Taubstummengasse 11, 1040, Vienna, Austria
+43 (1) 58801 406672

i²c STARTacademy



Healthy societies, resilient economies and thriving ecosystems have one thing in common: breakthrough innovations. Through your research, you have the privilege to be among those who actively build the world of tomorrow and tackle humankinds’ biggest on-going challenges.With the i²c STARTacademy, we provide TU Wien scientists with the infrastructure, focus and guidance needed to understand what it takes to implement their research and ideas into new products and services – and bring it to the society.


Impressions from the i²c STARTacademy 2019


What is the idea of the i²c STARTacademy?

The i²c STARTacademy is designed for researchers who want to learn more about options to transfer research results into marketable products. Over the course of three full days, participants will receive guidance in investigating and identifying the potential market, how to derive a viable business model, what to consider in the financing strategy, and how to sell the idea. The aim of the i²c STARTacademy is to provide researchers with the business know-how from experienced national & international mentors, serial entrepreneurs, industry representatives, and investors.

"TU Wien is the source of Deep Tech innovation. The i²c STARTacademy provides an entry point to the missing practical know-how required for the development of a potential new business."

Birgit Hofreiter
Director Innovation Incubation Center (i²c)


STARTacademy in Numbers

Status: January 2021






spin-offs founded


spin-offs in founding


Employment Places generated


mentors and trainers


The bootcamp-style workshop comprising of a combination of input sessions, mentoring sessions, and peer-review sessions spans over 3 days, each with a different focus. The coaches and trainers are hand-picked for your research projects and
bring their domain-specific know-how to your quest of turning your research into a business, a product or a service:

  • Get familiar with the process of transferring academic research to market and learn what to expect when setting the grounds of a business
  • Identify application fields and market opportunities for your research
  • Derive a viable business model, market & financial strategy for your academic spinning-out
  • Meet and experience mentoring from inter-/national coaches, founders, trainers, and investors
  • Improve the ability to pitch an idea and to present and communicate your research result to non-experts
  • Develop a market-oriented mindset and entrepreneurial skills
  • Gain the inspiration and motivation needed for taking the next steps
  • Full access to the vibrant i²c Founder community, Industry and Investor Network
  • Get the chance to win the i²c Award, a scholarship granted to PhDs with a high potential research result. It offers PhD graduates an alternative career path and the opportunity to focus on the commercialization of their PhD result
    with a basic monthly income for 5 months after finishing their contract with TU Wien. This award comes with admittance into the TUW i²ncubator and thus, office space in the TU Wien Founder Space for 1 year.

i²c Award

Participation in the i²c STARTacademy is a precondition for running for the i²c Award, a € 5 000,- scholarship granted to PhD candidates/ PhDs with a high potential research result who want to spin out their research. It offers PhD graduates an entry to an alternative career path and the opportunity to focus on the commercialization of their PhD result with a basic monthly income after finishing their contract with TU Wien. This award comes with admittance into the
TUW i²ncubator and desk space at the TU Wien Founder Space for one year.

What to expect during the days

The i²c STARTacademy is a program offered annually in February. In 2021, the i²c STARTacademy took place from February 22nd until 25th, 2021.

FEB 22: Evening Welcome Reception
  • Official Opening & Welcome
  • Reception for participants.
FEB 23: i²c STARTacademy Day 1
  • Business Models and selling your idea.
FEB 24: i²c STARTacademy Day 2
  • Financial Planning and Investment Strategy.
FEB 25: i²c STARTacademy Day 3
  • Marketing, Sales, and Pitch Rehearsal.
FEB 26: Pitch Challenge at the i²c Networking Friday

i²c STARTacademy at a glance

Target Group:

TU Wien researchers and PhD candidates from all disciplines. We are looking for your PhD and research results paired with your general interest and motivation to turn your research into a business, a
product or a service.


Bootcamp with a maximum number of 10 projects (max. 3 team members per project). The teams work on their own technology or research result.


3 days intensive training and workshop Pitch-event with a jury of experts at the TUW Innovation Summit - i²c Networking Friday on Feb 28th, 2020.

Bootcamp Date & Location:

February 22th-25th, 2021, Online


Participation is free of charge for TUW researchers and includes participation at the workshop, team spirit, access to our top network as well as full catering over the duration of the workshop.

The overall fee for non-TUW projects is EUR 1.500/project. Not Included: accommodation, travel costs and daily allowances.

Info Event:

Date: October 17th, 10am, 2020

Location: online

Get introduced to the i²c STARTacademy format, meet former alumni & the i²c team as well as find out all the details about the i²c Award worth €15k.


Applications have to be submitted by Nov. 3rd digitally using the online application form.



Fluency in English is required.

Alumni projects and start-ups:


The STARTacademy was the most important week of my whole PhD study. It opened my mind to a huge amount of new knowledge. During intense one-on-one sessions, mentors provided us with valuable feedback which pushed ourselves, our business ideas and skills several levels higher. I enjoyed the atmosphere so much that I started to participate at all kinds of i²c events and enrolled in the Innovation Curriculum. I can absolutely recommend the StartAcademy to any researcher!

Martin Ilčík
i²c STARTacademy Alumnus, Founder Procedural Design

The i²c STARTacademy was for me, like its name says, a very good “start-point”. It gave me the necessary knowledge to understand which are our possibilities and where we need to re-think our project. This allowed us a better use of our resources and planning of the necessary next steps. We already filed a patent and we have now a possible local partner with whom we expect to develop further our system.

Penaranda Moren Maria Soledad 
i²c STARTacademy Alumna, Research Division of Building Physics and Sound Protection

The i²c STARTacademy is a great setting to get a feeling of the process to get your spin-off up and running. In this view, very intense days with many mentors from different fields you can discuss and learn anything you want to know, develop models and try to understand how to start your own company. If you are thinking about starting you own business, you should definitely not miss this opportunity to discuss your ideas in this setting!

Tobias Huber

i²c STARTacademy Alumnus, Founder Huber Scientific

I am completely overwhelmed by all the amazing things I learned in such a short time. I especially value the ratio of mentors to teams. That allowed us to have one-on-one discussions with exceptional and experienced people.

Miriam Unterlass
i²c STARTacademy Alumna, Co-Founder and CSO of UGP materials, Researcher and Lecturer at TU Wien


If you have any questions regarding the application, please contact
Alexandra NEGOESCU
Scientific Program Manager
+43-1-58801-406 672