CrossFit, fast cars and ambitious plans

December 07, 2017

These alumni have started a business, expanded their company or are going to go even more global

Four MBA alumni tell us what they have been up to recently.

“I wanted to do something tangible”

Harald Trautsch, multiple digital entrepreneur, has started his own CrossFit studio for a change.

Group picture at the opening
The opening of the CrossFit studio in Viertel Zwei was well visited.

Harald Trautsch's philosophy is “If you reach for the stars, you will at least get to the moon”. The entrepreneurial go-getter and graduate of the 2012 GEMBA program has always thought big. After founding a number of digital businesses (Dolphin Technologies, Blue Monkeys, Everbill), he opened Viertel Zwei, a CrossFit studio located near WU Vienna, on November 17, 2017.

On an area totaling 430 square meters, the studio offers an opportunity to do functional small-group training with lots of variety, to burn off energy while having fun, and to engage in holistic endurance and strength training. With his concept, Harald Trautsch wants to make it possible for people to work on their mental and physical fitness—every day between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. For him, the studio is a little dream come true: “I wanted to do something tangible in the services sector. Usually, I am very much into the digital side of things, working on consumer journeys and marketing automation. The studio is a great way for me to take a break from the digital world,” says the CrossFit enthusiast.

Harald Trautsch's CrossFit studio, Viertel Zwei, is located at Trabrennstraße 2c in Vienna's second district. Students and alumni of the WU Executive Academy are eligible for a discount on the membership fee.

Museum of vintage cars and Europe's first BMW M showroom—the car dealership with a difference

With great passion, Pavel Vranek has turned his car dealership Renocar into Europe's first BMW M showroom.

Men are looking at an oldtimer
The collection of BMW vintage cars impresses with beautiful models.

Pavel Vranek talks enthusiastically about the grand event to mark the reopening of his car dealership. “450 customers would have been a great success, but as many as 600 were there!” says the graduate of the Professional MBA Marketing & Sales. Pavel Vranek has substantially expanded and reopened Renocar, the car dealership he founded with his father in Brno in 2002.

Renocar can be found in two locations—there has been a showroom in Prague since 2013; the car dealership in Brno was opened by Pavel Vranek and his father in 1990. “Over the past 15 years, the BMW brand has changed a lot, so we wanted to come up with a new showroom,” says Pavel Vranek. “We have made a considerable investment.”

The Vranek family has for decades had a very special relationship with the BMW brand. In 1968, Pavel Vranek's father bought his first BMW, a 1938 vintage model. He repaired and sold it. News soon got around that Mr. Vranek, Sr. repaired BMWs—there were no BWM garages in former communist part of the Czech Republic. The father's passion ultimately led to the creation of Renocar, which was to become a licensed BMW dealership. Pavel Vranek joined his father and has since taken over from him. “When we started out, we had four employees; today, we have 205,” he says.

Pavel Vranek's father is particularly fond of the BMW brand. He owns a marvelous collection of currently 25 BMW vintage cars. “They used to be scattered across our old premises. While working on our renovation project, I had the idea to turn the old hall into a museum of vintage cars.” As a result, the 45,000-square-meter facility in Brno features not only a modern BMW M showroom with powerful cars—“they offer approximately 500, 600 horsepower”—and a showroom for the Mini brand but also a museum of vintage cars that is well worth a visit. All this has caused a sensation: Even the vice-president of BMW M attended the reopening event. “He told me that ours was the only BMW M showroom in Europe,” says a proud Pavel Vranek.

See photos of the alumni reunion at the car dealership in Prague

To learn more about the showroom, please visit:

Fighting counterfeit products together

Recently, Securikett, a leader in the field of product protection, moved to new headquarters in Münchendorf: Werner Horn and Marietta Ulrich-Horn have made an investment in their production capabilities and their employees.

Sometimes, an MBA can change a life—or two. Marietta Ulrich and Werner Horn got to know and love each other while attending the Global Executive MBA at the WU Executive Academy. At the time, both were unhappy with their jobs: “We wanted to have more international careers and were eager to foster our personal development,” says Werner Horn.

The couple began to explore the growing problem of counterfeit and pirated products in greater detail. Counterfeiting and piracy cause considerable damage to brands and businesses around the world. Marietta and Werner decided to do something against it: In 2001, they founded Securikett, a product and brand protection company. They started making security labels and seals for different types of packaging and have since added numerous services to their portfolio: digital protection by means of their own cloud-based software, encryption of product codes and online verification. Today, Securikett is a leading industry player, with exports to 35 countries around the globe accounting for 80% of its business. Securikett's clients include the jewelry maker Swarovski, the pharma group Bayer and the Tangle Teezer brand.


On November 9, 270 clients helped Marietta Ulrich-Horn and Werner Horn celebrate the inauguration of the new headquarters in Münchendorf, where Securikett will continue to develop its products and services. The new premises, featuring production and storage facilities, offices and a lounge area and kitchen, offer employees a pleasant and better equipped working environment. Werner und Marietta have already invested in state-of-the-art printing technology, and they have plans for further expansion: At the new site, there is room for additional machinery, extra capacity and more innovation and research. Label printing at Securikett started in 2003. Since then, 55 jobs have been created, and there are plans to hire new employees in production, IT and research soon. “The new site is designed for up to 120 employees. We also intend to create joint ventures and develop international distribution channels in new countries around the globe,” concludes Werner Horn.

Picture of new building in Münchendorf
The opening in Münchendorf comes along with the creation of new jobs.

Click here to read about the exciting career story of the two Global Executive MBA graduates. More information about their company Securikett can be found here:

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