Two seventeen year old students convince an international jury in Brussels with
Europe’s NFTE Young Entrepreneurs of the Year are from Vienna
the idea of a heated referee’s flag
Team "Clever Cleaning", Bernward Brenninkmeijer, Team "Heated 4 Assistant", Prof. Inge Koch
Who would have thought that Vienna has such a huge entrepreneurial potential? During the partners of the European Network for Training Entrepreneurship (NFTE) have one common
SME-Week initiated by the European Commission the ‘First European NFTE Young
Entrepreneur of the Year Competition’ took place in Brussels, Belgium. Ten teams from
Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands and Austria took part. The
goal, ‘“Through entrepreneurship education and the development of entrepreneurial attitudes,
NFTE Europe empowers young people in schools and social organizations, to stimulate their
economic and social integration by improving their business, academic and life skills.” The
entrepreneurial family Brenninkmeijer and the Initiative für Teaching Entrepreneurship (IFTE)
made it possible for two Austrian teams to participate in this competition.
10 Teams Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands and Austria
Austria was represented by two teams that had been very successful in the ‘Bank Austria
Ideas and Business Plan Competition ‘. The first prize was a ticket to Brussels and the
opportunity to represent Austria in this international event.
The first challenge was a three minute elevator pitch in which the business idea was to be
presented briefly and the judges were invited to visit a stand designed by the students
themselves. Although this short presentation could have been given in the students’ mother
tongue, the Austrian teams decided to do it in English as they wanted to ensure that their main
message was getting across. The jury then visited the different stands, where the competitors
had to present their business idea and answer a lot of questions concerning their product or
And these were the winning ideas: Laura Roman and Patrick Orlet, the winning team in
Brussels offer flags for soccer referees which are equipped with a heating system so that the
handle gives off heat when it´s cold, for example in the evening or in winter.
As the inventor Patrick Orlet, an amateur referee puts it, ‘In winter low temperatures are a
burden for the linesmen in football games. The referees aren’t able to put on gloves because
they have to write down the goals as well as the yellow and red cards. So Heated 4 Assistant
is the solution! A small heating system in the baton of the flag should heat the linesmen’s
hands and because of this they will have better working conditions. Depending on the running
direction the linesmen hold the flag in different hands, thus, both hands will be heated.’
Clever Cleaning You know it today, or throw it away!
Daniel Huszar, Raphael Thonhauser and Christopher Zajac, the winners of the Bank Austria
Idea and Business Plan Competition in Vienna present their product in the following way, ‘We
would like to produce toilet paper that has vocabulary in various foreign languages printed on
it. This business idea came to our mind when we were studying the new words in our English
course book. The most important advantage is an interesting time on the toilet. We would like
people not to waste their time sitting on the toilet but to have fun instead and additionally we
would boost the level of education.’
The Viennese students managed to draw the attention of the international jury to their stands
and their products. They were able to answer all the questions and give reasons why their
products would be competitive first on the Austrian and then on the international market.
The jury then decided that ‘Heated 4 Assistant’ was an excellent business idea, the heated
flag was an innovative product and the chances on the market could be quite good as this flag
was unique. Laura Roman and Patrick Orlet received the ‘Excellent Award’ and were the
winners of the ‘First European NFTE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Competition’.