7 Steps to Startup – Supporting entrepreneurial ideas at St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences

Gabriele Permoser
Gabriele Permoser

By Gabriele Permoser, Head of Centre for Research and Cooperation, St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences

In 1996, the first study programme at St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences (STPUAS) Telecommunication and Media, started. Students can now choose between 14 bachelor and 14 master programmes in the field of Digital Technologies, Cyber Security, Railway Technology and Mobility, Economics, Social Work Sciences and Health Science. They can also benefit from collaborative doctoral programmes.

Knowledge transfer as well as supporting entrepreneurial ideas became an integral part of the universities’ strategy from 2011 on. As one of the nine testing partners in the Accelerate Future HEI project, STPUAS is now focusing on shaping the support opportunities for entrepreneurial and engaged activities at the university. Special focus will be led on social innovation and entrepreneurship.

STPUAS bundles its numerous activities to promote entrepreneurial thinking and actions among students in its “7 steps to start-up” model.

Students are supported at all stages of the innovation process, from basic knowledge about entrepreneurship and innovation to brainstorming and founding, through various measures such as courses, projects, workshops, mentoring and partnerships.

Step 1: Entrepreneurship & Innovation Basics: Students get basic knowledge about innovation and entrepreneurship in relevant lectures and courses.

Step 2: Motivation & Ideas: to make students aware of the necessity of innovative ideas, STPUAS cooperates with different institutions and stakeholders to offer different points of views on societal and economic problems.

Step 3: Experiments & concepts: especially within the E³UDRES² alliance, the different challenge-based activities (e.g. living labs, hackathons, bootcamps) support the critical thinking and innovative mindset of the participants. Furthermore, they serve as a playground for students to experiment and develop ideas and concepts.

Step 4:  Discover & Encourage: Several events are offered to the students to present their ideas to colleagues and staff from various departments as well as to the public. The annual “Golden Wire” event honors the most creative projects in the field of media technology. All students are invited to present their projects at the “project vernissage”.

Step 5: Develop & Enhance: In 2014, STPUAS developed, in cooperation with accent, the founding services of Lower Austria, the so-called “Creative Pre-Incubator” programme, which is currently rolled out at all universities of applied sciences in Lower Austria. It supports students and alumni in bringing their own ideas to market. Three to four teams per year are selected by an expert jury to get individual coaching and special support on business planning.

Step 6: Networking & Promotion: STPUAS has established contacts and collaborations with business angels, investors, start-up associations and other relevant stakeholders. In addition to that, STPUAS is part of several national digital innovation hubs and other networks to foster knowledge transfer for and to society and business. Students are encouraged to use those networks to present their ideas.

Step 7: Starting Business: STPUAS cooperates with accent, the founding services of Lower Austria and support their students to become part of its incubation program. Individual solutions are offered to students and also staff member who want to found their own business.

More information at: https://research.fhstp.ac.at/en/transfer-innovation/start-up-and-entrepreneurship

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