Start-up Idea Competition

Convince the jury and win up to €12,000


Award ceremony postponed

In the face of the current situation with COVID-19 and the safety measures put in place by the Federal Government, we have decided to postpone our award ceremony. A new date will be announced as soon as the risk of further spread is contained.

We had been very much looking forward to welcoming you for this event. However, what counts even more than bringing our community together, is keeping everybody within and beyond it healthy and safe. Honouring our responsibility both as an organisation and as individuals, we take all necessary precautions in resuming our operations.

Stay healthy, safe and up to date – we’ll be in touch soon!
The opportunity
Does your heart beat for innovation?
Are you ready to change the world and disrupt the status quo?
Overview & Facts

Every year Science Park Graz organises the Start-up Idea Competition to inspire and encourage entrepreneurs of all ages and backgrounds to realize their dreams. This is your opportunity to release the potential of your idea and be in for the chance of winning a cash prize of €2,000 in one of six categories.

The best ideas under each category will be shortlisted and their founders invited to give a 3-minute pitch to our jury, here in Graz. The winners will be announced a few hours later, during a glitzy evening event where all applicants are warmly invited to attend.

We should mention, we take your intellectual property very seriously. Each idea submitted is protected by our None Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and everyone in Science Park Graz and the Jury is signed up to it.

Deadline: 28 February 2020

Shortlist announced: March 2020

Award ceremony: 07 April 2020

Apply under one of the following categories:

  • Energy & Environment
  • Mobility
  • Health
  • Special Societal Impact
  • Digital Economy & ICT
  • Space – Space technology translated into everyday applications

Last year’s winners

Like last year, all applicants are invited to the award ceremony on 7th April 2020, where the winners will be announced.

The jury 2020

Jury Members
We are delighted to introduce our jury of experts.
Martin Mössler
Martin Mössler
Managing Director | ESA BIC Austria General Manager | ESA IAP Austria Ambassador
Frank M. Salzgeber
Head of ESAs Technology Transfer Programme Office
Andreas Morianz
Deputy Head of Department for Economic and Tourism Development City of Graz
Dagmar Eigner-Stengg
Head of the Startup Center Steiermärkische Sparkasse
Roswitha Wiedenhofer
Roswitha Wiedenhofer
Head of Division of Research Organisation and Services FH Joanneum
Raffael Fritz
Managing Editor Red Bull Media House
Arno F. Likar
Senior partner at LIKAR Lawyers and CEO HAI Smart Equity GmbH
We look at the degree of innovation, applicability, market potential and of course originality.
Martin Mössler
Managing Director, Science Park Graz
Roman Vilgut
Editor Economy Kleine Zeitung
Gudrun Haage
Office for Gender Equality and Equal Opportunity TU Graz
Christoph Adametz
Christoph Adametz
Deputy Head of Research & Technology House TU Graz
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Is the idea competition meant for tech ideas only?

NO. We’re looking for innovative ideas in all areas – no limits are set to your entrepreneurial creativity and innovation power. You can submit your idea under one of six categories. If there is no perfect fit for your idea amongst these six, just choose the one that fits best.

Do I have to actually realise my idea in order to take part in the idea competition?

NO. As its name says, it is an idea competition, thus your idea is what matters most. We’d be delighted if you would also realise your idea by turning it into a business, however, this is not a criterion for your participation in the competition.

Can I also submit my idea, when I’ve already founded a company?

YES. You are free to take part in the competition and submit your idea, even when you’ve already founded a company. Your idea, however, should be a new one and not a product or service you’ve gone to market with already.

Will my idea be published?

NO. All involved in the competition are bound by a confidentiality agreement. This means that neither staff of Science Park Graz GmbH nor members of the jury are allowed to disclose any information on your idea.

In the course of the award ceremony and in all press coverage on the event, only information explicitly approved by the participants will be published. The entire information you have provided us with in the course of your application exclusively serves evaluation purposes. Any information to be published will be agreed with you upfront. Helping you protect your intellectual property is a top priority for us.

If you are not entirely sure about what information you can disclose without risking to lose the protection of your IP, we recommend getting in touch with the Austrian Patent Office (Österreichisches Patentamt). On their dedicated page, they have summed up their most important advice regarding the participation in idea competitions:

Do I surrender any rights on my idea by taking part in the competition?

NO. Regardless of whether you are planning to turn your idea into a business or not, it remains entirely yours. You do not assign any rights on your idea and/or related intellectual property to Science Park Graz GmbH, the host of the competition, by taking part in it.

It is for you to decide how much information on your idea you want to share publicly. When taking that decision, make sure you are well-informed as to not jeopardise the protection of your intellectual property (IP).

To get expert advice on how to best protect your IP, we recommend getting in touch with the Austrian Patent Office (Österreichisches Patentamt):

Can I submit more than one idea?

YES. All participants are free to submit several ideas.

I haven’t found the answer to my question here – what now?

Smart minds never run out of questions. We’re happy to answer yours – just get in touch with us via


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