Sommersemester 2021 / Student Start-up
During the Garage course, our interdisciplinary team composed of six motivated students from three Viennese universities: WU, TU and BOKU joined forces to work on a start-up idea. Not only did we enjoy working with colleagues with different backgrounds, but also our project certainly benefited from the different perspectives.
Any promising start-up or new product aims to solve a problem. Rumpel&Pilzchen has identified numerous problems. Firstly, there are 46 endangered mushroom species in Austria. Secondly, the environment calls for more sustainable eating habits. The consumption of meat has to be reduced in the near future and more nutritious meat substitutes are needed. Thirdly, there is a shortage of delicious mushrooms on the market. Also, some mushroom species are available only seasonally. Rumpel&Pilzchen aims to solve these issues with our value proposition.
BOKU colleagues entered the semester with the start-up idea of Rumpel&Pilzchen, which has the aim of cultivating wild mushrooms, that were previously not cultivated in Austria at heart. At that point they had already started some research. In our Garage course we have used the lean start-up method to develop this initial idea further. While the research in the laboratory continued, we carried out hypothesis tests to review the viability, feasibility and desirability of Rumpel&Pilzchen. We have conducted qualitative interviews with restaurants, a mushroom farm and an online survey for B2C market. In addition, we have consulted external experts to get feedback on our business model and gain insights on financing. All in all, we have undertaken five rounds of hypothesis testings, to see whether our assumptions are realizable.
As a result, we have come up with a feasible business model. We have identified a market niche and our target customer. There is lack of high-quality mushrooms on the market. In addition, there are only a few mushroom kinds available all year long. Restaurants wish that there were more flavours available. Rumpel&Pilzchen is going to address this market niche by offering delicious high-quality mushrooms to the fine dining industry all year long. We have already harvested two mushroom species and both were received very well in our product tasting. Lastly, we are addressing the trend of more sustainable food consumption.
“We want to take part in the change towards a more sustainable world by growing high quality mushrooms all year long.” Mission of Rumpel&Pilzchen