Why did you start your start-up, which problem do you address and how do you solve it?
Every year one in five employees experiences bullying, discrimination or harassment in the workplace. More than half of those affected do not speak out because they fear reprisals. Our goal at Lytt is to help employees express themselves with confidence and to help companies make the workplace healthier, fairer and more inclusive. As a digital assistant, Lytt enables employees to raise difficult issues (such as bias, harassment, discrimination, or mental health issues) and receive help in a safe and anonymous manner.
How did you get the idea to start your start-up?
Due to a personal incident at work of Lara, our co-founder, we took a closer look at the issue of harassment. We then investigated how we could help companies to build up structures so that those affected could get help without fear of being disadvantaged.
What is special about your business model, what do you do differently?
We developed the first digital assistant that offers anonymous communication in the area of interpersonal conflicts and mental health issues. We use natural language processing in a chatbot environment to provide a superior user experience. In addition, we are the only provider to offer anonymous messaging as a progressive web app without storing IP addresses.
What were the biggest challenges you faced at the beginning?
One of our biggest challenges was to stay focused and patient. For example, in the beginning we developed an NLP-based wizard that was technically very appealing, but we had to realize that we had fallen into the classic "over-engineering" trap. So we had to take a few steps back, talk to customers and find out which solution really added value.
What was the most valuable advice someone gave you during your start-up phase?
You don't know anything until you've talked to 100 clients.
What has been your greatest success so far?
The biggest success so far is the approval of our solution by sponsors, partners and customers. We are pleased to have received a scholarship from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy and the European Social Fund. In addition, we have only been on the market for a few months and have already won well-known customers such as the Bertelsmann Foundation.
What is the next challenge for you?
The biggest challenge in the B2B sector continues to be the slow sales processes at large companies. We are therefore working on streamlining and optimizing our processes as much as possible.
Why are you on Startbase?
Because it is a great platform for us to achieve transparency in our business model. We are always looking for companies that want to use Lytt to improve their business satisfaction and health, or investors who believe in us and the potential of our solution.
What would you recommend to other founders?
As a diverse team of founders, we would recommend that diversity be considered when starting a project. After all, it has been proven that diverse teams are more innovative and successful.
Where did you meet?
We studied together at the Westfälische Wilhelms University in Münster. There we participated together in international case study competitions around the globe and founded a student initiative which today organizes the largest student case study competition in Europe.
What has really gone wrong since your foundation?
Fortunately, our biggest failure so far is more of an anecdote: When we were on our way to our second HR fair ever, we were sitting at the airport and had a lively discussion about a strategic decision. We forgot about the world around us - and arrived at the boarding zone just as the gate had closed. Well, better a missed flight than a missed opportunity!
Suppose you were mayor of Münster for one day, what would you change?
Of course we would strive for gender parity on the city council.