STRAHLEMANN Talent Company

STRAHLEMANN Talent Company: Enhancing the interface between School and Business

Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Duisburg and others, GermanyFrankfurt, Darmstadt, Duisburg and others
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

In Germany 340.000 young people are unemployed after having left public school, even so there is a certain number of vacant apprenticeship position and public youth training schemes. What is missing is a qualified and process based interface between school and business. Young people need to get in touch with companies and possible employers before leaving school and vice versa. The Talent Company forms the missing interface in both directions.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The Talent Company solves two problems: It eases the transition from school to business life for young people and meanwhile gives companies the possibility to get advantages in the war for talents. Public schools give excellent schooling, but they do neither have capacities nor resources to prepare young people for their next step in life. This results in a very high unemployment among teenagers, as they do not know what to do and how to get a job. While in the same time companies and business organizations face the challenge of the already present war of talents and skills shortage as they do not find matching employees for their vacant jobs. Talent Company solves the problem as well on an individual/personal base as on a corporate level.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Talent Companies are based in public schools and provide the necessary services and resources for pupils to get to know their talents and find the right apprenticeship or job opportunity. Talent companies and their services are available free of charge for young people in their last year of school on a voluntary base and as much as needed. Coevally a certain number of local business partners can present and engage themselves in the Talent company in order to get in touch with potential future employees in a very early stage. The earlier young people and potential local employers can match, the bigger the success for all parties involved. Last but not least the school itself benefits from more motivated pupils and higher reputation.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Christopher used to be a quite weak student with its graduation on risk. He than participated in several Talent Company courses, such as "talent exploration" and „employment aplication training“. Further on he had a stage in one of the Talent Company Partner Companies. At the end of this stage the company offered Christopher a apprenticeship as long as he would get his graduation. This was an extraordinary motivation for him, so that he engaged himself as much as possible and succeeded. Today Christopher is a happy and proud young man, having nearly finished his apprenticeship. Without the Talent Company in his school Christopher would not have had the necessary support, contact and occassion to get in touch with his recent employer.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The Talent Company project can significantly influence the future of young people in Germany and give a considerably advantage for companies in the war for talents. Starting from Hessen (in central Germany), developing light house projects in all major cities of Germany, and spreading from there in all regions, Talent Company is foreseen to become a relevant and sustainable endorsement in the German school system. For short - and intermediate term it is foreseen to maintain the CSR-based financing model, even so for long term a political reform is targeted, so that the Talent Company's services can become part of the German school system. Strahlemann is very open for any kind of cooperation with corporate - and non-government organizations as well as federal institutions.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Even so there a activities and initiatives developing in several areas regarding the optimization of the teenager's preparation for the business world as well as initiatives to face the challenges coming with the war of talents, there are no exactly similar installations / projects such as Strahlemann's Talent Company - representing the linking interface between schooling and apprenticeship. What makes the difference is the local integration in the schools and the training and collaboration with the schools' teachers. During the project rollout several trainings are held for teachers and school partners showing up different possibilities to make pupils benefit from the Talent Company. On top Strahlemann provides a constantly growing knowhow- and experience database which is accessible via a cloud system for all schools involved.


One of the project's main success factors is the mix of parties involved, all being men of action: Business Partners being social entrepreneurs and engaging themselves for CSR. Schools with directors and teachers being open to new ways of doing and ready to adapt new models. Last but not least the Strahelmann's team, all members having widely spread experience in business and education and being 100% commit to the projects goals. The concept lives from a "top down" support in each area. Whenever a new Talent company is started the top management of each a.m. party is involved and takes full responsibility for the success of the project. This gives a high impact and commitment for everybody involved. The top management members are also personally present for the contract singing, as well as for the ground breaking ceremony and the official opening ceremony.
About the Lead Co-Creation Partners
BRADY GmbH, SETON Division
Visit website
Type of organization (e.g. NGO, association, not-for-profit, foundation, social enterprise)

Non-Profit / Foundation

Total Number of Full-Time Employees


Lead Contact First Name


Lead Contact Last Name






Twitter URL
Facebook URL



Organization Name

BRADY GmbH, SETON Division

Total Number of Full-Time Employees

about 8.000 worldwide; about 250 in Germany

Lead Contact First Name


Lead Contact Last Name



Sales Manager



Twitter URL
Facebook URL
Organization Website
Basic Info
Project Starting Year


Primary European Country where this Project is creating social impact

, HE, Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Duisburg and others

Additional European countries where this Project is creating social impact


Select the category that best fits the type of your project:

New products & services: Entries in this category develop and offer essentials product and services that address needs currently unmet.

What awards or honors has the project received?


Project Summary
Co-Creation Model: Tell us about your main strategic partners and how the partnership truly create value. For each Partner please include its type (business/social/public), its name, a short description, its key motivation to participate in the co-creation project, and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project. Please follow the format displayed below:

Eltako GmbH
Business Partner
Eltako is a leading company in Europe when it comes to development and distribution of switchgear, power supply units, Led tubes, electronic energy meters and wireless technology.
Eltako's key motivation is the investment in a sustainable social project with growing future perspectives.
Eltako is one of the major financial sponsors of the project.

Brady Corporation
Business Partner
Brady Corporation is an international manufacturer and marketer of complete solutions that identify and protect premises, products and people.
Brady's key motivation is the corporate social responsibility and meanwhile the growing challenge of the already present war of talents.
Brady is the main sponsor and therewith fully responsible for the Talent Company in Darmstadt.

JÄGER DIREKT Jäger Fischer GmbH & Co. KG
leading vision partner
is the company of the founder of Strahlemann, the "place of birth" of the Strahlemann vision
JÄGER DIREKT is a trader and producer of electronic part with 200 employees in Germany, Austria and Holland

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact. Please specify using qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. # of indirect and direct beneficiaries); help us understand how this solution truly makes a difference.

For the time being there are 7 Talent Companies installed mainly in the region of Hessen. Every Talent Company provides capacity for approx. 500 pupils to get prepared for the transition from school to business. Each Talent Company has 8-12 Business Partners. The project involves students, their parents, business partners and local media.
In 2013 3.500 pupils could benefit from the Talent Companies' offers. More than 75% of those who participated could take a next step towards further schooling, apprenticeship or business. This could be realizes thanks to 70 business partners involved. In 2014 there will be 11 Talent Companies all over Germany reaching 5.000 teenagers. In 2015 it will grow to 20 Talent Companies reaching about 10.000 and in 2020 about 50.000 young people can be supported with 100 Talent Companies. The number of business partners and sponsors will grow accordingly.

Funding: How is your project financial supported? [select all that apply]

Individuals, Foundations, Businesses, Regional government.

Sustainability Plan: Has your project already reached financial sustainability? If not, what is this solutio’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Do the main partners have enough stake to sustain the solution? If this project requires limited budget, how will other resources be secured to maintain or grow this work?

The Talent Company idea developed from local to regional to national. It grew out of a regional sponsorship a few years ago. For the time being their are 5.5 people employed to work mainly for the project. All employees are financed by sponsoring.
The volume of the funds raised could be increased by 100% during the last year. The financing for the planned steps in 2014 are secured.
For the planned rollout with 10 Talent Companies in 2015 and 100 till 2020 the necessary funds have not been raised yet. Therefore a three-column-model has been developed: First there is the "basic investment" for installation and opening with 50.000 €, second there are the operating costs on an annual basis payed by local business partners (1.000 € each). And last but not least the overhead costs, which are covered by CSR-partners or partner NGOs.

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the Partners to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

It happened that the president of Strahlemann foundation FJ Fischer accidentally met and talked with one of the teachers of the school in his home town, when he explained to him, that more than 25 pupils in his class would finish school that year without having any idea of what comes after. They had no idea what to do, nor a apprenticeship contact. Some of them probably not even reaching the minimum qualification for their school leaving certificate. In the same time FJ Fischer being an entrepreneur himself knew about the suboptimal preparation of young people for the business world and therewith the challenge of finding new employees. Here the TC idea was born: There has to be a place in school where business partners and pupils meet, get to know and learn from each other, supported and guided from the teachers - all facilitated by Strahlemann.

About the Co-Creation
Barriers: What main barriers may you have encountered to co-create during the creation and implementation of the project and how did you try to overcome them?

The biggest challenge was the financing of the very first Talent Company. All involved parties had to be convinced that the project guarantees a WIN-WIN-WIN result for the young people, the school and the business partners. As there was no example people had to be fascinated from the idea and expectations and in the same time being ready to invest.
Thanks to the fact that the Strahlemann foundation in these days was already well established, having a business network of CSR-minded members, and presenting a solid growth and reliable organization, the first partners were won in quite a short time. Even so financing is even in the recent stage of the project a continuous bottleneck, the existing very positive examples are very much paying off and more and more business partners see the big benefits the projects offer and therefore are willing to support and invest.

Governance: What is the type of the relationship between the partners? (e.g. joint venture, contractual relationship, joint project...)

All partners are collaborating based on a contractual relationship. It starts with a cooperation commitment. In the second step the school and/or the local business partner have to arrange for the financing of the first and second project phase. And in the moment that the financing is ensured, Strahlemann starts with the project realization and role out. All three parties: School, business partner (sometimes up to 12 in total) and Strahlemann are equally responsible for the project's success.

Interaction model: How is the project a transformative partnership? How is the interaction transforming the partnering organizations and their employees/ leadership in terms of creating a new vision, new management practices, new skills and new organizational structures? Please provide for concrete examples

Thanks to the best possible selection of partners, considering financial and operational resources and local requirements, for the time being the partnerships growing out of the collaboration for the Talent Company are very open, dynamic and generating additional value. As the growth is fast and accompanied by an ongoing evolution, all partners are developing and merging with each next step. A particular transformation is realized in the schools where the involved teachers are more focussing on the requirements of business life. On top it can be realized, that in the schools several collateral developments get more dynamic as the school itself gets more attention on a local political and social level, thanks to the exclusivity they get due to the talent company installation. It happened that a longtime required remedial action (not project related) was granted, right after the opening.

How did you find out about this competition?

Recommendation by Mrs. Laura Haverkamp