Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do? Please introduce yourselves!
Trustloop: Trustloop is a social company based in Munich. Our mission is to help companies and NGOs generate a positive impact in a targeted manner, to ensure long-term social, environmental and economic value creation for all stakeholders.
Wanessa Rudmer, founder and chairwoman of Trustloop, is a Brazilian social entrepreneur, marketer and old millennial rooted in Munich. She dedicated the last 15 years to culture and media production on one hand side and social and environmental projects on the other.
Tom Mayer, 28, is a Co-founder of Trustloop and responsible for Business Development. Tom is currently writing his master’s thesis about ‘Financing opportunities for early-stage Social Startups‘. He dedicated the last few years to working for different startups and companies in the innovation ecosystems of Los Angeles, Tel Aviv and Munich.
Kevin Kähn, 27, is a Co-founder of Trustloop and leads sales and partnerships. He is also writing his master’s thesis about Trustloop. In this context, he examines the possibilities of a third-party digital platform to solve the challenges of companies in the field of CSR. In the last few years, he was working for an OEM and different consultancies in the automotive industry.
Wanessa and Tom met while working at a startup in Munich. Tom and Kevin are University buddies, completing their master’s degree in Applied Innovation at Hochschule München. The trio came together at the end of 2019 to found Trustloop.
Trustloop wants to enable companies to achieve the UN development goals
Munich Startup: What problem does your startup solve?
Trustloop: According to the World Economic Forum, ‘despite a tremendous increase in the number of initiatives dedicated to sustainable development a persistent $2.5 trillion annual financing gap stands in the way of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).‘
We believe in the power of social partnerships (SDG 17) and communication to attract investments to social and environmental initiatives – and have created a 3 steps strategy to help companies and external partners (NGOs, social enterprises and green startups) to work together and improve our society and planet.
- Connect: We help our customers find suitable and liable partners to develop and implement initiatives.
- Empower: We provide bespoke consultancy, training and research to help them refine their strategy and ensure the achievement of impactful outcomes.
- Communicate: We help them communicate the results by leveraging our digital platform, visual storytelling and social media marketing, including people in a targeted, transparent and trustworthy manner.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Trustloop: We understand that more than innovative, our approach is necessary. We live in a world of increasing social gaps and an imminent environmental collapse. That’s generating fear, uncertainty and civil unrest everywhere. Most businesses, communities and ecosystems won’t remain undisrupted under the actual conditions, and more has to be done in order to restore social and environmental balance. We believe in effective communication to help unlock the power of cross-sectoral partnerships that can improve many of the current local and global issues.
What is special about our approach is the inclusion of people in the loop, increasing awareness and education over societal and environmental issues, and restoring the trust in our ability to collaborate and do the right thing.
Digital platform to make impact visible
Munich Startup: What have been your three biggest challenges so far?
Trustloop: One of our biggest challenges has been to narrow down our focus due to the number of issues to be tackled, also in the face of the different perspectives our stakeholders have in regards to impact.
Another challenge that’s very specific to our business is to create a framework for collaboration that encompasses the different ambitions, set of criteria and liabilities posed by each party.
And, finally, the super long sales cycles up to this point. As a startup, we’re eager to move fast whereas on the customer side the decision-making process tends to be quite complex and time-consuming.
Trend towards impact investing
Munich Startup: How is your business going?
Trustloop: In general, we are pretty content with how things are unfolding lately. There’s a lot of traction coming from the corporate side, due to the need for companies to adapt to new regulations and stakeholders’ demands, and CEOs putting CSR and Sustainability at the top of companies’ agendas.
Impact investing is also a huge trend. In January 2020, Larry Flink stated that BlackRock will immediately stop investing in companies that are “present a high sustainability-related risk”. Since we’ve been witnessing an even greater shift on investors’ behaviour and demands.
On top of that, investors and stakeholders, in general, don’t read sustainability reports.
This means that companies will need to improve the way they communicate their impact – and also there we are ready to help.
Timing is an important success factor for startups, and that we seem to have. We are confident that the future reserves great achievements for Trustloop.
Munich Startup: What do you think about Munich as a startup location?
Trustloop: Munich is the perfect environment for startups because it brings together highly educated professionals, a strong, accessible and supportive community, incredible governmental infrastructure and lots of investments in innovation. Besides that, it is home for some of the largest companies in the world, always looking for innovative business and technologies to accelerate a certain aspect of their own.
Munich Startup: Quick exit or staying power?
Trustloop: Staying in power. Giving up is not an option for us.