The Munich startup My Blossom offers a holistic app to help people live healthier and happier lives with more “self-care.” The app offers the right program to suit your mood. For CEO Julia Laukemann, the idea for My Blossom also fundamentally changed her life. An interview.
Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do?
Julia Laukemann: Ralph, Marc and I founded My Blossom as a trio. I originally have a degree in political science and worked in the media industry for more than twelve years on digital products in particular. My husband Marc Laukemann is an attorney specialized in commercial law and mediation and is also a trained coach. Our third founder Ralph Karliczek is an industrial engineer. With him, I established the first streaming-based TV products for a large German media company.
Together, Marc, Ralph and I have a wealth of experience in establishing startups. I was head of a startup accelerator, Ralph built a successful streaming platform as a startup before his time in the corporate world and Marc has advised many startups during their founding stage.
My Blossom: Considers emotional balance
And what do we have in common? We firmly believe that every person can be happy. That was and still is what motivated us to develop My Blossom. We’re developing the first self care app that is attuned to the emotional balance of our users. Depending on how our users are feeling, they can select from more than one hundred yoga, Pilates, meditation and nutrition programs to create the right ‘recipe’ for their self care. Our ‘happiness tracker’ follows how our users are feeling and how that changes over time. We also offer a mindfulness journal for recording the happiest moments each day to practice finding a lasting balance and contentment. My Blossom as a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) has not only already won over thousands of people, but has also been featured by established media such as Fit for Fun, Shape and Brigitte.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Julia Laukemann: This holistic approach really doesn’t exist yet. That’s why we founded My Blossom. After a difficult operation a few years ago, I was seriously knocked out and looked for an app that spoke to the individual healing and development processes of its users by offering exercise programs, meditation and nutrition programs. There was obviously lots of content on YouTube, vertical meditation apps and yoga apps — but there still wasn’t an app that featured it all together and based on an individual’s mood.
Because I had already established several digital products in a corporate environment with Ralph, we decided to develop the product ourselves.
Financing for fast scaling
Munich Startup: What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Julia Laukemann: That would definitely be establishing this startup and app part-time and during my parental leave. We’re proud that now, ten months after our official start — and three months after the birth of my and Marc’s son — we were able to put our MVP on the market.
Our biggest challenge now is to get financing up and running to quickly scale My Blossom to make our holistic self-care programs available to hundreds of thousands of users in Germany and internationally. Marketing tests are currently being performed in other European markets, and early indications have shown us that women as well as a growing number of men are interested in My Blossom as a product.
The marketing and sales strategies are working
Munich Startup: Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: How is business going?
Julia Laukemann: The first version of our product is doing very well: With a marketing budget of just 20,000 euros, we’ve registered more than 16,000 downloads and over 1,500 subscribers — they in turn have used more than 20,000 of our yoga and Pilates videos as well as meditation exercises and have made several thousand entries in their personal mindfulness journals. That has shown us that our funnel is working and that the app is doing well. That was also what helped me make the decision last fall to leave behind my management job at a major German media company to focus one hundred percent on further development of My Blossom.
Munich Startup: What does Munich mean to you?
Julia Laukemann: I was born in Munich, Ralph was born in Tegernsee and Marc moved here like many do. As a result, Munich is not only our family home, but also where all three of us are networked very well. Munich also offers an excellent ecosystem made up of top-notch universities — I have academic degrees from both LMU and TU. There are also companies with startup accelerator programs, mentors, business angels and platforms such as Baystartup that connect us with investors.
What unfortunately is still difficult — and this is true throughout Germany — is finding support programs that help startups in the early stage and seed stage. I really hope that politicians and other stakeholders as well will make the location even more attractive, especially for female founders.
Psychology meets philosophy meets a startup
Munich Startup: How will your startup become the next unicorn? Or will we be seeing you at an Epic Fail Night soon?
Julia Laukemann: We’re not aiming for either one at the moment. My personal goal is to make hundreds of thousands of users more content and happier in the next five years in the German-speaking realm and several European countries as well. It’s already working on a smaller scale with the self-care program provided by our MVP.
Over the mid and long-term, we’re going to expand our program offer as a platform to include approaches that involve values and one-on-one coaching. We draw on the psychology-based approach to happiness, namely that of hedonic, regular self care — which is known as subjective well-being — linked with the eudaimonic approach — known as emotional well-being — which was shaped by Aristotle. When I live according to my personal values and my purpose and care for myself, then I will be happy over the long term.
Munich Startup: Get up early or sleep in?
Julia Laukemann: Having a young son at home, we are not only forced us to be early birds but also night owls (although only in our own four walls). What’s nice about working on My Blossom is that I’ve learned how to take care of myself and to consciously establish a balance in everyday life. Regular yoga, meditation and my mindfulness journal help me to consistently recharge my batteries as a former manager, founder and mother.