VISITING THE FAB LAB BERLIN
Earlier this year we selected the 3 finalist teams for the Telekom Fashion Fusion and Lufthansa FlyingLab.
The teams were given a membership at the unique Fab Lab Berlin where they got the opportunity to develop their first ever prototype. The three teams were team LYRA, team Feel.Flight and team SmartChair, which we have presented before.
Since August, the teams have been working on their prototypes and Telekom Fashion Fusion & Lufthansa FlyingLab provides them with all the tools and materials they need. This makes the development of a first actual prototype become reality.
Last week we went to the Fab Lab for the first time ourselves to see the ongoing processes, to say hi to the teams and to speak to Daniel Heltzel, Managing Director at Fab Lab Berlin and member of the Fashion Fusion & FlyingLab Jury.
The Fab Lab Berlin is a co-creation lab and knowledge hub with a focus on digital fabrication in Berlin, Mitte. Therefor, it’s the perfect spot for young entrepreneurs with big ideas. The special thing about the Fab Lab is the innovative techniques and machinery they use. People can use those technologies to create groundbreaking ideas and forward-thinking concepts.
During our visit, we had the opportunity to get an interview slot with Daniel. At this point we realized once again how important and valuable the jury network of Telekom Fashion Fusion & Lufthansa FlyingLab is. The mentors, the universities and everyone involved work together interdisciplinary and the support system is huge. This is an amazing workflow and helps save a lot of precious time.
Telekom Fashion Fusion: What do you expect from each participant or team from the Telekom Fashion Fusion and Lufthansa FlyingLab Challenge?
Daniel Heltzel: Each team, after the challenge, should be able to proudly have developed a stronger product and to know how to bring it on the market. There should be a business model and a basic plan as how to strategically move on. The best scenario would be if Lufthansa were a client for one of the products we have developed.
Telekom Fashion Fusion: What makes the Fab Lab so special and so ideal as an environment for the participants?
Daniel Heltzel: The space, the technologies and the machineries we have here are very innovative and special. That’s why the surrounding here is perfect to develop ideas and to shape them straight away. Everything you need to test is possible because all the tools you need are just here. The Fab Lab Berlin is still outstanding – there are some places with similar approaches but no place like this yet. What I also want to mention, as we keep forgetting it in the Digital Age, is the real human contact that is given here. In the Fab Lab you still meet real people and actual friendships are getting established. That is really something special to me.
Telekom Fashion Fusion: Which is the most outstanding technology that you have in the lab?
Daniel Heltzel: It’s a huge robot! Right now we can’t really use it yet for the purposes of Fashion Fusion. At the moment we use it for the health industry.
Telekom Fashion Fusion: Which is the most important thing to always consider if you are about to develop your first product?
Daniel Heltzel: One thing that is the most important is to keep the following in mind: “Don’t make it perfect – get it prototyped!” Too many people lose time in making perfect plans until they start prototyping – and find out really early that it won’t be working. Another important thing is to always stay in touch and dialogue with people who work in different disciplines but which have a connection to the one you are working in. You can always learn by just hearing other people’s experiences!
Telekom Fashion Fusion: Any special, secret tip on how to bring a product to the market?
Daniel Heltzel: Well, unfortunately there is no magic formula. What is definitely very important is to make sure that the world needs your product and that it fills a gap or that there is a necessity for it.
And last but not least we were able to take a little look over team Feel.Flight’s shoulders and see some of their sketches. We are really looking forward to the results in January!