: It was an extremely tough but exciting experience. It was tough because building up a company proved to be an enormously time-consuming, challenging task. This year we felt the unadulterated reality of being an entrepreneur, along with all its positive and negative aspects. It was definitely a stimulating change of pace as opposed to classroom lessons. We not only learned to take more responsibility for our decisions but also received a lot of recognition for the effort we put in.
: We heard from a lot of different people how exciting the project is. Of course that piqued our curiosity. The hands-on work gave us an opportunity to transform what we learned in school into reality. As we were doing this, we received some extremely valuable feedback and were able to consolidate our theoretical knowledge.
: Actually we developed the idea really quickly. When we got together for our first meetings, the members of our team were mainly occupied with untangling knots in their headphones for the first few minutes of the meeting. We wanted to do something about that and find a solution to prevent cables from getting tangled up – and thus the idea for our product was born. Coming up with the idea was quick, what took a while was the search for the right solution and then, once we’d found one, developing the product itself. We were able to solve that problem, too, by talking to potential manufacturers.
: We came to an agreement extremely quickly when assigning the roles. We felt that it was important, though, for everybody to have an opportunity to see what the other areas were doing. That boosted the learning effect for the group and also enabled our colleagues to fill in for us in the event of absences. Actually, we found that our greatest challenge was looking for the right material to use for the product and then finding the right manufacturer. We had to analyze a variety of different prototypes and sample materials before reaching a final decision.
: What surprised us most was how important marketing is in real life. If you don’t market the product right, you can’t generate sales. That’s something we also saw in our internet orders.
Winner: We noticed that communicating openly toward customers and suppliers helped us make the most progress. It’s often helpful to discuss challenges with your partners. If you do that, you can usually find the best possible solution. Our own project also showed us how important it is for everybody to know not only exactly what they, themselves, are doing but also what their colleagues are doing. Good organization is the key to ensuring that the processes run smoothly and that we can work together efficiently. Of course we also learned a bit about leadership. The motivation of our co-workers had to be maintained throughout the entire year, and that wasn’t always easy. Good communication, however, made it possible for us to pull the group together and find solutions for the problems at hand.
: For now, I think we’re just happy that we have the opportunity to gain more experience in school and after we complete our studies. It did, however, feel extremely good to work independently and turn our own ideas into reality. We could definitely imagine continuing this kind of work.
Interview: Simone Glarner, Marketing & Communications