Start-ups have become very important over the last few decades and many of the now multi-billion dollar companies have started as a small, garage based business. In the sixth semester, the students take part in the course “innovation management” to learn more about the whole process of innovation. Their newly learned skills are then put to good use in the form of a project. Learning new things is pretty neat, however, seeing them used in a practical way by start-ups is even better. This is why this semesters’ course went on a field trip to Bosch Start-up GmbH, a subsidiary of Bosch that focuses on supporting and enabling new start-ups to be creative and explore new ideas and innovations.
Bosch Home is located in the industrial district of Ludwigsburg. Nestled in-between other buildings, the company houses several start-ups. The students were greeted by CEO Peter Guse and his team. While they were preparing the conference room for the students, refreshments made waiting and acclimating a lot easier.
After entering the conference room the students were tasked to brain storm on what Bosch means to them. The students came up with all sorts of different meanings and associations. Peter Guse collected them on a whiteboard and afterwards discussed them with the group. Next up, the students were tasked with thinking about different levels and categories of innovation. This gave the students an insight on the different categories of innovation as some of these were completely new to them.
The brain storming was successful and fired up all available brain cells. Now was the perfect time to get practical. Two of Peter Guse’s colleagues emptied a big container full of lego bricks onto the table. It was time for the next task. In smaller groups the students were tasked with envisioning the workplace of the future and to better visualize, they were to build that workplace with the Lego pieces. This is a method that the students learned about during the lecture. The results were pretty entertaining and also very insightful.
To conclude the conference room session the students learned about the premise behind Bosch Home and its “grow” concept. They were also introduced to a few start-ups that currently reside in the building. Some of the Projects currently worked on include app solutions like myScotty which helps the user to find a suitable vehicle for their needs. Before departing Peter Guse gave a tour around the offices and the new workspace that’s currently under construction. As a parting gift, the students received a bag full of goodies to take home with. It was an eventful day for the group and thanks to the trip they were able to acquire new knowledge and techniques they used for their own projects.