Christian Schuss, Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oulu

I´m Christian Schuss from Austria. In 2009, I came as an Erasmus exchange student to Oulu. I chose Oulu, because it was the northernmost place in Europe I could go to. In 2010, I returned to Austria to finish my diploma studies at the Graz University of Technology. However, in autumn 2010, I came back to Oulu and started to work as a PhD student at the University of Oulu. At the same time I also enrolled at the Graz University of Technology for doctoral studies. In 2014, I graduated from Austria as a PhD in automotive electronics/vehicular technology, while I graduated 2017 as PhD in electronics design from Finland. During my studies, I have always focused on a multidisciplinary education.

At the moment, I am working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Circuits and Systems (CAS) Research Unit. More precisely, I am steering a research project entitled "Simple Smart Sensors (S3)". The target of the project is to investigate the opportunity to transfer technology, which has been developed during research, as commercial product to the consumer market.

In the beginning of this year, my research colleagues and I participated in the Venture Research Challenge (VRC). This event was held at the University of Oulu at Tellus Innovation Area. The event was co-organized and co-hosted by Business Kitchen. The target of VRC was to hand over technology, which has been developed during research, to students. Then, the students analysed and investigated potential opportunities to transform our technology from the research into a commercial product for the consumer market. As a result, TravelBuddy was created. It also won the VRC competition.

With the students who helped and worked together with us in the Venture Research Challenge, we also participated in Kickstart Oulu. In Kickstart, we also had the opportunity to discuss our idea with experts and business advisors from Business Kitchen. As in VRC, our students were able to win the Kickstart competition. Another event, in which we participated and which was organised by Business Kitchen, was Avanto Accelerator. During the Avanto Accelerator program, we received the positive funding decision from Tekes.

Business Kitchen is a fantastic place and opportunity to meet new people, especially business experts, that helps to evaluate your business idea and develop it further. Furthermore, Business Kitchen also provides workshops and tools which are helpful in developing and improving your product, identifying potential market segments and analyzing the target customers. In my case, Business Kitchen has helped to strengthen our research funding application and, thus, increased our chances of funding for our research. Also, the business experts who we got to know during the events organized by Business Kitchen, are working now with us on our research project. I can easily say that Business Kitchen has certainly affected my life. It has helped me to substantially extend my network. In summary, Business Kitchen is giving you a lot of support which is needed to develop your business idea further. If I’d have to choose three words to describe Business Kitchen, I would say supportive, fun, innovative.