Grillido-Winner of the Startup Award:
Manuel Stoffler (left) and Michael Ziegler love sausages, but don’t want to eat too greasy grilled food. So they tried to reduce the fat content in sausages and replaced them with dried tomatoes, spinach and other healthy ingredients, bringing about a “sausage revolution.”
Work with friends-many people have this desire. The winners of the 2017 German Entrepreneurship Awards realized this dream.
They are like an old couple. “When Michael walked in in the morning, I knew how lucky it was that day.” Manuel Stoffler said with a big smile. He is the external spokesperson for the two. “I used to play football with Manu.” Michael Ziegler said shyly. “He is a free man, trying to kick the football away from the goal, and I am the goalkeeper. If he fails, I will do it. Intercept the football and keep the goal.” A pair of friends, a company. The Grillido sausage company established by the two is dedicated to revolutionizing the barbecue grill.
In Munich in early May, the two sat in their small office on the top floor, preparing for the upcoming barbecue season, designing products, contacting supermarkets and other sales channels, and trying new recipes. Everything is going on in this room with an area of only a few square meters. The sizzling sound of fried food came from the small kitchen next to it, and the air was full of the smell of roast meat and exotic seasonings. The lunch for work is small sausages, which is more reasonable for this startup company that specializes in barbecue.
”We want to do something together anyway.” Michael said. “Yes, break the rules together.” Manu added. The two knew each other very early and they had a good relationship: they came from the same Black Forest village, both came from a butcher’s family, were baptized together, went to the same elementary school, and played football and trumpet together.
But the gap between the two suddenly widened after that. “I’m a little bit unlearned,” Manu told, “I dropped out after elementary school.” Michael was admitted to high school with good grades. Nevertheless, the contact between the two was not interrupted. When both became economists, they decided to start a company together. But what kind of company should it be? It is easy to think that their inspiration came when they were grilling together: Why does the sausage have to be so greasy? Those who love sports hope to eat a balanced and light diet, and healthy sausages are born: they contain almost no fat, and are added with dried tomatoes, bamboo shoots or spinach. Once they are on the market, the response is huge and the demand is strong.
The story of Manu and Michel is very typical for a new generation of entrepreneurs: they don’t want to do a job casually, but want to build a business of their own, decide the job content independently, and solve a problem that has plagued them for a long time. , And declined pressure, hoping to achieve goals in a relaxed and pleasant environment. Work in a company that runs exactly according to your own vision and choose your own colleagues. If you want to invest so much time on a project, it is best to work with people you like.
The previous entrepreneurs were all “forced to Liangshan”-because he lost or couldn’t find a job. That was the era of “starting a business in a crisis”. Today it is different. After years of stable economic development, entrepreneurship has become a self-selected project. Only those who really want to be independent can support themselves. Experts from KfW, one of Germany’s largest entrepreneurial financial institutions, wrote in their annual “Entrepreneurship Monitor”: “The employment situation in the labor market is directly reflected in entrepreneurial activities.” 2016 The number of startups established in Germany has fallen, but there are also 672,000. Such an entrepreneurial boom may bring about a very strong economic growth, which means that more jobs can be created and the future world market leader will be bred.
In order for an innovative startup company to develop rapidly, it must complete many tasks at the same time, including product development, marketing, sales, internationalization, and recruiting employees. It is difficult to do this alone, and friends who completely trust each other can better meet the challenge.
Manu and Michael only established the company in May 2015, but they already have a dozen employees and hope to achieve sales of approximately 4.2 million euros this year. At the same time, thousands of supermarkets will soon supply their sausages. Packaged smoked sausages are also sold next to protein bars in about 300 health clubs. Of course, they have also opened online sales channels. Due to the rapid growth of their business, they won the “Start-up Company Award” of the German Entrepreneurship Award.
Pinion-Finalists for the Rising Startup Award: Christopher Rellman (left) and Michael Schmitz are fascinated by precision transmissions in the automotive industry. Why can’t we own bicycles? They asked questions and started to act. At present, their 18-speed gear transmission has been installed and used by 70 bicycle manufacturers, and can be reliably shifted and adjusted without wear on any occasion.
Trampoline Hall-Startup Award finalists: Tyr Waltz (left) and Christopher Amatti are very decisive people. They opened 5 trampoline parks in Hamburg, Berlin, Flensburg, Cologne and Leipzig. Three other companies are under planning. After seeing how happy people are when jumping in the United States, they introduced this inspiration to Germany.
Every year, the German Entrepreneurship Award honors the country’s best entrepreneurs. From hundreds of companies recommended by experts, three finalists in the “start-up” category (companies established within 3 years) and the “rising enterprise” category (companies established 3-9 years) will each be selected. This year The award-winning companies are Grillido Sausage Company and the Fond of Bags Bags Company. In addition, the Entrepreneurship Lifetime Achievement Award was won by Friedrich von Metzler, the Special Entrepreneurship Award was won by Andreas Kaufmann, who saved the traditional camera brand “Leica”, and the Middle School Student Entrepreneurship Award was won by Erlang, Bavaria. A team of middle school students in Root City obtained the principle that they used the thermoelectric effect to convert body temperature into electrical energy and developed a business plan for a virtual startup company.
The 6 finalists who broke into the “startup” category and the “rising business” category all appeared in the form of combinations. Among them, 4 groups of players were old friends. They decided to start a business together before they knew what kind of company to start.
Friendship has become a successful model-Christopher Amati and Tyr Waltz have also known each other since childhood. The two Hamburgers worked in different media companies, just like Manu and Michael sat together in front of the barbecue one day. “At that time, we were thinking about what we could do to achieve economic independence on my balcony.” Christopher Amati said. “Later, Christopher showed me YouTube videos of people jumping on trampolines happily.” Tyr Waltz recalled, “I remembered that my children also like to play on trampolines in the garden, and suddenly a flash of inspiration: Great! That’s it!”
The two knew that there were already trampoline parks in the United States for a long time, and there were about 600 scattered all over the country. So they went there, inspected 50 of them, and opened their first “trampoline gym” in Hamburg three years ago. “At that time, everyone told us that it is estimated that no one will join in.” Waltz said. But the following development was unexpected, and the German trampoline was in high spirits. At present, they have opened 5 branch libraries, and another 3 are under preparation.
And there are not necessarily only two friends who cooperate in entrepreneurship. Sven-Oliver Pringles, Florian Michalsk and Oliver Steinki have proved that “as long as the friendship is deep, three monks can Have water to drink”. Their company is called “Bags Alliance” and won the “Rising Startup Company” award. Their company has been established for 7 years, last year’s turnover was 50 million euros, and currently recruits 187 employees. Like the founders of Grillido Sausage Company and Trampoline Park, Pringles, Steinki and Michalsk have also sat together to discuss common entrepreneurial plans. “We have a lot of ideas, and after in-depth discussion, we feel that they are not feasible.” Pringles recounted, “Suddenly we discovered that we can combine school bags and mountaineering bags that were not beautiful and uncomfortable at the time.” “Yikebao” The brand came into being and occupied the German primary school market within a few years. At that time, they were selected as the “Best Startup Company Founder”, and a total of 3 companies won this award. Now, these 3 friends have introduced 7 brands for all age groups, which are very popular in the German bag market. Their characteristic is to produce sustainable and innovative products, such as the “Affenzahn” series of backpacks designed for young children. The appearance of small animal-like backpacks with their tongues out is so cute and cute! There is also the “Satch” series designed for middle school students, made of recycled PET plastic bottles.
If you ask these entrepreneurs what is most important in their team, almost everyone gives the same answer: trust. When a quarrel occurs, it is not easy for friends to quarrel, and it is easier to forgive each other, and to give each other courage when the business is not going well.
Fond of Bags-Rising Startup Award: Sven-Oliver Pringles, Oliver Steinki and Florian Michalsk (from left to right) are the second time Awards: In 2012, as a start-up company, they entered the final of the Entrepreneurship Award with the “Ergobag” schoolbag. Now they are the market leader and have established 6 other packaging brands.
”I had an ominous hunch when I transferred the advance payment for the first 6,000 schoolbags from my account.” Sven Oliver Pringle said. It was later confirmed that this hunch was correct: the boy’s schoolbag was supposed to be blue, but it turned into lavender. This is the first disaster faced by this young startup company. “But we didn’t blame or blame each other, but we all went out and peddled hard.” Finally they succeeded.
Even those things that are very difficult for young entrepreneurs who start their own business can be handled well for friends who start a business together. Olga Dick and Sabina Linz, the founders of Nuremberg’s online jewelry store Ammonic, were both pregnant at the beginning of their business. “Fortunately, we were pregnant successively, not at the same time.” Linz said, “so that we can take over each other’s work, and finally passed that period successfully.” Even when the powerful large-scale online shopping mall Zalando almost simultaneously Linz and Dick did not stop their business when they opened up a private custom jewelry business. They combined traditional handwork and digital marketing and achieved success. “It’s a great feeling to start a company of your own.” Olga Dick said. “I wanted to be an entrepreneur since I was 18.” Sabina Linz added: “Our company is like a Big family, not like a pure workplace.” No matter the ups and downs, good friends can unite and persevere.