German Business Student of the Year 2017

German Business Student of the Year 2017

German finalists presented their pitches for innovative business ideas - in German.

The annual “German Business Students of the Year” competition was held in May. Three teams had qualified for the final round to present their pitches in German for an innovative business idea to be launched on the German market. The jury on the day consisted of the Honorary German Consul in Leeds, Mr Mark Green, and Mr William Ballmann, partner at the UK’s first stock-exchange listed law firm Gateley Plc.

The three qualifying teams who had prepared their 20-minute presentations as part of the final year module ‘German for Professional Purposes’ were:

Alles Möbliche (Andy Hadjitofi, Lawrence Prince & Dominic Werth), a 24/7 furniture supply & removal service for exchange students and work placement students in Munich.
Butterblume (Alice Scott, Robyn Street & Hannah Williams), a monthly ‘comfort parcel’ delivery service for women.
LiteKam (Alex Barnes & Zeinab Drabu), a versatile Light + Camera gadget for installation on bicycle and motorbike helmets
In seeking a notional €30,000 investment, each team had to explain their business idea, their planned marketing strategies and their financial planning, before being quizzed by the panel on various aspects of their business proposal, all in German of course.

This year’s competition saw team LiteKam come out victorious after they put forward their business plan. However, Mr Green commented: ”The standard of all the presentations, particularly their delivery in German, was a very high level and the business proposals this year were presented in a very enthusiastic and convincing fashion.  It made it difficult to select the winning team.”

William Ballmann, panel member and partner at sponsors Gateley Plc, added: “Gateley Plc are happy to support and sponsor this event, both to deepen our firm’s links with the University, as well as to encourage students before they leave university for the ‘real world’. At Gateley we have many international links and fully understand the importance of being able to negotiate in foreign languages. This event leaves me feeling positive for the future career prospects of the participating students from the University of Leeds.  As a region, we need to be encouraging many more students to attain this level of foreign linguistic ability.”

The participating students also commented after the event: “It was a great event, nerve-racking but also enjoyable and very rewarding. Obviously, being questioned on your ideas by the Honorary German Consul and an experienced business professional such as Mr Ballmann was tough, but an extremely valuable educational experience, and the feedback we received was really helpful.”