Chair of the Academic Board Prof. Martin Waiguny, joint CEOs Ulrike Prommer and Karl Ennsfellner, and Deputy Chair of the Academic Board Prof. Manfred Pferzinger handed over the awards to the winners virtually, in recognition of their outstanding achievements. The speeches at the ceremony for the nine winners were held by Prof. Harald Hundsberger, Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Programme Director; Elisabeth Rakos, MSc, Midwifery Programme Director; Business Administration and E-Business Management Programme Director Franz Piller; and Prof. Christopher Schwand, Director of the Export-Oriented Management programme.
“We are delighted to be able to honour our graduates’ exceptional achievements every year, not only in their professional fields, but also for their outstanding commitment to IMC Krems, accomplishments in promoting CSR and in the worlds of sport and the arts. This year, however, the focus was on the Entrepreneurship category, with two awards presented. We were particularly pleased to present an award to a graduate of our Midwifery degree programme for the first time,” commented Academic Board Chair Martin Waiguny.
The 2020 Alumni Awards
The IMC Alumni Awards are intended to acknowledge and spotlight remarkable professional accomplishments or exceptional commitment by the university’s graduates, as well as emphasising the important role they play as stakeholders of the university. This year, the awards were presented for the eighth time in recognition of graduates’ stand-out achievements.
Achievements in professional careers category: Stefan Hochegger
Stefan Hochegger graduated from the International Business and Export Management master degree programme in 2013. He has enjoyed a stellar international career, and in just six years he has risen through the ranks to become Vice President Supply Chain Management at Hoerbiger Corp of America, based in Miami, USA. Hoerbiger has global operations in the oil, gas and automotive industries and is a key partner of the IMC Career Center. In 2018, the company employed 6,944 people and reported revenue of EUR 1.2bn. Stefan Hochegger heads a 50-strong supply chain and logistics team in the US. He is down-to-earth, but also an ambitious manager with a proven track record of developing high-performance teams and improving operational processes. His personal guiding principle is short and to the point: “Do more”!
Achievements in academic careers category: Christoph Hofbauer
Christoph Hofbauer obtained his degree in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at IMC Krems with distinction 12 years ago. Since then, he has had an outstanding academic career with numerous publications, awards and appearances at international scientific conferences to his name. He completed his PhD with distinction at the Medical University of Vienna in 2014. A graduate of the Immunology doctoral programme, his doctorate was entitled ‘Novel strategies for the monitoring of factor VIII-specific immune responses in hemophilia A patients’. He is currently Director, Global Commercial Lead New Products at Takeda in Massachusetts in the United States. His voluntary work on the IMC mentoring programme and close collaboration with the Institute of Biotechnology are a sign of his dedication to supporting his alma mater. His motto: “Be authentic and live your dreams, success will follow”.
Achievements in Entrepreneurship category: Tanja Fussthaler and Albert Vogl-Bader
Tanja Fussthaler received her degree in midwifery with merit in 2016. She is currently in the process of building up HebPlus – established in 2018, HebPlus is a web-based midwife search service which provides information on availability and also includes a booking system. The service is an innovative and efficient tool for women who are looking for a midwife, and also puts midwives themselves in touch with mothers-to-be. HebPlus was expanded in 2019 to include online midwifery services, which has opened up the possibility of providing professional online consultation in emergency cases. This is tailored to the needs of young women and is the only service of its kind in Austria.
Ride with an impact: positive impact on the environment
Carployee is Austria’s number-one ride sharing app for commuters. As the website of successful young entrepreneur Albert Vogl-Bader puts it, this intelligent ride sharing app helps people organise the daily commute to their company or business park. A graduate of the Management bachelor degree programme, Vogl-Bader and two colleagues started developing the Carployee project at the end of 2017, establishing the venture as a private limited company the following year. Their main aim was to launch a product and software all of their own with a view to making a positive impact on the environment using innovative technologies.
Carployee provides companies and business parks with a software program which automatically displays the best carpooling arrangements for employees. A tailored incentive system for users promotes the formation of carpools and increases car occupancy levels. The service enables users and businesses to measure the volume of CO2 emissions avoided, providing evidence of a win-win situation. In the long term, plans are in place to adapt the software to all means of passenger transport, which will show the most efficient method of transportation measured in terms of the environment, time and cost.
Carployee’s first major expansion phase kicked off at the end of 2019, in collaboration with high-profile companies in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. One of them is Rosenbauer AG, which recorded more than 1,500 ride-sharing trips in February 2020 alone, resulting in savings of 13,500kg of CO2. According to the award winners, their recipe for success is to “make contact with role models, spread ideas, collect feedback and be aware of your capabilities”.