In our new series “Catching up with …”, Mercator Launch catches up with former improvers to see how they are doing now and what they are working on!
LUTTO is an app that supports people in their grieving process. The app is currently under development. And that’s not all, because former improver Quirine Wissink and her new colleagues have been busy.
How are things at LUTTO?
“Well, really great!”, founder Quirine responds enthusiastically. “Right from the start I noticed that there was a lot of interest in the idea for the app. I think it is a new, accessible way to cope with your grieving process and it feels great to receive so much support and help from people“.
You are here today with your new co-founder Pieter. When did you decide you wanted a partner?
Quirine: “After completing the IMPROVE track at Mercator Launch and the Philips Innovation Awards, I realized that setting up a new company, especially on your own, takes a lot of energy.”
“And exactly at the same time…”, new founding partner Pieter van der Oest adds, “… I decided to start my own business. I started with a freelance job as a Business Consultant, but soon discovered that this was not my real passion. Then I came across LUTTO in my LinkedIn timeline and I recognized a lot in Quirine’s story. I also lost my father, more than 10 years ago. I contacted Quirine and soon I accompanied her to an event where we couldn’t stop talking about ideas for LUTTO. Our personalities are very similar, but we have different talents. We complement each other well as business partners, so the decision to work together was made then and there.”
What are you working on right now?
Quirine: “LUTTO has now grown to a team of 4. It’s great to continue working on LUTTO with a an expanding, enthusiastic team! Thanks to the Take-off subsidy from SIA, it was possible for us to hire a UX designer. Our new UX designer is now building the first prototype of our app. In addition, he is working on our new branding. This is very exciting, because LUTTO will soon have a new name… but more about that later 😊 ”
What challenges did you face over the last year?
“Well, the word LUTTO literally translates to ‘mourning’ in Italian. And in the trademark register you can not use a descriptive name as a brand or company name. So, we had to choose a new name for our app. That was a real challenge, because a good name has to meet many requirements.”, says Quirine.
Pieter: “Keeping focus has also been a challenge. In a startup there are so many things you can tackle and sometimes it’s difficult to prioritize. For example, if you devote all your attention to the development of a website, you may forget to invest in your network and recruiting partners. It’s important to keep a balance. ”
Quirine: “We are also developing a KPI-dashboard. On this dashboard, we can set targets to work towards in a structured way. This helps us to to professionalize LUTTO even more!”
Did you gain new insights about the grieving process while developing the app?
Quirine: “The threshold for seeking professional help during a grieving process is very high. With LUTTO, we want to make this easier. On our app, you can not only get in touch with professionals, but you can also talk to buddies or look for articles that can help you. The grieving process is different for everyone, so we don’t want to focus on just one philosophy and one way of grieving. We want to provide a wide range of options for users to grieve. We never want to give advice on how someone should grieve, because grief is very personal.”
“When using the app, the control really lies with the user. By doing this, we try to make it easier to talk about it.”, Pieter says. “In addition, we also want to start working with professional reviews, to strengthen the feeling of community in the app”.
What will the coming months look like for LUTTO?
“Our main focus will be creating the first version of our app. It will probably go live at the end of September. And we will continue to improve our app based on feedback from our users”, says Pieter. “At the same time, we are running a funding campaign and we hope to be able to rent office space in Utrecht from November.”
Quirine: “Our dream is to expand from The Netherlands to Europe in a few years. And who knows even North America too. ”
“And we have a scoop! Today, August 13 at 8.30 p.m., we are a guest in the television program ‘Briljant’ on RTL4, where we took part in a competition for innovative ideas. Whether we won? You’ll have to wait and see tonight!”
What inspires you to do better every day?
Pieter: “For me it really is my father’s memory. To be able to make LUTTO accessible to everyone feels like a tribute to him. I have been able to turn a dark place in my life into something really positive!”
“It’s really healing.”, Quirine agrees. “I think about my father every day, but in a very pleasant way.”
Do you have one last tip for entrepreneurs (to be) who want to turn their passion into their job?
Pieter: “Start doing things that inspire you and give you strength. If you can put that at the heart of your company, you’ll be able to create something that can make you very happy! ”
TEST USERS WANTED!
LUTTO is looking for test users for their new app. So have you recently lost a loved one or do you know someone who has (recently) experienced this? Register as a test user via .