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German Founder Award for Students: These are the winners

The team "Luvaq" is all about water. Clean water. Because there are far too few in the world. Around two billion people have no access to drinking water in which no bacteria or viruses swim. To change that, the five pupils of boarding school Schloss Hansenberg in the Rheingau thought of an ingeniously simple concept: A water container with hand crank. The generated with a small dynamo current, which brings a UV lamp to light. And that's so cleverly built into the container made of recycled plastic that it cleans up to 20 liters of water in just a few minutes. Because against strong UV light germs have no chance and die. Contaminated water becomes so drinkable.

The winners of the Deutscher Gründerpreis für Schüler 2019: Team Luvaq from the boarding school Schloss Hansenberg in Hesse. From left: Nikolai Kowalski, Philipp Brandes, Malin Zeittler and Timo Samson

The winners of the Deutscher Gründerpreis für Schüler 2019: Team Luvaq from the boarding school Schloss Hansenberg in Hesse. From left: Nikolai Kowalski, Philipp Brandes, Malin Zeittler and Timo Samson

For their idea, which they presented in a sophisticated business plan, Malin Zeitter, Tara Urbach, Timo Samson, Philip Brandes and Nikolai Kowalski received on Tuesday the German Founder Award for pupils. They prevailed among over 800 teams who had applied. The price is from star awarded together with the savings banks, Porsche and ZDF and funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Teamwork as a key

In an online simulation game, the students develop a fictive business idea over several months, write a business plan and financing concept, look at the competitive environment and markets and, last but not least, learn how to structure a large project and work together on one's own responsibility.

The ten best teams presented their ideas then in Hamburg in the publishing house Gruner + Jahr, where the starEditorial team sits. These included concepts against food waste, energy production from wastewater, the safety of babies or online communities where the data of the participants are not being explored. Almost all of the concepts picked up on current debates and proved how well informed students today are against all clichés and how quickly they translate flows.

Ideas for the real economy

Dr. Matthias Koehler, who is responsible for start-ups in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, was enthusiastic about the quality of the ideas and their implementation: "Many of the ideas were quickly realized," he praised. "And that's important because new, young companies are the future of our economy." Anna and Stefan Lemcke, the founders of the spice manufactory "Ankerkraut", saw a similar situation. They encouraged students to think about self-employment when choosing a career: "If you do your thing with passion, you can achieve a lot: there are not only corporate careers for you, but also the chance to build something yourself."

For the five members of the winning team Luvaq this is a real option. They continue to believe in their idea and with their prize also have the opportunity to continue working on it: with four other teams in the fall, they will drive to a four-day, specially tailored to the students management training at Castle Kröchlendorff in Brandenburg. There they can then find out how much entrepreneurial spirit is really in them.

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