The goal of the Grillido team was to get rid of as much fat as possible in sausages, a highly popular food in Germany, and to develop products with healthier ingredients. Michael Ziegler and Manuel Stöffler founded their company in 2015. Today the start-up offers 30 different recipes that contain, in addition to meat, for example spinach, feta cheese or dried tomatoes and that in some cases have only six percent fat.
After initially testing the acceptance of their creations at traditional Christmas markets, Stöffler and Ziegler began selling their products online, still an unusual sales channel for the meat industry. They also turned to health clubs to market Grillido sausages containing approximately 50 percent protein. Furthermore, the start-up counts major supermarket chains among its customers, having found success in a hotly contested market. In 2016 the company generated almost one million Euros in sales and with its ten-member staff is planning to make the move to markets in other European countries.
"A brilliant success story"
The jury of the German Entrepreneur Award was "thrilled by the brilliant success story of the two marketing experts who have used modern product innovations and creative sales methods to bring life back to a traditional industry." Grillido won in the Start-up category. The finalists are nominated by approximately 300 experts from companies, technology centers, government ministries and initiatives. The prize, sponsored by national German media channels Stern and ZDF as well as by Porsche and the Sparkasse savings bank, is regarded as the most prestigious award for company founders in Germany. It was presented last night with the participation of Brigitte Zypries, Germany's Federal Minister for Economics and Energy.
Third nomination in a row for TUM spin-offs
While studying Management and Technology at TUM, Michael Ziegler participated in the training program "Manage & More" at UnternehmerTUM, the Center for Innovation and Business Creation. Grillido received support from the TUM Start-up Advising Team, was advised on its brand-development by the TUM Chair of Industrial Design and today still works together with the TUM Chair of Entrepreneurship.
TUM spin-offs were also nominated for the German Entrepreneur Award in 2016 and 2015: ProGlove developed work gloves with integrated scanners that save factory workers hundreds of hand movements. Customized Drinks offers kits for brewing beer at home. Approximately 70 companies are founded at TUM every year. According to the "Gründungsradar" ("Start-up Radar") of the German business community's innovation agency, no other major German university does more to promote spin-offs.
Grillido and German Entrepreneur Award on television:
German television network ZDF accompanied the work of the finalists in the weeks before the presentation of the German Entrepreneur Award:
ZDF, "#StartMeUp! Gründer. Ideen. Erfolge" (ZDF media library, 29:08)
German Entrepreneur Awards presentation ceremony:
ZDF: "'Wurst 2.0' zum #StartUp 2017 gekürt" (ZDF media library, 1:28:07)