It was the evening of the 16th of October 2006 when a group of students gathered in lecture hall 3 of the HPI building. Professor Wagner was teaching the first lesson of “entrepreneurship”. We were faced with the fact that throughout the course the students had to write a business plan in groups of two or three students. This should be a document describing how a fictive or real startup should be set up.
During this lecture I was not yet sure whether I really wanted to stay and write this business plan or maybe choose a different lecture. I had no clue with whom to do this, because several friends did this lecture the year before. However, right after the lecture I received an email of Tino Truppel. I barely knew him from his job as a student representative. He asked whether I wanted to attend the lecture and whether I would be interested in forming a group with him.
The next day I answered that I was not yet 100 percent sure, but we should definitively meet. By these two mails, the project was started. Well, not exactly as we had not yet any business idea for the startup. Though we had some vague project ideas that could be interesting, all of them proved to be not the big thing for a startup. After some weeks of inspiration and brainstorming we agreed on the fourth idea: some kind of prototyping tool where you could do some usability testing. Sounds familiar? Yes, in fact, it didn’t change that much since then.
After the semester we had a business plan, and we pitched in front of Eran Davidson, the VC of Hasso Plattner Ventures and co-lecturer. Having spent a lot of time into the project and being quite confident that it was worth a try, we convinced Silvan to join in and the lecture task of writing a business plan became a project that should lead to our very own company.
Today is the 16th of October 2008. It has been two years since that first lecture at HPI. I even found the initial mail of Tino somewhere deep inside my mail client. And at first, I couldn’t believe that it is already two years that we are working on the Prototype Creator. Time has passed so fast and we learned so much in these past two years, incredible.
And today, I would like to thank Tino for this initial mail, since it was the beginning of the best project I’ve been with and it lead to a team that is so much fun to work with. Thank you, Tino!