Ski and fill up on the entrepreneurial spirit!

Skinnovation: A start-up event on skis is revolutionising the Innsbruck business-founder scene

Skinnovation: three days of entrepreneurship on skis with over 200 international participants as well as 50 workshops by expert speakers from the start-up scene, business and science made Innsbruck a hotspot particularly for young entrepreneurs. The event was organised by the University of Innsbruck in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce/Junior Chamber, Tyrol.

With a whole day of skiing in each of these skiing areas such as: the Axamer Lizum, the Schlick and the Innsbruck Nordkette, more than 200 start-up enthusiasts explored not only the Tyrolean mountains but also discussed and were exposed to various potential business ideas and initiatives. Successful entrepreneurs gave insight into their experiences and experts deliberated on themes such as start-up marketing, snow innovations, crowdsourcing and leadership. While all presentations and workshops took place in the ski huts, some participants made use of the “coolest” pitch location south of the Arctic Circle: a giant igloo on the Innsbruck Seegrube for their closing pitches.

A place for ideas in Tyrol

The winner of the Skinnovation idea competition was Igor Debatur from St.Petersburg, founder of the “Riders” mobile app. A passionate skier himself, he flew in all the way from Russia and described the event as having been very successful. According to him Skinnovation was the perfect combination of a start-up conference and a skiing weekend and thus remarked that: “Conference rooms kill any sort of inspiration. The mountains, on the other hand, are different every day and constantly present new challenges.”

Clemens Plank, Chairman of the Junior Chamber, Tyrol, expressed his delight in Skiinovation’s remarkable ability to attract diverse participants all over Europe particularly in its debut year by stating that: “Young people, in particular, often address problems in a much more unbiased way and therefore develop new, unconventional solutions. This is essential for the power of innovation in (Tyrolean) business.”

Kathrin Treutinger, the initiator and organiser of this unparalleled start-up event displayed her utmost satisfaction of the event with the comment: “Not only have we moved mountains with this event, but we have also brought business ideas and innovations to new heights. With a combination of skiing and presentations/workshops, we have not only been successful in inspiring countless, international participants but have also created new incentives for young start-ups. We’re already looking forward to the next Skinnovation in winter 2017.”

A cool and successfully executed concept

Skinnovation is the first start-up event on skis. Over the course of three days, workshops and presentations take place in various ski huts. The approximately 200 participants travel from spot to spot on skis or snowboards and so can put their own conference schedule together. Pitches are made on the ski-lift rather than in the elevator. During the evenings, a programme is organised in the city of Innsbruck, for instance a reception in the Chamber of Commerce or table talks in various Innsbruck restaurants, with afterwards a networking party in the culture co-working space “Bäckerei” to finish the evening. At the closing event, the final pitch, brings all of the “Skinnovators” together once more, up on the rooftops of the city specifically in a giant igloo on the Nordkette.

Where & when: 4-6 March 2016 in Innsbruck/Austria and the surrounding ski areas
Who took part: young entrepreneurs, with and without ideas, as well as start-ups.
Skinnovation 2017 is already in its planning stages and thus interested parties can sign up for the newsletter through the website.

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