The future of relationship management – at home and at work

SHB graduate develops processes for managing relationships based on optimized algorithms

For his degree program at the Steinbeis School of Management and Innovation (SMI) at Steinbeis University Berlin, Christoph Kopernick developed a social networking app called Locadeo. The aim of the app is to ensure contacts are not neglected, neither on a personal nor on a professional level, by helping users find just the right gift or experience to keep relationships running smoothly and strengthen ties.

A whole variety of online services already claim to be able to help you identify the right present for somebody. So what is so special about Locadeo? “Our aim is to find the perfect idea, but in essence Locadeo should reduce the time invested in research and provide new impetus,” explains Kopernick, who submitted a business plan for Locadeo at the end of 2012 as part of his master’s thesis for his degree in digital management.

Students on the master’s program generate new insights, drawing on scientific methods but with a focus on practical application. The aim is to apply these ideas to their work or a business startup, and by the end of their studies they should have a concept pertinent to business practice and underscored by scientific theory. This was also the process undertaken by Christoph Kopernick to draft a business plan and derive a product concept for Locadeo. The courses that provided him with particularly useful insights and the knowledge he required to draft his business concept and business plan included trend scouting, Internet markets, online marketing, online media consumption habits, and the foundation and funding of digital innovations.

To translate his vision for Locadeo into a business reality, the inventor joined forces with the IT specialist Christian Baer. This resulted in the recent founding of Locadeo GmbH, which has been closely affiliated with the Steinbeis SMI since its inception. Even during the initial preparation stage of their project, the founders were provided with handson support by two SHB alumni, Ann-Kathrin Veenendaal and Kim Tina Haas, who helped with the strategic marketing and the positioning. Both have been helping the startup as part of the advisory board. The online marketing is being carried out by Tony Riedel who is studying marketing management at SHB. Frank Penning, a Steinbeis SMI lecturer who is the CEO of ProSiebenSat.1 Applications GmbH and also supervised Kopernick’s thesis, is proud of the entrepreneurs: “The business concept is a perfect match with our fast-paced times, where friendships and relationships should be more meaningful than ever before. The Locadeo team is competent and has both the right attitude and the willingness to stick it’s neck out for a successful startup.”

The algorithm used by Locadeo suggests suitable ideas for presents and experiences by tapping into information about interests and preferences entered by friends on the social networking website, Facebook. Unlike comparable recommendation systems, however, Locadeo does not just categorize friends by types but also works out individual overlaps based on attributes.

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