After the pilot event in 2015, Skinnovation came back to Innsbruck last weekend. Skinnovation, which combines skiing and innovation, is the perfect mix of experiencing entrepreneurship through exciting speeches and workshops and having a great time on the slopes with likeminded people. Whereas last year Skinnovation was only a one-day event with mostly Austrian students participating, the Skinnovators of 2016 came from all over the world to spend three amazing days in the capital of the Alps.
After an early arrival dinner on Thursday night in a traditional Tyrolean restaurant, Skinnovation was kicked off on Friday morning in the ski resort Axamer Lizum. After the official welcome in 2340 meters above sea level, the first Skinnovators headed off to their workshops, which took place in different ski huts, whereas others started off their day by hitting the slopes or enjoying a coffee in the sun. Apart from skiing, the participants had the opportunity to visit interesting workshops and listen to inspiring keynotes. Topics ranged from Design Thinking, property rights to successful crowdfunding and many more. In the evening, special guest Jochen Engert, CEO of MeinFernbus Flixbus, held a keynote at the WKO in front of 200 Skinnovators, Tyrolean politicians and invited guests. He gave interesting insights into the early days of the fast growing bus company and encouraged the participants to follow their entrepreneurial dreams.
On Saturday, another day full of exciting workshops and individual coaching sessions was waiting for the Skinnovators in the ski resort Schlick2000. How to „fuck up“ your business and prototyping were just two of the topics of the second day. For dinner, the participants had the possibility to choose from different restaurants in Innsbruck – each one with a special table topic such as Startup Marketing, Venture Capital or Leadership. The discussions were led by different mentors and experts and the Skinnovators had the chance to share their thoughts and experience in small groups. The evening ended at the Bäckerei, an event location and coworking space. Here everyone could drop by, pitch his idea and eventually get nominated for the final pitch on Sunday. After a rather long party night, still most of the participants made it to the top of Nordkette on Sunday morning, where fresh powder was awaiting them and making up for getting up early. On their last day, the Skinnovators could attend ski workshops, pitch their ideas at the Future Founders Challenge or attend the keynote speeches of Dafna Kariv, professor at the Center of Entrepreneurship COMAS in Israel, or Michael Breidenbrücker, partner at Speedinvest. Instead of an elevator pitch, the participants had the chance to discuss their business ideas with experts in the chair lift. The event ended with the final presentations at Cloud9, an igloo at Seegrube station, with a breathtaking view over Innsbruck. Among the winning teams was Bloode, a Greek startup with a blood donating platform and RIDERS, the world´s largest riders community which has been started in Russia.
Skinnvoation showed that interesting ideas are not born in foggy conference rooms but in an inspiring and creative environment such as the Alps.
„It wasn’t just a great conference, it was a community of people, united by many, many passions: entrepreneurship, skiing, snowboarding and love to adventures. Thats why I’m sure, we’ll all meet again in the next season.“ Igor Debatur, founder of RIDERS.