On the evening of Thursday, September 10, 2015, FS alumnus Sebastian Merkhoffer (Business IT, Class of 2012) talked about his career to date and his experiences as organiser of the second “Start Up Now – FS Entrepreneurs in the Spotlight” event. Around 40 students and alumni enjoyed Merkhoffer’s description of his adventures as founder of FITTEA, an e-commerce startup that specialises in selling “functional teas”.
Sebastian Merkhoffer kicked off his presentation with an overview of the market for functional teas. As a business founder, his first challenge was to rid himself of “limiting preconceptions” by shifting his perspective and treating his product not just as a drink, but as a dietary supplement – which is why FITTEA highlights the effect of each tea, rather than the taste. His approach appears to be valid, because FITTEA is already making more than 100 deliveries a day.
In short, Sebastian Merkhoffer has become his own boss; together with the nine members of his team, he has been running FITTEA for over a year. During the talk, he gave his audience of interested students and alumni – some of whom have already started or are thinking of starting their own businesses – a number of helpful tips. He noted how important it is to have a dependable mentor by your side and how, if your startup is to succeed, you need more than just a good idea – you also need a good network and supportive investors.
The presentation was followed by a lively debate; speaker and audience discussed ideas and made new contacts as they enjoyed a light snack.