Munich Startup: What does your startup do? What problem are you solving?
Julia Kupke, Lotaro: Every company strives to have top-performing employees. More than 90 percent of the workday involves soft skills, such as communication, sales, leadership, motivation and time management. That’s why it’s extremely important for companies to strengthen these skills. Current solutions, such as in-house or external training, are time-consuming and expensive. And e-learning providers don’t offer a satisfactory solution because the format doesn’t deliver the desired outcome. How can you improve people skills when you aren’t practicing them in real life with other people, but are instead watching videos at double speed while answering emails at the same time?
That’s why we developed a solution that, on the one hand, offers a format that provides a tremendous learning effect in the shortest possible time, and on the other hand, can be easily integrated into the workday.
In short: Lotaro is a live training platform for people skills that is used throughout a company. Every employee has access to interactive live training, which lasts a maximum of two hours each day in small mixed groups with about ten people and a trainer. Typical courses cover topics such as structuring one-on-one performance reviews, executive coaching skills, learning negotiation tactics, storytelling in sales and much more.
Lotaro: The team comes first
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Julia Kupke: There’s already a lot of content on the market, especially in the field of e-learning, including countless videos with impressive effects. But a lot of it focuses more on quantity instead of quality, which means even more videos, larger groups and even more prominent moderators from renowned companies. The learning effect for individuals. however, falls by the wayside.
Munich Startup: What’s your founding story?
Julia Kupke: It was important to me for the team to come first. Ideas change, the market changes, but working together as a team in the early years and complementing each other’s skills in a meaningful way are key factors for success. That’s why we came together as a team first and then went through ups and downs together until we could get started with our training platform.
The challenge – getting back up
Munich Startup: What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Julia Kupke: Getting back up again. Before developing our training platform, we had some ideas in mind and even generated promising revenue. But none of the ideas gave us the feeling (or metrics) that we were solving a problem better than others, or that there was a significant problem at all. We might have been able to make money with them, but we set high standards for ourselves and for the potential impact that we want and can make.
Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, and in five years?
Julia Kupke: Our idea emerged six months ago. We now have a product that is technically sound, a great selection of trainers, courses that have a customer satisfaction score (NPS score) of more than 60 and customers who can already fully finance us. In our current phase, things are going very well. Nevertheless, the current economic situation makes it a challenge to sell additional costs to companies that have to lay off talent.
In five years, I would like us to be at a point where candidates in job interviews proactively ask whether the company offers Lotaro memberships so they can further their education in the best possible way – it should be a matter of course for employers to give them that opportunity.
https://www.munich-startup.de/startups/lotaro/An impressive willingness to help in the scene
Munich Startup: How have you experienced Munich as a startup location so far?
Julia Kupke: I’ve lived in Munich for more than ten years now. And that’s why I have my network here, which is made up almost exclusively of founders. How helpful everyone is never ceases to impress me. That can mean acquiring pilot customers, making contact with potential customers, exchanging ideas or just listening when things aren’t going so well. I’m so grateful for the support.
Unfortunately, Munich doesn’t really offer meaningful financial support when it comes to office space. Even though people are rarely in the office five days a week these days, it’s still important to come together as often as possible, especially in the early stages. However, the supposed “startup offices” usually bear the logos of large companies and are often empty or used as an “innovation space.”
Munich Startup: Quick exit or staying power?
Julia Kupke: For us, it’s all about creating something that truly helps employees grow both in their current role and on a personal level. We communicate, sell, motivate and lead our whole lives. That’s why our impact is huge. We want to offer this opportunity to every talented individual. That’s the top priority. It’s not clear yet whether an exit can help us implement that vision.