Under the guiding principle "creating and managing success through innovation", the Institute of Entrepreneurship & Innovation focuses on the following areas:

  • Generating innovation
  • Implementing innovation
  • Regulating innovation
  • Securing innovation

We offer research, teaching and continuing education in the following areas:

  • Innovation management
  • Digital transformation
  • Entrepreneurship (enterprise)

Teaching

In addition to teaching the theoretical basics, the institute attaches great importance to the practical orientation of its courses. In addition to interesting examples of firms in a wide variety of industries, guest lectures by practitioners offer insights beyond the theoretical horizon.

Teaching methods

Customer journey workshop

The institute presented the customer journey method in a workshop as part of the master's programme Entrepreneurship & Applied Management. Today, firms recognise the need to understand their own organisation from the customer's point of view. In almost every firm there are customer touchpoints, which are at least as important for a firm’s success as the product or its price.

Customer journey is a method of empathising with the customer and thereby aligning communication and processes, as well as internal workflows and strategies, in a customer-centric manner.

Design thinking – developing customer-centric ideas for solving problems

The institute presented the design thinking method in a workshop as part of the master's programme Entrepreneurship & Applied Management. Students had an opportunity to use tools to develop ideas for possible solutions to a real-life problem.

Team of trainers: Dr. Beate Edl, Dr. Susanne Roiser, DI Stefan Weinfurter

Design thinking is an approach or process that leads to solving problems and developing new ideas. The aim is to find solutions that are convincing from the customer’s or user's point of view. Design thinking uses various types of creativity techniques, ranging from empathy (different methods to put oneself in the position of the customer or user) to creating very simple models or prototypes in order to demonstrate and realise solutions, and then to test, improve and develop them both continually and iteratively.

This design-thinking approach is currently being applied in a workshop conducted in Vienna in co-operation with "Dialogue in the Dark" (a guided tour for visually impaired people). In the process, various methods are being put into practice and ideas for solutions for visually impaired people are being developed.

We also organised a guided tour at Dialogue in the Dark. Dialogue in the Dark offers a lasting and impressive experience through the medium of darkness. A visit is both entertaining and educational and allows visitors to understand themselves and their fellow human beings better. Respect for human diversity and individuality is humorously encouraged through contact between blind or visually impaired people and sighted people. The aim is to break down interpersonal barriers so that people can deal with each other in a more open and less prejudiced manner.

http://www.imdunkeln.at/index.php/de/

Research

The aim of the institute’s research is to contribute a better understanding of the emergence and development of new firms (entrepreneurship). This can apply to both young start-ups and established firms.

The Institute of Entrepreneurship & Innovation co-operates with foreign universities such as University College London, the University of Liverpool and Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Joint research results are presented at central conferences and published in scientific journals.

Research priorities

Entrepreneurial marketing: targeted marketing is an essential success factor for business start-ups. In contrast to marketing in established firms, young firms do not yet have their own comparative values, and they typically have only a limited budget for marketing activities. Entrepreneurial marketing investigates special features of marketing for young firms and derives success factors.

Entrepreneurial finance: one of the oldest branches of research in the field of entrepreneurship is entrepreneurial finance. It focuses on the question of how young firms can finance their activities. It analyses which sources of financing exist and how they differ from those of established firms.

Entrepreneurial innovation: innovation is the focus of entrepreneurial business. New products or services offer above-average growth opportunities, but with risks that should not be ignored. However, innovation activities are not necessarily limited to young enterprises and can also occur in established firms.

Academic entrepreneurship: the question of how value-creating firms can emerge from research findings in the form of "raw" technologies is increasingly being discussed in business, science and politics - especially in traditional industrial nations - in view of the threat of a loss of wealth. Universities and public research institutions should not only think but also act entrepreneurially. In order that research-based start-ups can make a valuable contribution to job creation, innovation and regional wealth, academic start-ups must be able to transform their technologies into marketable products. In practice, however, academic entrepreneurship has so far been a relatively poorly understood phenomenon.

Digital innovation and disruption: transformation of business models: digital transformation poses new challenges for firms but offers them opportunities to leverage unused potential. The digital business models research area aims to investigate the influence of digital technologies on the elements and levels of business models of firms in several industries. In addition to the transformation of existing business models for a digital future, the disruptive character of digitalisation within products, firms and industries is investigated. Within the scope of our research activities, we therefore concentrate on the following key points: the integration of external actors into the innovation process (open innovation and interactive value creation, and business process management).

  • The transformation of established organisations in the face of disruptive technological innovation and digitalisation decisions (such as Industry 4.0, the internet of things, the internet of production, big data, and data analytics)
  • The systematic development of business model innovations (business model innovations and platform economy)
  • The design of customer-centric value creation models and the management of varied and individual product programmes (customer co-creation, mass customisation and smart products)
  • Promoting entrepreneurial sustainability through technological innovation, and research into social challenges through new technologies (responsible innovation).

Head of Institute

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