Shelpful Raises $3 Million from Sam Altman’s Apollo Projects, Combining AI and Human Support to Help People Build Lasting Habits and Tackle Daily Tasks

PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Shelpful, the company that combines artificial intelligence with human empathy and accountability, is excited to announce a $3 million Seed investment from Apollo Projects, led by Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI. The investment will fuel Shelpful’s mission to support people in their pursuits, and stick with important habits for their health, happiness and self-care.

Shelpful members choose between an AI Productivity Assistant (HabitGPT) a real-human Accountability Coach (Shelper) or both (in a 3-way chat). Shelpful is there to nudge them, follow up on things they need to do or want to do, and help them feel heard. Sometimes they need a reminder (e.g., taking medication), or some gentle prodding (e.g., to get more movement / stretching throughout the day), or they want to be more mindful (with A.I. generated gratitude or journaling prompts). 

Anyone who is overwhelmed and feels like things keep falling off their list could benefit from Shelpful. The service is especially resonating among adults with ADHD, individuals navigating life transitions (moves, new careers), parents and students. Members value the extra motivation and guidance that Shelpful brings.

Shelpful finds that early members can be successful in tackling 3-4 habits at one time, with the help of their service. Some examples of goals that Shelpful has already helped members achieve, include:

  • Improving health (moving your body, stretching, eating mindfully, taking medicine)
  • Hygiene (skincare, brushing, flossing – these may seem like baked in habits for some, but the neurodivergent community really appreciates support from Shelpful on these things)
  • Mindset (getting daily affirmations, gratitude questions to respond to, or motivational quotes)
  • Home care (reminders to clean, organize, care for pets)
  • Self care (breathing, meditation, hygiene routines)
  • Creative pursuits (getting creative prompts, journaling prompts)
  • Career pursuits and side hustles (job searches, supplementary income, education)
  • To do list management (from taking out the trash to filing a time sheet)
  • Managing time with key reminders (nudges to start a focused work block, or to wind down for bed)

Members Choose: AI Assistant, Human Coach or Both

AI Productivity Assistant (HabitGPT)

Currently, Shelpful’s most popular offering is their AI Productivity Assistant, named HabitGPT. Operating over WhatsApp, HabitGPT is an interactive task manager that proactively texts members to keep them on track. It initiates conversations with members, checks in on to do lists, provides personalized reminders for a person’s core tasks, and follows up. Because it’s built on OpenAI’s GPT-4, members can also ask for suggestions and recommendations right in their chat – whether that’s a recipe, a podcast recommendation, or a full meal plan for the week. Members also can vent to HabitGPT 24/7 and are often pleasantly surprised about how warm and supportive it is in response.

Hybrid Offering: A Human Enters the Chat with AI

For members who subscribe to the real-human accountability coaching, they get HabitGPT, plus their human accountability coach (called a Shelper) in a group chat. They meet their coach over Zoom to sync on goals, and start immediately with HabitGPT, which is on call 24/7 to keep them on track. Their Shelper pops into the chat every 1-2 days, checks out how they are doing on their goals, reflects back on their progress, cheers them on for small wins, and calls them out lovingly when they need it. They’ll help them strategize on a routine or habit that isn’t sticking. This option adds a layer of warmth and accountability that you can’t quite get from AI alone.

All Human – Your Own Accountability Coach over SMS

A real human (your Shelper) helps keep you on top of things. Nothing beats accountability from a real person who will hold you to what you said you were going to do. Shelpers are highly empathetic, skilled notetakers and experts at follow up – they get to know their members and text back and forth, Monday-Friday, to remind you of what’s important to you. They listen, strategize, and help you feel less alone as you accomplish tasks, both big and small (this option is currently only available in the U.S. on SMS.)

“This service was born out of my own need for it,” said Sharon Pope, CEO and co-founder of Shelpful. “I struggled with undiagnosed ADHD, as a career-minded mom for years. I felt like I showed up for everyone else, but I was last on my own list. With Shelpful, we are including the warmth of human support with the power and depth of AI. Having a real person who really cares about your success matters, and we want to bring a new level of human support to an AI-driven world.”

The Shelpful founding team is a combination of old friends and coworkers from the tech industry. Sharon Pope, a startup veteran and former in-house marketing advisor to Y Combinator companies, initially joined forces with her college friend Lydia Swift, who was a public relations executive for Microsoft products. Sharon & Chris Morse had previously worked together at a Y Combinator-backed startup, and Chris left his role on Amazon’s Alexa team to join as co-founder of Shelpful.

Shelpful memberships include a free 1 week trial, and prices start at $10 USD per week (note: there’s a holiday special: 50% off for your first 3 months, with no commitment and money-back guarantee). You can sign up at

The company is in the process of enhancing its AI capabilities to provide smarter, faster, and more intuitive services. Upcoming features include advanced habit and task completion reporting, as well as the exploration of AI-hosted Accountability Groups. Shelpful is also keen on forging partnerships with professional coaches to supplement their existing coaching services, offering a holistic approach to personal development and health.

For more information about Shelpful and HabitGPT, or to sign up, please visit

About Shelpful, Inc.
Shelpful (super+helpful) is an instant accountability service that helps you follow your pursuits and build lasting habits (they nudge you and hold you to big habits like getting exercise, or small tasks like taking out the trash on time). Members choose between an AI Productivity Assistant, a real-human Accountability Coach, or both. Shelpful team members work remotely in the United States, with its founding team in the Pacific Northwest. For any media inquiries, contact Lydia Swift, +1 (503) 300-6362,

SOURCE Shelpful