The Transatlantic Entrepreneurship Academy (TEA) program’s mission is to prepare and assist the next generation in transforming all of our futures for the better. Our program combines teaching innovation and entrepreneurship -- skills now critical to all fields of work, alongside supporting and developing truly innovative international startups.
Why Graz, Austria and Montclair, New Jersey?
We believe that by harnessing the American economy and entrepreneurial culture and joining that to the Austrian ecosystem startup support and innovation know-how we can foster creative and meaningful international real-world outcomes. Entrenched learning in two regions has positive economic impact for local ecosystems. Members develop lifelong international collaborations, bonds and friendships from which a network of trusted partnerships can be formed.
The Center of Entrepreneurship and Applied Business Studies at University of Graz
The Center of Entrepreneurship and Applied Business Studies offers its students the opportunity to get hands-on experience in the field of business development and startups. It is also an institution for the transfer of scientific, technical and business knowledge between the university and the local economy. Students learn about Applied Business Studies in a practical, theoretical and scientific context. Within the Graz startup scene, The Center of Entrepreneurship and Applied Business Studies provides integral support for students and scientists.
The Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship at Montclair State University
The Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship creates opportunities to learn, create, design, connect and collaborate. Our curricula provide a rich, real-life entrepreneurial experience to students; and our rich ecosystem of talent helps us blur the line of where the campus ends and the entrepreneurial community begins by exposing students to mentors and other advisors who are entrepreneurs. Innovation is central in all we do, including in our MIX Lab, which provides tools for 3D printing, designing and making with the aim of transforming our students’ mindsets, and lives.
The Mix Lab
Innovation and 3D Printing skills are in demand:
The design and innovation entrepreneurs graduating with our certificate are poised to become leaders in this transformation by having the joined skills of digital fabrication and innovation. At the core of the contemporary entrepreneurial process is digital fabrication that leverages MVP’s (minimum viable products) in a fully digital workflow for just-in-time design, testing and production. Today, the key to entrepreneurship is the ability to fabricate independently, and validate prototypes with markets prior to engineering.
Design has been revolutionized by the advent of Design Thinking, Systems Thinking and Innovation Design such that it is no longer a field that comfortably sits only within engineering or industrial design but has its proper home in the transdisciplinary environment of business and entrepreneurship. Within this context, digital fabrication is the key medium to implement the innovation processes necessary to design rapidly at scale.
Sydney Garcia, MSU Class of '17
Possibly even more valuable, are the friendships that this course has gifted me. These are friendships that serve as the foundation for mutual support and endless networking possibilities.
CHRISTIAN STEINKELLNER,kfu, class of '17
As one week seems very short it was incredible how many things we experienced during this week. Furthermore one of the best things was the motivation and the excitement of all the participants.
Robert Esposito, MSU, Class of '17
I've probably learned more in the 8 days that we were in Graz, than I have in any course in my entire collegiate career. Traveling to Graz was such an eye- opening experience, and a part of my life that I will never forget.
Lorenz schmoly, kfu, class of '17
Participating in TEA was one of the best decisions of my life. During those two weeks I experienced entrepreneurship at its best and I got the chance to share my startup enthusiasm with colleagues from two different continents.
Fall in Love with the Problem...
Not the solution...
The Transatlantic Entrepreneurship Academy (TEA) is a collaboration between the University of Graz and Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey.
The collaboration for this program began with one student, moved by the entrepreneurial mindset.
Sebastian Swoboda arrived in Montclair, New Jersey in the fall of 2014 as an exchange student under the Montclair-Graz Sister City Scholarship between Montclair, New Jersey and Graz, Austria. Established in 1949, after World War II under the Marshall Plan, Graz and Montclair have had a student exchange program for over 60 years.
Arriving in late August, Sebastian was desperately trying to fill his schedule. He found his way into the recently formed Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship offices and registered for one of the few remaining available classes on campus: ENTR201 - The Entrepreneurial Mindset
Nothing has been the same since.
The following 9 months were a transformative experience for Sebastian. He identified deeply with the entrepreneurial material taught. He also connected with newly appointed and first-time professor, later mentor, and now friend Jason Frasca.
Sebastian went on to enroll in the advanced entrepreneurial courses, The Startup Business Model in the Spring of 2015. From this 6 credit course, Sebastian and his team went on to the win the $10,000 pitch competition in May 2015. The perfect climax to his entrepreneurial journey and time studying in the United States.
Immediately after returning home to Austria, Sebastian thought about creating the Transatlantic Entrepreneurship Academy Graz-Montclair. The idea was to give more people the chance to profit from the international entrepreneurship experience.
With strong support from Professor Gutschelhofer, the head of the Department of Corporate Leadership and Entrepreneurship at the University of Graz, Sebastian presented the proposed collaboration between the two entrepreneurship departments to Dennis Bone of the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship. Like Professor Gutschelhofer, Mr. Bone immediately recognized the value in this partnership and gave the green light to begin work on the collaboration.
Sebastian along with former startup mentor Jason Frasca began constructing the framework and outlining the details of the Transatlantic Entrepreneurship Academy program. After one and a half years, several key contributors joined the team including Bernhard Weber, Iain Kerr and Remo Tafener. Each played a key role in successfully launching the first Transatlantic Entrepreneurship Academy, which took place in both Graz, Austria and Montclair, New Jersey with 37 students in spring 2017.