About Obi

Photo: Rainer Hosch for Vogue

Biography

Obi Felten is the founder and CEO of Flourish Labs, a startup combining cutting edge mental health science and technology to foster flourishing and good mental health.

Previously, Obi was Head of Getting Moonshots Ready for Contact with the Real World at X (formerly Google X), Alphabet’s ‘moonshot factory’ and innovation lab. At X, Obi worked on cutting edge technology projects such as internet from balloons (Loon), air delivery by drone (Wing) and sustainable energy storage using molten salt (Malta). Most recently Obi founded and led Amber, a project using brain-based biomarkers and machine learning to measure anxiety and depression.

Obi was Director of Consumer Marketing for Google in Europe, Middle East and Africa, launching and growing Google Maps, Chrome and Android from zero to hundreds of millions of users. She founded Campus, Google’s space for tech entrepreneurs. Before Google, Obi set up the ecommerce business of a major UK retailer, worked as a strategy consultant, and led eToys.com’s (unsuccessful) expansion to Germany during the first dotcom boom.

Obi is an independent director of Springer Nature, a global academic and educational publisher. She is an advisor for mental health at the Wellcome Trust, one of the largest funders of scientific research, and Chelsea & Westminster NHS Trust’s Best For You youth mental health initiative.

Obi is an advocate for women, people of colour and other underrepresented groups in technology. At X, she founded the diversity & inclusion team, supported several employee resource groups and served on the leadership team for Women of Alphabet in the Bay Area. She mentors female startup founders and leaders getting ready for board service.

Obi grew up in Berlin and saw the wall come down. She has a BA in Philosophy and Psychology from Oxford University. She now lives in California with her husband and two children. She loves yoga, biking, paddleboarding, skiing (which she picked up at age 40), travelling, cooking, eating, and her family.


At a glance

CompaniesFlourish Labs Mental health technology | US
X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory Technology | US
Google Technology | Europe, Middle East & Africa
Signet Group Retail | UK
Javelin Group Strategy consulting | UK
eToys ecommerce startup | UK/Germany/US
Mitchell Madison Group Strategy consulting | UK, Switzerland
EdComs Advertising | UK
Board experienceSpringer Nature PE-backed company supervisory board member (fiduciary) | Germany
Wellcome Trust Non-profit strategic advisory board member | UK
Shift Non-profit trustee | UK
BfB Labs Startup independent director (fiduciary) | UK
Healthy Brains Global Initiative Non-profit advisory board member | US
Picasso Labs Startup independent director (fiduciary) | US/UK
ExpertiseBuilding & leading multidisciplinary teams, spanning product, engineering, marketing, partnerships, strategy & operations
Product
Strategy & operations
Marketing & communications
Business development & partnerships
International expansion
Diversity and inclusion
IndustriesTechnology, including AI and robotics
Consumer-facing industries, including retail and consumer internet
Regulated industries, including healthcare, financial services, mobility (self-driving cars, drones)
Energy and sustainability
Media, advertising, publishing
SpeakingChautauqua Institution, Fortune Most Powerful Women Next Gen, Milken Institute, Bits & Pretzels, Devex World, Hello Tomorrow, Lesbians Who Tech, Skoll World Forum, Stifterverband Forschungsgipfel, Wired, INSEAD, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Singularity University | See speaking engagements
Featured inVogue Germany, The Financial Times, Handelsblatt, Wirtschaftswoche, Fortune, Wired, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Bloomberg, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, BBC, NBC | See press articles
AwardsGerman Innovation Prize “Future Thinker” award 2018
Financial Times Woman Changemaker 2018
FOCUS Woman in Tech 2019
Boston Consulting Group/Manager Magazin Top 100 most influential German woman in business 2019, 2020

More about Obi

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

– Albert Einstein