GATE is WU’s pre-incubation program for science-preneurs. It is organized in cooperation with WU’s Entrepreneurship Center. During the course, small teams of SIMC students are matched with scientists who have invented a new, or significantly improved an existing technology. The goals of the program are
- to build interdisciplinary venture teams (who might even be willing to collaborate in the long term)
- support the science-preneurs in identifying and seizing the market opportunities for their inventions (to allow for valid “go/no go” decisions), and
- develop an extensive business proposal (in form of a pitch-deck) as a basis for grant proposals or meetings with investors/business angels.
To achieve these goals, participants will receive hands-on training in management topics as technology analysis, customer discovery, business modeling, market and competitor analyses, financial planning, intellectual property management and other legal issues, etc. Besides the business training, the teams will be accompanied by a team coach who will support the team building and team management processes throughout the program.
Participants of the GATE program will also be exposed to the Austrian start-up ecosystem. Representatives of organizations like INITS, PrimeCrowd, Austrian Start-ups, FFG, and AIT will act as mentors, lecturers, and DemoDay jury members.
After completing this course students will know how to:
- ...search, recognize and assess business opportunities
- ...enrich business ideas by applying appropriate methods and tools
- ...identify customers and their needs
- ...analyze and evaluate the ecosystem around the business idea
- ...develop profitable and sustainable business models
- ...apply creativity techniques throughout the whole process of business development.
Furthermore, students will acquire relevant complementary skills:
- manage several different stakeholders at once
- structure an innovative, fuzzy project and deal with uncertainty
- manage different ways to arrive at a decision
- summarizing the most important outcomes in a pitch-book
- work efficiently in interdisciplinary teams through recognizing and incorporating individual strengths of each team member
- cope with different work styles, opinions and perspectives
- complementing the team by actively searching for external support to outweigh weaknesses within the core team
- engage in lively discussions and interactive workshops
- structure complex data (project outcomes)
- present project outcomes in different environments and for different target groups (e.g., experts, team members)
In order to successfully pass this course, your absence is limited to 20% of our appointments.
Furthermore, full-time presence at the “Gate 1” workshop (Exploration), as well as the “Gate 3” workshop (day 2, DemoDay) is mandatory.
The core of the GATE program consists of three two-days workshops (the “Gates”), which are separated by project working phases of 4 weeks each.
The “Gate” workshops are designed to be interactive. They combine several teaching methods, i.e., short inputs by expert coaches, team work, student presentations, open discussions, individual and team coachings, etc.
“Gate 1” (Exploration) will be held on October 22 and 23. During this two-days workshop, we will cover the topics of technology analysis, business modeling, systematic identification of business opportunities, customer discovery, and team building.
“Gate 2” (Evaluation) will be held on November 19 and 20. During this two-days workshop, we will cover the topics of market analysis, competitor analysis, pricing, financial planning, legal aspects, and team management/facilitation.
“Gate 3” (DemoDay) will be held on December 17 and 18. On day 1, participants will receive feedback on their pre-prepared pitch presentations and a specific pitch training. Day 2 is dedicated to pitching in front of a distinguished expert jury and networking with representatives from the Austrian start-up ecosystem.
The final grade of the course will depend on
- participation in the “Gate” workshops and the individual team coaching sessions (20%)
- the pitches (small/medium/large) including their appendices (55%)
- the Touchdown elevator pitch & executive summary (20%)
- reflection paper (5%)
- peer-ratings may influence the final grade
In order to pass the class, all of these performance indicators have to be positive and you must not miss Gate 1 as well as the DemoDay (see above).
The following grading scale applies:
Students are provided with a compendium of articles, handbooks and reading materials during the semester. The compendium will be made available online via firstname.lastname@example.org.