Start-ups and Sausages
The history of Founders Day
Peter Simon and three fellow students thought that IUBH lacked a platform where they could learn more about setting-up a company. They therefore took it into their own hands to organise an event: that was how the first Founders Day got started.
“We wanted to organise an event where students could inform themselves about start-ups and be motivated to perhaps start something on their own”, says Peter Simon. No sooner said than done. Last year, together with three fellow students, he launched the first Founders Day at IUBH. This year, Simon passed the baton on to the next project team.
Creating a platform for exchange and dialogue was particularly important for the current organisers. Consequently, the Founders Day conference programme included more interactive workshops. The idea of social responsibility also played a key role, which is why collecting money for a good cause remains an integral part of Founders Day. “In our opinion, social involvement is an important aspect of entrepreneurship”, says co-organiser Laura Schweizer.
From the founders conference to being a founder
Peter Simon (on the right) also attended the event again this year. His contribution to Founders Day? Gourmet sausages with no additives or flavour enhancers from his own start-up company, BBQ Fürsten. Together with a fellow student, he founded the company at the end of his undergraduate studies. “Both of our grill variations were well received at the evening networking dinner”, he says with delight.
What he learned in his hospitality management degree programme was extremely helpful for setting up a business. “My understanding of economics and food technology is a particularly useful in my day to day work”, he says. Currently he is pursuing a job concurrent master’s degree.
This double workload does not distract from his business. Restaurants from Bad Honnef to Krefeld now serve Simon’s sausages, and a large supermarket near Münster sells them. And, the business is geared for further expansion. “Unfortunately, the online shop is currently offline because we are still seeking solutions to the huge challenge of refrigerated shipment”, says Simon. “But this is going to be resolved this year.”
“Persevere, even if something doesn’t work according to plan”
Besides organising an event so that others can learn more about self-employment, a few members of the 2017 project team are also interested in starting their own business. They feel well prepared for the challenge, thanks in particular to the practical project work during their study programme. “We learn to persevere even if something doesn’t work according to plan. This ability can be very important when it comes to setting up your own business,” says Schweizer.
So, what does Peter Simon recommend to colleagues who want to start their own business? “Do the work yourself and do it constantly. Always remember, a setback is also only part of the road. And don’t forgot to reward yourself for work that is done well.”