Alumni interview with Patrick Popenco

All News, Inside CBS   -  5. June 2019

We are something like the Glossybox for corporate customers”, Patrick Popenco describes his company “LocalBundle” with a wink. While still a Master student in International Business – Financial Management, he founded the shipment for gift boxes with a fellow student and was supported by his lecturers and the Hochschulgründernetz e. V. (network for founders from universities) For his future the founder plans to further develop LocalBundle and to create new startups.

CBS: Why did you apply for a Bachelors’s degree in General Management at our campus?

Patrick Popenco: I did a lot of research on the Bachelor’s programmes and went to information events and trade fairs in Mainz (Rhineland-Palatinate) at the time. At CBS, I immediately had the feeling that everything was right: In the rankings of the WirtschaftsWoche and the Manager magazines, Cologne Business School had scored excellent and the relaxed atmosphere on campus was immediately mine.

CBS: What did you like best about studying at CBS?

Patrick Popenco: Of course, my lecturers! They still worked in business and were able to tell us a lot about how tasks in companies are solved pragmatically – and what is more theory. When Joost and I wanted to found LocalBundle, we approached Prof. Dr. Bloos and Mr. Heinrichson after the lectures to ask questions on various topics, such as the choice of the appropriate legal form. Both were very open and gave us great tips!

CBS: What is your field of activity at LocalBundle?

Patrick Popenco: As the founder I have the main responsibility for the commercial area. Joost still works full-time as a consultant and supports me in all strategic questions. Our initial idea was to sell special gifts for corporate customers that are individually branded and produce more than the standard bottle of wine. That’s why we started with our Cologne and Düsseldorf boxes. Meanwhile we also offer seasonal editions, so that we offer a Christmas Cologne Box with cookies in shape of the Cologne Cathedral.

CBS: What does a typical working day look like for you today?

Patrick Popenco: I don’t have a typical working day. As a seasonal business, our peak phase takes place between October and November, when many companies pre-order our boxes. Then we usually hire two more people. In the future, I would like to establish more start-ups with a focus on digital business models in order to be able to scale them better. But I can’t tell you more about it yet.

CBS: What do you like about your work?

Patrick Popenco: That I am the architect of my own fortune. But it’s also clear that not everyone is made entrepreneur: without self-management and self-motivation, your startup will never be a success.

CBS: Which typical cliché about your current position does not apply?

Patrick Popenco: That founders sit with laptops in fancy cafés. Reasoning is hard work – you have to familiarize yourself with many topics and sometimes accept setbacks. Nevertheless, I would do it again and again!

CBS: What are your professional plans for the next few years?

Patrick Popenco: I would like to continue to be active in the start-up scene and either work for an exciting start-up or found another one for a given occasion.

CBS: How did your studies at CBS prepare you for your current position?

Patrick Popenco: Apart from the know-how you gained in class, it was above all the exchange with your lecturers and fellow students.

CBS: What advice would you give to prospective students?

Patrick Popenco: Find out what you’re burning for and aim for your goal!

CBS: Thanks for the interview!

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