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“The diversity of people is an enrichment”

A TRANSFER interview with PRISMA CEO Stefan Nachbaur

Stefan Nachbaur is passionate about networking. As CEO of the PRISMA group of companies in Vorarlberg and Germany, he plays an active cross-border role in economic and regional development. It would be mistaken to think that this is just about overseeing real estate development. In addition to developing urban districts, city centers, innovation hubs, technology centers, business zones, and industrial areas, his work also involves establishing networked collaboratives to come up with new ideas, sponsoring institutions that operate care homes and supervised accommodation, and working with business startup models. When you meet the energetic networker, it immediately strikes you that for him, the success of a development project is inseparably connected with a constructive exchange of ideas and collaboration between companies, communities, and regional initiatives and associations. TRANSFER met up with Stefan Nachbaur for an interview.

Hello Mr. Nachbaur. The projects you implement in Germany with PRISMA are not normal, everyday projects. Not only do you focus on the right technical and local infrastructure, you also place emphasis on setting up sustainable company networks and initiatives aimed at promoting a regional climate of innovation. You invest your heart and soul in networks and this climate – why?

Every industry player has its strengths, experiences, and competences. Networking young and established business enterprises, universities, funding organizations, and municipal institutions, as well as other parties, creates synergies and provides valuable ideas and inspiration for a vibrant community to work and live. You get, as it were, living, networked areas of opportunity.

You worked on a somewhat different development in Ravensburg. This is a city of 50,000 inhabitants which now has innovative, technology-centric, and creative companies working together in a building called kup. Ravensburg. It’s a working environment offering an integrated co-working space brimming with ideas and energy. At the same time, the building has integrated support facilities for people with disabilities. What was your motivation for working on this highly diverse and inclusive project?

The worlds of work and everyday life are changing continuously, as is society’s approach to living together. This is a process that’s enriching, not only for the innovative power of companies, but also for the diversity of all people, with or without disabilities. kup. Ravensburg is the answer to a question: How do we want to live and work together in the future? But at the same time, this is the motivation for everything we do. It’s what drives us.

PRISMA works with a number of partners as part of an initiative called Start (k)up, focusing on the main thrusts of your projects. So you develop reliable partnerships that allow value to be added on a number of fronts. Just some of the things this involves are shared projects, providing support to established companies and business founders, and networking events. What other plans does the initiative have?

Completing kup. Ravensburg essentially provided the Start (k)up. initiative with a physical springboard, so it makes it possible to actually go about implementing things and making things happen. We’re taking topics like innovation management, intercultural issues, and startups to kick-start a series of networking events and a whole variety of consulting services. The collaboration partners are playing an active role in this area and are part of the process.