MCI graduate Andreas Müllner and his team redefine living in small spaces: less space for more freedom
Living Concept Inside. ©Vagabundo Living GmbH
Start-up founder and MCI graduate Andreas Müllner. ©Vagabundo Living GmbH
Team Vagabundo Living GmbH. ©Vagabundo Living GmbH
Living Concept Outside. ©Vagabundo Living GmbH
Andreas Müllner completed his Master's degree in International Business & Management at the MCI and founded the start-up Vagabundo Living GmbH in 2020 together with his friends Luca Knipp (architect) and Michael Leitner (industrial engineer). The vision of the young team is to enable sustainable and affordable living space without sacrificing comfort. With the idea of building tiny houses, they have managed to combine sustainable living with innovative interior design. The tiny houses realize maximum living space on two floors with a minimal ecological footprint, high mobility, and a modern design with an open floor plan. While doing so, the focus remains on the benefits for people, nature, and society. The unique concept of Vagabundo not only redefines living, but also takes us on a journey of change in which rigid structures are broken down. At the end of the journey is a society that integrates needs such as flexibility and independence with values of sustainability and community.
Desiree Wieser from the MCI Entrepreneurship & Start-up Team interviewed Andreas Müllner about the start-up:
How did the idea for the tiny houses come about?
After several years of professional experience in various companies and a critical examination of our life plan, we were looking for a new challenge that would not only make sense for us, but also for people and the environment. The climate crisis has been completely underestimated so far, but it is the greatest challenge of this century. Of course, our habit of living in large spaces is also partly responsible for climate change. Unfortunately, this fact is hardly ever discussed. This realization led to the idea of the tiny house. The key point was to live together in a small space without sacrificing comfort. A first draft by our architect Luca convinced and inspired us so much that from then on we focused on founding our own company.
What do the residents of a tiny house look like? Who does this living concept appeal to?
They are very different people with very different motives. Living in a tiny house is not a question of age, but rather a question of personal attitude and interests. Minimalists, for example, simply want to get by with less, or prefer to surround themselves with things that have meaning for them. Of course, freedom and flexibility also play a role - after all, you can move with your tiny house, too. Last but not least, financing can also be a criteria for a tiny house. A large single-family house is a quite different matter. And when the grown-up children have moved out of their parents' house, a whole new situation arises. In fact, a large house ties up a lot of capital. However, on the other hand, a tiny house can also be the ideal interim solution or an additional living space for other people if there is enough room on your property.
There are also great opportunities for people who do not yet want to live permanently in a tiny house, but want to use it as a weekend home in the countryside. For accommodation providers, the use of tiny houses can be an exciting alternative that allows them to offer an exceptional accommodation experience to guests.
So without doubt, we are currently in the midst of a housing transformation and we can meet this change with our tiny houses.
Was there a key moment (challenges, motivation, insights, etc.) for you/your team on the way from idea to the founding of a start-up?
There were many challenges and new insights. It is unimaginable how often we revised and readjusted our plans. This used to affect our creative head and architect Luca, most of the time. Unfortunately and to be honest, German building law ruined many genius ideas.
On the other side, we are particularly pleased with the exclusively positive feedback on our plans. And although not everyone can imagine living in such a house, all are enthusiastic about it. This encourages us in our efforts to produce sustainable and future-oriented tiny houses. Of course, it is also great to build something on your own together with your friends.
What advice would you give to our students, who have an idea and want to put it into practice?
We would definitely encourage students to work persistently on realizing their idea and not to get discouraged. With a positive attitude, you will grow with the challenges ahead. For every problem, there will be a solution. Many tasks seem more complicated at first than they actually are. Our conclusion: Just do it!
Thank you for the interview.
Master International Business & Management
MCI Creativity Award
Entrepreneurship at MCI