Nisala Kalupahana receives prestigious Camelback Fellowship

Nisala Kalupahana, a senior computer science major in the BS/MS program, has received a distinguished 2024 Camelback Fellowship that will support an app he developed to improve people’s mental health.

Nisala Kalupahana

Kalupahana is among a cohort of 12 entrepreneurs from across the country who will each receive $40,000 and participate in a three-month program that will provide coaching and access to a vast network of social entrepreneurs.

Since 2015, Camelback Ventures has invested more than $10 million into emerging entrepreneurs of color and women nationwide. The Camelback Fellowship identifies social impact leaders with promising ideas and assists them to enact change within their communities.

Kalupahana’s app, baseline, is operated by his nonprofit, baseline health. The app is a journaling and mood tracking service designed to help people understand their brains as well as assist them in improving their mental health.

“A lot of people don’t have the resources to pay for mental health support, and those that do are often exploited by companies that promise easy remedies in exchange for money,” Kalupahana said. “We aim to provide an accessible starting point for people who want to start working on their mental health, by introducing them to low-barrier journaling.”

He credited the Wond’ry, Vanderbilt’s innovation center, with providing him with mentoring and connections that helped him get to the point that he is now with his app.

“It’s been a big help,” he said. “I definitely wouldn’t have been able to grow and learn as much about how to run a startup and nonprofit without them.”


Contact: Lucas Johnson,