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Breaking Down Company Borders

The theory of “Open Innovation” is everywhere nowadays, but the Innovation-Marathon puts the concept of opening up company borders into practice: Our eight company partners prepared tasks about topics that occupy them in their industry or everyday work life. Now it’s somebody else’s turn to analyze the underlying problem and generate ideas.

More than 250 ideas were generated this way during last years’ Innovation-Marathon and we are sure this years’ students will even exceed this number: Coming from more than 10 different countries, with an even more diverse academic background and a wider age difference than in the last years.

But the ideas are not the only outcomes: The students also evaluate the ideas and create a prototype, often looking much different from the way it would look like, if the company had done it. With their unbiased look at things, they can build creative and unconventional prototypes and shape products and services, the way no one else could.

With all the outcomes, it is easy to forget the most valuable process that goes on during the Innovation-Marathon: The collaboration between the partner companies and the students. The times where the HR-representative is the only one talking to young aspiring students at recruiting conferences is over: During the Innovation-Marathon, department heads work closely with the young adults, getting to know them in a way they never could in a job interview.

Read more about the company’s viewpoint here in a post by our partner company voestalpine:

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