Start-up Incubator has set up a network of mentors for start-ups in South Tyrol as part of the Interreg-Projects Startup.Euregio and Startup.Accelerate.
The aim of the network is to bring together, in a single pool, successful entrepreneurs and managers who are happy to support start-ups with their expertise and experience. Each mentor provides 10 hours of their time per year without charge which can be booked by the start-up. Our Start-up Incubator will undertake the intermediary role and appointment coordination.
Werner Amort holds two positions of responsibility within the High Technology Industries (HTI) group of companies: he is the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of Leitner ropeways and also the chairman of the supervisory board of the Prinoth company. As such he is the perfect contact for dealing with all queries to do with finance, management, export and innovation.
After graduating from the Luigi Bocconi University in Milan, Esther Ausserhofer continued her studies first of all in England and then in the USA. After work experience in various countries, she joined the South Tyrol family business of Dr. Schär as assistant to the CFO in 2010. In this capacity she oversaw several M&A projects, amongst others in Spain, the USA and in Brazil. Today she is a member of the administrative board of the Dr. Schär Group as well as consultant and business coach in the firm.
Tamara Benetti is chief operating officer (COO) of a high-growth global Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) fitness brand (Arena Strength Ltd). Previously she was a manager at McKinsey & Co, a worldwide management consulting corporation. Tamara holds a Bachelor's degree in International Business from the Rotterdam School of Management and a Master's degree in Financial Economics from HEC Paris, a French university education institute specialising in economics and commerce.
She is currently based between Panama, Bali and South Tyrol and runs her company remotely. She is happy to offer guidance in business modelling, boot-strapping, i.e. the early stages of (self) financing a start-up, scaling e-commerce/DTC brands and working remotely.
Maurizio Bergamini was in charge of the Department for Innovation, Research and University of the Autonomous Province of Bozen-Bolzano for 23 years. The founding of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, the formation of the Business Innovation Centre (BIC), which later became TIS and is now part of NOI Techpark, and the enactment of Provincial Law Number 14 for the Promotion of Research and Innovation all came about during the time of his leadership.
Claes Broqvist is an entrepreneurial thinking executive with 30 years of experience in the sports and outdoor industry.
Among other things he was CSO at Oberalp Group, Sales Director Global at Odlo and Sales & Marketing Director at Haglöfs Scandinavia. His core competence is to efficiently manage corporate strategies that focus on growth, talent management and reliable profit and loss control.
Andrea Cappelletti is a senior manager with more than 35 years of experience as managing and sales director. In the course of his professional career he founded and managed various start-ups and sales organisations. He is an expert in corporate finance, public tenders and digital purchasing platforms.
Nora Dejaco is firmly anchored and networked in the international technology, innovation and mobility landscape and commutes between Vienna and South Tyrol: She is currently COO of the innovation cluster Automotive Excellence South Tyrol, which is currently backed by six of the most important companies in the automotive supply industry in South Tyrol. Previously, Nora co-founded and built up the start-up RISER - and noi.works, a communications agency, with international clients in the FMCG sector. Nora holds an international Business MBA, a Master in Advertising, a Master in Literature and Visual Design from the University of Art in Linz. She provides her know-how in the areas of Automotive & Mobility, Marketing and Brand Development, Business Modeling as well as Digital Transformation.
Marco Domizio has over 25 years of experience in the ICT sector, innovation management of processes, and problem-solving skills. Today he is supporting start-ups and SMEs: as a mentor, he helps them analyse, define, pursue, and eventually obtain their business goals. His focus? Optimizing the customer experience in business processes through digitisation, sharing, and motivation.
Marius Eccel grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. His grandfather founded Daunenstep AG in 1907, and Marius Eccel is now the managing director of the firm. Moreover, he is in charge of Rentevent, has been part of the governing body of Lavarent GmbH for 13 years, and is a member of the South Tyrol Young Entrepreneurs Group. In 2019, he additionally co-founded the start-up firm STEC GmbH which is active in the hospitality sector.
Erich Falkensteiner is the founder, chairman and co-owner of the FMTG-Falkensteiner Michaeler Tourism Group. This now includes 33 Falkensteiner Hotels and Residences in 7 countries and more than 20 other companies. Brought up in a hotel owning family, he has been expanding the family business since the age of 19, founding new firms, business divisions and partnerships. Additionally, he has also been active as an angel investor for several years
Riccardo Fisogni worked for more than 13 years in large finance companies in which he held leading positions in various sectors such as asset management and investment banking. Recently he has been specialising in management consultancy, open innovation and start-up investments. He is part of the Business Angels network and of the Investors Club of Trentino and supports start-ups as an investor and mentor.
As an expert in strategic communications, Luca Francescangeli advises major brands and start-ups in the areas of communications, media relations and crowdfunding. He was part of the initial Change.org team in Italy, which he then led as Country Director. In his role as keynote speaker he focuses on social media and social innovation. Moreover he contributes as a freelancer writer to Wired Italy and Mashable Italy, and runs his own blog at the Huffington Post, providing information on crowdfunding and innovation.
Federico Giudiceandrea is the founder and CEO of Microtec, the world-wide market leader for scanners in the timber industry. In addition he is president of the South Tyrol Employers’ Association and member of the Bozen-Bolzano Chamber of Commerce. Himself a former “start-upper”, he supports innovation and research, the driving forces for the development of our region.
As a member of the family who founded Gruber Logistics Martin Gruber has had experience of entrepreneurship from childhood. Today Gruber Logistics is a multi-national firm with almost a thousand employees and with branches throughout Europe. Since 2017, Martin Gruber has been the majority shareholder and Group CEO.
Alexander Kiesswetter is a consultant with many years of experience in the areas of digital transformation, organizational development and change management. He was CDO at Raiffeisen Information System and was responsible for projects such as defining the strategic development perspective of the IT architecture, developing the new RIS strategy, introducing a service desk according to best practice ITIL and much more.
Evelyn Kirchmaier is the General Director of Markas GmbH, a service company with locations in Italy, Austria, Germany and Romania, with more than 9,000 employees today. Furthermore, she is a member of various administrative and advisory boards in Italy and Austria. Over the course of her career she has given innumerable lectures, as well as taken part in interviews and panel discussions.
Renate König is a chartered accountant and tax consultant, and is furthermore well informed in today's financial world. Her core areas are strategic consulting, business planning and finance, mergers & acquisitions as well as reorganisational and generational change within corporate management. In addition, she provides advice in the following subjects tax, management and group consulting for industrial, commercial and service companies of all sizes including start-ups.
Andreas Loacker joined the Loacker family business in 1996, and is today not only the Business Leader but also in charge of research and development. Prior to this he had worked with various confectionary manufacturers in Germany and Switzerland. In the course of his career he has gathered valuable experience in the fields of packaging and product optimisation.
Elmar Mair is CEO and Founder of the US-based start-up Netleaf. He was Head of Autonomous Driving AI at Lucid Motors and Head of Perception at GoogleX. Elmar Mair provides his expertise in the areas of automotive & automation, robotics, AI and Ag tech.
Karl Manfredi is CEO of Schmidhammer GmbH, South Tyrol's leading plant engineering company. Previously, he was CEO and co-owner of the telecommunications company Brennercom AG.
He is co-owner of Hotel Terra The Magic Place with associated restaurant (2 Michelin stars). He is a founding member of the start-up Hydrocell, the first private company of its kind in the hydrogen sector in South Tyrol. Furthermore, he has been active as an investor for many years.
Karl Manfredi studied economics, attended the master course for international management at the ZfU Business School (CH), he holds diplomas from Harvard Business School, Babson College, Northwestern University (USA) and CEIBS (Shanghai, China).
For more than 20 years Vincent Mauroit worked for the automotive division of Röchling. Today, the native Belgian is Director of Innovation & Tech Transfer at NOI Techpark. In the course of his career he has acquired practical expertise in the fields of quality management, purchasing, as well as general management and innovation management. He has in addition already gained considerable experience of start-ups, because Röchling is constantly seeking opportunities to enter into partnerships with young, innovative companies.
Heiner Oberrauch is President of the Oberalp Salewa Group. He embarked on an entrepreneurial path very early on: at just 19, he and his older brother opened the first branch of Sportler in Bozen-Bolzano. Nowadays, Salewa, Dynafit, Pomoca, Wild Country and most recently, the American climbing shoe brand Evolv are part of this group of entrepreneurs. The group employs 650 brand developers, has ten offices all over the world and exports to more than 40 countries.
Italo Petitti graduated in Aerospace Engineering at the Polytechnic of Turin. He worked for two organizations in the field of aerospace (ESA first and Alenia).
After this experience, he decided to work for "Toyota Motor Europe", joining the automotive industry, where he worked on the development of vehicles for the European market.
After almost 10 years at Toyota in the R&D department he started a consulting career at McKinsey & Co. From May 2020 he is employed at GKN Automotive as Vice President Business Transformation and Improvement.
Carlo Rivis is an accomplished Innovator, Business Development and Project Management professional with more than 15 years experience of leading complex technology projects, teams and companies internationally. His background includes successful experience in driving the adoption of new technology innovations, processes and best practices that reduce costs and improve efficiencies. He is particularly strong in providing scalable technology solutions that align technology investments with business goals. Equally strong in delivering projects deliverables on time and under budget, including software development, business strategy and enterprise-wide solution development initiatives.
Even Stefan Rubner’s grandfather was already what we would call a “start-upper” today. He founded the first hydro-powered sawmill in the Puster Valley, which has developed over the years into what is now a multinational company. Stefan Rubner has, as it were, been brought up in an atmosphere of entrepreneurship and innovation management. The Rubner Group is still a family business today. As Vice-president, Stefan Rubner is in charge of an organisation with 20 locations in four countries.
After graduating in Economics and Management at the Free University of Bolzano, Daniel Schmidhofer turned his passion for video games into his profession. With 21 years he was among the best players competing in the World Championship of Video Game Players. In 2003, he founded ProGaming Italia, a leading company in Italy in the conception and realisation fo B2B and B2C events in the gaming industry focusing on export. Since the company was national reference point for the most important international tournaments: a particular highlight is the partnership with ESL - the world's leading platform for electronic sports – which is in place for more than 15 years. As a mentor he provides know-how in the areas management, marketing, innovation and purchasing.
Philipp Senoner studied electrical engineering and information technology specialising on control and automation engineering at the TU Munich. While studying he completed several internships in both Germany and the US, and worked as student trainee at OSRAM. After completing his diploma thesis he worked for several years as development engineer and project manager. Then in May 2009, together with three friends, he founded his own start-up: alpitronic GmbH, which places its main focus on developing power electronics. Today, more than 80 people are employed.
Wolfram Sparber has been the head of the Eurac Research Institute for Renewable Energy since its foundation in 2005. In this capacity, he has been able to push ahead with establishing and driving forward the institute’s main areas of focus. Wolfram Sparber studied Applied Physics, followed by work at research institutions as well as various energy companies including Alperia AG, where he is still Vice-Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
Franz Tschimben works in the tech field between Silicon Valley and Europe. He is currently CEO of Covision Lab, a computer vision and A.I. technology centre in South Tyrol, which is backed by seven multinational technology companies. Previously he founded his start-up, Common Interest and Aker Inc., and worked for Savari Inc., PwC, Accenture and Samsung. Franz Tschimben holds a Master's degree in Strategy and International Management from the University of St. Gallen, and a master's degree from ESADE Business School. He offers guidance and know-how in automotive, automation, A.I., comupter vision, business modeling, fundraising strategy and market entry.
Günter Wimmer operated as a retail salesman on both local and international scale, and was self employed for over 25 years. Now, since more than nine years, he is Sales and Marketing Director at systems Ltd. As a mentor he contributes his extensive experience as consultant in the areas of sales, marketing, management and IT.