LBG Innovator’s Road Programme
The Innovator’s Road Programme focuses on the specific issues of start-ups from the academic environment. During the programme, founders with scientific backgrounds will acquire the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills necessary for founding and scaling new businesses. The overall focus lies on the Austrian-wide group composition and a strong integration of international mentor and expert know-how.Apply now
Technology patents and spin-offs coming out of university research have a significant impact on regional and social development. Compared to international highly recognized universities, Austria’s spin-off figures have not yet reached the same level by far. Studies show that one major success factor for spin-offs out …
Technology patents and spin-offs coming out of university research have a significant impact on regional and social development. Compared to international highly recognized universities, Austria’s spin-off figures have not yet reached the same level by far.
Studies show that one major success factor for spin-offs out of universities is the entrepreneurial knowledge of the founder. Most of the times scientists have insufficient market knowledge to develop a proficient roadmap until market entry.
Based on the overall aim to support scientists in becoming successful entrepreneurs, the Innovator’s Road Programme first kicked off in 2019. The Innovator’s Road Programme intends to expand the instruments in the direction of an entrepreneurial skillset in science focussing on Austrian-wide projects and a strong international connection.
Within ten months the founders are mentored and trained according to a proven method from the Cambridge cluster, which was further developed and adapted by the programme partners. A range of training sessions build the framework of the programme, allowing to zoom out regularly and see the big picture of the whole …
Within ten months the founders are mentored and trained according to a proven method from the Cambridge cluster, which was further developed and adapted by the programme partners. A range of training sessions build the framework of the programme, allowing to zoom out regularly and see the big picture of the whole start-up journey. Thirty-five hours of individual mentoring sessions with a dedicated team of mentors provide a solid foundation in order to work with the founders on their challenges. Through the vast network of the programme partners the founders gain access to experts, investors and corporates across the UK-DACH region and have the possibility to establish resourceful relationships. Building on the advantages of a strong peer-to-peer connection diverse initiatives take place.
The Target Group
The Innovator’s Road was developed for (university) spin-offs, mainly from the STEM field, that are dealing with the opportunities and risks of commercializing research-based projects. The goal is to help entrepreneurs successfully make the transition from prototype to early product or service with a sustainable business model …
The Target Group
The Innovator’s Road was developed for (university) spin-offs, mainly from the STEM field, that are dealing with the opportunities and risks of commercializing research-based projects. The goal is to help entrepreneurs successfully make the transition from prototype to early product or service with a sustainable business model. The target group of the program is scientific staff or founders related to an Austrian university and non-university research institutions who have developed a prototype (lab-environment) and want to take the step towards a product with a business model. The maturity level of the projects develops around cTRL 3-5. Founders do not necessarily have to have a team or a formally established company.
- Mature projects from Technology/Communication Readiness Level (TRL/CRL) 2-3. This means that the product, service or technology is defined in a concept and a working prototype, or experimental proof of concept exists.
- Connection to an Austrian research institution
Voices from the Ecosystem
The programme offers high quality input from serveral experts from the UK and D-A-CH region for university spin-offs. It closes an important gap for researchers in Austria who want to learn how to make a transition from academia to business successfully. A significant amount of the innovation a country produces is created by means of university research. Spin-offs are of great importance for the entrepreneurial ecosystem and therefore also of great interest for investors who should all welcome programmes like the IRP.
We initiated this programme because we want to strengthen the link between research and the economy. Researchers usually have some catching up to do in terms of entrepreneurial knowledge and access to relevant contacts. That is why it was important to us to not only provide these aspiring entrepreneurs with tailored support, but to also give them access to a huge network: Through IECT and NVS, the LBG Innovator‘s Road offers access to international experts, investors and companies. The programme brings together like-minded people from different research institutions and gives them an advantage that can make the difference between success or failure in business.
LBG Innovator`s Road has a clear focus – finding best practice models for academic spin-offs. I was highly impressed about the quality of the selected projects of Batch #1 with ambitious and well informed founder teams. The fact that founders from different academic institutions located across Austria team up and share their experience contributes great value to the projects. Moreover, the structured program and roadmap deliver high-end practical knowledge and guidance for spin-offs which is key for academic researchers.
Lamin Ben Hamdane
A lot of innovations that impact Infineon´s business in the hardware space in general and semiconductor technologies in particular are driven by deep tech startups. These companies emerge after years of research in universities and other institutions. Infineon supports scientists with entrepreneurial spirit through organizations and programmes like the Innovator`s Road to bring their innovations to market and to cooperate with them!
The structure applied in the Innovator’s Road Programme is based on the Triple Chasms Principle, a scientific method from the Cambridge cluster and further developed by the programme partners. This method provides a powerful tool to identify the key challenges that need to be in the focus of the founder’s attention at certain levels along the commercialization journey.
Design and Structure
- Systematic approach based on 12 vectors and their relevance depending on the maturity level of the project.
- The modules and tools enable the participants to build up strong social capital as well as to foster entrepreneurial capability building and provide a longlastig methodological sparring tool (PathGraph).
- The authors Uday Phadke and Shailandra Vykarnam are playing an active role within the LBG Innovator’s Road programme.
All players can assess the product’s status based on the vectors and their execution. Aggregated evaluations facilitate to match parties and create a scale-up path.
Educational Toolbox, Programmes, Tools, Manuals, Videos etc.
Connects stakeholders seamlessly to create a digitized ecosystem.
The I.E.C.T. Network
- Connecting start-ups, investors, mentors and corporates
- Aggregated assessment for a holistic picture of the product‘s maturity based on the vectors
- Integration of programmes, initiatives and relevant information
- Exclusive communication within the ecosystem
- Online portal on all devices as stand-alone software and browser application
- Closed, trusting communication system with GDPR & NDA integration
Designed to impart knowledge
in an interactive way
(expected to be held online)
- Market Space
- Proposition Framing
- Customer Definition
- Business Case
- Funding & Investment
- Leadership & Team
- IP Management
- Business Model
- Product & Service, Commercialisation Strategy
- Corporate & Start-up Cooperation
- Relevant topics appearing over course of programme
- Final Roadmap Check
Dates and content subject to change.
1-to-1 sessions for
Several expert workshops within the programme
period depending on the participant’s needs
Connect with relevant players in the ecosystem
over the course of the programme
Opportunity to exchange and share
knowledge and experience
At a Glance
- Individual evaluation of a start-up including the creation of a roadmap for the further process
- Tailor-made (virtual) workshops that use state-of-the-art start-up methods
- Individually tailored 1-to-1 coaching and mentorings including a key contact person
- Participation in events, access to markets, financing and expertise as well as concrete matchings with established companies
- Peer-2-Peer Learning within the cohort and with other founders
- LBG, NVS and I.E.C.T. are embedded in the scientific and economic environment and thus offer the advantages of both worlds
- Access to the “I.E.C.T. – Network” tool in order to track progress, assess the project and establish an online expert network
- Comprehensive support for start-ups on the way to marketability
Experts & Workshop Coaches
The LBG Innovator’s Road Programme developed by I.E.C.T. With the I.E.C.T. – Hermann Hauser and New Venture Scouting aims to expand “Entrepreneurial Skills” in science.
Within the programme, mentors and experts address the particularities of start-ups from the academic environment. This way tailor-made content and individual support enables the development of the founder and his start-up idea at the right time.
At the end of the programme the projects should reach TRL / CRL 5 or respectively should have moved forward at least one mTRL / cTRL based on their starting point. (Test setup is described in environment)
Investment and Cooperation Readiness
Start-ups should be able to secure funding or start a relevant partnership that is necessary to launch the product on the market, respectively to reach the next milestone.
The participants of the second cohort show a broad variety of different institutional backgrounds from the scientific environment as well as different fields of research. This compilation allows all involved players - be it the participants, mentors, experts – to benefit from a highly interactive learning environment and fosters a steep learning curve.
Institutions: AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, TU Wien, Innsbruck Medical University, Medical University of Graz, University of Graz, BOKU Vienna, University of Innsbruck
Industries: Artificial intelligence, Life sciences, Health care, Communication, Smart sensors, IOT, Machine learning, Big data, 3D-printing, Distributed systems, Synthetic biology
participants batch 2
Climate change is no longer a debatebut a real urgency. City planners, developers, architects and municipalitiesneed to understand the impact of our buildings on the environment and makeresilient plans for the future. However, environmental simulations are verycomplex, time consuming and not accessible. InFraReD is a platform forresilient city planning based on Artificial Intelligence. It uses state of theart machine learning models to provide real-time simulation prediction oncomplex environmental simulations, such as wind, solar radiation and thermalcomfort. InFraReD’s models are trained on large simulation data sets to be ableto give instant feedback on design decisions, minimizing the complexity andresources required and making advanced environmental simulations accessible toall. InFraReD introduces a “Simulation As A Service” model, as it providessimulation results to end users (through its web app), CAD software (throughCAD integration) as well as other web platforms, creating an open integration modelthat expands its accessibility.
„InFraReD –An Intelligent Framework for Resilient Design“
gnista.io - empowering people to workwith IoT Data in order to improve processes.
Working with IoT Data is complex,inefficient and takes highly skilled data scientists and developers andtherefore often doesn’t pay off. This results in only 20% of already existingdata currently being used to improve processes. With the amount of dataproduced growing fast, less talent available and the increasing need forconstant efficiency improvement this problem becomes extremely pressing forenergy providers, manufacturers etc. gnista.io empowers non-data scientists toget valuable insights from sensor data in a production environment with theultimate goal to reduce emissions and costs as well as increase control.Semantic ontologies keep data organised and make it available for any datadriven solutions customers want to implement. This makes gnista.io thefoundation of working efficiently with IoT Data and scaling data driven usecases in the industry. The SaaS iscurrently working as closed-beta. The beta version will be published in autumnthis year. Curious minds can already sign up to our waitlist. These sign upsare currently growing by 20% each month.
„gnista.io- empowering people to work with IoT Data in order to constantly improveprocesses and reduce emissions.“
The invention of the patented OF2i®technology – a revolutionary method to characterize particles and samples inthe nanometer range on-line and continuously based on microfluidics andphotonics – led to the foundation of the deep tech university spin-off BRAVEAnalytics in 2020 in Graz.
The main target of the start-up is thetranslation of the patented OF2i® technology into sensor platforms which areable of automated on-line, real time, 24/7 continuous, statistically relevant,number-based nano particle characterization directly integrable into themanufacturing processes. OF2i® offers much deeper and representative liveinsights into the nano world compared to conventional reference measurementmethods: Being still a bottleneck in production processes, the measurement andcharacterization of nanoparticles in real-time drastically gains relevance.Pharmaceutical, biotech & medical products, cosmetics, paper, paints,surface coatings, lubricants and many more can radically be optimized byapplying nano principles. BRAVE Analytics provides hardware and softwaresolutions as well as servicing and license models.
Unveil new biophysicalinsights to improve products in life sciences and beyond.
Tissue engineering human organs is theultimate frontier in medicine. These tissues are fabricated using 3Dbioprinting, whereby biocompatible materials and cells are deposited layer bylayer. Increasing initiatives in the past years have given rise to a broadrange of such tissue models, such as skin, bone, cartilage, liver and kidney.However, the lack of full automation in 3D bioprinting processes impacts theconsistency of the process, including batch-to-batch variation andmachine-to-machine variation. Together with an unclear regulatory path, theadoption of using 3D bioprinted constructs by pharmaceutical companies ishindered. Biomotion offers 3D bioprinters with real-time process monitoringthat minimize process variation. This in-line quality management system reducesthe amount of failed prints and enables the validation of such constructsagainst future regulatory guidelines.
Tissue manufacturers benefit from adata-based decision making process enabling the repeatable fabrication of humantissues.
We enable consistent 3Dbioprinting to repeatably produce high-quality human tissue models,accelerating the uptake of bioprinting in research and clinical applications.
Invasive pests such as the Asianfruitfly Drosophila suzukii constitute a big problem for viticulture as theyinfest young grapes and can cause crop damages by more than 80%. Our start-upproject, LinoEx, aims to develop and commercialize botanical pesticides againstvarious pest insects as an alternative to synthetic pesticides. The use ofsynthetic pesticides is problematic as they are harmful for humans and cancause severe environmental problems. Our main customers are organicwinegrowers. Our botanical pesticides are based on natural oils that areeffective against specific target organisms but harmless for the environment.The current market potential for biological pesticides within Austria and theEU is very high, due to the steady increase in organic agriculture and the highawareness of customers for sustainable pest control. We aim to cooperate B2Bwith distributors to supply organic farmers with our products for a safe andsustainable agriculture.
Botanical pesticides fora safe and sustainable agriculture
Traditional large-scale surfactantsrely on either fossil fuel or virgin imported feedstocks such as palm oil orcoconut oil. A paradigm shift is on the horizon, as manufacturers are nowseeking to use renewable resources, with sustainability being the major marketdriver in Europe and NA. We at RenSurf envision to introduce a novel concept ofsuperior performing scalable bio-based surfactants fully derived from localwaste streams. The approach starts from a bottom-up disruptive design combinedwith fundamental catalysis and green chemistry to achieve better reactivity,less chemical waste, and better performance compared to the commerciallyavailable competitors. It is of utmost importance that our technology isfocusing on neglected waste streams, while successfully competing with fossilfuel-based surfactants. Our future customers are surfactant manufacturers andproduct formulators in field of personal care, detergents, and agrochemicals.Hence, the primary revenue stream will come from contracted-/collaborativeresearch and generating/selling IPs.
Superior performance – clean conscience
Can our smartphone smell?
BEAR technologies offer a newtechnology to enable electronical devices such as smartphones to perceiveodorants in their environment and enables a totally new field of applications.From lifestyle products to industrial fabrication - odorants are omnipresentbut we do not utilize them yet.
Our developed fabrication method pairedwith machine learning and edge computing on an IoT device mimics the mechanismof the human nose in a reliable, fast and low-priced way. The goal is toachieve the first odorant database and a globally spread sensor network toallow for tailormade solutions for our partners in food-, lifestyle-,logistics-, automotive- & health industries as well as security aspects. Aconcept of replaceable and scale-able sensor-units together with the odorantdatabase and unprecedent knowledge in odorant sensing guarantees a continuousrevenue and binds business partners to BEAR technologies – be part of the artof smell sensing.
new challenges create newsolutions and create new markets
Epoxy resins are incredibly versatile plastics. Boat building, automotive and aerospace industries, constructioncompanies, there is hardly a trade that can do without this curing plastic.Usually, the plastic consists of two components. They must be mixed in anadditional working step in a precisely specified ratio and then have only avery small processing window. SpeedPox® offers ready-mixed epoxy resins thatcan be used immediately and have an unlimited pot life. Upon a heat or UVstimulus on demand, a patented self-propagating mechanism is triggered whichhelps to save time, energy and costs. The curing technology is applicable onevery common epoxy resin on the market and the transfer to it is easilyobtainable. Conventional curing in large industrial ovens can thus be bypassedcompletely. The SpeedPox® systems can also be used for composite materials andeven under water.
We are currently executing numerous development contracts with strategic customers. Our future business modelshould be based on the development, adaptation, production and sale of specialepoxy resins.
SpeedPox® offers innovative and ultra-fast curing epoxy systems with unlimited pot life which helps to save time, energy and costs.
Hot water is the main source of heat consumption fornewly built or renovated houses. Every day, more than 22,000,000 m3 of still hot water is sent tothe sewage system in European households alone. The key role play showers,accounting for about 70 % of the total hot water demand. This changes with the SOPHIE smart shower, whichintegrates a heat exchanger that transfers the heat of the warm outflowing water(35°C) to the cold inflowing fresh water (10°C). SOPHIE also integrates its own heater so that themodule operates without connection to an otherwise inefficient central hot water system. SOPHIE isdesigned to fit into every bathroom, allowing the pre-installed technology to disappear in a wall-integrated showerunit. Designed for easy planning and quick installation under one hour, SOPHIE significantlyincreases the work efficiency. SOPHIE sets new standards for hotels, sports facilities (payback in 1st year) orhouseholds (payback 5-7 years) by saving up to 80% of hotwater energy costs and thus CO² emissions without sacrificing comfort.
Application is open for all projects, who have a connection to an Austrian university or research institute as well has have a working prototype and want to enter the market.
Check out our screencast!
- Go to: network.iect.at
- Create new account
- Register for Programme: LBG IRP
- Fill out your profile
Please be prepared to answer the following questions and upload these documents.
- Letter of Motivation
- Pitch Deck (if available)
- Business Model
- Product Proposition
- IP and Funding
- Application Call
- Jury Session
You will get an official confirmation by latest mid of May.
Kick-Off starts on 20.5.2021
The programme is free of charge for the participants (excl. travel expenses, accommodation and meals) and is financed by the funds of the University of Graz.
In the first batch 2019 / 20 ten projects from various Austrian institutions and Universities were part of it. Find out about their expierences:
You want to learn more about the programme? You are interested in getting to know the start-ups or want to share your experience with the founders? Feel free to get in touch with the LBG Innovator's Road Team.firstname.lastname@example.org