№ 175/2009 from Jul 01, 2009
The German television channel, Second German Television (ZDF), has honored Projektwerkstatt, founded by Prof. Dr. Günter Faltin of Freie Universität Berlin, with the German Founders Award. Faltin, head of the research division on Entrepreneurship at Freie Universität, accepted the special prize for innovative approaches and outstanding achievements of pioneering companies during a television show broadcast from the ZDF studio in Berlin. Faltin founded the Projektwerkstatt GmbH in 1985 with his idea for Teekampagne, currently the world’s largest importer of Darjeeling tea.
The jury praised Faltin's courage in using Teekampange (Tea Campaign) to break radically with the traditions of the tea trade. Teekampagne is an example of the successful transfer of scientific knowledge into practice. It is proof that universities can be a laboratory for founding ideas.
The company, based in Potsdam, has become the market leader in the mail order business for tea in Germany, even though it only imports a single variety of tea. With this company, Faltin made a reality of his vision to save steps and material involved n the import of tea. Freight and insurance do not account for the vast majority of the costs, but rather the intermediate trade and the small packages popular in the tea trade. According to the company, its 20 employees serve over 200,000 customers.
Faltin set up the university's laboratory for entrepreneurship and is a business angel for several successful start-up companies, including eBuero AG, Direkt zur Kanzlerin GmbH, and RatioDrink AG. The Price-Babson Foundation in Boston presented Faltin an award “for bringing entrepreneurial vitality to academe." Last year saw the publication of Faltin's book, Kopf schlägt Kapital, in which he argues for changes in Germany with regard to starting new businesses.
According to ZDF, the German Founders Award is the most significant award for outstanding entrepreneurs in Germany.
Barbara Hoppe, Projektwerkstatt GmbH, Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 85956121, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org