About this hub
This Innovation Hub is based at MCI | The Entrepreneurial School® in Innsbruck (Austria).
It strives to create a space in the Ulysseus network for motivated talent – regardless of their geographic location – to implement innovative ideas sustainably in the spirit of entrepreneurship.
This Innovation Hub is based at MCI | The Entrepreneurial School® in Innsbruck and focuses on the acceleration of technological business models by exploiting established structures, integrating partner services of the regional ecosystem and creating new formats and structures at the university. Its prioritized actions include the creation of an Entrepreneurship Center and a range of associated activities (e.g. provision of entrepreneurship programs), the active involvement of companies in the identification of innovations (e.g. hackathons) and the access to venture capital for students and staff of the partner universities.
By implementing this Innovation Hub “Sustainable Entrepreneurship & Impact”, MCI | The Entrepreneurial School® aims to actively contribute to the competitiveness of the Tyrol region, but also to that of its European partners and the European Union itself. It strives to create a space in the Ulysseus network for motivated talent – regardless of their geographic location – to implement innovative ideas sustainably in the spirit of entrepreneurship.
The solution approach of the innovation hub to be implemented suggests successfully transferring academic innovations into the market by increasing the number of spin-offs and startups initiated through the various European partner universities. In order to enable academic innovation, MCIs innovation hub on “Sustainable Entrepreneurship & Impact” will initially focus on the following activities: Installation of a Service- and Entrepreneurship Center; Implementation of Entrepreneurship Programs; Fostering Corporate Innovation network; and Providing Access to Venture Capital. Existing partnerships have proven particularly effective in the past.
For example, a jointly established association called STARTUP.TIROL and the associated facility acts as an incubator and is operated by staff dedicated to this sole purpose. This incubator supports the development of sustainable business models for early-stage startups offering them budgetary resources and technical assistance.
Furthermore, a close cooperation with I.E.C.T (Institute of Entrepreneurship Cambridge-Tyrol) focuses on supporting international deep-tech startups to take part in well-known programs such as the Summer School on Entrepreneurship or the Innovators Road. MCI | The Entrepreneurial School® also receives financial support for its activities in the field of entrepreneurship from Austria Wirtschaftsservice (AWS), a federal development bank wholly owned by the Republic of Austria.
Lastly, wide-ranging partnerships between the different academic institutions within the region of Tirol and its neighbor regions are also connected with the innovation hub. Entrepreneurship MOOCs (massive open online courses), amongst others, were developed and aim at facilitating the path to entrepreneurship for a larger audience.
In order to foster existing efforts and to create a basis for continuous development, the Innovation Hub “Sustainable Entrepreneurship & Impact” will be established as part of the Ulysseus European University.
Most importantly, it will provide training and support to start-ups with the support of experts. To increase the probability of success significantly, a structured mentoring and coaching process during market entry and beyond is envisioned. All of these planned services will be offered to all partners in the Ulysseus network by granting them access to the services of this Innovation Hub. Since they play an essential role in the joint advancement of technical innovations they will be actively involved.
Initial arrangements that will help in ensuring the success of such an Innovation Hub have already been made and serve as proof for our commitment to this project. A co-working space (approx. 300 sqm) is currently under construction at the Entrepreneurship Center at MCI | The Entrepreneurial School®.
Furthermore, the projected “mentoring and coaching program” is being tested with first startup companies. All formats and activities are closely coordinated within the regional startup ecosystem around Startup.Tirol to exploit existing synergies in the areas of training, networking and financing.