IE University alumni Frederic Hornemann and Fatih Öztürk have launched their own startup, Bleane. They are on a mission to simplify our complex daily lives by integrating all of our personal organization tools into one user-friendly interface. In the process, they’re exploring what it means to drive disruption every day.
Frederic and Fatih also share a similar passion for innovative ideas and projects. In fact, when Frederic talked about this when introducing himself to the class, Fatih simply answered, “the same as him.” Together, they decided to turn their vision of Bleane into reality the very next day.
Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
We are both from near Frankfurt in Germany but studied at different universities—Frederic studied Business Informatics at the University of Mannheim and Fatih studied Data & Business Analytics at IE University. We met while Frederic was spending a semester abroad at IE University. As very ambitious young people, we both are highly impact-driven, with previous experience in management consulting and entrepreneurship and are deeply interested in solving real problems with far-reaching, long-term results.
Why did you choose to study at IE University?
IE University enables its students to develop into truly transformative innovators in a supportive, yet challenging environment. We enjoy the combination of excellent theoretical knowledge with practical implementation, from the numerous initiatives up to many partnerships with large companies.
“The variety and diversity of the people who study, work and teach at IE University is also very special here, encouraging and providing an incredibly broad range of experience, advice and network—creating an environment from which founders can benefit at all levels.”
What is Bleane?
Digital organization for our personal lives still requires a significant amount of repetitive manual effort and time, which can severely limit productivity. Using many different applications is often difficult to synchronize and can lead to inconsistencies. We noticed how organization today is almost exclusively digital, but the tools for organization in the business environment are far more advanced than those for personal organization.
With Bleane, we are building a digital platform that provides a single point of organization for all major areas of daily life, eliminating inconsistencies that arise from using many different applications. We integrate multiple applications already in use and Bleane then adapts to user behavior to further simplify usage.
Who is Bleane for?
Our first customers are mainly young people. For example, students are often experiencing for the first time what it means to stand on their own feet. We want to support these and many more people in organizing their daily lives by simplifying the process and offering them an all-in-one solution with Bleane.
How did you come up with the idea?
We have both noticed that organization is taking on an increasingly important role in our daily lives. For instance, we noticed our friends were still using Excel to keep track of their finances and everyone we knew had multiple apps for calendar scheduling, task overview, project management and more. We realized that organization is not only a fundamental issue, but that the existing solutions were not enough. From the very beginning, our vision was to develop a solution that covers all major areas of personal daily life in one single application and merges the content of applications already in use.
“Simply get started. No prototype is too early, no conversation with potential customers is useless.”
What is your goal for Bleane’s future?
In the coming months, we want to learn as much as possible from our users so that we can continue to develop our product in the right direction to meet their needs while making it even easier and more enjoyable to use.
We are very grateful that we now have the opportunity to make Bleane available within IE University to exactly those users who can benefit the most from it and from whom we can therefore also learn the most. We have already built an excellent team that makes every working day a great experience and we plan to welcome more amazing colleagues.
What is the most exciting part of launching this company?
Entrepreneurship and working on a startup gives us the freedom to think creatively and pursue novel approaches to solving problems. We love challenging the status quo and already established solutions and looking for new, more innovative and efficient ways to address exciting issues.
The most important and helpful thing for our journey so far has been our strong user-centric focus. By understanding the users, you can also better understand their problems. We realize that truly innovative ideas and positive impact come from the people who need and use our solution.
“It is fantastic to see the support offered by IE University to people who have a vision, a novel concept or other innovative ideas and are newly immersed in the world of entrepreneurship.”
How did IE University help you with your entrepreneurial idea?
IE University has played a significant role in our progress so far. Everyone involved has welcomed us with open arms from the very beginning, advising us in a professional, respectful and critical manner and now giving us the opportunity to introduce our platform to our first target group.
The diversity of the people who study, work and teach at IE University provides an incredibly broad range of experience, advice and network—creating an environment from which founders can benefit at all levels.
Do you have any recommendations for future students that would like to make their ideas a reality?
“An idea alone is worth nothing without an outstanding execution.”
That was the most common thing we were told and it encouraged us to just get going. Simply get started. No prototype is too early; no conversation with potential customers is useless. The forces you can unleash with hard work and a strong belief in your own vision have often surprised even us.