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13.7.2021 | School of Business

ImpactLabFHNW: an incubator for students' business ideas

The pilot-phase concluded successfully with a pitching session about innovative business ideas. Now, the ImpactLabFHNW is updating its services for the coming semester.

In January 2021, the MSc Business Information Systems and the Institute of Management of the FHNW School of Business initiated the ImpactLabFHNW as an accelerator for innovative business ideas developed by students, focusing on digital solutions and sustainability. During the pilot phase, twelve such business ideas by students of the FHNW School of Business as well as the School of Engineering and the School of Life Sciences were brought on board.

Pitching innovation

On 23 June 2021, the pilot-phase of the Impact LabFHNW concluded a virtual pitching session. The jury, featuring five experts with different and complementary areas of expertise (Prof. Dr. Charlotte Hofstetter, Prof. Dr. Knut Hinkelmann, Prof. Dr. Arie Hans Verkuil, Dr. Barbara Eisenbart and Prof. Dr. Rolf Meyer), challenged the five finalists and crowned the winner of the “Most Convincing Business Model Award”:

McomTech.jpgThe team McomTech, consisting of Niklas Meindl (student in BSc Business Administration (International Management) and presenter), Leon Geser and Janick Fischer (students in BSc Business Information Technology) aim at revolutionising B2B trade through messaging e-commerce solutions. The solution streamlines and automates the information flow and provides detailed insights into the user behaviour. The jury was convinced by the measurable impact of the application, which in first tests has shown to increase the revenue for clients by more than 10%.

ImpactLab FHNW.jpg"Most Convincing Business Model Award" ceremony. Left to right: Prof. Dr. Knut Hinkelmann, Dr. Emanuele Laurenzi, Niklas Meindl, Prof. Dr. Charlotte Hofstetter.

All participants at the final pitching sessions showed solid and promising business models, which made choosing a winner a difficult task for the jury. The runner-up projects were:

To learn more about these business ideas, you can watch a recording of the pitching session here online.

Support for business ideas

Leading up to the final pitching session were six intensive months during which the project teams benefited from the services and network of the ImpactLabFHNW. After assessing the different starting points and objectives with the managers of the ImpactLabFHNW, Dr. Emanuele Laurenzi and Dario Meyer, individual roadmaps were designed for the participants to help them achieve their business goals. Besides regular general support, the students also had access to various coaches with specific areas of expertise such as digital marketing, financing, legal, and crowdsourcing among others.

Additional inputs as well as fundraising and networking opportunities were provided at events with First Ventures, Venture Kicks, Inqbator/Hemex and webinars by Swiss investors and FHNW alumni who launched their own successful startup. To open up a global perspective, the ImpactLabFHNW also initiated a web-talk featuring success stories from Shenzhen University, an important Chinese tech-hub.

Next steps

In order to provide high-class services and valuable support for young entrepreneurs, the insights and lessons learned from the pilot phase will inform the updated format of ImpactLabFHNW which will launch in the autumn semester 2021. If you are interested in the programme, either as a student with an innovative business idea, or as an expert offering expertise to young founders, contact aW1wYWN0bGFiLmJ1c2luZXNzQGZobncuY2g=.