In 1980, at age 44, Volkmar Wywiol was looking for a way to go into business for himself – whatever it took! He wanted to live out his ideas, and his joy in creating, on his own terms. He took the plunge with the purchase of the tiny Sternchemie company, although its business field of “thread tapping aids” was small and completely unknown to him. The company cost DM 300,000 (€ 150,000), which he did not have, and no bank was willing to finance the start-up. But he managed to convince owner Joachim Schliemann to accept instalment payments over the next ten years. As security he made over to him the rights to his life insurance. Thin ice!