Experiencing Entrepreneurship in Action!

On 20 June 2024, the Business Planning course led by Marcella Krawinkler culminated in an exciting pitch contest. The aim of this event was to present the students’ business ideas and at the same time promote entrepreneurial skills and ways of thinking. The hard work, creativity and commitment that the students put into their projects was remarkable. The event took place at the LIT Open Innovation Center, where Valentina Schmelzer gave them a warm welcome.

The pitch competition was not only an opportunity for the students to present their innovative ideas, but also to receive valuable feedback from a highly experienced external Jury consisting of Karin Gabriel (TGW Logistics Group), Nina Gruber (tech2b), Marlene Welzl (Vienna Business Agency), Michael Gusenbauer (JKU, Institute of Innovation Management) and Alex Zöttl, a serial entrepreneur and former MGB graduate. After each presentation, the jury discussed with the students and gave constructive criticism and suggestions.

The variety of ideas presented was impressive. Each concept was well-elaborated and introduced with engaging skits to make the ideas more relatable and tangible. Among the standout projects were Fixify (a convenient digital solution for tech problems), Pitstop (an innovative app that provides a comprehensive toilet mapping service), Paw Paradise (a five-star dog daycare service), BeeGlobal (a community-focused platform that takes care of challenges faced by students abroad) and Foodvista (a meal kit with ingredients and recipes for international dishes).

The presentations were followed by a talk from Alex Zöttl who shared his entrepreneurial journey. His practical insights and tips were very valuable and encouraged the students to pursue their own startup ideas with confidence and determination.

The event ended with an award ceremony where Paw Paradise was declared the winner. The project was recognized for its maturity, well thought out business idea and the quality of its pitch. To celebrate their success, the Paw Paradise team was invited to lunch at Teichwerk along with the judges, Univ.-Prof. Robert Breitenecker, head of the Institute of Innovation Management, the course instructor, and the student assistant Teresa Mayer.

Overall, the Pitch Contest was a great success and provided a great opportunity for students to develop and present their ideas, receive feedback from experts and gain the confidence to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. At the same time, the Pitch Contest also marked the end of the Austrian term and all that remains is the farewell dinner to celebrate the educational and personal experience of all the students in the PAC cohort during their 3-month time at JKU Linz.