The Challenge Kick-Off

On October 27th 2022, the Challenge kicked off with a big kick-off event. Students from Cologne's four largest universities had the opportunity to learn about the Challenge's focus areas in exciting presentations and to get to know the partner companies. At the same time, the Kick-Off provided the perfect setting for networking, and the first teams were formed over a cool Kölsch beer.

Mentoring and Coaching

When developing their ideas, the students were not left alone. With On as an expert in the sporting goods industry and a driver of innovation, the students had a strong partner guiding them through the challenge. Besides test samples and other resources, the students also gained valuable insights into the industry and help from On's Mentors.

In preparation for the final on March 31st, 2023, the students received an exclusive pitch training with Ruth Cremer, who is also responsible for coaching the founders on "Die Höhle der Löwen. (the German “Shark Tank”) The teams were thus optimally prepared for their big pitch and were able to use the training for constructive feedback and improvements.

The jury

The Jury included Olivier Bernhard (Co-founder of On), 4 leading employees in design, sustainability and engineering and a representative of a big Swiss venture capital company. The combined expertise listened very close to all 9 pitches.

The final

Now the jury was faced with the difficult decision of choosing their top 3. All teams prepared an awesome pitch, and the tension was all the higher to see who would finally emerge as the winner.

The third place goes to team “ONpoint”. Have you ever stopped your run because of annoying traffic lights, or bicycle tracks? This team wants to support city-runners and enable them to have a smooth run, even in cities. They achieve this by collecting consumer data and creating the perfect individual track for every runner. To create long-term change, they also want to cooperate with urban planning offices.

On the second place is team “LEDS Go”. According to the WHO health statistics, 83,5 % of children do not meet the activity recommendations of 60 minutes a day. So how to support and encourage them? Björn and Julian found a possible solution: Gamification! They created a prototype of a smart casing that can be attached to children’s shoes of several sizes. It has an inbuilt screen that shows different animations depending on how much the child moves. Through a Bluetooth connection, it can be controlled via the LED’s Go! App. By making it customizable and having a lot of different downloadable content (e.g. licensed skins and animations) they make sure that the kids will not get tired of it.

And the Winner is...

“Sizeless”. Kids feet grow, but their shoes stay the same size. Parents buy their children up to 3 new pairs of shoes each year. This is not only a huge waste of money, resources and time, it also entices parents to buy their children wrong fitting shoes, a main cause of food misdevelopment. Alexander, Julian and Leander developed a smart concept of a shoe that can grow in 3 sizes. They convinced the jury with a prototype, which they revealed in the final pitch.

The winning teams will continue to be supported in their start-up projects by the RFH and the network partners.

We thank and congratulate all teams and are already very excited about the participants of the next Challengin May 2023!

„It’s always great to see young, fresh minds coming together to propose innovative solutions to real-life problems. Kudos to all the participants of this edition and a special congratulation to Team Sizeless“

Renaud Allaire, Engineering Innovation Lead at On
1. Place Team Sizeless
1. Place Team Sizeless
2.Place Team LEDS GO
2. Place Team LEDS GO
3. Place Team ONpoint
3. Place Team ONpoint
project cologne and On

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