Role: Intrapreneur, leading a New Product Development and its Spin Out
Date: 2005 - 2006
In 2004 I started to look for a challenging mission for my engineering thesis. My plan was to develop and produce a real product as engineering of parts and machines had become quite a routine already. To investigate the right challenge I involved my Design Professor Hatto Grosse, a design student colleague Sunil Aurora and as potential client Bayer MaterialScience New Business which I knew from a previous project.
Based on a good idea but failed prototype of "plastic based illuminated tweezers" by Sunil Arora, Bayer MaterialScience gave me the challenge to free up the budget, develop and produce 1000 full functioning LED-illuminated-tweezers using their Makrolon and other in-house materials within six months. To improve the user experience, I developed and added a resistive touch switch, using a conductive coating offered by Heraeus, to the brief.
While I did the project management, FE simulation, technology prototyping by myself or with friends, I also sourced all services and produced all parts in Germany. Over the months I involved marktunddesign; Heraeus, Helbling, LedLenser and several small but neat manufacturers. The final assembly took place with my best friends during a two weeks marathon in my flat. The 1000 units were handed over on time.
After the promising first phase in 2005, Bayer MaterialScience gave a position as Innovation Manager and decided to take this product to the next level. Together with the previous partners, I reworked the whole product and went for production in China via FRACON to enable a profitable series production for 10.000 - 100.000 units. We patented the touch switched device (DE102005049446A1) and licensed out the tweezers to the distributor "moree". EXTRACT won the "Promotional Gift AWARD 2008". The product was discontinued after 60.000 units after facing constant coating issues which made the product too complicated.
Thanks to Eckard Foltin and many others for equally believing in and challenging me.