In our mini-series, we interviewed the three managers of solvimus GmbH.
In the first part and second part, Thomas Brand and Remo Reichel already gave us a little insight into the founding history and revealed why founding his own company was absolutely right. In the third part, Sebastian Bauer, one of the two CTOs, answers our questions about the foundation from his point of view.
How was the idea of founding a company during your studies born?
Already before my studies, I wanted to establish my own company – only the idea was missing. Then the famous Skat Games took place and I told myself: “I am in.” In my opinion, you are born as an entrepreneur and here came the idea to found. And we had the right idea and the right team for this project.
What barriers were there?
From my point of view, we hardly had any barriers. Intuitively, we did many things right. I am very happy about that. For example, we split our competences, Mr Brand takes care of the commercial department and Mr Reichel and I are responsible for the technical department. A real challenge, also the University could not prepare us for it, was to really deliver. This meant gaining practical experience, developing routines, improve yourself and becoming better. In general, progression is very important for entrepreneurs and companies.
The first employees – What kind of feeling was that?
Like my co-founder, I felt a great responsibility. Of course, the success and the joy about the growth were very great. We were able to show, that we are successful. Not everybody believed in us at first.
I think it is interesting and personally more exciting to bring different personalities together, even though this was a challenge sometimes. Also, the individual development is important to meet our responsibility for the employees. For example, dismiss someone if the person does not fit into the team or the tasks. This is something you regret, but you have this responsibility to your other employees.
The foundation from today’s point of view – Exactly the same again or maybe not at all?
On this point, I agree with my colleagues. Afterwards, you have more experience and know a lot of things better. Basically, I would only change details. I do not regret the decision to start my own business together with my friends because fortunately, we solved things very well. That just makes me happy and I am also proud of what we achieved.
What motivates the team of solvimus?
I think, like by me, it is the fun at work, to tinker ideas and solutions and to provide totally new possibilities for our customers. The interesting tasks and the nice colleagues are also special. It is not only about individual solutions for customers but also for our employees, for example with the organization of everyday family life. It seems to me that everyone feels that we are achieving something together and that is what motivates the team.
Very personal question – What makes solvimus so special?
Quite clearly: the team. We complement each other fantastically. There is a great familiarity. Personally, I like the pleasant atmosphere in the office, the nice little things like having lunch together, team events, coffee with colleagues in the kitchen, the ergonomic desks. I have countless points like that and the enormous team spirit. That also encourages me personally and motivates me every single day.
In your opinion, what does a founder need for a successful company start?
You need to have the guts. I also mean having the guts to make mistakes when you are in doubt. In my opinion, doing nothing at all is worse than making mistakes. You learn from mistakes and, in the best case, you make each mistake only once. Besides courage, as Mr Reichel already said, you also need stamina. Of course, it is important to learn and develop further. There we have it again, further development.
What advise would you to give to young founders or students, who want to start their own business?
In any case, you should not be afraid to ask questions to experienced entrepreneurs. Often there is a fear that an idea will be adopted, I can understand that very well. But in most cases, this is not as essential as asking the right questions and benefiting from practical experience. Of course, you need a trustful relationship with a good consultant. Another good point is not only to ask questions but also to reflect on the own idea afterwards. Therefore, an experienced consultant is important because the risk of overlooking problems is, in my opinion, much greater than adopting the idea.
Sebastian Bauer is an enthusiastic musician and plays saxophone in a jazz band. Like his two colleagues, he is 41 years young, father of three children and entrepreneur through and through. He is active in sports and advises students at the TU Ilmenau on start-up issues. The wealth of ideas, paired with the desire to create something, fascinates him.