LUMO Labs, together with OostNL, invests in Enliven for groundbreaking empathy training in virtual reality

EINDHOVEN, the Netherlands – Together with Oost NL, LUMO Labs is investing EUR 1 million in game-tech company Enliven. This Dutch startup from Arnhem offers groundbreaking empathy training to prevent physical and emotional violence in home and workplace situations, based on realistic scenarios in virtual reality. Employer training propositions specifically target the most pressing threats to employee wellbeing today; bullying, discrimination, inequality and sexual harassment. The new capital injection will enable Enliven to accelerate content production for the training courses and further development of the underlying platform. In addition, efforts are being made to increase brand awareness and intensify customer-oriented activities. Enliven is based on the seemingly simple principle of ‘prevention through awareness’. Until now, however, it was not possible to achieve the level of awareness necessary for actual preventive impact in a safe way, in a simulated environment. Through the use of advanced gaming technology and virtual reality, the impact-driven startup has succeeded in this and makes this accessible to employers and social institutions in a safe and accessible way. Enliven technology allows users to experience destructive behavior from the point of view of a victim or target such as a child in domestic violence. Awareness of the emotional and mental impact of certain behavior not only ensures that someone recognizes and changes their own behavior more quickly, it also ensures that people point others to (unintentionally) destructive behavior and de-escalate situations. This benefits the culture in the workplace and contributes to strong vital teams and the well-being of employees. “This kind of innovation and impact fits perfectly with our investment focus and the demand for new solutions to global social challenges,” states LUMO Labs Founding Partner Andy Lürling, “In the interest of image, productivity, recruitment potential and social objectives, culture and well-being are of employees is increasingly a top priority for companies around the world, with Enliven supporting them in onboarding new employees, as well as strengthening existing employees and teams.” In addition to workplace situations, Enliven offers VR simulations related to other life challenges such as divorce, domestic violence and mental disability. Enliven was founded in 2015 by Alex Tavassoli, an Iranian refugee who came to the Netherlands at the age of 8. Tavassoli’s background in game development and his personal experience as a child with domestic violence and discrimination led him to develop ‘Forget Me Not’. This simulation focused on domestic violence was awarded the JenV Innovation Prize of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security. “We are happy to take the next step together with LUMO and Oost NL,” said Tavassoli. “This investment allows us to expand the themes we pick up and the global reach of our content. By reaching and empowering more people and organizations, we can touch more lives and bring about more positive change.”

“My biggest motivation is the knowledge that every time someone experiences our content, they are exponentially more likely to act against domestic violence, bullying or discrimination.”

Alex Tavassoli – Founder & CEO

Sven Bakkes, Founding Partner at LUMO Labs, calls Tavassoli “an incredibly persistent and dedicated founder. He was able to demonstrate very convincingly the need and commitment of the additional capital and access to our network and program for speed and growth. We look forward to supporting him and his growing team to make this happen!” Oost NL is investing in this investment round of Participatiefonds Oost NL. Jordy Schaufeli, Investment Manager at Oost NL: “A safe and healthy working environment, where people treat each other with respect, determines the quality of service and ensures sustainable employment. We are very pleased that we can contribute to support Enliven in their journey to further develop their product and vision. The product is innovative, has a significant social impact, is people-oriented and contributes to the societal challenges we face today.”

Back row from left: Mack Mendes Moreira (Game Developer), Ids Boonstra (Technical Animator), Ruben Kuijer (Game & Software Developer) Middle row from left: Gerrit Koolstra (Visual Artist), Tom & Ruud Acquoij (Sales & training) Front row from left: Chablis Platenburg (Director of Impact), Esmeralda Massaut (Producer & Narrative Director) Alex Tavassoli (Founder & CEO).

About Enliven

Enliven enables people and organizations to build a more understanding and empathetic society. It is the first company to fully deploy virtual reality to create greater mutual understanding between people. What is the impact on children who witness domestic violence? Or how does it feel to be discriminated against based on your skin color, sexual orientation or ethnicity? Enliven’s virtual reality simulations open a window into someone else’s world, allowing people to see and experience the world through their eyes.

About LUMO Labs

LUMO Labs, located on High Tech Campus Eindhoven, creates opportunities for impact-driven software and smart hardware startups. The current LUMO Fund II is an impact-driven multi-stage fund (pre-seed up to and including series A). It includes a two-year business-building program to support its portfolio companies in achieving both financial success and social traction and impact.

About OostNL

Oost NL is the development company of the Eastern Netherlands. Based on a clear social mission, East NL helps entrepreneurs in the East of the Netherlands to develop innovations for a sustainable society. We let entrepreneurs innovate, invest and internationalize. Towards the next breakthrough in the field of Food, Health, Tech, Energy and Circular. We do that with public money. We also make our knowledge, expertise and network available. With an eye for social and economic returns. Oost NL is commissioned by the province of Gelderland, the province of Overijssel and the Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate.

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