Fabian Groß, Mareike Vogt and Marc Borgmann from Fiege’s Energy Management department win Innovation Challenge
Greven, 27th June 2018. Exciting ideas, entertaining pitches and a jury that posed critical questions: the grand finale of the Fiege Innovation Challenge did not disappoint. The finalists – three groups comprised of students from Münster’s University of Applied Sciences, and three groups made up of Fiege employees – pitched six presentations on six totally different ideas. In the end, it was Fiege’s very own Energy Management team with Fabian Groß, Mareike Vogt and Marc Borgmann that outdid the competition. Their concept for a smart lighting system to be used in warehouses won over the jury and the audience and is to be installed at various Fiege locations in the near future.
32 applications from five countries
A total 32 applications from five countries arrived for this second edition of the Fiege Innovation Challenge. “That is an excellent response”, commented board member Felix Fiege in his opening speech. “We are extremely pleased to see so many of our own employees thinking up new ideas and future-proof business models. Such entrepreneurship is very important for us and we want to encourage this”, said Felix Fiege about the idea behind the Innovation Challenge.
The challenge was met with great interest. For the final held last Wednesday, 20th June 2018, more than 130 persons had registered – mostly Fiege employees from different locations. This proved too large a turnout even for the big conference room on the top floor of the Greven headquarters. The audience had to be split and a group of roughly 30 ended up watching the pitches on a screen installed in the foyer which broadcast the presentations live.
Critical questions from the jury
The finalists were each given ten minutes to convince the audience and the jury of their ideas. The pitch was followed by a round of questions from the jury which relentlessly probed the contestants about their business model and any loopholes they had in terms of potential sales, or legal challenges regarding the implementation, or the actual feasibility.
The jury members included Fiege Directors Michael Lorca (Consumer Goods Logistics), Andreas Pott (Corporate Development), Hans-Ulrich Wolf (CIO) and Hendric Fiege (New Ventures) as well as Professor Reiner Kurzhals from Münster’s University of Applied Sciences, who is also a co-founder of the data analysis start-up, Westphalia Datalab, a joint venture with Fiege. Their questions made the participants break out into a sweat time and again – undoubtedly the hardest part of the contest.
Audience included in the vote
After the pitches, the jury withdrew and discussed the placements of the finalists. The audience was included in this decision. With the help of a voting app, they selected their favourite and their vote was equivalent to a jury vote. The Energy Management team at Fiege was thrilled to receive the prize money of EUR 5,000, while the runners up also received a reward.
Coming in close behind the winning team were Moritz Hüwe, Christian Bockholt and Marcel Wegmann of Fiege Healthcare in Münster. They came up with an idea to supply hospitals more efficiently and were awarded EUR 1,500 in prize money.
Students from Münster share third place
The group that came in third consisted of students from Münster’s University of Applied Sciences: Kristina Dumbeck, Hannes Hatesohl, Bastian Engelking, Niklas Hoffmann and Eike Werther pondered the lack of parking spaces for lorry drivers. They had to share their third position with Felix Jeschke. The student from Münster’s University of Applied Sciences is currently a student trainee at Fiege and came up with a concept that supports automotive workshops. Both third-placed winners each received EUR 750.
“All final concepts share an exciting approach which we will continue to look into, and we are bound to implement a few”, announced Jens Fiege. To all of those who did not win, the Fiege board member said: “Stay motivated and keep working on innovative concepts – because in any event, the Fiege Innovation Challenge will be repeated.”