At the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, we deal with the identification of innovation potential and the implementation and management of start-up and innovation processes from the initial development of ideas to the market launch of new products, services and business models.

On the one hand, we focus on established companies (innovation management, intrapreneurship), and on the other hand on the foundation and growth of innovative start-ups (entrepreneurship).

We know how essential innovation is for securing the future of an organisation and are therefore active in this regard: be it in applying new teaching methods and teaching media, in taking up current topics such as business creation, digitalisation and sustainable development, or in implementing exciting research projects.

Our aims:

  • To provide first-class skills in the areas of business creation and innovation
  • To increase the probability of subsequent success of start-ups
  • To increase the number of academic spin-offs and to create sustainable spin-offs
  • To foster an innovative mindset and culture of entrepreneurship within the university

Our main areas of focus:

  • Opportunity Recognition
  • Market-oriented innovation management
  • Open Innovation
  • Business Creation
  • Company foundation from start-up to scale-up
  • Intrapreneurship

Methods:

  • Agile methods for business model development
  • Methods of digital transformation
  • Innovation and entrepreneurial marketing
  • Concept testing & prototyping
  • Innovation methods such as Design Thinking, Blue Ocean Strategy, Trend Radar, Business Model Canvas
  • Current trends such as Social Innovation, Intrapreneurship, Female Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Family Business Entrepreneurship and Technology Entrepreneurship

Teaching

In addition to teaching the theoretical basics and concrete tools, the institute attaches great importance to the practical orientation of its courses. Our employees bring with them many years of professional experience in the fields of innovation and start-ups. Guest lectures by experts from the field offer a broader perspective than just theory.

An example from the course: Design Thinking Workshop

The institute presented the design thinking method in a workshop as part of the master's programme “Entrepreneurship & Applied Management”. Students have the opportunity to apply tools based on a practical problem in order to develop ideas for possible solutions.

Design thinking is an approach or a method which is intended to lead to the solving of problems and the development of new ideas. The aim is to find solutions that are convincing from the user's point of view. Design thinking uses various types of creativity techniques, ranging from empathy (approaches to put oneself in the position of the user) to the creation of the simplest models or prototypes, which are intended to illustrate the solution and make it tangible, so that it can then be iteratively tested, improved and further developed.

This design thinking approach was applied in a workshop conducted in cooperation with Dialogue in the Dark (a guided tour for visually impaired people) in Vienna. In the process, various ideas for solutions for visually impaired people were developed. We also organised a guided tour at Dialogue in the Dark, which rounded off the programme. The visit was an equally entertaining and educational experience, which allows the students to understand both themselves and their fellow human beings better. Respect for human diversity and individuality is thereby humorously promoted through encounters between blind/visually impaired and sighted people.

Research

We attach great importance to an interdisciplinary approach. Jointly developed research results are presented at central conferences and published in scientific journals.

Research focus:

  • Intrapreneurship/Corporate Entrepreneurship: Employees can be a decisive internal source of innovation and actively drive innovation in existing companies themselves. Employees who think and act entrepreneurially are a valuable resource, which companies can recognise, empower and promote. In the context of intrapreneurship research, we deal with the question of how intrapreneurship measures can be established and how intrapreneurs can systematically be promoted.
  • Open Innovation
  • Digital Innovation
  • Academic Entrepreneurship

Current research projects:

  • Success factors of a university-run Makerspace – using the example of the FHWN Innovation Lab
  • Possibilities for the digitalisation of a university-run Makerspace - using the example of the FHWN Innovation Lab

Head of Institute

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