Our Newcomer of the Month takes on an important topic: bias, discrimination and harassment at work. The digital assistant Lytt enables employees to address those difficult topics and helps companies improve their workspaces. Learn more about Lytt and their mission and read our 12 questions to Lytt!
1. Why did you found your startup, which problem do you address and how do you solve it?
Every year, one in five employees experiences bullying, discrimination or harassment at work. More than half of those affected do not speak up because they fear retaliation. With Lytt, our goal is to support employees speak up with confidence and help companies make the workplace more healthy, fair and inclusive. As a digital assistent, Lytt enables employees to address difficult topics (e.g. bias, harassment, discrimination or mental health issues) and get help in a safe and anonymous way.
2. What gave you the idea to found Lytt?
Due to a personal incident at work of Lara, our co-founder, we looked into the issue of harassment more closely. We then investigated how we can support companies establishing structures so that those affected can get help without fear of disadvantage.
3. What is special about your business model, what are you doing 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 an excellent user experience. In addition, we are the only provider that offers anonymous reporting as a Progressive-Web-App without the storage of IP-addresses.
4. Which were the biggest challenges you needed to overcome in the beginning?
One of our greatest challenges was to remain 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 adds value.
5.What was the most valuable advice somebody gave to you during your foundation phase?
You know nothing until you’ve spoken to 100 customers.
6. What was your greatest success so far?
The greatest success so far is the approval to our solution by sponsors, partners and clients. We are pleased to have received a scholarship from the 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 renowned customers such as the Bertelsmann Stiftung.
7. What is your biggest need/your next challenge?
The biggest challenge in B2B remains the slow sales processes with large corporations. We are therefore working on streamlining and optimizing our processes as much as possible.
8. Why are you on Starbase/VZ?
Because it is a great platform for us to achieve transparency in our business model. We are always on the lookout for companies that want to use Lytt to improve their business satisfaction and health, or for investors, who believe in us and the potential in our solution.
9. What would you recommend other founders?
As a diverse team of founders, we recommend paying attention to diversity when starting a project. After all, it is proven that diverse teams are more innovative and successful.
10. Where did you meet?
We studied together at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität 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.
11. What went really wrong since you founded?
Luckily, our biggest failure yet is more of an anecdote: When we were on the way to our second HR fair ever, we sat at the airport and discussed a strategic decision quite vividly. We forgot the world around us – and arrived at the boarding zone when the gate just had closed. Well, better a missed flight than a missed opportunity!
12. Let’s say, you are the Governing Mayor of Münster, the city where you have your headquarter, for one day, what would you change?
Of course, we would strive for gender parity in the city council.
Check the company’s Startbase profile here.
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INSIDE is the magazine of the German Startups Association. The German Startups Association represents the German startup-ecosystem and campaigns for entrepreneur-friendly conditions. Through the dialogue with political decision makers, the Startups Association offers suggestions with the aims to foster a culture of self-employment and to decrease the barriers for founders. The Startup Association advocates for innovation as well as an entrepreneurial spirit and carries the startup-mentality into society. As a network, the German Startups Association connects entrepreneurs, startups and their friends with each other.