University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria (FH Oberösterreich)
We’re bringing together a set of disciplines that are important for digital-age product development and doing it as a collaboration between academia and industry.
At the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, the goal is to prepare students for the future in ways that harbor innovative thinking and practical skills. In an interview with the startup guide, professor of entrepreneurship Gerold Weisz talks about the new horizons the University is opening regarding communications for new ideas. With a heavy focus on the connection between students, the industries and the overall innovation landscape, Gerold discussed the importance of harnessing entrepreneurship as a skill for the future. “Our goal is to incentivize young people to be self-employed, in collaboration with the entire economy in Austria. It is very important that we are raising startups for our economy, and we enforce an innovative mindset here a lot.” Gerold also explained that this mission isn’t just about the individual but about the community of Linz. “We offer a huge network with private companies, regional government and private investors, three coworking spaces and various courses of entrepreneurial education to our students. The aim is to give our startups a direct line and network to the market.” The diversity in ideas is a cornerstone of the University, and this is reflected in their mindset as well. In reference to the many ways in which ideas can be nurtured into reality for aspiring founders attending his courses, Gerold says. “We don’t have a specific designed process in fostering entrepreneurship. The support of startups is very individual and flexible. Our goal is to open the students’ minds, and offer them early-stage Mmentoring and, as mentioned before, coworking spaces.” Some of the alumni of Gerold’s courses include the founders of Runtastic, which Adidas acquired for €240 million ($265 million) in 2015.
- Be Self-reliant. At the University, independent thinking is a cornerstone, so self-reliant students can make the most of the experience, not only in developing their projects, but also in taking full advantage of the many connections the programs and their mentors have to offer.
- Know Your Power. One of the most important characteristics in successful entrepreneurs is self-confidence. Don't be afraid to express yourself but also ask for help, after all it takes a team to build a great idea.
- Be Passionate. Think about what you are excited to see in the world of innovation and change when building your business, and make sure to connect with others who have similar passions, your unique drive is what can make or break your project.
- Be Market Oriented. Think about your potential customer. Think about your business model and precisely target customers who are willing to pay for your product or service.
Total enrollment: 2,000 (yearly)
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Main Photo by: FHOÖ