Press Releases

Student-company RAUTECK from Germany wins top awards with sustainable business venture

Berlin, Germany, 31 July 2015

RAUTECK student-company from Germany crowned as winner of the JA Europe Company of the Year Competition (COYC) after impressing the judges with their strong business concept.

The team sought to develop new sustainable products with recycled automotive parts, by turning buckle tongues into bottle openers (FördeÖffner) and seat belts into fashionable bags (FördeTaschen), marketing them as “products of great authenticity”. They also won the FedEx Access Award.

On 28 – 31 July, over 200 COYC students gathered in Berlin, Germany to celebrate the top mini-companies from across Europe. 37 student-teams from 36 countries competed as part of JA Europe’s flagship Company Programme, which gives them an opportunity to set up and run a real business with the support of business mentors.

RAUTECK team-member, Hannah Dietrich said: “Winning the JA Europe Company of the Year Competition is overwhelming, it’s amazing! We are so proud to have won this award after working so hard – thank you to all our supporters. The JA Company Programme meant so much to us. We not only grew as a team, but evolved into such a great company. We hope for a bright future!”

In the 2014-2015 school-year more than 275,000 students participated in the JA Europe Company Programme. Learning to run a company from top to bottom, these students created and marketed real products and services. The success of the programme is largely due to the wide support from business volunteers, who act as mentors, offering expert advice to the students. Partnering education and business is essential to closing the gap between classroom theory and real-world business.

“The JA company program takes students out of the classroom into the real economic world. Providing an entrepreneurial experience to the students it delivers the best learning effect and prepares for a future career. For what distinguishes entrepreneurs from people who have an idea? Entrepreneurs go out there and do it. And the entrepreneurial spirit to do so, is something that the jury wanted to see. And hosting it in Berlin in the 25th year after the German re-unification is a sign for the freedom that we have in Europe today, the freedom to follow your dreams and try again every single day.” - Prof. Dr. Michael Hüther, Chair Judge COYC 2015, Director of the Cologne Institute for Economic Research and Chair of JA Germany, the event host.

Since its start, the JA Europe Company Programme has worked to equip over 3.5 million students across Europe with the right skills to start-up or become gainfully employed. Research has shown that alumni of the Company Programme are more likely to start their own business and have a higher average income than their counterparts.

Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA Europe, shared: “We are proud to see secondary students across Europe taking part in our flagship Company Programme. Through this initiative students are able to gain key insights into the world of entrepreneurship. This is one of the best experiences a young person can have in order to be successful in today’s global economy.”



Main jury members

  • Nadia VassilevaManaging Director for Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia, Manpower
  • Dr. Sándor NémethPartner, Szecskay Attorneys at Law, Hungary
  • Andreas PapadopoulosHead of Group Strategic Development, Hellenic Bank, Founding Member and Chairman of JA Cyprus
  • Vladas Lašas, Co-Owner Elinta UAB, Lithuania
  • Prof. Dr. Michael HütherDirector, Cologne Institute for Economic Research (Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Koeln), Germany
  • Helena HorovčákováExecutive Director & Country Manager, S&T Slovakia
  • Amadeo Petitbò JuanBoard Member, Fundación Rafael del Pino, Spain
  • Ruedi NoserCEO, Noser Management AG, Switzerland
  • Dr. Martin Deckert, COO, UBS Germany
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stephan Reimelt, President & CEO, GE Europe ,CEO, GE Germany

JA Europe Company of the Year 2015 Awards

First Place

RAUTECK, Germany

Second Place

Simple+, Latvia

Third Place

Graffiti, Israel

Student-company descriptions, HERE.

Signature Awards

'AT&T Excellence in IT Award' recognises the student-company that demonstrates the best innovation-driven concept, with strong business potential and sustainability, as well as viability and scalability.

Winner: Orange, Malta


‘Citi Remarkable Customer Service Award funded by the Citi Foundation’ recognises student enterprises that excel at creating value for customers, listening to customers and walking in their shoes to understand their world, and being able to anticipate and serve customers’ changing needs and work to achieve their satisfaction.

Winner: Orenda, United Kingdom


‘FedEx Access Award’ is given to a JA student company which has the most comprehensive understanding of global trade and related concepts. The students must show they grasp the global nature of today’s business world.

Winner: RAUTECK, Germany


‘MetLife LifeChanger Award’ recognises student companies that best embrace the concepts of social impact, financial performance and innovation in their business strategy while remaining a realistic plan in today’s marketplace.

Winner: Guide-a-key, Ireland



About JA Europe

JA Europe ( is Europe’s largest provider of education programmes for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy, reaching 3.2 million students in 39 countries in 2014. It was founded in 2001 when Young Enterprise Europe and Junior Achievement International Europe merged. JA works with the education and business communities as well as governments to provide young people from primary school to university with experiences that build the skills and competences they will need to succeed in a global economy. JA’s activities have been endorsed as best practice by the European Commission. JA Europe is the European Regional Operating Centre for JA Worldwide®.

For more information, please contact:

Marie Hargitt
JA Europe Communications
+32 2 893 44 36

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