#26 Mette Lykke: Creating Startups for the Greater Good

Listen to this week’s Future Forecast episode where Isabelle Ringnes finds out what it is like to be a successful leader of feel-good start-ups with Mette Lykke.

Mette Lykke, co-founder of sports application Endomondo and chief executive officer of food-waste application, Too Good To Go, simply says that with lots of passion and belief you can get far in business. Tune in to the podcast with Mette Lykke here. 

Uphill Battle

Mette started her career in the corporate world, then one day she set sail in a new direction after a random stranger handed her a postcard that read: “Whatever your wildest dreams may be, they only scratch the surface of what’s possible.” Shortly after, Endomondo was born.


Lykke is inspired by businesses that have a bigger purpose, the sports application motivates people to lead a healthier lifestyle, and her latest venture, Too Good To Go, saves food that would otherwise end up in the trash.

During the initial period of Endomondo there were difficult times, admits Lykke, but when you are in a challenging situation you must “try not to let it show, try and stay calm and smile when you enter the room - and just fake it until you make it.”


To get through this testing period, Lykke applied a mental picture to help. She described a holiday in China where walking would be the safest way of crossing the dangerously busy roads to keep the calm, even if you felt like running, because that would cause panic. At some point, you have reached the bottom of the pit and you can start to climb out, says Lykke, with perseverance you will get there.

Passion and more

For Lykke, it is clear that passion is the key to success, to be passionate about your line of work and to have passion for your work. She is keen to share some other tips:

  • Build a good team
  • Stick with it. Even when the going gets tough
  • Embrace the good times when things are going well

A business idea is born through passion, but a good team will help you go further. Team members want to help to build when they are being inspired by passion. When Lykke talks about the concept of a team, she refers to the internal and the external team.


The external team includes all stakeholders, in particular investors, because total alignment is needed here, which comes from strong teamwork.


  • Lead by example
  • Try to be yourself
  • Believe in trust and strong relationships

Sticking to Startups

From Endomondo to Too Good To Go, Lykke wanted to stay in the entrepreneurial world because you can make a real difference to something, and this way of working gives a lot of flexibility. She wants to break the misconception that it is easier to have a family life if you have a corporate job.


Because you can make your own schedule as an entrepreneur, so even if you are working a lot you can plan your work around your family and the events you want to attend. Lykke is there more for her children than she would be if she were in an office job.


In the evening, she can easily log on at home. You can work at odd hours when you are passionate about your job, because your passion is always there.

Text by Rosanna Bueler Mount