The Carinthia University of Applied Sciences provides an important contribution in strengthening and further developing Carinthia’s business location by advancing innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit. Thus, a Start Up campus for technology-oriented startup companies has been conceptualized and established in stages at the CUAS under the supervision of Erich Hartlieb. The rapid incorporation of the Start Up Garages into CUAS’s existing facilities such as the Science and Energy Labs and the Smart Labs have completed the Start Up Campus Villach and as such establish the necessary infrastructure to specifically combine higher educational know-how, research and development as well as companies.
“A vibrant Start Up campus in Carinthia requires a good network in the community, professional coaching and a modern laboratory infrastructure,” according to Hartlieb, Head of the degree program Industrial Engineering and Management, CUAS, in response to the professional embedding in the laboratory scene. Villach’s Mayor Günther Albel sees clear competitive advantages in a well-established startup infrastructure, “Technological innovations are important for the economic success of not just our city but the region as well.”
Prototyping is extremely important especially for technologically oriented startups and their product innovations. From this, the demand for office space and small, well-equipped lab work stations arises often in order to develop models and prototypes and to safekeep them and protect the startups from the premature release of information. The Start Up Garages provides students, graduates and Carinthian startups the infrastructure to construct prototypes and run the corresponding test series while simultaneously ensuring secrecy and security. Protection from product leak dissemination is extremely vital in cases of eventual patent application. The Carinthia University of Applied Sciences has reached an important milestone through its support of young enterprises.
The project has been realized through the financial support of the Kärntner Sparkasse Private Foundation as well as other partners: e.g., the City of Villach, Hasslacher Norica Timber and Tilly Holzindustrie. The planning, development and implementation of the Start Up Garages was carried out in close collaboration with CUAS architecture student Jürgen Pawlovsky, CUAS-professors Sonja Hohengasser and Peter Nigst from the degree program Architecture and the Carinthia startup company Living Container. After a four-month planning period, the three Start Up Garages were completely constructed in only six working hours.
Information about the initiative Start UP
In 2009, a pilot project through the initiative from the build! Gründerzentrum was carried out at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences to support startup ideas and concepts. The result of this was the founding of a startup company and a cooperation project with an existing Carinthian startup. The experience gathered from this project showed the project participants that a structured support system of startup plans in the form of expert knowledge, coaching and the suitable infrastructure can greatly increase the chances of success for especially technologically oriented startups. Thus, in November 2013 in agreement with startup institutions in Carinthia, the initiative Start UP was founded at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences. In addition to entrepreneurial workshops and individual coaching, the Science and Energy Labs as a creative space and the Smart Labs as prototype work stations are essential elements for startup projects.
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