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Interview with Nelli Lähteenmäk, CEO & Co Founder of You App Article

This week we have an exclusive interview with You App’s CEO & Co Founder, Nelli Lähteenmäk. You App gives you small steps for a happier, healthier you with the amazing Jamie Oliver being one of their action hosts. 

Nelli will be taking to the Disrupt Arena this November @ Apps World. Don’t miss her keynote on day one, 14:00 – 14:30 – register for your free expo & Disrupt keynote arena pass here

Read our exclusive interview below


Hello Nelli, 

Could you tell us a little bit about your inspiration behind the You App?

Our dream is to create a world where improving your life is possible – one small step at a time. YOU-app grew out of a need to create an approachable, more emotionally engaging alternative to current tracker and quantification-heavy applications that often make you feel like a failure if you miss a day or two. YOU-app gives small daily actions users complete with a picture. Our lovely community encourages and cheers each other on! We are super proud for creating such a useful, positive app! 

What made you decide to focus on wellness?

We truly want to create a huge, positive impact on the world. We know many global health issues could be prevented with healthier lifestyle and healthier habits, hence we are on the wellness / wellbeing side of the equation. 

How does the current app evolve from Health Puzzle?

It has been a long team effort to develop YOU-app to what it is today.  We have been on this journey for many years already. Our previous startup had pretty much the same goal (helping people live happier and healthier) – but a very different approach (more quantified self-driven). Our change process started when my co-founder and head of product Aleksi encouraged us to focus fully into behavior change. That revelation led to eventually founding a new company in 2014 and developing YOU-app into what it is today.

How successful have you seen the adoption of the different features of the app?

Very successful. We started in January with a super simple concept – YOU-app gave one daily micro-action that would change every day. We later added new action types, e.g. “Keep-it-up Action” for habit creation and “Action Playlists” for those who want to focus on a specific topic. All of these features have been warmly welcomed by our community. We have an ongoing conversation with our users inside YOU-app and we collect a lot of user feedback and wishes to make sure new features are what our users need and want!

How did the partnership with Jamie Oliver come about?

We got introduced by our fantastic investor Wellington Partners! 

How does his brand align with your positioning?

Very well – Jamie did to cooking what we want to do for health advancement – he made it approachable and doable!  Jamie and his team are doing a fantastic job in helping people live happier and healthier. We are doing our part by bringing in an approachable digital platform, YOU-app! 

Looking at the bigger picture what do you think of the European start up scene?

I think it’s getting better and better all the time. The startup hubs in e.g. London, Berlin, Helsinki and Stockholm are getting stronger, attracting capital not only from Europe but also form the US and Asia. 

What can you tell us about your new partnership with 500 Start Ups?

 Attending 500 Startups Batch 14 in San Francisco was a wonderful and extremely useful experience for our team. 500 Startups is focused on helping startups in especially growth hacking (they call it “distro” or “distribution”), marketing and fundraising – all areas where learning from the best was very useful for us. Also, being part of the vast 500 Startups “family” is also very valuable, fellow founders truly help and support each other

Lastly what will you be discussing at AppsWorld? [let's still refine this!!]

I will discuss the raise of “Human technology” or “Emotional technology” – how we are leveraging learnings from neuroscience and psychology to create an emotionally engaging, approachable user experience for self-improvement. 

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