Fahad Al Ghobein

Fahad Al Ghobein

venture_associate
Fahad Al Ghobein
MBA in Small Enterprise Promotion & Training
Universität Leipzig

From vision to reality! A perfect start-up CEO scenario at werk_39, all the way from Jordan to Rote Straße 1, 78532 Tuttlingen – Germany.

Since I can remember, business people, suited up, with that black suitcase, have always impressed me. I had always the desire to take that driver’s seat and run my own project. But I was always afraid of perching, or what’s so-called – the start-up roller coaster or the hockey stick … you name it. And this aspiration went to an actual scene once I secured the spot with werk_39, but without that fear. I joined them after my 2-year journey of pursuing an MBA in Small Enterprise Promotion & Training at Leipzig University. I knew that I am backed up with an experienced team, and a full bundle of resources by B. Braun and its pioneering market position. And performing a Venture Development role was not a chance. For me, it was my inner choice. Honestly, I was not sure what career path I will be taking after finishing my MBA studies, but as I was researching about Firm-Level Entrepreneurship, I stumbled across this overarching role.

So, I took the plunge and entered the start-up world within a corporate setup. I probably don’t need to tell you the percentage of start-ups that fail despite the many good ideas out there in the world. It is a two digits number and 10 percent away from the 100 full circle. It’s not great ideas that make great startups — it’s the excellent execution of a great business model. And here comes the B. Braun recipes to avoid that, and the extensive experience and support of the W39 team. I really value the opportunity to be able to use a broader skill set in multifaceted projects and challenges, topped off with a supportive learning culture, and the high level of autonomy I was given. It was an unbeatable and comprehensive experience to act dual roles, ‘entrepreneur’ on one side and ‘intreprenuer’ on the other.

NutriHike_venture

Basically, we co-created a nutritionally based venture in the consumer market together with the venture’s team of different backgrounds. We maintained continuous customer-centered focus and design sprints at the heart of our project. Sustainability was always at our table. This design thinking process carried our ideologies in a single stack and took it to life.

But it was not that basic, and it was not that linear at all. The project started with holistic research on the market situation and how it is done in the hospital area, and then in the non-patient consumer area. We have dived deeper into how health-consciousness trends are evolving in the consumer market, and where are our target group(s) sweet spots.

Then, we formulated provisional target groups based on both hard facts and soft facts for further research and real-life indications. The team was stationed on every corner of each target group. And after an improved understanding of each segment, we started to design different experiments around versatile and connected aspects, questions, and bleariness of each segment. It was not easy and smooth with the Covid-19 restrictions. We have had non-stop hurdles, but that did not drag us down. We went the extra mile to get as much real-life evidence as possible, and the mission has been accomplished.

At the time of briefing my 9-month internship into this snippet, this project has moved into the building phase, getting ready to get a foot into the market but with more extensive preparations, sleeves rolled up further to bring this venture to a T. I will be always following the progress of this upcoming venture. It really feels like my own first child.

the_world_is_Sourcetank’s _playground 

SourceTank is a promising eCommerce platform for surgical instruments, and since digital marketing is a strong suit for me, I participated in a Search Engine Marketing (SEO) project to build up the solution reach on a global scale.

I worked closely with the SourceTank team on technical and managerial levels. They were so supportive to help me in adjusting the website back-end to climb up the global ladder. I had my first coding experience over there, and it was thrilling to see more traction from new countries week after week pouring in the SourceTank’s bucket.

Adrian Riegger

Adrian Riegger

venture_associate
Adrian Riegger
Internationale Betriebswirtschaft
HFU – Hochschule Furtwangen (Campus Schwenningen)

How quickly six months can pass by… time at werk_39 literally flies! This is what is going through my mind while I start writing this report. The last six months were super exciting – every day there were some new thrilling challenges on the agenda and no day was nearly like the other. No wonder time went by so fast.

goQ or how_to_build_a_consumer_brand

During my time at werk_39 I was part of the hand disinfection venture goQ. As a little background knowledge: B. Braun has been producing hand disinfection for professional use in the medical sector since many years. The objective of this venture was to build a new business model including a whole new brand around the professional B. Braun product for the B2C market. Our core venture team consisted of six members with expertise in different areas: design, product, sales and innovation methodology. Together our vision was to give end consumers access to highly effective hand disinfection while creating a completely new experience around the topic of on-the-go hand hygiene.

During the product and business model development process, the highest priority was to ensure that our solutions really match the customer needs. For this purpose, we worked with Lean Startup methods, Design Thinking and the Business Model Canvas. In line with that, some of my parts during the first phase of the internship were, for example, to plan, conduct and evaluate experiments such as user interviews and online surveys to test our ideas on the market.

As we were making progress in the development process, more and more operational topics came up. How does an online shop actually work? How can we ship a small package as efficiently as possible to the respective end consumer? What is a suitable B2C online marketing strategy for our product? All of these questions were quite new for a B2B company like B. Braun and finding answers required a lot of research, expert interviews and team-internal iterations. Hence, every day I had the possibility to gain countless exciting insights and learnings.

To go through this process with a great team and to finally have a physical product in your hands was an incredibly cool adventure. If you are interested in what exactly we have been creating during the six months of my internship, check our website: www.go-q.shop

co_innovation & club_of_the_willing

In order to develop customer-centered solutions, direct user feedback plays a major role at werk_39. For werk_39 ventures end consumers in the B2C area are just as important as experts, partners and healthcare professionals in the B2B sector. In this project I was given the task to find and analyze best practice examples of co-innovation opportunities such as online portals and social media. Based on my research, the next step was to develop a concept to enable sustainable exchange with end consumers and existing contacts from the werk_39 network.

conclusion

Tuttlingen might not be a vibrant start-up city like Munich or Berlin. However, a small B. Braun department at Rote Straße 1 lives the startup spirit at its best. At werk_39 you will find great colleagues and a beautiful place to make ideas happen. If you’re interested in the startup world, lean working methods and exciting ventures werk_39 is definitely the right place for you!

Sofia Hezel

Sofia Hezel

venture_associate
Sofia Hezel
Ingenieurpsychologie
HFU – Hochschule Furtwangen (Campus Tuttlingen)

Beworben habe ich mich auf die Stelle der UX/UI Designer, im Bewerbungsgespräch wurde mir dann eine 360 Grad werk_39 Stelle angeboten, geworden ist es die Venture Associate Stelle. Die WAS? Ich wusste am ersten Arbeitstag nicht, was meine Jobbezeichnung auf deutsch heißt. Naja also die Ventures sind die einzelnen Projekte, die es im werk_39 gibt und ein Associate ist ein Mitarbeiter. Jetzt denkst du dir sicherlich: „Wow, ein Projektmitarbeiter, wie langweilig!“ Dieser Assoziation wird die Stelle nicht gerecht. Während meiner Zeit hier gab es maximal im Homeoffice Langeweile, als ich warten musste, bis mir jemand zurückgerufen hatte.

implant_tracking_neuro

Mein erstes Projekt startete am dritten Tag meines Praktikums. Thema war, die Nachverfolgbarkeit von wiederaufbereitbaren Neuroimplantaten unter Berücksichtigung der regulatorischen Anforderungen. In meinem Studium hatte ich keinerlei Berührungspunkte mit Medizintechnik. Das brauchte ich auch nicht. In jedem Projekt beginnt man quasi bei null. Die erste Phase ist die Discover-Phase, in der das Problem identifiziert werden soll. Die Projektteams bestehen aus Mitarbeitern aus dem Stammwerk, was bedeutet, dass diese Hintergrundwissen mitbringen. Jedes Projekt behandelt eine neue Fragestellung und mit jedem neuen Thema kommt ein neuer Unbekannter Hintergrund, bei dem man neues lernen kann.

Im Projekt waren meine Aufgaben neben der rechtlichen und technischen Recherche unter anderem die Erstellung von Onlinefragebögen, Interviewleitfäden sowie die Auswertung derer. Außerdem fanden regelmäßige Updates vor dem Sponsor statt wofür gemeinsam im Team die Präsentation vorbereitet und gehalten wurde. Mein Highlight war die Teilnahme in der internationalen Rotation der Neuromarketing Abteilung. Wir durften viermal in vier unterschiedlichen Gruppen unsere bis zu diesem Zeitpunkt gewonnenen Erkenntnisse präsentieren und diskutieren.

ProQ

Während meiner letzten drei Monate durfte ich in noch einem Projekt mit der Discover-Phase starten. Sehr interessant waren hierbei die Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede zum anderen Projekt zu sehen. Dieses Projekt hat sich um das Thema, wie das bereits vorhanden Handdesinfektionsmittel von B. Braun außerhalb des klinischen Umfelds vermarktet werden kann, gedreht. Auch hier habe ich wieder eine Umfrage mit Hilfe eines Onlinefragebogens durchgeführt und Interviews mit Unternehmern geführt. proQ startete in die Experiment-Phase, in welcher ich, mögliche Kooperationspartner kontaktiert sowie viel über das Thema Marketing und Vertrieb gelernt habe.

fazit

Die Zeit hat mich vor viele Herausforderungen gestellt und mir viele Möglichkeiten neues zu lernen geboten. Ich bin jeden Tag gerne ins werk_39 gegangen oder habe den Laptop an gemacht um Teams zu starten – jederzeit würde ich wieder hier arbeiten.

Laura Fehrenbach

Laura Fehrenbach

venture_associate | master_student
Laura Fehrenbach
Betriebswirtschaftslehre (Public and Non-Profit Management)
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

Imagine you start working in a company, looking forward to your first day and on the third day you find yourself back home at your desk, trapped in virtual space, feeling alone and yet among people. The Corona pandemic suddenly had the whole world in its grip and for two months the mills of werk_39 ran a little slower, only to pick up more speed again and take off like a rocket after Corona.

Nevertheless, during the time in the home office, everything took place in virtual space. Thus, tools such as Office 365 and Mural were used to enable and support the work. Since the completion of my master thesis was delayed as well, I got the opportunity to work in projects and support the teams.

flow_of_ implants_and_instruments

Already in March I joined the team Flow of implants and instruments, which deals with the question how the logistical flow of orthopaedic implants to countries all over the world can be improved. At this point, the project had passed the Discover phase in which the most frequent pain points of the customers were evaluated and the Experiment phase had started. Further interviews were conducted with customers, sales reps and dealers from all kinds of countries, which resulted in a large number of ideas for improving the process. I was responsible for the consolidation of the answers and systematized them according to importance and feasibility. From this colourful bouquet of ideas, six solutions were selected for further elaboration. By means of the Business Model Canvas, the ideas were then transferred to MVPs in two intensive weeks in which the team members were daily guests at werk_39 instead of weekly workshops on one or two days.

Working in the Flow of Implants and Instruments team has always been a lot of fun for me and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the team for the warm welcome and the opportunity to learn a lot about the loan and consignment processes of orthopaedic implants and instruments.

ProQ

After we were allowed to return to werk_39 after two months home office, my second project at werk_39 started the week after. As a sister project to the hand disinfection project goQ with small bottles we dedicated ourselves to the topic of B. Braun’s hygiene products, especially disinfectant dispensers, to offer them to businesses in the non-clinical market. The focus here was on companies that provide disinfectant to their customers free of charge. First of all, we conducted research on this topic, which was supplemented by interviews with companies in a further step.

The project started well, but there were still some hurdles to overcome, which were more or less well mastered. Especially the time aspect should be mentioned here, as many companies had already invested in disinfectant dispensers due to the pandemic.

However, the project was continued and I hope that in the future a solution including modern technologies such as IoT will be developed that will bring added value to the company in this area.

my_master_thesis

The reason why I actually started at werk_39 was to write my master thesis. Nevertheless Corona had other plans for me. Nearly three months after I started my job I could officially start writing my master thesis. Entitled “Initiation and control of agile corporation processes using the example of B. Braun’s innovation laboratory werk_39” I conducted interviews with employees and project members, which I substantiated with findings from literature research and theoretical questions.

These interviews resulted in the presentation of the process of werk_39 and provided development perspectives as well as practical design recommendations. One hurdle for me here was to connect the theoretical question with the practical work at werk_39. The practical work in projects takes up a lot of time and is labour-intensive, which could not always be reconciled with the master thesis at university level.

I am looking forward to completing my master thesis on my own and to making it available to werk_39, especially since I was able to gain a lot of valuable insights that could support werk_39 in the future.

Louisa Picard

Louisa Picard

venture_associate
Louisa Picard
International Business Administration
WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management Vallendar

Imagine you are one week COO, the other week CMO, and the following CTO. This is how I felt during my time as Venture Associate here at werk_39. Every day was a new adventure, everyday there was a new challenge to take on. For me, werk_39 is the epitome of lean startup. What I’ve learned here is that you don’t have to be an expert in one field but rather act as an architect who is able to execute multifaceted tasks. With that approach and a motivated team by your side you can make ideas happen, develop agile solutions and create new ventures.

say_HY!_to_highly_hygienic

How is it like to found a startup in consolidated structures of a big MedTech company? Tedious? Cumbersome? Boring? Not at all, HY! proves the opposite! The objective of this venture project is to equip consumers with high quality hand sanitizer and to create a whole new experience around their daily health protection. Tapping into the new terrain of the B2C-Market demanded a new business model which I helped to develop. Due to the project’s degree of maturity a genuine pitch was in the pipeline because even though werk_39 can fall back on various internal resources, without money, all is nothing. My part was, on the one hand, to develop a business case containing not only coherent financials for the next years but also a legitimate customer segmentation. On the other hand, I was involved in developing possible incubation strategies, experiments for the next working phase as well as the look and feel of the pitch presentation. Experiments such as stakeholder mapping or user shadowing play an important role in the working philosophies here. They serve as a customer-centric validation tool assuring that the solution will one hundred percent address the customers needs. In line with that, expert and customer interviews had been a major element during my time here, from the establishment over the conduction to the evaluation.

setting_the_stage_for_werk39

Both, internal and external reception are equally important for werk_39. Therefore, I developed for the latter one an image video strategy that expresses the DNA of werk_39 in a hip and contemporary way. This included writing a storyboard, having creative ideas for the implementation as well as standing in lively exchange with the agency and other stakeholders for approval. For internal purposes I developed the so called “werk_39 ecosystem & community” – wall. It’s a visualization of the most important key partners, stakeholders, events and other cooperations. Now, it serves as a physical tool for sustaining the innovation lab’s network.

SourceTank_goes_hollywoood

With SourceTank I uncovered my inner affection for digital marketing. SourceTank is an intermediary platform for customers who seek to complete their product portfolio in one stop shop. In order to get more traffic on the website, I elaborated a concept for extending the reach by using search engine optimization, for instance, google ads and keyword planning. Moreover, I supported the team in data processing for a smoother running user journey on the website. Check for yourself if we did a good job: www.sourcetank.net

last_comments

Yes, I know – Tuttlingen is not the hub of the world, it’s not Berlin, it’s not Munich and it’s not any other sparkling city in Germany. I also struggled at first. Nevertheless, I can assure you that the experiences you will make here are more than worth it. The work at werk_39 offers a little bit of everything and of everything the best: Startup-like environment, multidisciplinary teams, lean working methods, exciting projects, workshops, events … If your heart beats additionally for the MedTech industry you are in perfectly good hands here.

Sabine Berger

Sabine Berger

venture_associate
Sabine Berger
Englische Literaturen und Kulturen
Universität Konstanz

allgemeine_welt_des_werk_39

Pivoting, pitching, ideation, design thinking – allesamt Konzepte, die mir vor meinem Praktikum unbekannt waren. Das werk_39 als Innovation Lab von B. Braun Aesculap bat mir die Möglichkeit startuplike culture kennenzulernen und zu erleben. Ein entscheidendes Prinzip stellen digitale Lösungen disruptiven Charakters dar. Auf den ersten Blick erscheinen diese Begriffe sehr groß und abstrakt. In der Praxis und ganz nah wird erkennbar, dass es um smarte und unkonventionelle Ansätze & Technologien geht, die den Alltag jeweiliger Betroffener erleichtern.

Eine kleine große Erkenntnis meinerseits ist, dass es stets hilfreich ist, Ideen, egal wie unausgereift und vermeintlich unbedeutend, festzuhalten und damit zu visualisieren. Außerdem ist man hier gemäß dem Motto „fail early & often“ der Auffassung, dass Fehler einen weiterbringen und dabei handelt es sich nicht bloß um eine halbehrliche Floskel. Aus beidem lernt man und kann somit den Prozess voranbringen. Ein weiser Mann hat so etwa auf seinem Laptop den Sticker mit dem Spruch kleben: „getting started is more important than doing it right“.

social_media

„Ich glaube, dass aktiv betriebene & mit Fürsorge betreute Social Media Kanäle dem werk_39 folgendes bringen: Es geht um outreach, networking, branding & recruiting.“ Mit dieser Hypothese ging ich die mir übertragene Aufgabe an, den Social Media Auftritt des werk_39 aufzupolieren.

Um die formulierten Ziele zu erreichen musste also ein Regelwerk samt Konzept her. Ich habe festgelegt, auf welchen Sozialen Netzwerken es für das werk_39 am sinnvollsten ist vertreten zu sein. Zudem wurde geklärt, wie der Prozess bis hin zum fertigen Posting auszusehen hat. D.h. wer involviert ist, was gezeigt wird, welche Ästhetik wir darstellen möchten und welche zusätzlichen Tools wir verwenden möchten.

Zudem habe ich im Rahmen eines anderen Projekts über Werbeanzeigen auf Social Media Plattformen gelernt und durfte diese aktiv planen und umsetzen.

master_powerpoint

Eine meiner Aufgaben war es, eine Master Powerpoint für das werk_39 zu erstellen. Der Bedarf begründet sich dadurch, dass Team-Mitglieder auf Seminaren, in Workshops und auf vielen anderen Arten an Veranstaltungen das Konzept, die Vorgehensweisen, und die Projekte des werk_39 vorstellen möchten. Sinn und Zweck ist also, eine Mustervorlage zu bieten, an welcher man sich bedienen kann, um je nach Anlass eine Präsentation zusammenstellen zu können.

Aufgebaut ist das ganze unter Why, How und What. D.h. es wird gelistet, wozu es das werk_39 gibt und wie es zu dessen Entstehung kam, wie disruptive Innovation anhand des Working Models umgesetzt wird und was die Ergebnisse dieser Arbeit sind. Es boten sich mir ein gründlicher Rundumblick um & Einblick in das gesamte werk_39. Dies benötigt ein Venture Consultant als Projektbetreuer, Vermittler und Orchestrator, um effizient und erfolgreich planen und agieren zu können.

hansUp

Dieses Projekt, welches ausnahmslos aus werk_39 Mitarbeitern bestand, bot die Chance, das Working Model anzuwenden und zu validieren. Ich durfte von der Ideation bis hin zur Experiment Phase das Zusammenspiel von Teammitgliedern verschiedener Disziplinen erfahren, so wie Methoden und Tools eines Venture Consultants in der Praxis kennenlernen und einsetzen.

Um einen Product-Market-Fit zu erreichen ist es wichtig eine umsichtige Marktrecherche durchzuführen. Ich habe also Trends auf dem Markt identifiziert, Marktprognosen und Konkurrenten analysiert, und potenzielle Abnehmer je im B2C und B2B Kontext bestimmt.
Beim Problem-Solution-Fit geht es im Sinne der Customer Centricity darum, eine Zielgruppe für das Produkt samt Experience auszumachen. Das passiert beim Experimentieren nicht nur online, z.B. durch die Erstellung einer landing page Webseite, sondern besonders über gezielte Interviews. Ziel ist hier, schnell und effizient die Meinungen Befragter einzuholen und die von uns aufgestellten Hypothesen zu validieren. Mit den gesammelten Informationen haben wir im Team eine Persona und die dazu gehörige User Journey erstellt.

fazit

Es war stets spannend, da ich so viel Neues lernen durfte. Die Aufgaben waren fordernd und sehr abwechslungsreich. Ich schätze es sehr, dass ich als Praktikant so viel eingebunden wurde und auch etwas Verantwortung tragen durfte. werk_39 rocks!