The best business ideas are created in pubs
If you follow Masterplan.com founder Daniel Schütt, then the best ideas are created in pubs. For example, the first idea for their first Company meinpraktikum.de, which he developed together with Stefan Peukert, when the two talked about the quality of internships. The result was the Employer GmbH with additional portals, which 2015 was sold for a double-digit million amount to the Bertelsmann subsidiary Gruner & Jahr.
The founders could now have retired, but developed - again in a pub - 2017 the idea for Masterplan.com. The online platform offers cinematic quality video courses for professional development in companies.
Employees should learn digital skills
And also this foundation was born from personal experience. In the early years at Employor, the two founders had outsourced many services to external companies and lost a lot of money. Therefore, they decided to motivate their employees to become active themselves:
"Everyone had to learn something from a specialization in digitization and give a lecture on it." In this way, the company gradually acquired digital core competencies and became more independent. Schütt therefore advises other companies: "Do as much as you can and hand as little as possible to service providers".
Teaching skills for the working world of the future
With Masterplan.com, Schütt and Peukert have set themselves the goal of helping to shape the current economic and social changes and to convey the right skills for the working world of the future. The core topic: digital skills.
In the search for suitable online offers, the two had found that previous video learning offers did not meet their quality requirements. “We also noticed that technical knowledge is less important than the right attitude and organization, and that's exactly what we want to convey in our courses.”
Ability to teach self-taught learning
And a third learning was necessary to optimize the offer: “Many employees find it difficult to teach themselves something. We have developed an online course for them that teaches self-taught learning. ”
Holtzbrinck Ventures, Tengelmann Ventures, Elmx-Bertelsmann's CEO Gunter Thielen and the CODE University of Applied Science's Thomas Bachem were among the investors to win. Among the speakers are prominent digital experts - among them Sibyll Brüggemann from Klarna, Florian Heinemann from Project A or Trivago founder Rolf Schrömgens.
OnlineCourses complement university offer
In September 2018 Masterplan had completed a round of financing for 6 million euros. In June 2019 then another success: The digital transformation course of the online platform is part of the study offer of the University of Witten-Herdecke. The 40 employee strong Bochum start-up grants the 2.500 students full access to its contents. These are included in the regular studies in certain degree programs via a graded module. Upon successful completion, students receive credit points.
The approximately 8-hour digitization video course in cinema quality is designed to make it easier for students to get into work or to become self-employed. The Bochum start-up also trains employees of large companies such as Siemens, the OTTO Group or Deutsche Bahn with the same course. The goal is to make all participants capable of discourse and to be open to change.
Driving social change
"We are already planning to roll out this model at other universities," explains Daniel Schütt, who, like his co-founder Stefan Peukert, is an alumnus of the university. "Our mission is to make the German economy fit for the future. That's why we start with the decision-makers and decision-makers of tomorrow. "
This shows the fundamental philosophy of the Masterplan.com company: "In the past, successful companies were always those who have fundamentally changed social behavior," explains Daniel Schütt, who, in the wake of digital change, is fundamentally reorienting the world of work away from specialist knowledge for more humanity and empathy believes: "In the end, being close to the customer is decisive for the success of the company."
Customer proximity determines the success of the company
Customer proximity is also the philosophy of Daniel Marx and Daniel Krahn, who founded the bargain portal Urlaubsguru.de in the summer of 2012 - rather by chance during a barbecue on a balcony in Unna. Because both had good jobs at this time. But Daniel Krahn's passion and skill in finding and making the most of the best travel deals on the internet and the IT skills of Daniel Marx have resulted in a blog about cheap travel deals.
At first, the whole thing was intended only as a hobby and a side job, but after two years it was a limited liability company with several employees and the secure jobs were already terminated. Without start-up capital, investors and a business plan, the site has been constantly evolving with growing success. For customers and media were aware of the cheap deals by word of mouth and spread this steadily. No wonder, then, that Marx and Krahn bet on measures that are rather unusual for a digital company in order to continue to establish customer proximity:
A digital company goes offline and trains
For example, through offline marketing and sponsorship measures eg Borussia Dortmund as well as with actions at city festivals, by which, according to Marx, a higher reach can be achieved than with comparable price-wise online campaigns. And because customers kept coming to the company headquarters to receive personal advice, the company finally opened two own shops in Unna and Münster, where customers can arrange their travels according to their wishes by appointment.
Already 200 employees work at three locations for the Uniq GmbH, which operates the portals Fashionfee, Prinz Sportlich, Captain Cruise and Mein Pet next to Urlaubsguru and the Holidayguru sites in many countries and - also rarely for a StartUp - training company in the future shall be.
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