The Best Young Entrepreneurs of the Year Are from Aachen

It was a nerve-racking last round, but at the final business@school European competition in Munich, the three top teams gave their best one more time. With their impressive presentations, they set out to convince the judges of their business ideas.

Ultimately, a team of four students from St. Ursula Gymnasium in Aachen beat out their rivals from Gaggenau and Mosbach-Neckarelz.

Riding to the top with "Spur Secure"
A business idea related to riding was what earned Veronika Braun, Adriana LopÚz, Marie-Caroline Radermacher, and Katharina Thomas the top prize at the big finale. Katharina, herself a passionate rider, had witnessed a spectacular accident at a show jumping tournament: When a rider fell from his horse, one of his spurs got caught in the stirrup, and the horse dragged him around the ring.

A far too frequent occurrence, as the four students pointed out in their presentation, and one that often leads to major injuries. To prevent it, they invented a spur with a predetermined breaking point that reacts to pressure and frees the foot of the rider from the stirrup. The four young ladies racked up points with the confident delivery of their presentation and their convincing answers to the judges' critical questions.

Considering the large audience that had gathered to watch at the Munich office of The Boston Consulting Group, this was no easy task. "All of the teams really impressed us with their professionalism," said BCG Germany Chairman and judge Dr. Dieter Heuskel. "In the end, it's the complete package that counts: a creative idea, a coherent business plan, and finally, of course, the confident presentation of the concept." As first prize, a two-week paid internship at BCG awaits each of the four members of the winning team, where they can put their newly-acquired business knowledge into practice.

"OptiGie▀" and "CanScan" take second and third places
The panel of judges was amazed: The soil in the planter was dusty and dry, but the plant was green. The students on the second-place team asked the jurors if they thought the plant needed water. "Obviously!" came the prompt answer. But the measuring device "OptiGie▀," invented by the six students from Goethe Gymnasium in Gaggenau, revealed that the plant had exactly the amount of moisture it needed around its roots. The device covers ten different types of plants and their needs, thus enabling them to be optimally watered.

A shopping aid for people with allergies earned the team from Auguste Pattberg Gymnasium in Mosbach-Neckarelz the bronze. With the mobile app "CanScan," bar codes can be used to obtain important information about ingredients, dependent on the type of allergy.

In addition to enthusiastic applause, the three finalist teams were also rewarded with special prizes. The four students on the top-ranked team will get a look behind the scenes at Lufthansa, while the second-ranked OptiGie▀ team members will have the opportunity to put their driving skills to the test on the Ford test track in Lommel, Belgium. The CanScan team members each received a gift certificate from Adidas and a half-year subscription to the magazine Business Spotlight.