Continuing our tradition of presenting you “behind the scenes of Mimi”, we’d like to draw your attention to our Pascal Werner, one of the three Co-Founders of Mimi.
As a biomedical engineer by profession, Pascal became interested in the “world of hearing” after doing software coaching for a German airline abroad.
Besides being Co-Founder and lead of all things hardware, Pascal is currently focusing a lot on setting up smooth work structures and processes for the whole team. Colleagues at Mimi describe him as sweet, intelligent and the most modest.
P.S. Don’t tell anyone, but he likes running and cold showers. As for his hearing age, he thinks it always depends on his mood and surroundings. Last time he checked, it was 29.
Q: If we talk about Mimi. What’s your personal story behind it?
At first I thought I didn’t have a direct link with the issue, other than it attracted me from the technical point of view, until I realized how many people it is actually affecting. It literally changed my whole approach and gave me a different motivation to be involved with Mimi.
We think hearing problems only concern old people and hearing technology is ugly and no one wants to use it. But it is not correct for our times anymore. Hearing is a basic human need and it should concern everyone. My family members are above 30 years old and even people younger already have hearing problems, but surprisingly nobody ever talked about it in earlier times. Even my cousin who is two or three years younger than me, listens to a lot of music and he says he already has hearing problems.
“At first I thought I didn’t have a direct link with the issue, other than it attracted me from the technical point of view, until I realised how many people it is actually affecting”
Q: Why is Mimi important to you?
Because it affects and helps a lot of people. And Mimi is special, because we got a great team that is engaged in something greater than a mere marketing exercise, but actually creating something new and needed and that will benefit many people.
The ability to hear is a basic human need and it should concern everyone.
Q: Three adjectives that would describe Mimi for you.
It’s hard. Well-designed: it doesn’t just look good, but it is designed in a way that anybody can use it. Technologically advanced and fun; Mimi is a fun experience for both people creating it and those using it.
Q: How did you meet the co-founders?
Philipp was doing Design Thinking coaching in St. Gallen and I was interning at Deutsche Bank where Philipp was a coach. I met Nick only after Philipp called me and asked me to come to Berlin, to further discuss the details of founding Mimi. That’s how I first met them.
Q: What were your first impressions about the other two co-founders— Philipp and Nick?
With Nick, I couldn’t understand him well because of his accent. I found him to be a funny English guy. I met Philipp four or five years ago and it’s hard to remember now (smiles). I met him first when I had my interview for the internship.
Q: Do you remember the first day how Mimi started?
Philipp phoned me and asked me what I was doing at that time and whether I was interested in some project that he was starting. It sounded interesting, so I asked him to send me the details in order to have a closer look.
Coincidently I was going on a trip via Berlin, so Philipp organized a meeting with me, Nick and Christophe Maire (Mimi investor), where I further got acquainted with everyone and everything. That’s how it all started. Of course, it took some time before I moved to Berlin, but that’s basically it, the story about the start.
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect about Mimi? What’s the biggest motivation?
Being able to affect so many people with your work. As I’ve already mentioned, what we do is not only for one specific group of people. It’s something universal. It’s for everyone who wants to hear differently.
“Mimi is something universal. It’s for everyone who wants to hear differently”
Q: If you think of a regular person who has a smartphone but doesn’t know about mobile health or has no idea about his hearing capacities – what do they need to know about Mimi? Why is Mimi important to the rest of the world?
You can learn about hearing without knowing anything about it. You just need to turn on the app and you already hear better. And if you want to know more, you can learn more, but you don’t need to.
Q: Where do you want to see Mimi in five years?
Mimi in five years is still THERE (chuckles). I want Mimi to be an internationally successful company, with the products and services that will improve lives. And, of course, Mimi continues working on sound products.
There is still a lot to do and I’m looking forward to the new challenges and opportunities.