Tim Krier, pictured, is co-founder of “Luxembourg. The People”, which won first prize in the 2019 Luxembourg Young Entrepreneur contest
The winners of Luxembourg’s Young Entrepreneur prize will showcase the country’s talent in more ways than one when they head for the finals in June.
Lycée Technique Ettelbruck students Tim Krier and Tom Roller were awarded first prize on 6 March for “Luxembourg. The People”, a website featuring profiles of the interesting characters found in around the grand duchy.
Krier, who started a BTS course in sustainable development and management at the lycée in September last year, said he got the idea from his passion for reading biographies. “I always liked reading where people came from and who is the person behind,” he told Delano. He was also convinced that Luxembourg needed help in being better understood internationally after British comedian and political commentator John Oliver joked on TV in 2015 that “Luxembourg is France minus the culture.” “I really like him but that’s not the case,” Krier said.
The passion slowly developed into a business idea when Krier and his classmates began the young entrepreneur project in September and asked if people would be interested in being featured. “I was surprised how many people started to follow. It went pretty quickly,” he said.
The student built the website using Wordpress and began conducting interviews with a range of people from the world of sport, culture and science. Among them are Philippe Ernzer, who created the country’s biggest private weather station in Météo Boulaide, and national football player Dirk Carlson. “To be featured you have to represent Luxembourg internationally, or do something in Luxembourg, promote music, be active in arts, something that helps develop urban culture,” he explained. At the time of interview, he had around 35 portraits of local people, all of them published in English.
“It’s not just about bringing a big audience in Luxembourg,” he said, adding he hopes to raise the profiles of those people featured beyond Luxembourg and the greater region. “It’s a combination of helping people and nation branding.”
English was also a natural choice given the target age of site visitors, Krier said. His analysis found that over nine out of ten readers were aged 13 to 34, an age group which he says has become competent in English thanks to social media. The language will also be helpful in the final in Oslo from 24-26 June, where the pair will be expected to pitch in English in front of an international jury.
Krier says that while he was surprised to win the local prize, he is convinced that “Luxembourg. The People” has long-term viability as a business. Alongside their studies, the pair are now establishing a simplified sarl, enabling them to run the website as a business, charging for sponsored content and advertising with Roller taking care of the financial side. “I think what the jury liked about the idea is that the product is already there. And now we’re ready to start to earn,” he said.