In 2016, the tooyoo project was launched under the leadership of Ralph Rimet an entrepreneur with 15 years of experience with start-ups under his belt and a former top athlete. This was also when Liip was brought on board. We asked Ralph to tell us what drives him in his career as a serial entrepreneur and what is important for him in an innovation project. He also talked to us about tooyoo and the prospects for developing this platform for managing your last wishes.
Ralph Rimet, tell us about you. What drives you as an entrepreneur?
Three years ago, I joined the innovation unit at La Mobilière to develop new business models in the field of retirement planning. As part of my role, I manage tooyoo, a corporate venture and am also responsible for scouting start-ups for Lifetech at La Mobilière.
As odd as it may seem, this is my first corporate job. I trained as an economist and specialised in innovation management. I caught the start-up bug very early. I started my first business during my first year of university, and I have founded many other start-ups since then, with varying degrees of success. (laughs)
I like to question things, and I like a challenge. The more complex something is, the more it appeals to me. I am convinced that you can change the world, starting from scratch. I question the status quo and rely on my instincts a lot.
I have learnt a lot about myself. Being an entrepreneur is an excellent form of training.
What is tooyoo? Why should everyone have an account?
tooyoo is a platform that allows you to manage your last wishes and share them with your loved ones on the best terms when you pass. Our solution is an invaluable aid for grieving loved ones, guaranteeing them access to all of this information in a structured way and taking them through everything step by step in the form of an interactive checklist. The information is therefore sent to the right person at the right time.
Managing someone's affairs after they pass is a very painful, complex task. We use our technical skills and our knowledge of the digital world to create a very human product. Our team is also very conscious of the quality of our service. We aim to always stay as close to our users as possible.
When the project was first created three years ago, what research was conducted? What was your approach?
I start every project with a clean slate and I like to question absolutely everything. I first look at acquiring the necessary skills for the specific project with a strong emphasis on the human connection.
I work in an agile way. I therefore wanted to surround myself with like-minded people when building my team for tooyoo as well as when choosing our external partner.
I needed a partner company to help with development that was flexible and able to deliver high-quality results quickly. This would allow me to concentrate on the business side of the project.
Having a customer-centric approach is also essential for me. The future clients of the platform constitute a goldmine of information that is absolutely crucial for creating a good product. I therefore wanted to integrate them into the project as early as possible.
When you look back now at the whole process you went through, what do you think you will take away from this?
A team that works well. We chose to work with Liip because we complement each other well and our objectives are aligned. And that is still the case now! This is also one of the driving forces behind tooyoo. Everything is fluid in both our team here and the team at Liip. We think of ourselves as a single team, though – the dream team! The involvement and integration of developers is reflected in the product.
Everything that Liip’s developers deliver just works. It has changed the way I work. I can have confidence in what is delivered. I know that after every sprint, we can put what was developed into production.
Working in this way has enabled tooyoo to grow very quickly.
We were also very lean in our approach. Liip really helped us break down the project, work in an iterative, agile way with MVPs (minimum viable products) and develop our creativity together.
I think the human factor is one of the essential aspects in entrepreneurship and innovation.
How would you describe your collaboration with Liip in three words?
Agile, effective and enjoyable. (smiles widely)
What is your vision for tooyoo’s future?
We are at a decisive stage. We are working on developing collaborations with numerous major Swiss partners. If we succeed, tooyoo may be able to dream of a future similar to that of the TWINT platform, but for organising your affairs for after your death. We are working extremely hard and are doing everything possible to step up to this challenge!