Brining analogue surfaces into the net is the declared goal of a startup from Dorsten. The founders presented their concept at FIBO and prevailed against nine competitors in the ideas contest. The winners will get a stand at FIBO 2020 and, with their Getbuff app, qualified for the Axa Kitchen Pitch final in Düsseldorf on 12 April.
Grandma Doris got it quick. The feisty pensioner from the Ruhr area explains Getbaff to the rest of the world. “This app combines surfaces with videos”, she says confidently into the camera while demonstrating how she makes a newspaper picture come to life with her smartphone. Her message was the same the experts received. “The concept was just as convincing as the ease of use”, says jury member Dirk Lui. Together with three colleagues at FIBO in Cologne, he crowned the team from Dorsten the winners in the competition for the best business idea. “It’s a great development that can be used not only in the fitness segment but in all industries. The entire package is what thrilled us”, says Lui, who is responsible for innovations at the Axa insurance group. He initiated the search for the Super Startup in cooperation with the FIBO project team. “This was a lot of fun for us, too. We would like to further intensify our new business concept in future because we need these ideas”, says FIBO B2B project manager Anke Brendt.
In addition to a spot in the final kitchen battle for the best business model in Düsseldorf on 12 April, the winners will get a stand in the Newcomer Pavilion at FIBO 2020. “We’re incredibly pleased by this, because it’s a huge opportunity for us. We’d love to digitalise the whole trade show with Getbaff next year”, says founder Hendrik Gottschalk. He can easily imagine the system in fitness studios, too. “Then I’ll be able to look at the exercise instructions right on the device, without always having to ask a trainer.” The 29-year-old developed the app together with two partners. They had met on social media and, from the start, pursued one goal: found something – they just didn’t know what yet.
The idea that caught fire ultimately came from programmer Jan Owiesniak. “He showed us a similar app, and we all were gobsmacked. That’s how the name for our product came about”, remembers Hendrik Gottschalk, teaching us that the German word baff means gobsmacked. As a primary school teacher, he actually used to want to develop educational programs that make learning fun. The app might just be the key to that, as well. “Because you can use it to put videos as backgrounds to all surfaces, making them come alive. Even digital scavenger hunts like Pokemon go are possible. Users can, for example, gather information, and, when they have it all, get points or even win something”, says Michael Baßler. The 30-year-old has experience founding companies. Three years ago, he quit his job as a fund manager at a bank. He wanted to bring to market his idea of sending your own photos as postcards. While searching for a new project, he happened across a comment by Hendrik Gottschalk and wrote to him.
Together, they risked everything. Hendrik said goodbye to blackboard and chalk in order to find investors and convince them of the virtualised reality. “Everybody said I was crazy, except for Grandma Doris – she believes in us”, says the man from Dorsten. He knows they still have a long way to go, but all eyes in the team are on the goal. “We want to grow and digitalise the analogue world in an entirely straightforward way. No one wants to constantly walk around with a VR headset, but everyone almost always brings their smartphones”, says Michael Baßler. He dreams of adding nutrition advice to packaging backgrounds, always being able to retrieve the latest stock prices in the business section of the daily newspaper and getting billboards moving. The technology behind it isn’t new, but mobile processors and networks have only now reached the necessary capacity to take advantage of the content.
Through the display, the gaze moves from the menu at your favourite Italian restaurant right into the kitchen, where it is shown what really lands on the plate when a Pizza Vongole is ordered. The team produced the corresponding video with Michael and Matthias Jener’s agency. “We’re convinced that we will be able to digitalise all surfaces in the long term. We learn something new every day, which means the product is constantly evolving”, says Hendrik Gottschalk. He hasn’t regretted his decision for even a second, and he’s sure the app will be a success. After all, not just any child but any grandma can use it. She reads the newspaper with Getbaff and likes to sit in front of the camera for advertising purposes. “If you still haven’t understood, I feel sorry for you. I’m 79, and I got it”, her message goes. And maybe Grandpa Alfons will explain the next innovation.