Fabian Gutbrod decided to study at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences and he developed his business concept along the way.
Just recently in the TV-show “2 Minutes 2 Million” on Puls 4, the Bavarian-born Fabain Gutbrod became well-known for his business idea. Together with his fellow student and co-partner Thomas Pucher, he developed an electric motor retrofit kit for bicycles of all sizes and types. Gutbrod’s business idea came to him during his CUAS studies, which he qualified for through the university entrance exam, and was more in his own self-interest. “I just wanted to get to the CUAS faster and with less effort.” Thus, the certified automotive electrician with a number of years of experience under his belt decided to build a motor, a regulator and a battery for his bike.
He began his academic career with a Bachelor of Science degree in Systems Engineering and he credits this because in retrospect “the administration personnel of the degree program did a great job and provided me with perfect support.” He began experimenting with electric drives already in his bachelor studies which resulted ultimately in the product “add-e”. He continued his studies by pursuing the Master of Sciences Degree “Electrical Energy and Mobility Systems” which perfectly fit and was actually compulsory to his interests. Nevertheless, it took some time to develop a real business model out of his hobby. Much passion and time flowed into the continuous development of the product. In 2015, a successful crowdfunding campaign was the kickoff for the serial production. Beginning with a flash of inspiration and a one-person business, a private company with currently eight employees has been established.
Of course, his academic studies were helpful to travel this path. Fabian Gutbrod says about his education, “In addition to the engineering aspects, I learned subjects dealing with complex relationships such as legal hurdles, economic aspects and infrastructure problems.” “It is not just about scanning the surface of the material. If you delve into your studies intensively and show self-interest, you will acquire a broad range of knowledge in a very short time,” he recommends current and future students. He also has a tip for start-ups and potential business founders, “You have to be sure that you want to continue working on the project, especially in difficult times. Don’t just try and see what happens. It’s all or nothing!” By the way, in the show “2 Minutes 2 Million”, he was able to convince the jury with his pitch and acquired 450 000 euros investment money.