KAIT (Kapfenberg Accelerator IT) offers consulting & coaching, infrastructure and a network with access to business partners and events.
What is KAIT
KAIT – Kapfenberg Accelerator for IT is the start-up centre at the Institute of Internet Technologies & Applications at FH JOANNEUM Kapfenberg.
Origin and content of KAIT
KAIT has existed since 2017 and emerged from the EU-funded Accelerator project (Interreg Programme, Central Europe). KAIT is a start-up centre where primarily students, but also other founders and young entrepreneurs who want to start their own business or grow in the IT sector in Upper Styria, are supported and advised. The initiator and driving force behind KAIT is Director Sonja Gögele.
The most important project partner is the SFG – Steirische Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft mbH. As the operational arm of the economic and science department of the province of Styria, SFG is jointly responsible for the implementation of the economic strategy. Other important strategic partners are the Styrian Chamber of Commerce Bruck-Mürzzuschlag and the municipality of Kapfenberg. In addition, KAIT is supported by numerous, mainly regional companies.
In accordance with Styria’s Economic Strategy 2025, a real incubator for start-ups in the IT sector, is now to be created at FH JOANNEUM campus Kapfenberg. This will turn the existing virtual initiative into a real A2B centre. FH JOANNEUM is committed to taking the entrepreneurial spirit from theory to practice and to supporting young people along the way.
As a continuation of the EU-funded Accelerator project (Interreg Danube Programme), KAIT can already build on the existing virtual centre. This creates a 2nd generation impulse centre / incubator, whereby much of the necessary infrastructure is already in place and can simply be better utilised.
- Consulting & Coaching: from the business idea to a successful company
- Advice on subsidies and financing issues as well as technical, legal and economic questions
- Infrastructure: provision of seminar and meeting rooms
- Network: access to networks of business partners;
KAIT organised the following four events last year:
- Business and ideas competition
- Information events such as “1 year DSGVO” and promotional events
- One networking event per year, most recently Digitalisation with a sense of proportion
USP of KAIT
- The advantage of locating an A2B Centre at FH JOANNEUM in Kapfenberg, a growth region with a good infrastructure and numerous businesses.
- FH JOANNEUM hardware can be used by founders: Smart Lab, Streaming Lab, Cyber Security Lab, Network Lab, Library, Cafeteria, Printer, Copier etc.
- All FH JOANNEUM software can be used by the founders.
- Advice and coaching by lecturers, (in-service) studies, R&D projects …
- Focus on IT – this corresponds to the ever-increasing trend of digitalisation and the Internet Technology degree programme
- Focus on women in technology, especially women in IT
- A further deepening in the area of Green Tech is intended
- PPP model: cooperation with the surrounding communities, with stakeholders (SFG, clusters, impulse centres) and with industrial and commercial enterprises.
KAIT thus assumes a bridgehead function with regard to A2B as well as in spatial terms.
Update: Business incubator
The overall area of the start-up centre for KAIT with a total area of around 135m² consists of three zones:
- There are 6 office workstations in an area of around 20m², which are exclusively available for KAIT founders (IT founders and IT start-ups).
- An area of around 63m² can be used by both students and founders; here there is an area for seminars and events (including KAIT events), as well as a lounge area with a cosy seating area for meetings in a relaxed atmosphere.
- The foyer, which will also be modernised in the course of the renovation, will be available as an open area for both KAIT founders and students. The foyer area will have a kitchen with coffee vending machines and a fridge, as well as casual seating and some open workstations. This will be the communication and networking zone with an area of around 55m².
Communication and networking is a central component of the KAIT Centre, in all directions but especially between founders, their customers and company partners, students and, of course, teachers at FH JOANNEUM. Close cooperation with SFG-Steirische Wirtschaftsförderungs-GmbH, the Bruck-Mürzzuschlag Chamber of Commerce and the municipality of Kapfenberg are also relevant here.
The project will have multiple effects. On the one hand, the visibility of the currently virtual KAIT will be greatly increased. But not only the business incubator as such, also the possibilities of studying IT will become clearer, because KAIT is a bridgehead between technology (IT) – women – teaching – research & development & innovation – entrepreneurship in Upper Styria.
- IT: The IT teachers who are readily available as mentors for the founders.
- Women: Women in technology especially women in IT are high on KAIT’s agenda.
- Region: The bridgehead function of the KAIT centre in Upper Styria is a key consideration.
- Green tech: The focus is on IT, but green tech in cooperation with the Green Tech Cluster Styria is also significant.
- Teaching: The combination of start-ups and in-service teaching at FH JOANNEUM is a USP of the KAIT Centre (Software Design, IT & Mobile Security, IT Law & Management).
- Research: The excellent infrastructure at FH JOANNEUM Kapfenberg, such as the Smart Production Lab, Cyber Security Lab, Streaming Lab, Network Lab, the numerous R&D projects at FH JOANNEUM and the library, will be better utilised and new projects, perhaps even partnerships with FH JOANNEUM, will come about through founders.
- Networks: are being expanded, strengthened and better used, especially through partners in industry and business.
- Infrastructure: The comprehensive other infrastructure such as meeting and seminar rooms, photocopiers, printers and the refectory can also be used.