Sparking the entrepreneurial spirit of our International Business Management students

The judging panel of the investor pitch including Maximilian Nimmervoll, Martin Theyer, Stefan Jausz and Josef Tuppinger

In the new “International Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lab” course, CUAS International Business Management (IBM) students were put in the shoes of entrepreneurs, simulating the establishment of an innovative international start-up. The “hands-on” course was concluded with a pitch in front of several investors, aiming to imitate a real-life scenario for entrepreneurs.

The “International Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lab” course is part of the new IBM curriculum – and, as one student pointedly noticed, “it couldn’t be further from a boring lecture.” The lab was designed to offer students a hands-on and real-life experience of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. 

IBM students were working on a project, simulating the foundation of an innovative international start-up venture. Starting from generating a business idea to designing the business model, prototyping, and setting up the financials, students were put in a situation that is as close to reality as possible to learn what it means to be an entrepreneur. 

The students were supervised by a number of professors with various specializations. Dr. Stefan Jausz, responsible for financial statements and budgeting, and Dr. Barbara Stampf, coming from a human resource management background, formed the core team of lecturers for this entrepreneurship lab. Dr. Josef Tuppinger and Dr. Petra Hössl supported the course with their expertise on innovation and entrepreneurship. Additionally, Dr. Maximilian Nimmervoll, serial entrepreneur, CEO and founder of DIAMIR and “EY Entrepreneur of the Year,” was invited for a guest lecture on entrepreneurship and digitalization. Last but not least, Mag. Martin Theyer, a finance expert with international experience in corporate finance, controlling, liquidity management, risk controlling and corporate strategy, enriched the course with his expertise in seed financing as a guest lecturer. 

After four months of working on the establishment of a start-up and working out a detailed business plan, the project was concluded with a pitch to investors to attract financing. The panel of judges was composed of Stefan Jausz, Josef Tuppinger, Maximilian Nimmervoll and Martin Theyer, who represented investors to which the students were presenting their work. In the final pitch, students profited from a reality check for their business concept and received valuable feedback on the business model, presentation style, and financials.

"The International Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lab was a very complete and enriching experience. On the one hand the course provided us with the tools and content to develop a business project, on the other hand, it also gave us the opportunity to do this in a working environment with a multicultural team. Preparing the final presentation was a challenge and a great learning experience. It is worth mentioning that we always had support from the professors." – Miguel Angel Briseno Rubio, International Management Student