Campus & Student Life
CBS International Business School, 26 June 2020

A portrait of the CBS founders: Maarten Peschers and Elias Wittschier from Heureka


With their business idea "Heureka", the founders Maarten Peschers and Elias Wittschier promise "Simple.Better.Learning". The two bachelor students of the "General Management" study programme are in the initial phase of their start-up and would like to launch their platform in the coming months: "Heureka" is intended to create a space for students to receive round-the-clock support from fellow students in preparing for exams. "We know the problems of a student in the examination phase from our own experience. We want to solve them with "Heureka"," is how Maarten Peschers describes the intention behind the start-up. Among other things, we talked to both founders about the challenges in the "seed phase".

CBS: What did you particularly like about studying at the CBS?

Maarten Peschers: We especially liked the small courses and the close contact with the lecturers. If you are looking for literature recommendations or simply a professional assessment, you will find a great deal of help at the CBS.

CBS: How did you come into contact with the subject of "founding" in your studies?

Elias Wittschier:  We have come into contact with the topic frequently, especially through fellow students who are founders themselves or who want to start a company. After our decision was made, the exchange with like-minded people encouraged us to put our project into practice.

CBS: Were there lecturers or fellow students at the CBS with whom you were able to exchange information about "company start-ups"?

Maarten Peschers: We have brought CBS lecturers on board from day 1, especially Mr. Thorsten Hallmann, to obtain constructive feedback on our project. In addition to the feedback, new ideas have developed from our discussions which we have incorporated into our business idea.

Elias Wittschier: I would argue that without this commitment we wouldn't be where we are today. We are very grateful for the voluntary support from our lecturers and fellow students, sometimes until late in the evening.

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CBS: What is special about your business idea?

Elias Wittschier: The core of a Heureka platform consists of a central and bundled offer of learning materials for exam preparation. With our platform, a university-related social learning network is created where students can obtain and offer knowledge and help in exam preparation.

CBS: What are the biggest challenges on the way to the foundation?

Maarten Peschers: It is a great challenge to put your own ideas and visions into practice. You can imagine a lot, but it is much more difficult to find the right tools to put these ideas into practice.

CBS: What have been your greatest successes so far and what have you learned from them?

Elias Wittschier: A personal milestone for us was our first prototype, which also went live. In addition, we are now also happy about the NRW start-up grant, for which we had applied. Of course, there were many challenges and setbacks, but looking back, we were able to draw more positive than negative conclusions from them.

CBS: How are you currently dealing with the conditions imposed by the corona crisis?

Elias Wittschier: Because we work digitally anyway, the corona crisis was not a big limitation for us. The corona crisis has once again made it clear to us how important progressive ideas are in digital education.

CBS: What are your plans for the next five years?

Maarten Peschers: We plan to roll out our first version on the German market step by step starting next year.

CBS: What would you advise CBS students who are thinking of founding their own company?

Maarten Peschers: Just do it!

CBS: Thank you very much for the interview!

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The association hochschulgründernetz cologne (hgnc) at CBS offers further information on founding as well as free consulting and meeting for students and employees. Learn more here!

CBS International Business School

CBS International Business School is a state-recognised private university of applied sciences for business. We offer accredited Bachelor's, Master's and MBA degree programmes in German and English on a full-time or part-time basis. Throughout Germany, the university is represented at three locations in Cologne, Mainz, and Potsdam.

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