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. All costs for participants (excluding travel expenses) are covered by the University of Graz. The time commitment is approx. 20 hours/month.
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 4-6. Founders do not necessarily have to already have a team or a formally established company.
- Mature projects from Technology/Communication Readiness Level (TRL/CRL) 4-6. This means that the product, service or technology is in the testing and refinement phase, already proven, or even already deployed with early customers in real commercial environments. The aim of the programme is to get to TRL/CRL 7, which means that the product or service is ready for testing in real user environment.
- 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 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.
- The authors Uday Phadke and Shailandra Vykarnam are playing an active role within the LBG Innovator’s Road programme.
Designed to impart knowledge
in an interactive way
(not expected to be held online)
- Market Space
- Customer Definition
- Corporate & Start-up Cooperation
- Business Model
- Marketing & Sales
- Organizational Structure
Dates and content subject to change.
1-to-1 sessions for individual support > 30hrs
Several expert workshops within the programme
period depending on the participants' 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
- Comprehensive support for start-ups on the way to marketability
- The programme requires a high level of commitment from the participants. Expect to spend approx. 20 hours a month on your entrepreneurial journey.
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 application is open for all projects that have a connection to an Austrian university or research institution, have a working prototype, and want to enter the market.
- Fill out our application form
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 Interviews:
Will be Online. More dates tba.
- Jury Session
You will get an official confirmation at the beginning of June 2023.
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.
Participants Batch 3
In our 2022/23 LBG batch we again supported 10 exciting projects from Liefesciense and Medtech up to Engineering on their way from researcher to becoming an Entrepreneur.
Participants Batch 2
The 10 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 allowed all involved players to benefit from a highly interactive learning environment and fostered a steep learning curve.
Participants Batch 1
In the first batch 2019 / 20 ten projects from various Austrian institutions and Universities were part of it. Find out about their experiences:
Here you find a social media kit and an info sheet with the most important information about the programme to download. Please feel free to use these materials to spread the word about the LBG Innovator’s Road Programme!
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