UV rays for preventing mold

The "Fruity Fresh" fruit bowl wins business@school's national final competition for 2013/2014.

Team "Fruity Fresh"—the winning team of the business@school European finals 2014

A green, juicy apple, a golden yellow banana, or deep red, fresh strawberries: temptingly healthy fruit—but unfortunately it molds quickly. "During our first team meeting, there was a bowl full of fruit that was going bad," recalls Leona Salewski of the "Innovaces" team from Cologne. "Then we came up with the idea—now we've actually won. We are so happy about our win," the 17-year-old says enthusiastically. The team's members also include Martin Kaiser, Ann-Sophie Licher, Leonard Engels, and Celine Vernin. These five youths from Cologne dubbed their idea "Fruity Fresh"—a fruit bowl that prevents fruit from molding using UV light.

"You can't compare apples to oranges," the winning team warned during its presentation. Employing a string of UVC diodes, the students even integrated different zones in their fruit bowl for that reason. A timer controls exposure depending on the type of fruit.

"These kinds of ideas show it pays to pay attention in physics and chemistry," says Antonella Mei-Pochtler, Senior Partner and Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group, and host of this year's business@school finals, summing up the business plan from Cologne's Liebfrauenschule school.

But the idea is just the beginning at business@school: Each team must plan how the idea will be implemented down to the last detail. What competitors are in the market? What suppliers and sales channels are available? And how will costs and revenues realistically develop in the coming years? The winning team from Cologne was able to confidently answer the probing questions of the business experts in the jury. Only with regard to financing the business plan and choosing suppliers did the judges advise the students not to put all their eggs in one basket.

Silver for "Das dING"
"'Das dING' is the thing," is the simple, catchy slogan for the idea that got the team from Geisenheim second place at the b@s final. Carolin Danker (16), Vivien Eller (17), David Grüttner (17), Max Mihailescu (17), and Noah Pokorny (17) developed a device for securely transferring data over Bluetooth and between a lot of different devices. Videos, music, or other files: "Das dING" from the team of the Internatsschule Schloss Hansenberg school can transfer all types of data quickly. No more lugging around laptops, flash drives, or hard drives.

"'Das dING' is an idea from the here and now: innovative and promising," said Antonella Mei-Pochtler, passing judgement on the business idea. "The students are real entertainment artists," found judge Robert Langer, The Walt Disney Company GmbH, after the team's successful presentation. Especially the marketing concept convinced the judges. There were still critical questions: How will the direct marketing be organized? The judges also had their doubts about the device's technical implementation at an affordable price.

Bronze goes to "BHB"
Third place for the team from Schweinfurt impressed the judges with a sophisticated business plan. Lena Bützow (17), Janik Ehrhardt (17), Fabian Hümmer (17), Lukas Kling (18), and Jan Scholl (18) from the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Gymnasium school want to improve e-bikes with the "Battery Heat Belt." The so-called BHB is an insulating heat pack with removable heat pads for e-bike batteries. It is designed to prevent batteries from losing excess power especially in the cold winter months.

"The team really reflected the spirit of the times and was extremely passionate during the presentation," commented judge Matthias Malessa, Chief Human Resources Officer, adidas Group, summarizing the performance of the Schweinfurt team. Only the competitive analysis and the cost model could have been worked out in more detail. Also, for registering a patent, the students should be a little more courageous, according to the experts.