Co-Founding Between The Lines is something, I am especially proud about. During the last years, I build up a product team (at times, I was leading two product teams), we scaled the non-profit entity behind Between The Lines to 10 employees and yearly revenue of over 100.000€, and acquired numerous supporters like Dorothee Bär as our patron.
But let’s start from the beginning: when I was 16, I was part of the youth parliament of my hometown, Solingen. During that time, I realized, that a lot of teenagers struggle a lot. Something, I luckily didn’t experience. Naturally, I wanted to help. At that time I was learning how to develop apps and the most innovative service for teenagers in difficult situations was the “Nummer gegen Kummer”, a phone number young people could call (which had fewer users every year). Together with Oliver Kröger, who started a project group in the youth parliament about helping others, we decided to build an app for struggling teenagers.
During the next years, we talked to hundreds of teenagers, institutions, cities and scientist. We learned that teenagers have numerous great ways to get help, but also, that teenagers are not aware about them. On Google, they would mostly find bad or even dangerous information. We decided to build a platform, that connects teenagers with the right institutions. Additionally, on the platform, teenagers can find information about their problem and stories from others, that struggle from similar issues to decrease the perceived stigma.
Over the years, I spend a lot of time next to my studies, talking to users to find how we can help and provide value, growing the team, negotiating with cities about launching the app, convincing several hundred organizations to join our platform and pitching a lot.
I am most proud about:
- Over 5.000 downloads and hundreds of successful referrals.
- Over 30 volunteers joining us to do marketing, produce & collect content, support fundraising efforts and more.
- Being able to hire a product team with 2 developers, a designer and a product manager and building great products with them.
- Acquiring over 100.000€ in recurring revenue from partnerships with cities.
- Growing the organization to a stable point, at which I could say goodbye to focus on new endeavors.