The morning of 4 November 2020 was unremarkable - at least for those who were stuck in traffic jams on Mülheimer Straße, taking their children to school or already working hard at work. For us, however, this Tuesday was the beginning of something exciting and great. We had completed all the foundation formalities, renovated our room in the TZU and set up our workstations. We - Christian, Miguel and Dennis, the three founders of Bäumer, Afonso, Meissner GmbH, were ready for the first 'official' working day.
One new employee, many new projects
Of course it was exhilarating. We walked into BAMcave, our one-room coding and design headquarters, and it just felt right. We had done a good job of setting up BAMcave - Bruce Wayne would have been proud. We were expectant, ready to make a difference. We had a business plan, visions for our development and, most importantly, we already had customers and partners, with whom such a start-up is many times more pleasant. This was a form of luxury for which we were very grateful - but it also demanded everything of us for the first three months. In retrospect, the workload was a bit too much for us. Besides developing the corporate design and implementing the website for our partner agency SAPERED, we were already working on major software projects. These included, for example, the CUPRA Mentor Program, in which employees could further qualify themselves through digital learning units. Nevertheless, we were sure that we would rock the boat and wanted to seize development opportunities when they came along.
The opportunities came quickly. The first was a human. As an old friend and work colleague of Miguel, Daniel introduced himself and pitched his communication and marketing skills in the Cave. To cut a long story short: he got the job and became BAM's first employee in March. He was able to put his skills to direct use in the development of a comprehensive design language system for the inbound marketing professionals at sixclicks. In addition to linguistic and communicative rules, the DLS mainly depicted design specifications for many media, which Miguel worked out excellently with his design expertise. Almost at the same time, Finaris (IT consultancy for the European financial sector) also relied on BAM designers and entrusted us with the design of a previously unpublished software. As if that wasn't enough, we had the pleasure of two more great projects with VW Nutzfahrzeuge and Vaillant. We were more than grateful that our solutions and strengths were in such demand right from the start.
The highlight in May was the completely digitally designed product training for the Hyundai IONIQ 5. We had developed a virtual training cockpit where salespeople were being prepared for the market launch of the IONIQ 5 through interactive workshops, livestreams, web-based training and gamification. Together with SAPERED, we were able to design the training in a way that not only empowered and developed the participants, but also excited and entertained them.
A lot of reasons to celebrate
Summer slump? On the contrary! The amount of incoming projects was stable and the tasks grew. Four BAMvengers were no longer enough. In July, the rescue came. First, full-stack developer Hendrik joined the team, followed a little later by Jan with his DEV ops skills and also our first female member Marie, who joined the wild action as marketing and communication assistant. Hendrik and Jan directly showed their skills in the preparations of a training event for a well-known car manufacturer, but more about that later.
So much growth and success had to be celebrated! Together with our partners SAPERED and ROY, we met at an ostrich farm in August to work on our team building and to lighten the mood - the alcohol level certainly played a role in this. We were thrilled to discover that there were one or two professional ladder golf pros among us - WOW. Between delicious food, great conversations and a variety of drinks, the summer party was a wonderful BAMily celebration.
The successes did not only take place internally. August also saw the start of the opening campaign for the KABINE restaurant in Essen. 'Underground' in a training mine, we produced photos and videos that beautifully showcased modern German home cooking, with reference to the mining history of the Ruhr region. Our creation turned the footage into delicious content that communicated the KABINE brand and the restaurant's opening on social media and other digital channels.
Finally on the spot again
Corona had hybridised or completely digitised our lives and work, but before the fourth wave, events finally took place on site again. Even though we love all things digital, a physical experience like this was a welcome change. In September, CUPRA relied on our software solution at the Train the Trainer (TTT) event in Munich. At the training event of a well-known car manufacturer, not only our training application, which was specially developed for this event, was in use, but also we ourselves. We set up the servers at the location and provided technical support on site and remotely throughout the entire period so that the training sessions on a new vehicle could take place smoothly. (In cooperation with STAGG & FRIENDS)
Something great also happened in the BAMcave: Mathias and Sven joined the BAMvengers and took the creation to the next level as experienced designers. This was a super upgrade from a technical point of view, especially in view of the fact that we want to constantly develop our learning and training platforms, but also a human benefit for the team.
One year? That calls for a celebration!
We're a bunch of nerds, so it was obvious that we'd all dress up in a super scary costume for Halloween. We never saw scarier ghosts than that day in our Cave. Trigger warning!
Since it was now clear that we are lonely tops in dressing up, BAM's first birthday also took place under our general motto "Nerd and Pop Culture". The creativity of the whole team was on display here, as the Men in Black, Floki, Lagertha, Silent Bob, Moscow, Internet Explorer, Harley Quinn and many other illustrious characters hit the roller warehouse on 6 November. The BAMvengers also presented their emotional side here, because one year of BAMily means: many beautiful memories and a process of growing together.
"We are doing this together. Each cog meshes with the other when you trust each other." - Miguel
The team produced a film for the occasion that would certainly have won an Oscar. But it was more important for us to thank the three founders and otherwise keep our acting skills a secret. Is that Hollywood calling? Hang up! We already have the best jobs.
A bit overwhelmed by the surprise video, Christian, Miguel and Dennis nevertheless found the right words for this very special birthday, and reviewed the first year of BAM in a short speech.
"We now really combine a lot of expertise and are a broad-based team. Thank you to our rookies and experienced for your confidence in a start-up." - Dennis
The anniversary celebration was a welcome occasion to welcome our new team member Marius into the ranks of the BAMvengers, as he had just joined us at the beginning of November to enrich DEV-Island with his expertise. What a celebration! Here's to the next years!
What does Captain Future say?
"Next year won't be less busy than last year. Negotiations are currently underway with promising customers, new partners and, of course, our allies SAPERED and ROY. There are exciting things coming up!" - Christian
We wanted to grow together and face new adventures. We have and that is how it will continue. With further reinforcement of the BAMvengers, we should defeat every final opponent and always reach our goal. Our secret weapons: a team full of competence, the motivation of each individual and the fun of creating extraordinary solutions. We will place a special focus on product development so that we can continue to challenge and exceed the industry standard in the area of training and learning platforms.
"The corona phase has unfortunately shaken a lot of companies. But we've grown like hell and now have 11 people." - Dennis
The BAMily is growing. Four became eleven and they need space. One year later, on our birthday, our BAMcave has grown by one room and two more are already booked, doubling our space again. Because so much expertise needs space to develop in the best possible way. Instead of one supporting person, we have put together a powerful team of excellent personalities and professionals. Eleven BAMvengers with whom we want to make the digital world a better place.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
All that we have achieved in the first year would not be possible without those who go with us to the end - right into the fires of Mordor. We sincerely thank SAPERED and ROY, our "Partners in Crime", without whom we would not have been able to map all the projects. The perfect symbiosis of great skills and people.
We are also very happy to welcome sixclicks and CONTACT as new partners at our side. Last but not least, we would like to thank all our customers whose trust we have been able to gain in this first wild year. You are wonderful.
We look forward to everything that is still to come. With you! Thank you.