The condom visionary - in conversation with Jan Vinzenz Krause
Jan, you are an acknowledged condom expert, the world's first online condom consultant, a successful condom retailer and developer of condom brands - how did you actually get into condoms?
Jan Vinzenz Krause: Good question. Actually, I wanted to become chancellor when I was 14. Then I was active in the Jusos and one day I was standing in the marketplace campaigning for Scharping in 1994. And now guess what we were handing out?
Jan Vinzenz Krause: Bingo. The SPD's give-away for young voters at the time was condoms. When I got home, I tried out what I had handed out and found out that they didn't fit at all. They didn't feel good.
You went on to study business administration in Greifswald, Helsinki and Tübingen. Where did you acquire your expertise in condoms?
Jan Vinzenz Krause: I became a condom expert more through self-study - the subject never left me. During my studies, for example, I did an internship at Mapa GmbH in Zeven, the manufacturers of Billy Boy condoms. My workplace there was the so-called evidence room. A small room, crammed from top to bottom with condoms. Condoms from all over the world that had been collected over the decades by international distributors. I was supposed to sift through them, sort them and catalog them. I didn't miss the opportunity to test all the specimens. Hundreds of different condoms - different colors, sizes, materials, flavors - but unfortunately you can't buy them in your local drugstore.
Together with your brother Nils, you then programmed the world's first online condom advisor - at a time when many people weren't even "in" on the Internet. How did the idea come about?
Jan Vinzenz Krause: I had experienced for myself how little information there was on the subject of "which condom suits me? That's why I wanted to share the knowledge I had acquired in the meantime. The condom advisor was extremely well received right away and was certainly the reason why our follow-up project, the online store for condoms www.vinico.com, got off to a great start.
You set it up in the children's room of your Bonn parents' house.
Jan Vinzenz Krause: Exactly, the children's room became the condom store. While my brother and I were studying, Mom and Grandma took over the shipping.
When the children's room became too small, you, now married and with a degree, moved to your wife's home in Singen am Hohentwiel. There was room to expand. And room to tinker.
Jan Vinzenz Krause: Yes, here I could work to my heart's content on my idea of a custom-made spray-on condom.
A spray-on condom?
Jan Vinzenz Krause: Ingenious, isn't it? Unfortunately, nothing came of it - the technical aspects of the spray-on condom didn't work out. But I continued to work on the perfect condom. As a backpacker, I went to Malaysia, because almost all condoms are produced there, where the rubber is grown. In Malaysia, I looked for a manufacturer for a condom according to my ideas and that's how the condom brand My.Size was born. The first size condom in Germany.
And what drives you today, a few successful start-ups later?
Jan Vinzenz Krause: For me, it's still about the perfect condom. A condom that fits. And that therefore also feels extremely good. One that doesn't burst and doesn't slip. A condom that's fun - a condom for really good sex.
Vinergy has just launched a new condom brand - . Mister Size. Is Mister Size the perfect condom?
Jan Vinzenz Krause: I would say: Yes! In addition to the accuracy of fit, which plays a major role for us - we offer Mister Size in seven sizes - we've really gone the extra mile when it comes to the material properties. Super-thin latex, really a breath of nothing. We also worked on the smell - take a whiff!
(sniffs) Smells pleasant - not so rubbery. I'll take a few to test. Jan - finally - what's your next project?
Jan Vinzenz Krause: Next we want to enter the international market with Mister Size.
I wish you much success!
Gesa Iwan conducted the interview with Jan Vinzenz Krause in April 2019 during a visit to the Vinergy headquarters. Here, Jan, his wife Eva and about 15 employees work on the perfect condom with a breathtaking view of the volcanic landscape of Singen. By the way, if the Jusos or anyone else ever wants to hand out condoms that feel really good - Vinergy also offers condoms as promotional items with www.werbekondome.com.