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Winners of the L’Oréal Brandstorm Tech Challenge Create a Grooming App for Millennial Men

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Winners of the L’Oréal Brandstorm Tech Challenge Create a Grooming App for Millennial Men

Students of TU Graz and Vienna University of Economics and Business have developed a mobile phone app for the L’Oréal Brandstorm competition which detects skin problems and suggests products

From the perfect shave to diagnosing acne or dry skin to anomalies dangerous to health: “Meet Lore” is an app which supports men’s skin care and includes a personal assistant called Lore, who immediately suggests the right products.  Just what cosmetics producer L’Oréal had in mind when it threw down a challenge in its student competition L’Oréal Brandstorm in 2017 to get men between 18 and 25 to pay more attention to their body care. Omar Saracevic, biomedical engineering student at TU Graz, Stefan Stevanovic and Aleksandar Sargic, both students at Vienna University of Economics and Business, put their idea for the millennial man on the online platform for the qualifying round in the Tech Challenge category. The students from the two universities found each other on the online platform and started their team Paradigm Shifters. Among a total of more than 25,000 students from 60 countries who had submitted ideas for business and marketing to the Brand Challenge and technical products for the Tech Challenge, L’Oréal Austria chose the Paradigm Shifters in the national qualifying round in Vienna. The team defended its idea in the Tech Challenge in Vienna against six other teams, one of which was also a team from TU Graz, and secured its ticket for the west European round. Its mobile phone app, which is meant to work on all mobile devices, was able to win the day. From 14th to 16th June, the Paradigm Shifters will compete against 42 other teams from all over the world to win and get the chance to actually implement their idea for L’Oréal.

Self-confidence with Lore

“Our project is an application for mobile phones which scans a user’s face and with the help of this photo, artificial intelligence and various machine learning algorithms detects what skin problems the user has and where he has forgotten to shave,” explains American-born Omar Saracevic. He developed this app together with Stefan Stevanovic, who studies economics with marketing and special marketing specialisation at Vienna University of Economics and Business, and Aleksandar Sargic, a social and business management student. So that the assistant, Lore, can recommend the perfectly matched L’Oréal Men Expert product, the app is connected via GPS and doesn’t just transmit the weather situation but also suggests a shop in the close vicinity which offers this product. If, for instance, it’s sunny, Lore suggests a product with a higher sun protection factor. “Personal assistant Lore speaks to the user like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. By looking in the user’s calendar she knows whether there is an important upcoming appointment, such as an application interview, and supports his self-confidence with a particular product suggestion,” says Saracevic.

Luck with the team

Team Paradigm Shifters, who want to digitalise the cosmetics industry, found each other on the online platform of the L’Oréal Brandstorm student competition. “Parallel to my studies in biomedical engineering, I like taking part in competitions and just stumbled across the L’Oréal Brandstorm Challenge online,” says Omar Saracevic, describing how became involved. Because he knew that good business skills would be important for the development of the project, he deliberately looked for these skills. So he found his way to Stevanovic and Sargic online, who from their side were missing the technical skills. This marked the birth of the Paradigm Shifters. And we’ll keep our fingers crossed for them at the grand final in Paris.
The L’Oréal Group has used Brandstorm as a recruiting measure for budding employees from all over the world since 1992. After taking part in the contest, students frequently come back to L’Oréal for an internship or a permanent job. This means that Brandstorm is a worldwide opportunity for a career entry both for students and for L’Oréal.

Article and image originally appeared on Tugraz.at.

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