important thing to us is the integrity, alignment, and vision of our partners. This is more than a business venture, this is a manifestation of purpose and love.

Note: The founders will not draw salaries from these funds. 

MVP retreat site expansionNew accessory building that adds two guest rooms, a gym and a flex-space for massage, ceremony, or overflow accommodations.$250,000
Digital platformTeam capacity and vendor support  to develop platform, drive content creation, media production, community engagement$300,000
PR & Targeted marketingWork with a boutique PR agency to seed experiential stories into mainstream press, documentaries, etc. Develop ties into high profile and high net-worth networks (silicon valley, entertainers, pro sports, financial, etc)$200,000
Research & DataCapacity to run study, platform and technology, CRO support$125,000
GA and contingency $125,000
   
TOTAL $1,000,000
Ceremony