Creating a platform for digital events

Cancelled conferences, postponed trade fairs and cancelled events: 2020 didn’t make it easy for organisers to communicate their content and presented the entire industry with major problems. A quick solution had to be found: this is how the platform for digital events SCOOCS was launched.

SCOOCS was founded by Prof. Dr René Bohnsack and his team. René Bohnsack is a professor of strategy and innovation at Católica-Lisbon University. There, he explores the diffusion of technologies and how business models can accelerate them. He is also an experienced founder: various companies are attributable to him. These include an online platform for social carsharing, a start-up for flight refunds and a very successful e-health company, Fitbase GmbH. 

Necessity is the mother of invention

How does the path from carsharing and health to a platform for digital events come about? When numerous events had to be cancelled in 2020, the biannual conference on sustainability GRONEN – hosted by Bohnsack in Lisbon in 2020 – ,didn’t had the same fate. René Bohnsack quickly realized that there was no suitable tool for academic events. So he became active himself. This is where his experience as a founder of digital business models benefited him. Within a very short time, SCOOCS was developed and implemented on the basis of an existing e-learning platform. 

Increased awareness of sustainability 

When building SCOOCS, Bohnsack not only wanted a quick and unproblematic solution during the pandemic for the troubled event industry, but he wanted to combine digital transformation with a sustainable approach with his platform. For Bohnsack, the impact also plays an important role in all start-ups. For example, companies and institutions are to be motivated to focus more on their CO2 footprint and, in this context, to discuss which makes more sense- if travelling or attending an in-person event. The CO2 savings –  that customers can easily calculate on the platform-, are doubled again by SCOOCS, valued with a financial amount and invested in climate projects. 

More about René Bohnsack 

In addition to various founding projects, René Bohnsack is also active as a scientist. Bohnsack’s current research focuses on sustainable business models, the digital transformation of industries and the role of business models in internationalization. He shared the results of his research around 2018 in a TEDx presentation.  

For his work, he has already received the Best Paper Award at the Academy of Management ONE Division 2019, the Best Paper Award in Sustainable Entrepreneurship 2016 and the 3rd Prize for The Best Innovation Management Paper 2013.   

In addition, Bohnsack is the founder and head of the Smart City Innovation Lab (SCIL) and the Business Model Design Lab (BMDL), both multidisciplinary research teams working on the latest findings on business model innovation and business model theory. The research of the groups focuses on digital, sustainable and international business models and the application of AI for business model innovations. Bohnsack and the BMDL team also operate the award-winning Venturely platform, a unique platform for business modelling. 

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