Entrepreneurial Mind of the Month: Quirine Wissink

When Quirine was a little girl, even her SIMS had great careers. She wrote down their career paths in little books. So, it´s fair to say that Quirine was business-minded at an early age.

At the age of 18, Quirine wrote her first business plan for a hair and nail salon and a cupcake shop in one. On her first website ‘Top Of The Shelf’ she started selling the latest fashion online and used social media to promote sales to her followers. “I still remember the day my first order came, I was so excited and proud!” Business went very well. And after a while, her company grew so fast that she could not combine it with her studies anymore. “I learned a lot from this process. I took these business lessons to heart and followed my dream in becoming a successful entrepreneur.”

“I still remember the day my first order came, I was so excited and proud!”

Now she owns her own company LUTTO. Lutto is an app designed to help the users with the grieving process when losing a beloved one. The idea to create an app about grief comes from a very personal story. A few years ago, Quirines father passed away. She didn’t know how to deal with her emotions at that time. She went online and started looking for grief platforms and a way to get in touch with other people who lost someone, but she couldn’t find any.  “I just wanted a quick chat with someone or ask them some questions. That would have been so helpful for me during that period.” Since there was nothing online that fit her needs, Quirine thought up her own app, “LUTTO”. This app would meet all these needs and more.

“Last year during a TEDtalk in Arnhem, one of the speakers introduced me to Mercator Launch and from there it all went very fast.” Quirine immediately reached out to the business coaches and signed up for the IMPROVE program.

“Be yourself during a pitch”

“Giving pitches is what I fear and love most” You wouldn’t be able to tell from the outside, but before a pitch Quirine’s stomach turns around twice. “You never know what kind of story the people want to hear. I try to estimate my audience and choose whether I emphasize the personal or the business side of the story.” Quirine’s ultimate tip is “Be yourself during a pitch, it’s cliché but it distinguishes me from more hardcore business people. I always stay close to myself and say what I feel. ”

The ultimate dream for Quirine is that her app turns into a community. The social impact of the app is important to her. “I hope that LUTTO makes grieving people feel more comfortable and understood by their environment.” It would be so awesome if people come to me and tell me that LUTTO helped them in their grieving process.” In n the near future, when the app is live and there are multiple investors, Quirine wants to enter the offline world as well and host events for the LUTTO community. “I want to create a safe and comfortable place where grieving people and aid workers can meet and help each other. This will be my goal when I am graduated!”

And last but not least: Quirine has some great tips for you!

  • When you are an entrepreneur and still studying, try to get as much help as you can on campus! Reach out to your fellow law students for legal advice or catch up with communication students for some marketing trips and tricks!
  • For the networkers out there, checking out people’s profile on LinkedIn is not stalking! Don’t be afraid to leave them a message when you checked their profile or just give a heads up that you are looking forward to meet them on your interview next week. Now they will check your profile as well, WIN WIN!
  • Stress comes with owning a business. So creating structure is key!
  • When combining entrepreneurship with another occupation such as studying or working for another boss, find help and support from teachers or co-workers. Use your network and you will be able to get the best of both worlds.

 Do you have a great business idea? And are you curious to find out if the IMPROVE program could be someting for you?

Read more about the improve program