Managing Digital Innovations

Overview/Introduction

Digitalization, digital transformation and digital goods are the keywords of the current debate on the sustainability of products and services, companies and entire economies. Handling innovation appropriately - may they be disruptive or evolutionary - is a decisive competitive factor.

Companies are looking for creative and open-minded graduates who can follow up and implement innovative ideas independently, build and develop suitable business models as well as ,with their in-depth understanding, assess and optimise ideas of third parties.

Later areas of activity may comprise:

  • Innovation or entrepreneur units or affiliates of large corporations,
  • Venture capital companies,
  • Independent innovation labs,
  • Accelerators or incubators, but also
  • one’s own company/start up business.

By completing the additional three/four core elective modules, students can achieve the corresponding technological or methodological profile; this profile in combination with the specialisation in “Managing Digital Innovations” promises a high long-term match with demand in the national and international labour market.

This course is open for active students from all three bachelor’s programmes and addresses innovative, team-oriented, motivated “thinkers” and “doers” in particular.

Specialisation 1: Design Thinking & Innovation (summer semester)

Lecturer: Benedikt Glatzl

Description

Originally developed and marketed by the company IDEO, Design Thinking (DT) has achieved a high level of recognition and widespread use in the innovation units of corporations, at start-ups and in the project and development environment through the research and practical work of the “School of Design Thinking” (“d.school”) at Stanford University and the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam. Team, space and process play a decisive role in this. In three sessions lasting several days, participants go through the entire DT process using concrete examples and are also taught the methods and approaches behind it. The lecturer acquired extensive experience in DT application and training from his years of work for Google in Dublin as well as his current activities for a Viennese start-up.

Contents

  • Introduction to innovation management
  • The role of design and creativity in innovation management
  • Examining social, economic and/or ecological issues as possible challenges to the design challenge.
  • Applying Design Thinking during a design challenge lasting several days

Specialisation Seminar

Lecturers: Prof. Dr. Michael Müßig, Prof. Dr. Nicholas Müller

Description

In close cooperation with companies from a wide range of sectors, current practical problems are implemented at close-up. The specialisation seminar takes place in groups. Groups are clustered according technologies and/or companies. All groups work on developing innovative and exciting business models and their empirical validation. There is also the possibility to develop and expand existing start-up ideas in the team.

We look forward to all open-minded participants who are committed to building the ideas for the future.

Specialisation 2: Business Development and Entrepreneurship (winter semester)

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Michael Müßig

Description

Participants will acquire

  • professional knowledge in building new and discussing existing business models in order to use this ability for developing their own start-ups or improving existing companies.
  • methodological knowledge about presentation forms of business models in general and especially about working with business model canvas and value proposition design canvas.
  • Practical knowledge in order to advance the following steps of founding and developing new business ideas together with a professional entrepreneurial team.
  • interdisciplinary abilities in order to compare and assess business models and business plans from the area of digital transformation as well as digital goods and services.

The seminar wants to teach knowledge about the design, the structure and the application of different forms of business models. Based on current examples and case studies, business models will be analysed, created, outlined and changed. Business contents will take into account current trends of digital transformation and characteristics of digital products. Technological, social as well as organisational concepts will be discussed and taken a closer look at, such as sharing economy, crowdsourcing, Internet of Things, but also wearables and virtual assistants.

Concepts for sustainable founding teams, different forms of fundraising as well as special presentation types and particularities of business plans will be taught in order to found and operate a business from a mere business idea.

Suitable core electives (FWPM)

Associated core elective module: “Open Innovation International”

In this elective, you will work together with international specialists on specific innovation projects of Cookhouse LAB/Insurtech Toronto cookhouselab.com Sven Röhl, Head of the LAB, will present your inputs at the end of March and discuss them with the teams. Work takes place during the entire semester. Finishing as well as final presentations are planned to take place at the end of July in Toronto, Canada. This group will employ English as their lingua franca.

Topics for bachelor's theses

Prof. Dr. Michael Müßig and Prof. Dr. Nicholas Müller offer projects as well as bachelor’s theses on this subject area, also in cooperation with sessional lecturers. This specialisation seminar is a perfect starting point for creating ideas.

Out of the core elective “Open Innovation International” there are new topics being created, often after longer stays in Toronto.