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Startups and corporates: new short program for more win-win

December 06, 2018

Strategy in the Age of Disruption

Flawed approaches to technology scouting, not enough innovative potential, problems in the context of joining forces with start-ups. The new short program “Strategy in the Age of Disruption”, which the WU Executive Academy and the start-up platform Pioneers will co-offer in English as of April 2019, is designed to optimally prepare businesses for this collaboration that will be crucially important in the future.

Picture of a robotic hand playing chess
The new short program is designed to optimally prepare businesses for future challenges.

Blockchains, digital platforms, smart solutions: More and more startups—and corporates—are disrupting established markets and mechanisms. Many businesses recognize the potential of these developments. Yet the process of putting theory into practice is often fraught with problems.

Together—but how?

How can you make innovation happen in businesses? How do you successfully join forces with promising startups? How can you ensure that the collaboration will be mutually beneficial? How can the different corporate cultures benefit from each other? Often, these questions are not sufficiently answered. The WU Executive Academy's new short program “Strategy in the Age of Disruption”, which will be delivered under the academic directorship of Phillip Nell, professor at WU Vienna's Institute for International Business, is designed to remedy the situation.

Portrait Prof. Phillip Nell

Prof. Phillip Nell

  • Academic Director of Strategy in the Age of Disruption

Many established players realize that they need to be innovative. However, when it comes to cooperating with startups, the process of putting theory into practice often proves fraught with problems. It is not uncommon for businesses to approach the collaboration in ways that are not strategic enough - they reflect too little on why they seek cooperation and what they intend to achieve through it. In the course of the program, we will present various models for and approaches to cooperation. We will discuss the objectives and structure as well as the environment required for successful and mutually beneficial cooperation.

Startup platform Pioneers as program partner

In line with the program's philosophy, the WU Executive Academy has itself joined forces with an experienced partner, namely Pioneers, the key player in the startup ecosystem. As a result, program participants will be eligible for free admission to the international Pioneers flagship event, which will take place at Vienna's Hofburg Palace on May 9-10, 2019. It will bring together startup founders, investors, executives and experts from around the globe, offering program participants a unique opportunity to network with innovative startups and lateral thinkers from all industries. Oliver Csendes, CEO of Pioneers, is among the experts providing input for the program and also serves as one of its lecturers.

Portrait Oliver Csendes

Oliver Csendes

  • CEO at Pioneers

Especially in times of considerable uncertainty, we see just how important it is to understand fundamental principles, mechanisms and dynamics. And in this context, academic expertise is particularly valuable. I am absolutely delighted that, in collaboration with the WU Executive Academy, we have managed to develop such a sound and practical program that will deliver genuine value to businesses and startups.

Apart from gaining insight into successful technology scouting and time-tested collaborations with startups, program participants will develop their understanding of state-of-the-art technologies, discuss best practices and work on collaboration toolsets. Moreover, they will complete a practical project as part of their training. The program is intended primarily for executives, innovation managers and corporate developers. It has a value of 5 ECTS credits and can be counted towards one of the WU Executive Academy's MBA programs.

The five-day “Strategy in the Age of Disruption” program will be delivered in English throughout April and May 2019. The program fee will be 4,500 euros and includes admission to the 2019 Pioneers flagship event, which will take place May 9-10, 2019.


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