Europe's Best Student Business Idea Comes from Hesse, Germany

It was an extremely close decision: Each of the three teams in the main round of the business@school European Finals in Munich was able to impress the top-class judges. But in the end—as always—there could only be one winner. This year, it was the team from the boarding school Schloss Hansenberg in Geisenheim near Frankfurt.

"DIVIO"—the winning team of the business@school 2011 European Finals

With the business plan for their product idea "DIVIO," a customizable fashion clip that solves the problem of untied shoelaces, Sinja Sussek (17), Caroline Mayser (17), Julia Kühl (17), Manuel Jahn (17), and Laurin Köhler-Schindler (16) from the boarding school Schloss Hansenberg were able to prevail against the strong competition in the European Finals. Their DIVIO clips are pushed onto tied shoelaces from above and prevent them from getting accidentally untied. At the same time, the fashion clip looks stylish, is customizable, and is a trendy fashion accessory.

"A simple but brilliant idea," was the verdict of the judges, which included Matthias Malessa, Chief Human Resources Officer of adidas AG, and Robert Langer, Country Manager Germany, Switzerland and Austria of The Walt Disney Company GmbH. The judges' decision was ultimately made based on the team's overall performance: An outstanding idea, a convincing product, a very well prepared concept, and a confident presentation. As the main prize, the team from Geisenheim won a two-week paid internship at BCG, during which the students will be able to expand their business knowledge and experience the day-to-day work of a consultant.

Second place for the portable multiple-socket outlet from Pullach—third place for an innovative fire-protection system from Münster
Besides the team from Geisenheim, the student teams from Pullach near Munich and from Münster were also able to convince the panel of judges, winning second and third place, respectively. The second-place winner from Gymnasium Pullach presented "Indux," a portable multiple-socket outlet that solves the problem of unsightly tangles of cables. The outlet is compatible with all conventional devices and can be adapted to any design. Third place went to the team from Immanuel-Kant-Gymnasium in Münster, which had developed "Solnox," an innovative fire-protection system for photovoltaic units. A special lacquer darkens the unit and stops power production, eliminating the risk of electric shocks while putting out fires.

Special prizes from adidas, Ford, and Lufthansa
None of the teams went home empty-handed: Besides the BCG internship, the winning team received adidas gift certificates. The "Indux" team from Pullach was invited by Deutsche Lufthansa AG to fly to Frankfurt and get a glimpse behind the scenes of the airline. For the third-place winners, Ford-Werke GmbH donated a visit to the company's own test track in Lommel, Belgium, including travel and accommodation.

All other participants in the 13th year of business@school will take home the memory of the exciting and educational project months. All of the participating students can be proud of their achievements!