With the beginning of 2020, no one of us expected the profound meaning of our vision statement. The past months definitely forced us to think outside the box, get creative, and pioneer the future in our daily business. As we now have reached the end of an exceptional year by all means, we happily share how the i²c embraced the opportunities, executed and even expanded the portfolio in the quality we are known for. Let's take some time and recap:

Text: Merry Christmas! Pioneer the year 2021 and embrace the opportunity.

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Statistics: 2,000 hours spent online, 11+ spint outs onboarded to the i2c portfolio, 20+ events organised and executed, 25 start-ups mentored in the extended study on innovation.

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New office space: Taubstummengasse 11, 4th floor, 1040 Vienna

We are moving!

With the beginning of 2021, you will find us in our new home only 2min from Floragasse! Make sure to update our contact entries and feel invited to stop by and check out our new place.

i²c in Lockdown: Demo Day 2020 in a hybrid format

In the middle of June,the first event at the end of the 1st lockdown was organised as a hybrid event which some people attended live at the Kuppelsaal, while others joined online. This final event was supported by the private Austrian TV station Puls4. The founding teams received exclusive material and media prizes with a total value of EUR 250,000. Our heartfelt thanks go to all our partners and sponsors. Check out our Aftermovie, öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen Fenster for further impressions.

i²c Extended Study on Innovation batch 2019 proved once again excellent quality

Every year the best team of the Extended Study on Innovation will be awarded with a spot in the TUW i²ncubator.

The batch 2019/20 proved again the high quality the 30-ECTS international program does deliver and thus, three start-up projects were accepted in the TUW i²ncubator – the TUW Incubator for scientific spin-outs! Congrats Purceny, öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen FensterBioMotion Technologies, öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen Fenster & Alpion, öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen Fenster! We are looking forward to continue reporting your future developement and success!

Launching new programs: Fast-tracking Breakthroughs & PhD Courses

In addition to our ongoing guidance and teaching programs, we launched our Fast-tracking Breakthroughs Program in September. This program helps TUW scientists navigate the slippery slope from the first promising research results to POC and MVP and gives them a good understanding of the market potential of their technology and the challenges of spinning-out their research results.

Additionally, we are happy to announce that the planning stage of our new Innovation and Entrepreneurship courses, which are going to be part of the Transferable Skills PHD, has been completed. The courses will start in the summer semester of 2021.

Founder & Investor Talks hit all time high with 100+ visitors, despite online setting

Even though COVID-19 made it more difficult to organize events, our Founder and Investor Talks were transferred to an online setting in year 9 since launch and exceeding all our expactations! In October, Johannes Berger, co-founder and CEO of MIMO, öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen Fenster, as well as TUW alumni, kicked off the winter term. The next month, Peter Windisch-hofer, founder of refurbed, öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen Fenster shared valuable insights and put a spotlight on sustainability.

Entrepreneurship for scientists expanding mindsets and empowering innovation

From our virtual workplaces TU Wien scientists could still explore all the ways one can improve and grow. The two E4s tracks welcomed this year renowned guests from Imperial College London - The Entrepreneurial Mindset Network, University of St. Gallen, Institut Mines-Télécom Business School in Paris and covered a wide variety of topics from what to consider when spinning-out at TU Wien to how to cultivate conditions that support creativity.

1st Austrian-Swedish Innovation Exchange Day

At the end of November, i2c Director Birgit Hofreiter presented recently gained experiences for promoting an entrepreneurial mindset at universities and the conclusions derived therefrom at the 1st Austrian-Swedish Innovation Ex-change Day.

SUCCESS I: News from the i²c Network

  • The experts in AI-assisted image data analysis from contextflow were able to complete another round of investment and were awarded EUR 2.1 million from the highly competitive EIC (European Innovation Council) Accelerator as one of five awardees, as their solution could make a contribution to successfully treating COVID 19. The company was founded in 2016 and participated in the i²ncubator at TU Wien from 2015 to 2017. CEO & co-founder Markus Holzer was also nominated as “Austrian of the Year” in the category “Start-ups”. Congratulations!
  • usePAT GmbH a company developing measuring solutions that was also part of the year one JumpStart-supported batch of the TU Wien i²ncubator, raised a high six-digit investment in the COVID-19 year. They will use the money to finance the next product development and internationalisation steps.
  • byrd the perfect partner for scalable and digital e-commerce (the company was founded in the framework of the TU Wien i²ncubator program in 2016), has closed an investment of EUR 5 million. They will use the money to open fulfilment centres in France and the Netherlands to complement the work of the existing centres in Austria, Germany and the UK.
  • Lisa Smith, i²c Award winner and Entrepreneur of the Year 2019 in the category “Innovation“, and co-founder Harald Nitschinger from prewave have closed a seven-digit seed investment.

SUCCESS II: Awards & Prices

  • Miriam Unterlass and her Team were awarded the 2020 Patent State Prize of the Austrian Patent Office. Her spin-out UGP Materials was admitted to the TUW i²ncubator in 2016 via the i²c STARTacademy and is specialised in the environmentally friendly production of crystalline polyimides (plastics).
  • 6 start-ups of the i2c portfolio reached the final rounds at this year‘s Falling Walls Symposium in Berlin making TU Wien the most successful university among all participants: Purency (detection of microplastics), Biomotion (3D bioprinting technology), “Chemistry on Tour” (getting students at schools interested in chemistry), the video platform Snipedy, and the biosensor developers SensAtions and Legitary (fair music streaming services)
  • Nermina Mumic, CEO of Legitary, was included in FORBES’ 30under30 list for 2020. Last year, Alexander Leichter, founder of byrd, represented the i2c network in the 30under30 list.
  • Prewave was elected as one of the Spend Matters “Future 5” procurement logistics start-ups.
  • The cover story of the current premium issue of the Austrian business magazine “trend” presents Austria’s100 best start-ups. This list includes three start-ups from the i2c portfoliocontextflow (ranked 18th), byrd (ranked 21st) and – for the first time – Prewave (ranked 56th).
  • At the beginning of December, the Austrian business magazine “GEWINN” elected the winners of this year’s “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” competition. Legitary was ranked among the top 3 in the category “Export” and reached the excellent 13th place in the overall ranking.

Congratulations to all!

Media Highlight: Purency on TV

At the end of November, a report on the TU Wien i²ncubator start-up Purency was broadcast as part of the program “KLIMAHELDiNNEN– das Nachhaltigkeitsmagazin” by the TV stations of the ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4 group. Purency develops automatic measuring methods for microplastics. You can watch the report on the KLIMAHELDiNNEN, öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen Fenster website.

Service: Expert Contribution in “Startup Investing”

The book “Startup Investing: Praxishandbuch für Investorinnen und Investoren” (ENGL: Start-up investing: a practitioner’s handbook for investors”) includes a contribution by Robert Sablatnig and Birgit Hofreiter entitled “Technical assess-ments by experts – why?”.
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TUW i²ncubator Update

6 graduates and 4 new joiners in the program

Each of the teams we’re working with it’s unique in its way but what they all have in common is their resilience and determination to follow through and implement their vision. They are visionaries who through their technologies want to make an impact and solve problems in their own, unique, and efficient way.

i²c spin-outs Fighting COVID-19

Pandemic times showed how important it is to master the ability to be adaptable, flexible, creative, resourceful and innovative and at the same time support your community

  • Contextflow: contextflow’s software is already up and running in hospitals across Europe. The #COVID19 features are for research use only and currently provided free of charge to as many hospitals and clinics as possible to support radiologists during the ongoing pandemic.
  • Prewave: open map of critical manufacturing sites
  • Nanographics: visualizations of the structure of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

How it all started – the Story of Contextflow

Courious to learn about contextflow’s journey from a university research project to one of the top Austrian startups? Founder Markus Holzer shares the story of how it all started in their YouTube, öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen Fenster channel.

Jobs: Open positions at our start-ups

  • Floorible is looking for a full-stack developer, computer vision hero and is also open for initiative applications.
  • Legitary is hiring a data engineer.
  • Byrd is expanding their Berlin office and thus offers several positions in the field of sales, customer care and IT.


Networking Friday 2021

The annual highlight for all technology spin-out enthusiasts will go hybrid and thus, adapts its‘ format in 2021 to the the grande finale of the i²c STARTacademy, a bootcamp allowing TUW scientists to transform their research into business, offering virtual booths to meet with the projects after the pitch challenge. Stay tuned for further details on the program.
Save the date: February 26th, 2021

Upcoming i²c events

  • Janurary 15th: ESI Alumni Stammtisch
    The Extended Study on Innovation is hosting its first Alumni Stammtisch
  • Janurary 21st: Joint Forces #25 our monthly HR networking event in cooperation with BOKU:BASE, TUW i²c and WU Entrepreneurship Center
  • Founder & Investor Talk Series enter the next round starting in March and will take place biweekly. Make sure to follow us on Social Media for more information.

We are starting in January with a crash-course on how to promote your technology and yourself at trade shows like a pro (especially now when everything happens online) within our E4s entrepreneurial track, and within our E4s innovation track, we are destigmatizing failure and discussing how to overcome the 'scientific stress olympics'. Read more on our website, öffnet eine externe URL in einem neuen Fenster.

Special thanks to all our supporters, contributors, lecturers and mentors making this year possible!