In our mini-series, we interviewed the three managers of solvimus GmbH.
In the first part, Thomas Brand already gave us a little insight into the founding history and revealed why founding his own company was absolutely the right step. In the second part, Remo Reichel, one of the two CFOs, answers our questions about the foundation from his point of view.
How was the idea of founding a company during your studies born?
Well, the ominous round of playing cards was already mentioned. Actually, Thomas surprised us there with the idea of founding a company. I did not really think about it beforehand, but my practical semester also showed me that I want to work creatively in the technical field. I was particularly interested in technical development. These were the decisive arguments for me – to work creatively, freely and independently.
What barriers were there?
The most difficult aspect was to build a customer base out of the university without business contacts and with little experience. It was not easy to convince business people that students can offer the best solution. Furthermore, we had little experience with the different markets. However, as students, we first worked part-time. We had less risk, not much responsibility and could try things out and experiment without many things going wrong.
The first employees – What kind of feeling was that?
First of all an interesting one but of course also an undiscovered one as it meant we were faced with greater responsibilities. The roles changed. From then on, we also had to make decisions differently than before and, most of all, communicate them internally. It was no longer about our own risk as entrepreneurs, no we were responsible for other people in our company. And from now on, we had to take our employees into the decision-making process. A healthy respect among each other is part of that.
The foundation from today’s point of view – Exactly the same again or maybe not at all?
I would definitely not advise against it. Basically, I would do it in the same way. I am a friend of doing things rather than just talking about them. Of course, from today’s perspective, you know more and could do some things differently, but that is a part of the process. I prefer to move forward.
What motivates the team of solvimus?
We are very lucky to have highly motivated employees who pursue the big picture together with us. It is also important for us to share our thoughts with the team, as the competencies of everyone are complemented by all the others. Communication is generally very important in our company. It may sound like a phrase, but decision-making paths are short and simple.
We also try to support this strong motivation and the good interaction of our employees and want to give something back to our employees through regular events or, for example, sports courses during working hours.
Very personal question – What makes solvimus so special?
First and foremost, building up my own company from scratch is something very special for me. It also makes me proud that we have managed this creation of a stable company almost without any major help.
What makes solvimus so special for me in my daily work? I can perfectly combine my profession and my technical interest. Through my job, I have the opportunity to actually help shape trends, to be allowed to be creative, to think things through or approach them in a new way.
In your opinion, what does a founder need for a successful company start?
I think courage and stamina are definitely important. Not everything always goes according to plan and now and then you have to make difficult decisions quickly. A certain feeling for people and markets is also important. Personally, the support of family and friends was another important factor.
What would you to give to young founders or students, who want to start their own business?
I think it’s important not to focus solely on technology. In real practice, the state of the art in technology is often much further than one thinks at university.
Then, in any case, a healthy pragmatism: what is the actual need in practice and how do I create solutions that actually help, instead of simply developing a new, even better system? But what must not be lacking, both at university and in professional life, and especially as a founder, is perseverance.
Remo Reichel is 41 years old, is a sports enthusiast and likes to spend his free time outdoors. When it’s not about sports, it’s about technology, because the latest technical developments and the pursuit of novelty drive him. The team at solvimus also knows this when he develops the right solution for the customer together with his colleagues.