Entrepreneurship is fun

“Being an entrepreneur is a lot of fun!” - The start of the 12th NUK business plan competition

With 450 guests at the three opening events, the current competition got off to a very successful start at the end of October. Welcomed to the kick-off in the cathedral city Herbert Gey, Council member and chairman of the economic committee of the city of Cologne, the guests in the packed KOMED hall, in his luggage he had the best wishes from Mayor Fritz Schramma and advertising for the StarterCenter NRW.


Gey first referred to some of the city's great historical founders, such as Eau de Cologne creator Johann Maria Farina and Nicolaus August Otto, inventor of the Otto engine: "Thanks to NUK, the region is rich in modern success stories." The NUK alumni Amaxa (now Lonza Cologne AG) and Sedo require “a good concept, entrepreneurial personality and solid financial planning.” For a successful start-up, broad networking is also very important, Gey warned the future founders: “Good Contacts do not fall from the sky, but have to be worked hard - at NUK you are exactly right! "

Previously had Josef Hastrich, deputy chairman of the board of the Kreissparkasse Cologne and sponsor of the evening, presented the diverse and indispensable commitment of his house and all savings banks to support start-ups and encouraged the new NUK year: “Those who have passed this competition have significantly better prospects - so make them numerous with, after all, you are the middle class of tomorrow! "
Underlined that the path for the participants in the coming months will not be easy Dr. Joachim Schmalzl, Member of the board of directors of Sparkasse KölnBonn and NUK board chairman, after looking back at the last competition: “With us, it is not necessarily the one who has the best idea who wins, but the one who can best describe it. It's hard work! "

Guest of honor and keynote speaker Willibert Kruger That is precisely why the people interested in founding who were present would have wanted to start their own company that evening - as the founder and managing director of Krüger Kaffee, he is familiar with stimulating effects. Unfortunately, the entrepreneurial veteran from Bergisch Gladbach had to cancel at short notice for health reasons, as Dr. Schmalzl announced to a visibly disappointed audience.

So far, she has neither had a career of almost 40 years nor an annual turnover of billions - but broke Kathrin Möntenich afterwards, with all the more vigor and charm, a lance for entrepreneurship and for intensive competition participation: “Don't be afraid of the gray suits! Take advantage of all of NUK's offers, it's worth it - then maybe you will be here in a year and say: It's a lot of fun being an entrepreneur! ”With the concept of an organic snack chain Pick-a-pea Möntenich was named the overall NUK winner 2008 in June, as the first woman in the association's history. Four months later, she was just about to open her first branch in the Rhein-Center in Cologne-Weiden and gave authentic insights into her exciting, but rather unglamorous everyday life as a founder: “I'm currently knee-deep in French fries and veggie burgers - so please excuse me that I couldn't even do the nails for tonight's festive evening! "

Before the cultivated networking at the buffet, the NUK project manager explained Stephan Bruns Structure, requirements and offers of the 12th NUK business plan competition, particularly referring to the new "Business Plan Online" tool, which enables the concept to be submitted digitally for the first time in January for submission level 1 and also completely relocates the review process to the Internet .

Animated in Düsseldorf Alexander Johne, With Diggi.Door Among the ten best teams in the 2008 competition, potential epigones for NUK participation: “In order to deliver a business plan that delights consultants and investors at first glance, it is vitally important to go through each of the three baptisms of fire, as we did to have. The plan changes as a result of the reflection with business professionals, financiers and the NUK consultants at the regular coaching evenings constantly and becoming more and more perfect, ”emphasized Johne. And how about the establishment? "Talks with venture capitalists are in the making, as is the establishment of the GmbH. We hope to be able to take off soon - we would never have come this far without NUK. "



Set a nice signal Dr. Ulrich Ziegenhagen, Deputy Head of the Bonn Economic Development Agency, at the opening event in the federal city: “Founders need networks and NUK is the network in North Rhine-Westphalia. That is why the city of Bonn decided to become a member of NUK in order to get more involved here. "
The two founders of Style ranking, Bronze winners in the 2007 competition, are also convinced NUK fans: “At first we were concerned about presenting our idea at such a competition. But by NUK we were forced to work out a top business plan in addition to the product. The reviews that you get for every version submitted were a big plus. Our concept brought us a long way forward in discussions with potential investors, ”recalled Daniel Schaffeld (Left). In fact, the Web 2.0 founders were able to attract the attention of two of their five investors at NUK.
“It was a long process that we had to go through, everything took longer than we initially thought. But now we have two permanent and numerous freelance employees, and although the days are still very long, it's just great to be your own boss and to be able to realize your own ideas, ”added Roland Schweins (right).

Many thanks to the sponsors of the three kick-off events for the 12th NUK business plan competition:
Kreissparkasse Köln, Life Science Center Düsseldorf & Business Development Bonn