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"Catch Talents" - Start-up with scientific background

Cologne start-up launches innovative software for application management

Catch Talents - Start-up-Teamfoto

Photo: Justin Bous, Catch Talents

Business founders use the services of the University of Cologne on their way to self-employment / Developed product helps small and medium-sized businesses to select and recruit personnel

The Catch Talents team - that's the name of the start-up - developed an application management system to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to find the right people for their vacancies. A newly developed software integrates the personality traits component into the application process. The team has worked consistently for 18 months to be able to offer its own product.

"Given the current situation on the labour market, for SMEs it is difficult to find the right employees. This is partly due to the lower publicity of the companies and partly to the significantly lower marketing budget," says Marco Verhoeven, creative director and one of the managing directors of Catch Talents. The team also includes Verena Jung, psychologist with a degree in information systems, and Justin Bous, business economist specializing in marketing and organizational culture. 

Since September 2017, Catch Talents has been funded by the "Exist-Gründerstipendium" and supported by the University of Cologne. In April 2018, the founding team also won the selection pitches for the "Future Champions Accelerator Rhein Ruhr" against national competition.

"In an application, not only the technical skills should be relevant. Also the personal characteristics and work preferences, such as the preference to develop new ideas, must be considered in order to achieve an improved fit of positions and personnel", explains Verena Jung, who has developed a psychological questionnaire for the application system. The Catch Talents tool supports key figure-based pre-selection based on soft factors such as how introverted or extroverted the candidate is. So far, these characteristics can only be recorded in a later stage of the application process. "The implementation of the personal fit of an applicant is an essential factor for us as a family-run medium-sized company" says Werner Heiliger, Managing Director of Peter Greven GmbH & Co. KG and customer from the very beginning. "We rely on long-term loyalty and loyalty between the employee and ourselves as an employer - especially in view of the current shortage of skilled workers."

"It is very enriching to see how this team at the university puts the knowledge and methodology they have learned directly into practice with great commitment and courage," says Professor Dr. Christoph Rosenkranz, Chair of Business Informatics and Integrated Information Systems at the WiSo Faculty of the University of Cologne and academic mentor of Catch Talents. "We believe that an excellent university can grow excellent founders. In a research-oriented university like the University of Cologne, many innovative business ideas are born, which should also be realized". Rosenkranz actively supports the team in technical development and in the implementation of the business idea.

The GATEWAY start-up service was created as a contact point for all those from Cologne's universities who are interested in setting up their own businesses and who are concerned with the topic of self-employment. All GATEWAY start-ups receive an academic mentor, which enables a decisive feedback for knowledge transfer. So did Catch Talents.

The founding team of Catch Talents has actively involved medium-sized companies in the development of the product. "The next step will be to build a talent community from which both will benefit  - companies and applicants," says Justin Bous. Rejected candidates are transferred to the Catch talent community, from where suitable candidates can be found and contacted for each new call. 

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