Luxembourg-based startup Nyki is ending in December its one-year incubation period at 6zero1, the social impact incubator located at 1535° in Differdange. We met the founder, Laure Omont, during the EBAN Winter Summit.
Photo: Laure Omont, founder of Nyki / Credits © Silicon Luxembourg
How did you come up with Nyki?
I studied in a business school (Grenoble Ecole de Management) and gradually specialized myself in the social economy, so I wanted my first professional experience to be social entrepreneurship.
An independent report from the NESSE in 2011 stroke me: school tutoring is today one of the main issues that maintain and increase social inequalities.
That’s how Nyki, which stands for « Now You Know It », is born. We want to offer all children the possibility to take control of their learnings, no matter what challenges they might face besides in their lives.
What is the service?
We offer school tutoring for all. Our aim is to allow everyone to have access to our courses by providing 10 to 100% discounts for children whose parents cannot afford the service at its usual price. 100% discount meaning…our courses can even be free! The discounts are based on family income, to ensure they are provided based on an objective criterion. We also adapt our services for students with specific needs who cannot find suitable programs easily. In short, our goal is to democratize school tutoring.
Currently our tutors teach mostly to children from primary and secondary schools. However, we could extend our services to university students and adults, should the demand arise.
“We focus on social impact. Our program is not more expensive than others but when the parents pay courses for their children, they know that they contribute to helping other children have access to the same service.”
What is your stage of development today?
We started the project in January 2018, and had our first clients in May. Six tutors currently work with Nyki and we receive quite a few applications every week from motivated people of all ages willing to become tutors. We also see a higher demand on the parents’ side.
Now, we want to test our business model: finding a balance between full-priced, discount-priced and free courses in a single company is an innovation, and thus a challenge! We need to make sure that this is sustainable in the long term. As soon as we find this balance, we will think further about how and what to digitalize in our current services.
How do you differentiate from other school tutoring firms?
We focus on social impact. Our program is not more expensive than others but when the parents pay courses for their children, they know that they contribute to helping other children have access to the same service. It’s a bit like when you want to buy Fairtrade products: you buy Fairtrade instead of regular products because you know your purchase will have a positive social impact on some other people. So why not start thinking the same way when we buy services?
You pitched at EBAN Winter Summit. How can such an event be an asset?
This is a unique opportunity to meet a wide variety of people, both investors and other social entrepreneurs with more or different experiences. It’s also a way to confront my project to others that might have a different vision. It definitely helps Nyki grow!