Diane Delava, founder of Mattrvest, was a speaker during our Lëtz Go Equal in Digital event. She participated to a conversation panel, during which she shared some interesting pieces of advice about entrepreneurship. She also held a fascinating speech about the story of her startup. Discover more about Diane and Mattrvest below. Enjoy the read!

How did you get the idea for your project?

The story of Mattrvest is my story.

One year ago, back in Belgium, I came home to find my flatmate overwhelmed by her personal issues. While I was confident that she would solve most of these problems, the lack of financial planning remained a core challenge. I couldn’t help her, and I found out that most of my friends struggled at managing their savings as well.

Having worked with youth across the EU for a few years now, I realised the macro implications of this problem – the upcoming European pensions crisis. The EU has a current annual pension savings gap of €2 trillion. It needs to be mostly filled by my generation’s savings. It is the equivalent of a Canadian GDP per year. And that seems currently very tough to achieve.

So we spoke to over 500 millennials to understand the problem a bit more. We then realised that while they demand complete transparency regarding their financial planning, they also need someone who speaks their language to help them through the process, while ensuring a positive impact on the planet.

So Mattrvest helps millennials plan, spend and save for what matters to them.

With a focus on more than 120 million millennials in the European Union, we built money management algorithms delivered via chatbots that enable them to save more and budget their spendings. Then we advise them with financial products that suit their needs but also their values. Someone who turned vegan shouldn’t be investing in companies that are producing beef or meat. But that is happening today and it is the reason why we enable you to invest in what matters to you.

Why do you think new technologies/digitalization are particularly useful in solving the issue or problem you identified?

You need to be where the consumer today is. People are messaging more than ever. Messaging has taken over social media in a big way already. Solutions catered to consumers need to be targeted at users using the right medium and channels they use. And that’s why we use chatbots.

I just wanted to highlight that with technology comes data privacy concerns. And these concerns are valid. I feel that increasingly more startups and the technology industry are becoming aware of that. As a young startup, it is very important to deploy human-centred design not just to market it but also to design products which ensure privacy.

Did you encounter difficulties related to your gender during your studies and later on as an entrepreneur?

I guess we all have, as women, some challenges but also opportunities. 

As a challenge – I had a meeting with an advisor and potential investor where the guy just never looked at me. Even when I was speaking to him. My 2 co-founders are male, so the discussion was between them. If I had to relive the situation, I think I would have waved at his face and said, please have the decency to look at me when I speak. But then again, that’s what I’m saying while having already lived the moment. So now let’s see next time I experience something like this. 

As an opportunity, I just was admitted into the Google Female Founders program – which supports women founders – which is a community I can rely on!

What would be your advice to young people who would like to use technology to change the world?

If you are passionate about a topic or a problem that you see in your society, just go for it. But if you are willing to really go for it. Take risks to do it. Quit your job, change something radical in your life to make the move. Otherwise, we are always too cautious about what ifs? In reality, life is long enough to make mistakes and learn from them. And maybe, your project, your company, might be the best decision you’ve ever taken in your life.

Check their latest campaign #mymoneymyplanet with an event on the 15th of April!

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