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Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

Guardian Angel helps after a bereavement by coordinated support

Please introduce yourself and your startup Guardian Angel to our readers!

I’m Sam Grice, Tech for Good advocate, a New Zealander now living in the UK and founder of Guardian Angel.

Guardian Angel is a free and private online platform that helps you to manage the bedlam that follows the death of a loved one and supports you through the first few weeks and beyond. It simplifies the bereavement process; connecting families, friends and funeral directors together and digitising the funeral directors’ offline processes.

The secure platform helps to reduce the stress in the immediate aftermath of a loved one’s death by enabling you to coordinate support from family and friends. There is a ‘Key times’ function which informs people when they can visit and when you and your family would like to be alone. Its ‘To-Do list’ allows you to manage all tasks and ask friends for help. You can share funeral information privately and it also staggers support, like flower deliveries and food made by friends so they do not all arrive at once. 

How did you get the idea to create Guardian Angel?

When I lost my mother in a road accident, my family and I were catapulted into the chaos of organising a funeral while struggling to manage offers of help and visits from well-meaning friends and family. I looked to technology for help, but it soon became apparent that there was a complete lack of digital efficiency in the end of life industry.

This experience led to the creation of Guardian Angel as I knew I wasn’t alone. Most of us have or will experience the death of a loved one and face the same problems that I did.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?

On a personal level, being surrounded by death every day after what had happened, was challenging at times. But knowing that Guardian Angel would be assisting families, really helped us through our dark days. On a commercial level, the funeral sector has been slow to modernise and digitise its services, but we are talking to funeral directors on a daily basis about the benefits of creating a Guardian Angel support hub for their clients, as we believe technology can really help in the bereavement process.

Who is your target audience?

We are building relationships with Funeral Directors who can then recommend the platform to anyone that is recently bereaved. Families rely on funeral directors for helpful recommendations in the days following the death of a family member or friend. My aim is that Guardian Angel will form part of their essential list of must do’s when advising a bereaved family. We are currently building positive relationships with the sector so feel this is very achievable.

Equally if someone you love passes away, you can visit Guardian Angel straight away.

What is the USP of your startup?

If you ask anyone who is recently bereaved they will explain how hard the weeks following a loss can be. Guardian Angel helps people emerge from the fug that descends after a bereavement by offering practical help, privacy and the coordinated support of your family and friends all on one digital platform. There is nothing else like Guardian Angel out there.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?

It’s a cliché to start-up land, but every day is completely different. At the moment we are focused on working with Funeral Directors. I am out on the road meeting them 2-3 days a week. The other time is spent in the office working on product improvement and development and company strategy. We have several very exciting products and services in our pipeline, and planning them out takes time. We discuss the weekly goals as a team, and who needs to achieve what.  I try to go for run after work most days, as it clears my head.

Where do you see yourself and your startup Guardian Angel in five years?

Within the next few years we want to get the country talking about death. It’s still a taboo subject even though it will happen to all of us. We should all be preparing for the inevitable as it will help ease the burden for those you leave behind. Through Guardian Angel’s existing digital platform and planned new products and services, we believe this is possible. We aim to fundraise again in 18 months. 

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?

Be passionate – once you realise you are in this for the long term, you need to make sure you enjoy the company you are building.

Listen to advice – Some founders hate hearing criticism, but it is why they are founders, they think differently. But you need to surround yourself with experienced board members who will help you navigate the start-up maze.

Stay focussed -Time flies, and if you don’t move at lightning speed and remain laser focused on your goals you will be left behind.

More information you will find here

Thank you Sam Grice for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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