After the Victory … Comes the Start-up

The 2016 business@school winners from Schwäbisch Gmünd are in the middle of preparing for graduation. That doesn't leave much time for leisure or other activities. And yet: The seven students often think about their business idea: SOFRA—a series of dental care products that reveal dental plaque. And the dream of starting their own business.

"The finals in Munich were a unique experience for us. Just meeting so many other students who are as interested in business as we are! We made several friends that we're going to keep in touch with," says 16-year-old Sophia Belser. "But we were most impressed by the panel of judges. We were fascinated by the high-caliber managers, their specific expertise, and the earnestness with which they examined our product," adds her fellow team member Frederic Kuhwald.

Their win came as a surprise to the students. The State Grammar School for Highly Gifted Children in Schwäbisch Gmünd had only just added business@school to its curriculum. There was no experience regarding the expectation horizon, and the other teams seemed to be vastly superior. But: The seven students were passionate about their idea, which they had invested a lot of time and effort in. With their range of products, they want to say no to cavities—and they convinced the panel of judges both with their business idea and with their well-developed business plan and clever presentation.

Well protected as a utility model, the start-up idea is currently on hold. "We are aware that a high time commitment is necessary, especially during the initial phase of a start-up. We cannot manage that right now, especially in parallel to graduation. Because when we do tackle it, we want to implement SOFRA right and give it our full attention. So we have put our plans on hold for now," explains Frederic.

But the fascination with business has stayed with the students ever since. And so a part of the team is passing on the experiences they made in the educational initiative with the next generation—and on May 31, 2017, they will keep their fingers crossed when their school looks for the best start-up idea in Baden-Württemberg for the finals.

Always well-informed