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Founder of the Month August: RESTUBE GmbH

RESTUBE GmbH designs, produces and operates safety systems that are specifically designed for all kinds of aquatic sports. The water rescue tools from RESTUBE work with an inflatable floating unit – RESTUBE can be referred to as the inflatable backup for water sports enthusiasts. When in a critical situation, the floating unit is inflated using a gas cartridge and the user is thus saved from drowning. We interviewed the team on the idea behind RESTUBE, its founding period, and future prospects.

 

Das Team von RESTUBE beim ISPO AWARD 2014. RESTUBE wurde als

The RESTUBE team at the ISPO AWARD 2014. RESTUBE was awarded the “GOLD WINNER” prize.

What does your company stand for?

RESTUBE is all about improved safety for everyone who is active in and around water.

Source: 4-Seasons.TV Fernsehgesellschaft bR

Where and how did you get this brilliant idea?

A few years ago, I almost drowned while kite surfing. The appropriate backup on the water simply lacked in certain situations, this is how the idea and RESTUBE was born. Currently, RESTUBE aims at improving safety when surfing, swimming, and paddling, or on ships. In addition, we also develop a professional version for lifeguards. In fact, a 60 year old man was saved by a lifeguard in Switzerland using a RESTUBE prototype about one week ago. It is simply nice to see that an idea has actually come to life. And even saves lives.

How did your founding team come together?

Marius Kunkis and I knew each other through our Mechanical Engineering studies at the KIT.

What would you say are the benefits of being your own boss?

The motivation is significantly higher when working and making decisions independently, even when one has to work more than 40 hours a week. Joint responsibility in an own team in implementing own ideas and creating own structures is an exciting experience.

What do you think are the properties that one should have to be a successful entrepreneur?

Above all, one should be clear on the broad-scale objectives and be open for constant new challenges and adaptation of the short-term objectives. If one is too hesitant and afraid of change, he/she can never be prosperous as an entrepreneur. A successful entrepreneur should be able to assess the problem in the shortest time possible and ideally, simply implement the solutions pragmatically. Just do it.

What would you term as the hurdles on the way to a successful business? Where did you get support?

In the early stages, every imaginable hurdle in every area can shake up the young company and cause it to fail. Starting with delivery problems, personnel problems, stress in the social context, financial constraints, etc. Since there is no one who can be gifted in all areas, one needs the right team. Because most start-up teams are usually young, it is important to consult more experienced companies with issues that are beyond one’s limits. You will then discover that even for the most experienced of persons, not everything is 100% apparent. You should internalize what you learn and then find your way. No one will be able to tell you how it is done correctly. But the rough estimates and experiences of others greatly help you to level your own horizons.

How did you deal with the large workloads during start-up?

The start-up phase and the high workloads did not just end after a few months. Most companies talk of four to seven years before they are somehow “stable”. If you are an entrepreneur, you will find your specific way to deal with it. I either listen to music or go jogging. Such a way will always call for certain sacrifices on other points, this should be clear. Anyone looking for a 9-to-5 job with as many holidays as possible is much better off looking for a job in an existing company. You should prepare for lots of decision making authority, risk, and freedom in your own company as opposed to job safety, predefined conditions and your own company car as an employee.

Do you have any advice for other young entrepreneurs?

If you have your own idea and the drive to make something out of it–whether it is a business idea or as a volunteer project – just do it! Everything else will follow after that. I can only add that one should hereby not be too glued on “this one plan”. Too much detailed planning slows you down extremely and things, which one had initially not thought of–right at the beginning, will come in between. If one is not flexible and does not react fast enough, one will end up frustrated and will not get to where he/she would have hoped.

Quick overview:

  • Founders: Christopher Fuhrhop & Marius Kunkis
  • Founded in: 2012
  • Homepage: www.restube.eu
  • Contact: info@restube.eu
  • Fields: Leisure & Tourism, Culture & Sport

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