GoldenMe: the start-up connecting the older generation

Who says technology can’t be accessible to everyone? GoldenMe , a start-up founded in 2018 by Mara Kroth and Johannes Heuschkel, is on a mission to break the digital divide. The pair, both aged just 23 at the time and studying psychology, had the idea of creating a community for socially isolated older people by helping them learn digital skills through initiatives like their "SmartphoneCafé" workshop.

A success story born from personal experience

It was following the death of her grandmother that Mara Kroth first became aware of the issue of loneliness among older people. In 2018, she and Johannes Heuschkel took part in the Ideation Camp organised by the University of Luxembourg Incubator & Entrepreneurship Programme. There, they were able to develop a website that promotes intergenerational exchanges through various activities.

But the Covid-19 pandemic prompted GoldenMe to adapt the concept towards online workshops. "We had to make them more inclusive somehow. It was then that it clicked: digital is our strength," recalls Mara Kroth. As a result, GoldenMe has turned its attention to digital inclusion, offering activities such as the "SmartphoneCafé" to train people in basic digital skills. Its founders see this learning as a means of emancipation, particularly for the elderly.

A long-term endeavour supported by the University

GoldenMe remains first and foremost a non-profit association, the duo stress - a sort of social start-up supported by donations and agreements. The founders caution would-be entrepreneurs with similar ambitions: "If it grows fast, it can also go wrong fast", says Mara Kroth. Their goal is not to aim for rapid growth, but rather to build something that can last over time. Johannes Heuschkel adds that the key to a success story like theirs is therefore time and commitment in order to aim for long-term investment.

The University of Luxembourg Incubator & Entrepreneurship Programme gave the project a real boost. The programme enabled them to set up offices in Belval in 2020 and participate in the Venture Mentoring System , a mentoring programme initiated by the University’s Incubator, giving access to tailor-made support and industry experts to meet the needs of each company.

Interested in an intergenerational exchange? GoldenMe is looking for volunteers to get involved in its "SmartphoneCafé" workshops. Visit the start-up’s social networks for more details: