Partner's talk: Global Incubator Network Austria
I.E.C.T. – Hermann Hauser focuses on research-based start-ups, especially in the deep-tech sector. Which technologies do you find particularly exciting for the Global Incubator Network and also for your target group?
The Global Incubator Network Austria is particularly interested in technologies that are in demand in Austria, but whose development status is often much more advanced in some Asian countries. These are therefore new technologies with a strong ICT component, already have some market readiness or are at least close to it. These include, for example, machine learning, artificial intelligence, IoT, robotics, sensor technology, augmented and virtual reality, block chain and much more – in other words, all topics that are developing rapidly and are the subject of very intensive research. And of course a technology usually only becomes exciting when it becomes a real gamechanger in an application field.
You have been working with start-ups for some time. What is your role in working with start-ups and which aspects do you find particularly exciting? Can you also learn something from young founders?
GIN was initiated by the Austrian government at the end of 2015, is run by the two state funding agencies Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws) and Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft (FFG) and is financed by the Austrian National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development (Österreichischen Nationalstiftung für Forschung, Technologie und Entwicklung, NFTE). With so much government involvement, it is particularly important for us to use the resources available to us as effectively as possible. Accordingly, we offer services as an “enabler” and as an intermediary to support the players of the start-up ecosystem in Austria in their internationalisation. Instead of duplicating existing offers, we initiate exchanges and cooperations that otherwise would most likely not have come about at all. Our aim then is to “hand over” the participants of our one- to three-week internationalisation programmes – by the way, both for Asian start-ups in Austria and for Austrian start-ups in our Asian target regions – to other players with an interest in cooperation, existing programmes or other support options. For the GIN goAustria programme, the first step is to bring the foreign start-ups together with our mentors, who network them with relevant contacts in Austria. In addition to this coordination work, we are of course always in direct contact with the participants before, during and after the programmes we organise.
The energy, motivation and openness of the young founders is always refreshing. If you get feedback at the end of a programme that the start-ups have felt very comfortable and well looked after in Austria, have learned a lot of new things and made many new contacts, want to deepen their connections in Austria in the future and possibly even new international friendships have been made, this also makes our work very grateful on a personal level.
This year GIN will again be offering Fellowship ticket for the I.E.C.T. – Summer School. Can you briefly describe your ideal candidate?
In fact, this year GIN will again support up to three start-ups to participate in the I.E.C.T. – Summer School. The start-ups must come from outside Europe, ideally from our target regions China, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Korea and Singapore. Because our mission is to strengthen the connection between Austria and attractive Asian start-up hotspots. In this way we want to contribute to more diversity and dynamism in the Austrian economy on the one hand and bring new technologies to Austria on the other. We believe that transfer works best for ICT-based deeptech solutions and are therefore looking for start-ups with a corresponding technology focus.
We are very open when it comes to areas of application – in the past, we covered a wide area, from education to finance to healthcare. However, the fellowship candidates should have a good potential for establishing contacts in Austria. After all, we are interested in initiating cooperations between the start-ups and local companies.
What advantages result from the cooperation between GIN and I.E.C.T – Hermann Hauser. To what extent do the participants, but also companies and experts, benefit from this connection?
The benefits of the cooperation have been particularly evident over the past year: Five start-ups from the GIN target regions were first able to take part in the I.E.C.T. – Summer School in Wattens and then – supervised by our GIN mentors – attended business meetings in Vienna for a week and got to know funding opportunities in Austria. This enabled them to apply and test their fresh theoretical knowledge and ideas from the Summer School directly in practice. But even without the GIN follow-up programme, as was the case this year, I.E.C.T. and GIN complement each other perfectly: I.E.C.T. – Hermann Hauser offers an excellent “landing zone” with a highly exciting and inspiring programme for international start-ups in Austria, and GIN in turn offers Asian start-ups the opportunity to take advantage of this offer. For the companies and experts participating in the Summer School, this means getting in touch with start-ups from countries from which otherwise only few young companies “stray” to Austria.
What goals do you want to achieve together with your fellow over the next few years? Is there a Fellow from previous years whom you have supported and would like to highlight here?
Our aim is to make the Fellows aware of the opportunities that Austria can offer them – also as an entry point to Europe. This includes cooperation with local companies, participation in incubation or acceleration programmes lasting several months, and state funding opportunities in the event of settlement in Austria. One of the five I.E.C.T.-GIN start-ups from last year was subsequently able to successfully apply for a programme at the new accelerator Plug and Play Vienna. Another start-up from the same cohort is currently evaluating possibilities for settlement and funding in Austria.
Thank you for the interview!
About Global Incubator Network Austria
Global Incubator Network Austria (GIN) is the connecting link between Austrian and international start-ups, investors, incubators and accelerators with a focus on selected hotspots in Asia (Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Mainland China, Singapore and South Korea).
GIN is a programme initiated by the Austrian Federal Government, managed by the public funding agencies Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (aws) and Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft (FFG), and financed by the Austrian National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development (Österreichischen Nationalstiftung für Forschung, Technologie und Entwicklung, NFTE).
I.E.C.T. – Fellowship programme
The I.E.C.T. – Hermann Hauser is pleased about the cooperation with GIN, who are going to support three start-ups with a fellowship at the I.E.C.T. – Summer School on Entrepreneurship this year again.
With our Fellowship programme, innovative entrepreneurs or institutions and funding agencies support start-ups with financial means but also with their years of experience and existing network. This cooperation leads to an intensive exchange of ideas and a growth that guarantees success.
Your benefits as a Fellow
As a fellow, the company or institution pays for your participation at the I.E.C.T. – Summer School on Entrepreneurship and supports you with €700,-.
At the I.E.C.T. – Summer School on Entrepreneurship you will be presented as a fellow of the company or institution in our Course Handbook and at the opening event.
You will not only benefit from the financial support but also from the cooperation and the years of experience of the company or institution.
The selection process is the same as for a normal application. The I.E.C.T. – team will look at all applicants in detail and select suitable applications for a Skype interview with one of our experts. Information about the normal process can be found in the application form.
Become a Fellow of the Tiroler Sparkasse
Would you like to learn from our successful partner companies or partner institutions and work with them?
Then apply now for the I.E.C.T. – Summer School on Entrepreneurship 2020 and become a fellow of our partners!
The I.E.C.T. – Hermann Hauser is pleased about the cooperation with the Tiroler Sparkasse. In this context we would like to introduce our partner and talk about the future collaboration in form of an interview.
The interview covers what we have in common, how we can complement each other as well as goals and milestones we want to achieve together.
Spoiler: Summer School Fellowship