Professional MBA alumnus among the finalists of the Best of Biotech award

August 21, 2017

Master thesis by Christian Kittel one of the winners in phase 1 of Best of Biotech

Vacthera, a biotech start-up, is developing a revolutionary influenza vaccine. The business plan for this venture has been written by Christian Kittel as part of his Professional MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation thesis. Recently, it was selected as one of the winners of phase I of Best of Biotech, an international business plan competition.

Group picture with Christian Kittel
Christian Kittels (third from left) master thesis was awarded in phase I of Best of Biotech competition.

Dual success for Christian Kittel

Thanks to the master's thesis he completed at the WU Executive Academy/TU Wien, he is not only a Professional MBA graduate but also among the winners of an international competition. “Last year, Andrej Egorov, my former PhD supervisor, founded a biotech start-up,” says Christian Kittel, who earned his doctoral degree from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. “Vacthera is working to develop both an enhanced influenza vaccine offering the same level of effective protection every year and a virus-based cancer immunotherapy.” In order to get investors and venture capitalists on board, the new start-up needed not only a game-changing innovation but also a solid business plan.

Enter Christian Kittel: “Since I had the thorough training that is the MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation under my belt and understood the science behind Vacthera, I offered to write the business plan as part of my MBA thesis.” Coincidentally, the biennial Best of Biotech award was open for submissions at the time, inviting short five-page outlines of business ideas. Christian Kittel decided to take the opportunity—and has succeeded in winning a prize: Out of a total of 31 entries, his submission has been chosen as one of the three most innovative life-sciences business ideas.

Off to phase II of Best of Biotech

“I think it would not have been possible for me to win this prize without the MBA in general and the class taught by my thesis supervisor, Prof. Hisrich, in particular,” says the microbiologist. In his opinion, the MBA program helps participants round out their subject-matter expertise and their work experience. “If you want to be really successful, you have to do your best to bring the two together.”

Christian Kittel is now off to the final phase of Best of Biotech, during which the full-fledged business plans will be evaluated. The winners will be awarded up to 15,000 euro and will be invited to participate in a two-day coaching session with expert investors and biotech specialists. “I have already submitted my business plan, and I hope to know more by the beginning of October,” says Christian Kittel. “Vacthera, which is looking for further investors, is confident that it will be able to successfully secure series A funding in the near future.”

Learn more

If you’d like your innovative idea to bear fruit, the Professional MBA Entrepreneurship & Innovation, jointly offered by the WU Executive Academy and the TU Wien, can give you the tools to know how. Click here to find out more.

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