The Austrian Roundtable of the SMARTUP project took place on 13th of September 2018 and followed the objective to disseminate the main outcomes of the project among various stakeholders, to identify sustainable ways of their uptake in general and to discuss the main question: “Lecture hall – today, startup – tomorrow. Can we (digitally) learn how to start a company? Which new possibilities do new learning experiences, like MOOCs, Serious Games and Webinars, give us?”.
5 leading key stakeholders and representatives deriving from various entrepreneurial fields were invited to share their experiences. The event was hosted as a special strand at the FH eLearning Day and introduced the project and outcomes to a wider audience including the participants of the eLearning Day.
More than 35 interested people joined the event and many of them actively contributed to the roundtable discussion. The five key experts provided useful insights from their experiences:
- Bernadette Frech, the CEO of the Start-up Company Instahelp and Senior Lecturer at the FH JOANNEUM. She agreed with “Drucker”, who stated, that “being a successful entrepreneur has nothing to do with the genes. It’s a discipline. And, like any discipline, it can be learned”. To succeed entrepreneurial spirit and business know-how are needed.
- Elisabeth Poandl, Gründungsgarage Graz, University Assistant at the Institute for Business Management and Organization with a research focus on entrepreneurship and business models gave an insight on how to lead a company competently and stress-free with existing qualities, acquired knowledge and qualifications. She also gave a useful insight on how to potentially integrate MOOCs in future training programs.
- Ewald Hötzl, the Head of the „Entrepreneurship Education Division” of the “Steirische Volkswirtschaftliche Gesellschaft” and by this basically in charge of projects promoting entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking. In his role as a Junior Country Supervisor, he reflected on the fact, that the development of those
entrepreneurial competences should already start in the elementary school.
- Christian Vancea, the Founder and CEO of 360° Innovation lap represented company’s perspective and brought in the future perspective of digital learning and offline education in an “open space”. He also stressed out the
difficulty of dealing with frustration and failure in a digital future scenario.
- Martin Mössler, CEO of the Gründerzentrum “Science Parks” Graz, a one-stop shop for Styrian founders as well as
proven managers who want to pass on their experience to startups, talked about the startup hype, especially in the field of high technology, where it is becoming even stronger. “Why do people actually start? why do startups fail, and why do we never give up? why do we work in co-working spaces and are “lean”? And why do we seem to pitch on every occasion? Such fundamental questions are submerged in the general hype. But they are indispensable to understand today’s startup culture.
The participants derived from university (lecturers and students), businesses (companies, entrepreneurs) and policymakers, network organisations (startuppers, Chamber of Commerce, SFG, inter-uni.net) fully matching the SMARTUP target group. They asked multiple questions and engaged in a lively discussion with the experts. The event was moderated by Christian Friedl, Senior Lecturer in International Management at FH JOANNEUM.