2006 business@school prize goes to Schriesheim

Students from the Kurpfalz Gymnasium in Schriesheim take top honors at the 2006 final competition

The winning team

Up-and-coming young DJs and at the same time, the "entrepreneurs of tomorrow" – this combination took first prize at the 2006 business@school final competition. Nine student teams, the winners in their respective regions, traveled to Munich to vie for the award for best business idea on June 6. First prize went to the Baden-Württemberg's winning team from Schriesheim. Alexander Schmidt (18), Matthias Puchta (18), Michel Albers (18), and Johannes Mannsperger (17) of the Kurpfalz Gymnasium impressed the panel of judges with their business model for "OptiScratch," which allows young DJs to mix, play, and "scratch" their digital selections electronically without having to forgo the feel of turntables and vinyl.

Teams from Moers and Frechen share second place

A second place ...

Second place was awarded jointly to teams from Moers and Frechen in North Rhine-Westfalia. Having racked up big points for their respective products – hanging garden lamps and an "anti-carbonation bottle" –  both teams reached the final round. Of the three teams in the final round, the Schriesheim team ultimately went home with first prize. But judges couldn't agree on who should get second and third place; in points, Moers and Frechen were neck and neck. Second prize therefore went to the teams at both schools: Gymnasium Frechen and Gymnasium in den Filder Benden in Moers.

Presentations, prizes, and parties

... another second place

"Tonight – three days before the start of the soccer World Cup – we gave a prize to the best business idea," remarked BCG's German head, Dr. Dieter Heuskel in his talk. But as he went on to emphasize, "In business@school, it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game. In the course of the past months, every one of the 1,800 participants in the project learned a lot – and that makes you all winners."

The members of the first-place team can look forward to a paid internship at BCG and an invitation to Berlin from Gillette Germany. But the joint second-place winners were also duly rewarded: the team from Moers won an airport tour from Lufthansa, and the team from Frechen the opportunity to see some fast cars and impressive driving at the Ford test-driving range in Belgium. For its original product idea, the Frechen team also received a special prize under the auspices of Quelle's "innovation initiative." Finally, all 50 participants in the final competition got some good reading for the trip home: books from the Haufe Media Group on how to successfully apply and interview for jobs, a special prize sponsored by the company Lexware.

Six students from the Ursulinenschule in Cologne were especially lucky. They were allowed to present their business idea – a "donation button" for bottle recycling machines – to the panel of judges out of competition, i.e., without having to qualify for the final round. The team received an award for the best social entrepreneurship idea from Dr. Achim Egner, Managing Board Spokesperson of the REWE Group.

Plenty of cheers could be heard at the awards ceremony, but it really got loud afterwards at BCG's Munich office. And it was no wonder, as 150 guests – students, teachers, coaches from various companies, and many former b@s participants – celebrated into the wee hours.