Headergrafik - Weinfest

It’s a match! EBS doctoral student develops app for social breaks

24 April 2020 | By: Pressestelle EBS Universität
EBS Doktorand erfindet Lunch-App

Dennis, Luisa and Tarik (from left) are the people behind LuBu

Tarik El Bouyahyani is a doctoral student at EBS Universität and founded the app “LuBu”, short for LunchBuddies, together with his sister Luisa. The app allows people to connect with each other for lunch or a short coffee break together. Especially in times of #physicaldistancing and home office it is more important than ever to stay in touch. That’s why Tarik and Luisa are now bringing users onto the digital table: Now colleagues can meet easily and spontaneously via video call for an afternoon coffee.

How did the idea for LuBu arise? The idea was born in the university library, during my master thesis. The idea was to meet friends, but also new people, in an uncomplicated, spontaneous and quick way for a coffee or a lunch - without writing back and forth in “lunch groups” and without dating intentions.

A short explanation: Tell us what your app is about and who can use it? Our app connects people in a simple and innovative way. You download the app, create a profile and then set where and when you want to have lunch or coffee. With just one “Swipe” LuBu shows me either all people I already know, or new contacts looking for a Lunch- or Coffee-Buddy at the same time and in the same place. You send the request, adjust any coinciding locations and the common time window and that’s it. No texting is necessary for LuBu.

Our app can be used by everyone, it is available for free in the Google Play Store and the Apple Store. We already cooperate with a few restaurants and cafés. Above all, we are currently targeting organisations that want to use our app as an internal networking tool, for example to break down silos or strengthen informal networks. Here we offer, among other things, an individualizable, company-internal and closed area.

From the first flash of inspiration to the present day: What have been the biggest challenges on your path so far? For Luisa and for me the biggest challenge was to find a developer who fits perfectly into the team. Since Luisa and I are no “techies”, it is very important that the communication here is right, professionally but also personally. This is not so easy, especially in a young tech start-up and the demand for good developers is huge. But with Dennis we have found the perfect team member for LuBu.

How does the corona crisis affect you? The fact that people won’t be coming together for breaks in the near future, especially not in the company’s coffee kitchen or in the canteen, hit us very hard. However, it quickly became clear to us that our app architecture is also very well suited to facilitate the organization of digital coffee and lunch breaks. Especially now in the home office, the times for coffee and lunch are much more flexible and change every day. So finding someone spontaneously for a break together is not so easy. For this reason, we are currently offering companies and universities the digital version of LuBu free of charge, so that people in the home office can connect with each other via integrated video call.

What next milestones do you want to achieve? With WeWork Frankfurt, we were able to win our first major pilot partner as early as October 2019. Our next big milestone is the launch of our app in a large bank in Frankfurt. We are also in the process of finding a suitable investor for us to grow even faster and make LuBu THE tool for coffee and lunch breaks.

To the Newsroom of EBS Universität