Dr Marko Jakob: It hasn’t taken us much effort to adjust, because we were already making good use of the kinds of tools that are really hot right now, such as Zoom and Skype, even before the crisis. For example, I am located in Berlin, Software Development is based in Magdeburg and the Production team works in Leipzig. However, we have had to introduce a shift system within Production and forego our weekly in-person team meetings.
TinkerToys has now produced face shields for the workers’ welfare association AWO Potsdam as well. Were you, as an innovative startup, approached by German Health Minister Jens Spahn to help out?
M. J.: (laughs). No, life moves in mysterious ways. A former school friend of mine who now works with the AWO asked me one evening on the phone whether we might be able to use our 3D printers to print masks to protect caregivers in nursing homes. I was sceptical at first, but our production manager Jonas Willen was actually able to use our design program to create a shield that passed all of the tests. It’s really cool that we were able to help relatively quickly.
Is this going to be another business line for you now? After all, the government wants increased domestic production of "systemically relevant" products!
M. J.: No, there are more competent companies in this space. We have simply been able to make a small contribution to combating the crisis.