The MTH Unboxing is a monthly format. One startup from the portfolio of the MediaTech Hub Accelerator will be presented in each issue. This time, you will learn more about the startup VYVYT.
Places where people can mourn and commemorate the loss of a loved one are as varied and individual as how people deal with death itself. Some people visit the gravesite regularly to get in touch with the person who died, and some visit places that have a very special connection to that person. Others have a framed photo in a very special place in their home.
But these places do not always have to be purely physical. It is now also possible to create virtual memorial spaces in the context of mourning. This is what VYVYT offers. Originally, the startup was founded at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF by Lilli Berger under a different name, farvel, and with a different founding team. The team participated in in the MediaTech Hub Accelerator program, but soon after that, Anton Kurt Krause and Gregor Teggatz joined as new co-founders and the name changed to VYVYT. Together, they have made it their mission to contribute to sustainable grief recovery in the 21st century. Lilli Berger and Anton Kurt Krause told us more about this in the current issue of MTH Unboxing.
MTH Accelerator: What did you do before VYVYT?
VYVYT: Lilli was a funeral director and had been working with her previous team since 2020 on developing a concept called “farvel” for the first virtual 3D room of remembrance. Anton is a theatre director and software developer. He has been transfering performances to virtual 3D stages since 2020 so that screenings can be experienced without any restrictions.
MTH Accelerator: How did VYVYT come about?
VYVYT: The possibility of visiting a virtual room of remembrance simulating an encounter in a physical space hadn’t existed until now. This means that rituals have to be newly developed.
MTH Accelerator: What is VYVYT?
VYVYT: The name VYVYT comes from “vivit”, the Latin for “he|she|es lives on”. We create virtual places that are accessible to mourners from anywhere. This is a place where memories can be shared and the deceased seen from new angles and thus able to live on.
MTH Accelerator: What added value do you think virtual resting places and memorials can offer?
VYVYT: We make farewell ceremonies possible anywhere and anytime. Using 3D rendering and 3D audio, 3D spaces can create a sense of closeness and community that goes beyond other digital means. This enables us to remember the experience in a different way from in 2D environments like video calls.
MTH Accelerator: Are there any typical initial reactions when you tell people about your work at VYVYT? And if so, what do they tend to be like?
VYVYT: It’s still true that we don’t like talking about death. When we talk about our project, the other person is initially irritated. But we often encounter the need for people to talk about their own personal losses. I think it’s nice to be able to give death and mourning a space in everyday life.
MTH Accelerator: What is your mission?
VYVYT: A large wave of death and mourning will come rolling towards us over the next 20 years because of the baby boomer generation. As the millennials, we will regularly then be the ones taking care of the funerals. A generation that has grown up with the internet. By creating spaces for mourning that are accessible at all times and in keeping with the occasion, we are able to facilitate sustainable bereavement in the 21st century.
MTH Accelerator: And last but not least: why did you set the company up in Potsdam?
VYVYT: We are benefitting a lot as a young start-up from the proximity to the Media Tech Hub Potsdam and the start-up service of the Film University Babelsberg. The location provides us with valuable contacts to tech start-ups in the field of film based in Babelsberg as well as to specialists supporting us on questions about launching the company, and to a network in the field of media tech and innovation.