Founders' Day at IUBH Business School

Business Workshop

My experience at IUBH Business School Founders’ Day

On 20 June 2017, IUBH Business School celebrated their second founders’ day. The day consisted of engaging workshops, networking opportunities and closing party and a chance to meet and interact with management students from different b-schools because of which I spruced up myself and traveled almost 2 hours to attend the event. But the journey was enthralling as the route was along the river Rhine. As a result, my time was spent in enjoying the panoramic view of beautiful mountainous landscapes and buildings.

The aim of the event was to encourage interaction between the students and start-ups about the innovative ideas employed in the business, past and current challenges faced by them and learnings from their experiences.

After reaching Bad Honnef, where IUBH Business School is located, it took 15 minutes by walk to reach the campus with little help from Google navigation. As I was near the school, a swarm of students guided me to the exact location. I was quite impressed with the organizing team as they were well prepared for the event. After refreshing myself for a few minutes at the waiting area, I went to take my registration kit for the day.

The event began with a short introductory speech by Prof. Willy Legrand Professor Hospitality-, Tourism & Event Management IUBH who informed the attendees about the significance of the day. He emphasized how founders are not just limited to some companies, but people have founded companies and build the team and trust to run it over the period.


Even though I found almost all the workshop to be interesting but as they were happening parallelly I had to choose among the options available. Now, I would like to share my experience of the workshops which I attended.

1.Power of Proof in Brand Marketing by Philipp Istas (Country Developer DACH, trivago)

Frankly speaking, I was eagerly waiting to participate in this workshop because of my interest to know more about trivago and its current market scenario. The workshop started at 11.30 am in the morning, Mr.Philipp gave us quite detailed information about the journey of trivago.

Raising money is a big deal nowadays and generally, startups want to have a big chunk of money before they start their business but he said trivago raised only 1.4 million euro in the beginning. He said trivago is a metasearch company which is very different from online travel agencies (OTA) as it does not own the hotels but rather it directs the customers to the website with the best hotel fulfilling their requirements. From a few years in the past, they have seen a revenue growth of approximately 50 %. Their target is to reach 1 billion marks in 2017 after getting 585 million revenue last year. As far as revenue is concerned more than 50% is coming from the brand name and then search engine marketing accounts for more than 35 % of the revenue, and display, email, and affiliate (DEA) along with search engine optimization accounts for approx. 15%. In Europe, SEM is quite effective from the online marketing point of view.  He also explained the various way through which they do offline marketing such as TV, billboard, radio etc. and how they measure the performance of their campaigns.

After a great presentation, Mr. Philipp gave us a case study to solve in a group of five. The case study was based on measurement of out of home (OOH) campaign with a budget of a 10,00,000-euro. The task was to find the campaign type, best, worst and expected scenario for the campaign and ways to measure the performance of the campaign (which may be in terms of brand awareness, direct result or casual impact). I got the chance to present the idea of my team which was to use posters at places of commutation with a call to action and billboard with an inhouse design.  Two other teams got the chance to present the idea of the campaign which includes using in-flight advertisement to the use of virtual reality. After amazing one and half hours the trivago workshop came to an end with a thank you note.


2.Social entrepreneurship-how to become changemaker by Johannes Richter (Sales and Marketing Director, Project Together)

The workshop began with an introduction and it was quite interesting to know that the speaker was the youngest in the room. Johannes Richter was so convinced by the idea of Project Together than he left his law education in the middle and started working  Project Together. Project Together is a startup, especially focusing on social projects, which helps people with an idea to realize their dream by guiding them through multiple telephonic coaching.

Just after fifteen minutes of the presentation, the presentation changed into a discussion mode. It was interesting to know how Project Together has helped more than 200 initiatives and application of design thinking in solving many of the problems.


3.Interruption General Aviation in Europe- starting your own business and fundraising tips by Lars Klein (o- Founder & CTO)

The workshop began with some after lunch jokes and talk about the summer hotness in Germany. As quickly the presenter switched to talk about the journey of Wingly, which is an exciting start-up which provides people opportunity to share space with private plane owners for the purpose of adventure and many a time excursions as well. Mr. Klien explained to us how they face challenges beginning from the name of the company to regulation issues but after surpassing all the initials hurdles Wingly is doing quite good.

By taking the example of Wingly’s journey, he explained what needs to be taken care of while running a startup and the importance of having a diverse team of founder and co-founders.


4.Story of Serial Entrepreneur by Philipp Maximilian (CEO, SuckIt)

Much talked guy was in the room, Mr. Max (as everybody calls him) who has started 5 companies in a short span of 10 years is an example of learning by doing. Although Philipp is from a middle-class family he dares to make his dream real and was clear about a fact that he would never work for somebody else in life. He started a company which sold affordable suits after he realized that it is quite cheap to get that kind of suits in China than Europe, after running this business for a few weeks he realized the nuances of markets. But this unsuccessful attempt gave him the confidence to work for his ideas and he never stopped from then. He believes in executing rather than talking which is the recipe for his success so far. Also, he emphasizes that it is very important to learn from the past mistakes so that one does not repeat

Apart from attending these workshop, I got to interact with other startups like Conichi, Digital Hub Regio Bonn, T Gronda, TauRes between the workshops and got to know about them which was also a very enriching experience to know what problems they are solving in the market.  All the talks were over around 6 pm in the evening. And then there was networking dinner. As I had to travel far, unfortunately, I was not able to attend the dinner and therefore conveyed my regards to all people present there. With this amazing experience in my mind, I left the place to catch my train back to home.

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