In this episode of fIVE, we talk with Carolin Kunert. Carolin, started her company Knister Grill in 2017 while studying Industrial Design at HM – Munich University of Applied Sciences and Syddansk University in Denmark. The sustainable brand produces a compact and transportable barbecue locally in Germany. With her company, Carolin has won prices such as the RedDot and ISPO Award and was added to the “Forbes 30 under 30 Europe” list in the category “Retail and Ecommerce” in 2020. In the same year, Knister Grill opened its first showroom and shop in Munich. Currently, the company consists of a team of eight employees, who support Carolin with her vision to create more awareness for responsible and sustainable production and consumer behavior. The focus on sustainability is reflected in short transportation routes, durability of the products, and dedication to social responsibility. In this podcast episode, Carolin talks about how to start a company with no background knowledge, how to deal with issues founders are facing, and her own vision for Knister Grill.
fIVE is your monthly university podcast on female entrepreneurship offered by SCE and HM - Munich University of Applied Sciences. Learn more about our new podcast format and enjoy the episode here or on Spotify, Apple podcast or your favorite podcast app.
Carolin Kunert is the CEO and founder of Knister Grill, a transportable and sustainable barbecue produced in Germany. Carolin had the idea for Knister Grill during her studies at Munich University of Applied Sciences and launched her product in 2017 after a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Having no one in her immediate circle of friends or family who has started their own company, Carolin had to figure out how to found a business by herself. With the support from mentors she met during networking events and through the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship, Carolin managed to navigate her company through various challenges she encountered.
She is therefore of the opinion that resilience is key, as a lot of strength is required to tackle the problems that will arise when founding a company. Additionally, Carolin urges students to start as early as possible, even during their studies, since their fixed costs are usually still quite low at that time and entrepreneurship centers such as the SCE offer great support. In Carolin’s words:
“If you generate some work experience, you still have no experience in founding a company. So simply start as early as possible. You really cannot lose anything.”