How to effectively build, lead and scale a successful organization

From 18 to 20 of November 2016 20 curious and highly motivated students from various classes made their way to the beautiful Tegernsee for the elective course “Organizational Success” organized by two of the Stylight founders.

Stylight success story

Stylight is a marketplace for fashion, which evolved out of a project from the CDTM course Managing Product Development and was then founded eight years ago by four CDTM students. In 2016, the founders of Stylight successfully sold their company to ProSiebenSat1. On their way to this success they gained valuable experiences with a lot of ups and downs. Because of the great support they received from CDTM, they want to share their knowledge with the new CDTM generation.  Therefore, the co-founders Max-Josef Meier and Anselm Bauer designed a course, to convey their experiences to a younger generation.

Why, What, for Whom and How

To learn how to effectively build, lead and scale a successful organization we drove out of the city to the beautiful Tegernsee for a weekend. Max and Anselm provided us with frameworks they used for Stylight and supplemented them with real life experiences. We started identifying problems we want to solve, defining our target group and which value proposition we want to offer them. One of the most important key takeaways was not to define what to do – but why we do it. Thus we thought about the core purpose and how to best execute and measure it. Because the people are most valuable for a company’s success, we learned the importance of how to motivate and lead them in the right way. All in all, we gained interesting insights and tools into organizational success.

Apply to the real world

After these three days we are excited to apply the tools to our own business ideas within the next three weeks. Altogether there are seven start-up ideas, which are in different stages:

Leanquo, which want to make digital transformation happen.

Blik bringing total transparency to logistics.

Wholy makes people enjoy life by simplifying healthy eating

Telos guide people in defining and achieving their goals.

Pype helps to solve the global challenge of water supply by making heat exchange processes more efficient and environment-friendly.

Perspective wants to establish a sense of intra- and transnational empathy and mutual understanding in society.

With the start-up ideas each team had three weeks to apply the frameworks and create a pitch deck for a final presentation.

Deliverables and Pitch in front of experts

Rainer Maerkle, partner at Holtzbrinck Ventures and Philipp Rösch-Schlander, CEO & founder of eGYM as well as Anselm and Max attended our pitches.  All teams received valuable feedback from these experts, which will help them for the further development of their start-up ideas.

All in all this course gave a great overview how to start a company. CDTM and especially the participants could not be more thankful for such great input.

by Minh-Anh Le and Susanne Klausing