Student-Led Grillsquare In Running For Gen-E Competition

Grillsquare team members (© Grillsquare).

Grillsquare, which recently bagged top prize for best stand at the “Collective Mini-Company Sale” competition, is now gearing up for the finals, where it will be one of 15 to compete for the chance to move on to Gen-E, the European competition for mini-enterprises. 

The project got its start through the Jonk Entrepreneuren Luxembourg, which organised the March competition in partnership with the Belle Etoile shopping centre. 

Launched by six students in the 2e class at the Lycée des Arts et Métiers, Grillsquare was born out of their desire to create an easy-to-transport grill. The grill can be disassembled into six pieces to simplify transport. 

As Grillsquare CEO and responsible for communication, Luca Schemberger, explains, “The first idea was to make a grill you could attach to a bike, but this was very difficult to produce and quite expensive… at some point, we had the idea to make a grill that you can disassemble, like a puzzle, which was a lot easier to produce and is quite practical.”

The team—which includes Schemberger and Tim Petersen (website/IT manager), Yannick Sand (creation of grill, deliveries), Flynn Herr (marketing/graphic design), Iana Bertanier (secretary, customer support) and Timothy O’Brien (finances/accounting)—set out to build a prototype of their concept. Working together with D’Schlässerei in Berbourg and with help from their teachers—Claudia Touceira Da Silva and Marc Haas (both in communication), Carole Schmit (history) and Mike Gonçalves (IT)—they made adaptations to the first prototypes to make the end-product more compact, with better airflow, etc. The iterations gave them a chance to learn more about metallurgy, manufacturing and marketing. 

From project to profit

Over roughly the past year, the team has worked on Grillsquare for about two hours per week, but Petersen says lately the team has been working quite hard, also in their spare time. Tasks include cleaning and packaging the grills, preparing them for deliveries, and marketing activities. Schemberger estimates it took three to five months to move from concept to final model. 

To date, the team has made around 150 sales for a total of over €10,000. As Schemberger notes, the team still has to pay investors back (shares they sold initially raised €1,500), but the team is excited the mini-business is currently profitable. 

Next steps

The grill can be purchased with or without a cover, and individual parts can be replaced later if necessary. The team is hoping to eventually create other grilling products as well—tongs, for instance. 

Although Grillsquare has its own logo, the team is now planning on reaching out to larger companies, proposing to them grills made with their own logos which could be used as gift for employees or clients, for instance.

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