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3 startups, 15 minutes eachThe summer edition of the Juice Up Live Sessions focused on e-commerce ideas

Quarterly, Beiersdorf invites digital thinkers and newcomers from the startup scene to a Juice Up Live Session. True to the motto “Get inspired by disruptive ideas”, employees from all divisions meet young founders who present their ideas in a relaxed get-together. In return, the guests receive valuable feedback to help them get off to a successful start in their own business. The second edition of the event series took place on the Hamburg Smartfloor and the three participating startups Yamuntu, Foxy and Prodisfy got the chance to pitch their e-commerce business ideas. The event is part of the Digital IQ Initiative, which was launched in 2018 and aims to promote disruptive ways of working and thinking.

Getting to the heart of your company with all its potential and target groups in just 15 minutes – the three startups Yamuntu, Foxy and Prodisfy faced up to this challenge during the second Juice Up Live Session. The Beiersdorf Smartfloor was filled to the last chair and there were around 30 employees for whom this opportunity to get to know the innovative concepts was too good to miss. “As industry experts, we take on the role of mentors in our Juice Up sessions and can use our experience to give advice on how to get started,” says Claudia Willert-Schneidereit, Senior Digital Transformation Manager and host of the Juice Up summer edition. Nevertheless, the idea is for both sides to benefit from the event. 

We encourage active dialogue with the up-and-coming scene, because this kind of inspiration also helps us to evolve. We know that, in the near future, the digital IQ of a company will determine its success, and we are using this corporate initiative of the same name to anchor this digital and disruptive mindset in our culture.
Claudia Willert-Schneidereit

Beiersdorf’s mentoring is highly valued by the founders. It gives ambitious young professionals access to expertise and a wealth of experience, which they can use to put their ideas to the test in terms of feasibility. During the Juice Up sessions, they receive direct expert feedback that is highly supportive. “Many times, the creative new entrepreneurs are so euphoric and thrilled with their ideas that it is worth critically questioning their business model and evaluating it from the outside,” says Willert-Schneidereit. “We can help to resolve the first difficulties of the business as it starts out and minimise the height of any upcoming falls.” Even after the event, the Beiersdorf mentors are available to answer questions from the founders.

The event was opened by Yamuntu founder Woundioun Sissoko, whose app addresses the now ever more important factor that is social media. The idea: In three steps, sneaker enthusiasts should benefit from discounts by simply using the app’s filter and uploading a photo of their new favourite pair to their Instagram story or to Snapchat. After the purchase, a photo of the new pair of shoes is taken, the shop can be linked via the Yamuntu filter, and the post can be uploaded. Users receive a discount of up to 70 percent. However, the audience saw the fact that the app is not connected to the social media channels as a major barrier. As a consequence, it is not possible to use the filter on Instagram and Snapchat directly. Users have to take the intermediate step via Yamuntu and upload the photo separately. The experts agree: this could be too complicated for many users.

The event continued with the two founders of Foxy, who want to revolutionise the online purchase of cosmetics. They introduced a marketplace for beauty products that allows you to buy items from YouTube tutorials with just one click. After the pitch, Beiersdorf’s industry experts asked numerous questions and identified weaknesses in the concept. Their idea was therefore reconstructed and realigned accordingly. It was determined that Foxy’s solution should aim less at the revolution in online shopping for cosmetics and aim more at providing a marketplace for beauty products promoted by YouTube influencers.

The audience also engaged in intensive dialogue with Prodisfy inventor Sebastian Daus, who aims to optimise the consumer service experience. The experts identified similarities to Salesforce’s cloud solutions and questioned the need for the platform. Unlike other applications, it comes into direct and personal contact with the consumer, countered Daus, which makes all the difference.

“Yet again, the high-level exchange with newcomers to the scene was a complete success,” concludes Claudia Willert-Schneidereit the event. The startups were released into the digital world with fresh inspiration: On this day, the three participants went home with new suggestions, broader perspectives and a lot of positive encouragement, full of energy and ready to start the next phase in their companies’ development. At the same time, Beiersdorf has created an open framework which it can use to align its strategy with the market and gain insights into current challenges, customer needs and desires, and digital solutions – all in real time.

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Djordje Lukovic

About the editor: Djordje Lukovic

Djordje is responsible for Beiersdorf’s corporate digital presence taking care of corporate Social Media, websites, advertising, analytics, and content steering. He is always in the loop with the latest trends and keeps an eye for the digital opportunities for Beiersdorf.