Meet the VTKW Global Student Challenge Teams – Ötzi Finder

As part of the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge, August 29 – September 4, 2010, you're invited to attend and observe student teams from around the world compete for a $25,000 grand prize and trophy at the Global Student Business Concept Challenge on September 2, 2010 at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center

You can also attend "Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century," a workshop led by Jim Flowers, Director of VT KnowledgeWorks, on September 1, 2010 at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center. Please register for the Challenge and Workshop by August 25.

Please meet Team Ötzi Finder, University of Trento, Italy!

Q. Who are your team members?

A. Martin Egger, Bachelor of Arts, Multimedia Arts, Master in International Management; Federico Facchinelli, Bachelor in Industrial Engineering,  Master in International Management; Alessandro Ligabo', Bachelor in Industrial Engineering. Master in International Management. On team but not attending:  Abhinav Kumar, Bachelor of Commerce, Master in International Management; Stela Rinja, Bachelor of Finance, specialization: Banks and Stock Exchanges, Master in International Management.Q. What is your business idea/concept?

A. The name of our business idea is called “Ötzi Finder”. The name is closely connected to the mummy Ötzi the Iceman, found on September 1991 in the snows of the Ötztal Alps. Our idea consists of an avalanche transreciever meant to be plugged in modern smartphones. The benefit of such idea is in combining the sleek user interface of modern smartphones with a relatively inexpensive add-on antenna. In addition, the system could be enhanced by the other capabilities of smartphones like GPS tracking and many forms of data connection. Compared to avalanche beacons currently available in the market, Ötzi Finder is meant to be more powerful and less expensive.

Q.  What information, data or insight encouraged you to pursue this business idea?

A.  In recent years, the number  of off-slope activities (e.g. freesking)  registered a continuous and significant increase (+24% yearly average). But with it, several tragic avalanche incidences came and in the Alps the number of victims is growing at a similar pace (+22%).
In the market, there are currently several brands producing stand-alone solutions of avalanche transrecievers/beacons.  In the near future, these devices could become much more important due to future regulative frameworks establishing new rules for off-slope activities.

Q.  When was the first inception of your business idea/concept?

A.  The idea was conceived by Martin Egger, expert mountaineer, in the context of “MIM Entrepreneurship Challenge” in our Master of International Management in the University of Trento.  Thanks to Martin’s knowledge of the market  – due to previous working experiences for distributors of mountaineering  materials –  and experience in off-slope activities, he had this idea and involved 4 more people with different backgrounds in its development.

Q. In what competitions have you participated?

A. Our project won the “MIM Entrepreneurship Challenge” organized by the Faculty of Economics in the University of Trento.

Q. What do you hope to achieve by participating in the Global Student Challenge?

A. We would like to fully understand the potential of our idea, after the improvements that will come from comparing it to other ideas, from competing with them and from any external feedback we may receive during the Global Student Challenge. We also wish to create some connections with other bright and entrepreneurial people from all over the world. Finally we hope to have a nice time in Virginia with all the other participants.

Good luck to Team Ötzi Finder!


To fully experience the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge, you're invited to:

Learn about "Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century," in the workshop led by Jim Flowers, Director of VT KnowledgeWorks during the day of September 1 at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, attend the NCTC Fall Gala on the evening of September 1, lodge that night at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, then attend and observe student teams from around the world compete for a $25,000 grand prize and trophy at the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge beginning the morning of September 2, 2010.

Here's more about The Challenge and the schedule of events, here's where to register for the Workshop, Challenge, or as an advertiser, and here's where to register for the NCTC Fall Gala.

Learn more about the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge on the VT KnowledgeWorks site, through individual posts with news and updates via VTKW Global Student Challenge on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks, and by visiting the VTKW Global Student Challenge on Facebook.


The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Challenge is made possible thanks to the generous Global Challenge Event Sponsors, including COTA, G.J. Hopkins Inc., HCA VA Health System, Interactive Achievement, Novozymes, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Rackspace, TechLab, and The Branch Group Inc.

Virginia Tech Office of Outreach and International Affairs, Montgomery County, Virginia, Panera Bread, and Custom Catering will sponsor meals during the Global Challenge Celebration. 

Welcome bags presented to each student finalist are sponsored by University Bookstore/Volume II Bookstore, the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Downtown Blacksburg, Inc., Virginia Tech Graduate School, the Cranwell International Center at Virginia Tech, and Mountain Lake.

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