© Enliven
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Arnhem-based start-up Enliven develops empathy training to prevent physical and emotional violence in home and workplace situations. Realistic scenarios in virtual reality form the basis of this training. They focus on the most pressing threats to employee well-being today: bullying, discrimination, inequality, and sexual harassment. 

Thanks to a 1 million euro support package from LUMO Labs and OostNL, Enliven will be able to accelerate content production for the training and further development of the underlying platform. In addition, efforts are being made to increase brand awareness and expand the customer base. 

Enliven is based on the principle of “prevention through awareness”. According to the founders, until now, it has not been possible to safely achieve, in a simulated environment, the level of awareness required for actual preventive impact. With gaming technology and virtual reality, Enliven expects to succeed here. 

Enliven was founded in 2015 by Alex Tavassoli, an Iranian refugee who came to the Netherlands at age 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 and was awarded the JenV Innovation Prize from the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security. 

Domestic Violence

Enliven Technology lets users experience destructive behavior from the point of view of a victim or target, such as a child in domestic violence. The awareness of the emotional impact of particular behavior not only makes a person recognize and change their behavior faster, but it also leads to people being quick to point out (unintentional) destructive behavior to others and de-escalate situations. 

“This investment allows us to expand the global reach of our content,” says Tavassolli. “The more people and organizations we reach, we can create more positive change. My biggest motivation is knowing that whenever someone experiences our content, they are exponentially more likely to take action against domestic violence, bullying, or discrimination.”

Sven Bakkes, Founding Partner at LUMO Labs, calls Tavassoli a tenacious and dedicated founder. “He has been able to make a very compelling case for 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!”

Top priority

“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 productivity, recruitment potential and social goals, culture and employee well-being have become a top priority for companies around the world. Enliven supports them in this regard during the onboarding of new employees, as well as in strengthening existing employees and teams.” 

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

Jordy Schaufeli, Investment Manager at OostNL: “A safe and healthy working environment, where people treat each other with respect, determines the quality of service and creates sustainable employment. We are very happy to contribute to supporting Enliven to develop its product and vision further. The product is innovative, has a significant social impact, is people-oriented, and contributes to social challenges we face today.”