Unternehmen Deutsch 2019
Students honoured in Australian edition of Enterprise German competition

Organisers and winners of this year's Australian edition of "Enterprise German"
(from left to right) Project coordinator Anna-Lena Schenck, Korowa Anglican Girls' School students Tian Jin, Mitha Mallichetty und Meghna Nagarajan; Deputy Director Eva Baker; Head of Business Development at SAP Melbourne; Korowa Anglican Girls' School German teacher Emily Kent | © Goethe-Institut Australien

School students from around Australia have been honoured in the latest edition of the Goethe-Institut’s Enterprise German competition. The initiative, which sees schools work together with German businesses to develop new products, is now into its third year.

By André Leslie

Three German-language students from Korowa Anglican Girls’ School in Victoria have taken home first prize in the Australian edition of Goethe-Institut’s Enterprise German competition.
Meghna Nagarajan, Mitha Mallichetty and Tian Jin developed a smart fridge idea called Fridgr Kühlschrank which saves consumers time and money by providing personalised recipes, updates on food levels and even lockable sections for occasional treats.
Their winning idea beat out 96 other entries from around Australia, and was accompanied by a unique stop motion video.
“This was a very good break from just sitting down and learning grammar in class, as usual, and it was a lot of fun,” Meghna Nagarajan said, after picking up the $500 winner’s cheque at a prize ceremony at Goethe-Institut’s Sydney headquarters.

Working in partnership

The Fridgr Kühlschrank idea was developed in partnership with German software giant SAP.
Sebastian Kress, Head of Business Development at SAP Melbourne, was the main contact person for the Korowa students.
“My team does pretty much exactly what the students did - they think about innovations we can bring to the market,” Kress explains. “But, we all work in computing and IT and we come from a mindset that is maybe not as open as these students.”
“It was really cool to see a completely fresh approach.”
Panel discussion at 2019 "Enterprise German" awards in Sydney
Savannah Messner of Vermont Secondary College takes part in a panel discussion in Sydney | © Goethe-Institut Australien
Camberwell Girls Grammar School from Victoria came second overall with their Heimat photo competition in conjunction with camera maker Leica. The German International School in Sydney finished third with their Lufthansa Family Class suggestion.
Students from Kenmore State High School in Queensland were also awarded a special design and entertainment prize for an environmentally-friendly packaging idea for donuts. The product was created in conjunction with Nútie, a Sydney-based business which makes gluten-free organic donuts.

Universal praise

At the recent prize ceremony in Sydney, the Enterprise German program was praised by teachers, business leaders and VIPs alike.

Program coordinator Anna-Lena Schenck said its success and growth was due to the hard work of the students and teachers involved, as well as the strong contributions by the partner companies.
“We are grateful to have established partnerships with a large number of companies,” Anna-Lena Schenck said. “That not only provides the students with an insight into the professional world, it also allows them to take their German language skills beyond the classroom and into the real world.”
A donut from Nútie Donuts at the 2019 prize presentation of Enterprise German
Thinking outside the box: How do you transport a special donut without damaging it? | © Goethe-Institut Australien
For the winners from Korowa Anglican Girls School however, the competition hasn’t quite ended yet. Their winning idea now enters an Asia Pacific Enterprise German competition, where they will line up against top students from Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand.

Online voting will determine the winner of the regional competition, with voting set to close at the end of November. But the legacy of this competition may last much longer, according to winner Meghna Nagarajan.
“I always wanted to study abroad or work in Germany,” she said. “This project has given me some insight into working at a German company. I think it would be really interesting.”
“It’s definitely something I am considering more seriously after doing this project.”