Dutch game-tech startup Enliven raises €1m for groundbreaking empathy training in virtual reality

Dutch game-tech startup Enliven raises €1m for groundbreaking empathy training in virtual reality

Published: 12-09-2022 11:29:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 4186 | Tags:

Together with Oost NL, LUMO Labs is investing €1 million in game-tech company Enliven. This Dutch startup from Arnhem offers groundbreaking empathy training for the prevention of 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. By using 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.

Andy Lürling, Founding Partner, LUMO Labs: ''This kind of innovation and impact fits perfectly with our investment focus and the demand for new solutions to global social challenges. In the interest of image, productivity, recruitment potential and social objectives, culture and employee well-being are increasingly a top priority for companies around the world. Enliven supports them in this during the onboarding of new employees, but also in 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.

Alex Tavassoli, Founder and CEO,Enliven: ''We are happy to take the next step together with LUMO and Oost NL. This investment allows us to expand the themes we tackle 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.''