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“New and totally exciting”: The Alpine Tech Innovation Sprint 2019

48 hours, 8 highly motivated startup teams and 5 hospitality businesses with 5 challenges: These were the ingredients for this year’s Alpine Tech Innovation Sprint from 17 to 19 October. Based on the motto “Tourism Industry Meets Startups”, each team worked on finding solutions to specific challenges within the tourism industry. The winner: a startup from Klagenfurt, Austria, called dataCycle Ltd.

Spinning heads, lateral thinkers and flashes of inspiration. Austrian startups put all their knowledge, creativity and innovative energy into solving the challenges of the 2nd Alpine Tech Innovation Sprint at Werkstätte Wattens.

The challenges had been defined by Tirol Werbung, AREA 47Ötztal TourismusKitzbühel Tourismus and Zillertal Tourismus and revolved around data analysis, content management, digital communication and mobility. The goal was to develop prototype solutions for these innovation challenges and to present them to an audience after 48 hours.

After a kick-off event on 17 October, the startups spent most of the night developing initial solutions. With the support of mentors and tourism experts, these first solutions were validated before going into prototyping. On 19 October, there was the final pitch with public voting at Umbrüggler Alm: Katharina Huna and Marcus Hofbauer from dataCycle Ltd. captured the vote. The Carinthian startup specializes in data management for tourism regions. Together with Beate Kassner from Zillertal Tourismus, they worked on the Zillertal Content Cloud challenge. “We really appreciated the possibility to extensively discuss the challenge with Zillertal Tourismus beforehand,” said Marcus Hofbauer from dataCycle. “The Innovation Sprint really helps to take a different perspective and a broader focus. We also found the exchange with other startups very valuable.”

In addition to 1,000 euros in prize money, the winners can now look forward to a long-term cooperation with the tourism company. Zillertal Tourismus and dataCycle have already scheduled further meetings. For Beate Kassner from Zillertal Tourismus, the Innovation Sprint was clearly a success: “Events and platforms like the Alpine Tech Innovation Hub allow us to work with startups from various industries. This creates a new network and an active exchange with creative companies and young innovators.”

Collaboration kick-off on 15 November

“We want the Innovation Sprint to initiate a cooperation phase between the startups and the tourism experts,” explains Alexander Koll, COO at Werkstätte Wattens. The event will also serve as an incentive for further collaboration for other participants. The official kick-off event for the cooperation phase will take place on 15 November 2019 at Werkstätte Wattens. “We’ve already set our next appointments,” says Chris Schnöller, who’s working on a mobility challenge for Area 47 with three different startups. “The Alpine Tech Innovation Sprint is new and totally exciting. We are happy with the results. I didn’t expect the sprint to be so outcome-oriented.” Christian Klingler from Tirol Werbung, who already presented his second challenge, was thrilled as well. “Using such formats in a tourism context is a novelty. We are very happy with the solutions that the startups have proposed and would like to continue our collaboration. In a next step, we’ll be sharing competencies and using synergies.”

All challenges at a glance

The Innovation Sprint and the Alpine Tech Innovation Hub

The 2019 Innovation Sprint was the kick-off event for the recently founded Alpine Tech Innovation Hub. This newly created platform at Werkstätte Wattens fosters regional and international exchange as well as innovation for Alpine technologies. The hub is an initiative by Werkstätte WattensI.E.C.T. Hermann Hauser and Standortagentur Tirol.

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Alpine Tech Innovation Hub
Werkstätte Wattens | Weissstraße 9 | 6112 Wattens
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