Headphones that double as speakers
A pair of headphones (with earcups made of real wood) that can be converted into a set of loudspeakers was the design idea that won this year’s 5-Euro StartUp Competition.
“The competition for good business ideas that can be realized for just 5 euros is now an established fixture in our calendar,” says Laura Janssen, who coordinates the event for LMU. “We are particularly pleased to see that many of the ideas submitted to us have turned out to be eminently practicable in the real world.” For example, the victorious team in last year’s competition now put their prize-winning Jackerl-Sackerl on sale at the Oktoberfest, and the LMU students who were the runners-up in 2014 have already held their workshop on how to build a bicycle-frame out of bamboo in several other German cities.
Ideas with potential
The team that impressed the jury most this year was Soundsetter. Indeed, in the final, their clever concept set everyone’s feet a-tapping. For Soundsetter’s five members – four students from LMU and one from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) – have developed headphones that can be converted into loudspeakers in next to no time, allowing users to share their favorite music with others. Second place went to the idea presented by Gib ab (Pass It On). Its members have designed a scheme that enables devices such as cellphones or computers that are no longer needed by their original owners to be systematically passed on to those who would otherwise be unable to afford them. The third prize was awarded jointly to sportln and upstories. These two teams have created an app that locates sports clubs and potential training partners, and a platform designed to help retailers optimize stocking rates, respectively. “As was the case last year, this latest competition produced a range of business ideas that have considerable commercial potential,” says Janssen. “We made a number of changes in how the competition is organized, including the introduction of professional coaching, and the results show that these alterations have paid off,” she adds
Starting Capital: 5 euros
The 5 Euro StartUp competition makes it possible for student entrepreneurs to set up their own business within a single semester and with a starting capital of just 5 euros. Seminars on topics such as generating and developing ideas, working in teams, marketing, project management and company law provide participants with the basic theory required to get a new firm off the ground. This phase is followed by an 8-week practical, in which the young hopefuls receive professional guidance from experienced coaches prior to the formal presentation of their business plans. The competition is organized by LMU in cooperation with Students and the Job Market, LMU‘s Career Center and Munich’s University of Applied Sciences, with the financial support of the Stadtsparkasse München.