The focus in the 6-day-programme will be on the development of winning action plans for innovative business ideas or projects. The tailor-made support through mentoring and clinics provide competent advice on individual business ideas and specific topics such as investment readiness, technical and market due diligence etc.

The schedule includes lectures, workshops and practical mentor sessions. There are topics for every day, from marketing and business models to teams and finance. These topics relate to the core development of business ideas.

The mentors and facilitators will support the participants in preparing a pitch in front of a panel of investors and entrepreneurs for the last Summer School day.

During the week individual sessions, called 1-to-1 clinics, are offered with lawyers, accountants, marketing experts and other professional service providers to discuss the specific questions of each participant and his or her project.

The Programme

Participants from Austria and Europe as well as from abroad get the chance to develop commercialization strategies for their business ideas in an intense programme. They receive input and mentoring from internationally successful entrepreneurs, profit from experienced mentors of the University of Cambridge and Austria and at the same time experience the inspiring and spectacular scenery of the Tyrolean mountains. The extensive framework programme also provides the possibility of networking with regional, national, and international partners.

  • Opening & Welcome Reception
    Thursday, 16.08.2018

  • Global Vision & Entrepreneurial Ambition
    Friday, 17.08.2018

  • Markets & Marketing
    Saturday, 18.08.2018

  • Business Models & IP Strategy
    Sunday, 19.08.2018

  • Finance & Building a great Team
    Monday, 20.08.2018

  • Selling your Idea & Pitch Training
    Tuesday, 21.08.2018

  • Demo Day & Gala Dinner with Alumni
    Wednesday, 22.08.2018

  • Optional:
    Technology Symposium at European Forum Alpbach
    Thursday, 23.08.2018

State of AI, 17.08.2018

If you’re not already part of the Summer School, please register here:


Each day starts with an inspirational keynote presentation delivered by a highly successful entrepreneur or innovator. These sessions introduce the specific theme of the day, provide background knowledge, an understanding of key issues and the opportunity to consider any specific questions related which you may wish to raise with mentors or experts in subsequent sessions over the coming days.


The workshops continue the theme of the day with practical tools and techniques on the specific topic. A number of highly interactive and targeted workshops are offered.


The mentor sessions enable participants to work more closely with an expert, to clarify the business proposition and to prepare the demo day. Selected participants are placed in mentor groups consisting of approximately five participants to each mentor. These groups are carefully developed to match suitable mentors with participants from similar industry sectors or backgrounds in order to optimize the learning experience. The mentors work with each participant, acting as a sounding board for ideas and providing specialist advice on practical issues. These interactions with the mentor provide the chance to raise questions on topics, issues or angles not addressed within the keynote sessions.

Assistance is also available from high quality facilitators. The facilitators are assigned to each mentor group. They assist with the mentoring process, helping participants to navigate their way around the School, and to progress individual projects through insight derived from their own skills and experience.


Individual private sessions with lawyers, accountants, marketers and other professional service providers are offered to cover some of the key issues in advancing individual business projects. Participants are able to apply for business, legal and pitch sessions.


Every participant delivers a pitch in private to a panel comprising of entrepreneurs, business angels and venture capitalists. This presentation will be held in a “safe environment” meaning you are allowed to make mistakes and ask for feedback, in order to be able to rely on that when presenting for an investment or funding. The panel will give the participants feedback directly and in written form, which will be sent out to each participant upon completion of the Summer School.


The networking events held during the evenings, enabling participants to continuously communicate, refine and validate their ideas with contributors, such as high-profile entrepreneurs, investors, corporate intrapreneurs and business professionals. They also help to build that vital network of contacts needed to progress business ideas beyond the week.

Our Keynote Speakers

Michael Anstey
Michael AnsteyInvestment Director at Cambridge Innovation Capital

more about Michael Anstey

Dr Michael Anstey is an Investment Director specialising in healthcare investments.
Before joining CIC he was a Principal in the Healthcare Practice Area at The Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) Toronto office. Michael has experience in advising multinational healthcare businesses across North America, Europe, India, and Japan on a broad range of topics, including corporate strategy, sales and marketing, new launches, R&D and medical strategy, and M&A.

Michael was co-founder and COO of an early stage biotechnology company focused on developing small molecule drugs that target protein-protein interactions implicated in disease.

Prior to BCG, Michael worked in venture capital, where he focused on investing in early stage healthcare and life science businesses.
Michael earned his DPhil in Zoology in the field of neurobiology, jointly supervised by professors at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.
Michael sits on the board of Bicycle Therapeutics, Congenica and Storm Therapeutics.

Maria Baumgartner
Maria BaumgartnerManaging Director at Speedinvest Heroes

more about Maria Baumgartner

Maria’s diverse and successful professional history has one common denominator: a desire to truly get to know people. This curiosity has driven Maria from her early days as a startup founder and young political activist up until today as general manager of Speedinvest Heroes.

This social skillset, practiced over many years in various leadership positions and professional trainings (such as a Master degree in Mediation) is a crucial asset for  Speedinvest Heroes. Building out our network of talents and then quickly matching the potential of a given candidate with the right opportunity in our portfolio, is where Maria excels like no one else.

Maria’s personal working history starts 1992 in the early internet area. As the GM of one of the first big success stories coming out of Austria (Datenwerk/Blue-C), she saw her company grow to an agency group with more than 200 employees across Europe, including an IPO at the “Neue Markt”. Having sold her stake early enough before the bust, Maria continued her entrepreneurial path that included managing a research think tank on Artificial Intelligence (long before the hype), spending time in Silicon Valley and, eventually, helping to found Speedinvest as the first business angel fund in Austria.

Heroes is a natural platform for Maria’s skills, combining her appetite to rethink old business sectors such as HR with her focus on the human element in business. Building healthy companies will always be built on finding exceptional talent. And as we all know, this talent is spread thin and wide, so a true commitment to diversity, low entry barriers and continuous education will be a crucial element of any HR strategy.

For Maria, having gone through many diverse roles and businesses, this approach comes natural. as does her positive attitude towards people in general.

Olav Carlsen
Olav CarlsenCEO Tiaxa Group

more about Olav Carlsen

Olav has over 20 years of experience in managing tech companies in the US, Europe and South America. In 2010 he co-founded a company as part of the Tiaxa Group in Chile that evolved into one of the world´s leading innovative financial services provider for telecommunication companies. The company expanded its client base from South America to Asia, China and Africa. Before Tiaxa, Olav spent 10 years in Silicon Valley as CFO of PortalPlayer Inc. where he was leading the company´s IPO and Transmeta Corp. PortalPlayer is known as the exclusive provider of key chip and firmware technology to the first generations of Apple iPods while Transmeta developed low power computing chips enabling the design of the first thin and long-battery life notebooks for most major computer manufacturers.

Bernd Ebersberger
Bernd EbersbergerMCI Management Center Innsbruck

more about Bernd Ebersberger

In his capacity as a professor for management and economics of innovation Bernd teaches and researches in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship. Bernd is also MCI’s Head of Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In this capacity he designs and implements measures to increase the entrepreneurship of students and faculty at MCI. Bernd also coaches and counsels students and faculty in their entrepreneurial endeavors and serves on various boards of public bodies investing in startups.

Birgit Gasser
Birgit GasserRed Bull Media House

more about Birgit Gasser

Brigit has more than 14 years of sales experience in all relevant types of media. She worked as a key account manager for ORF Enterprise and was responsible for the distribution of the print magazines at Verlagsgruppe NEWS. During the last years Brigit held the position of Managing Director at Manstein Verlag before taking over as Managing DIrector of Trend and Format.

Birgit worked at IP Österreich establishing Unit 3, developing a media for revenue share models, adressing in particular startup companies offering them the possibility to utilize TV-advertising as a very effective and -for them- new marketing channel. Recently Birgit joined the Red Bull Media House as Head of Commerce & International Publishing.

Hermann Hauser
Hermann HauserFounder of I.E.C.T. – Hermann Hauser and CEO Amadeus Capital Partners

more about Hermann Hauser

Hermann Hauser, fellow of the Royal Society, of the Institutes of Physics at the Royal Academy of Engineering and honorary fellow of the Kings College, is a worldwide recognised and successful computer- and venture capital entrepreneur. He got well known due to his involvement in ACORN Computer 1978, who developed the ARM processor, which can be found in billions of mobile phones. In 1997 Hermann Hauser founded, together with Anne Glover and Peter Wynn, Amadeus Capital Partners and a couple of other very successful companies in the years after. He founded the Hauser Forum in Cambridge which contains among other things an ideaSpace, Cambridge Enterprise and Cambridge Networks. All these institutions help start-ups to create a successful venture.

This year he co-founded the I.E.C.T. – Hermann Hauser together with his cousin Josef Hauser to enhance the potential of start-ups in the alpine region.

A few milestones of Hermann Hauser:

–  Founder of ACORN Computer – IPO
–  Founder of Amadeus Capital Partners
–  Investment in Icera – sold to Nvidia for $367 million
–  UK´s Computer Personality of the Year 1984

Markus Malek
Markus MalekAistemos

more about Markus Malek

Marcus is CIPO and leads the strategy team at the London based big data analytics start-up Aistemos. Before joining Aistemos, Marcus spent 3 years with the IP investments team at Coller Capital, a London based PE fund, generating 70 + $m from IP. Marcus also spent 2 years as a strategy consultant at ClearViewIP advising larger multinationals and fast growing tech companies on IP strategy issues. Marcus holds M.Sc. degrees in Finance and Innovation Management. He’s a Swede, living in London since 2009, keen ex-professional golfer and amateur DJ.

Cathy White
Cathy WhiteFounder & Director, CEW Communications

more about Cathy White

Cathy specialises in comms for startups and organisations supporting them, eager to work with growing companies where she can make an impact to their business. Before launching CEW Communications, Cathy was Head of Comms for Tech City UK and previously Communications Manager for Seedcamp. She was recognised by PR Week in June 2014 as a ‘Rising Star’.

As Director of GeekGirl Meetup UK and host of #GeekGirlMeets, she champions women in STEM and challenging the norm. She’s passionate about opening up and discussing mental health, having suffered with anxiety and depression on and off since she was a teenager.

Our Mentors

Our experienced national and international mentors are there all week to help our participants to apply the input to their business ideas.

Jane Garrett
Jane GarrettDeputy Director Enterprise, University of Bristol Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre (QTEC) & Director Zellabox

more about Jane Garrett

Jane Garrett is an experienced business manager, with a scientific background with over 25 years in technology company management. She has a degree in Physics and spent many years as an employee learning the ‘ropes’ before embarking on developing her own Internet software business, Netcentric Systems, which she bootstrapped, raised equity funding and eventually floated on London’s AIM in July 2000. Jane has spent many years mentoring and coaching technology based start up business founders and has recently taken a role at Bristol University’s Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre (QTEC) where she is responsible for developing the year long entrepreneurial teaching programme and mentoring the delegates. She is driving the development of Zellabox’s business in the UK and Europe.

Siegfried Krainer
Siegfried KrainerInfineon

more about Siegfried Krainer

DI Dr. Siegfried Krainer, lead principal for emerging applications at Infineon Technologies is, amongst other things, responsible for scouting and screening of emerging applications, e.b. Biomed, Drones and new Space as well as the integration of universities and startups in Infineon integration activities. Siegfried studied technical physics at TU Graz and made his PhD at the Austrian Institute of Technology and University Mainz on biophysics. Siegfried joined Infineon in 1996 in the R&D department. He was responsible for lead projects in the field of operations, communication and automotive with more than 200 Mio. revenue. He currently lectures at University Stuttgart, Graz, MCI Innsbruck and Fh Villach and functions as technical lead for autonomous electric aviation and new space activities.

Yupar Myint
Yupar MyintProgramme Director I.E.C.T. - Summer School on Entrepreneurship

more about Yupar Myint

Yupar takes a special interest in entrepreneurship and building practical skills necessary for innovations in high growth sectors. Yupar works together with a large number of international partners in training undergraduates, postgraduates, entrepreneurs and researchers with a focus on building entrepreneurial mindset, capabilities and commercialisation of research. Yupar built up Cambridge Ignite course for more than 11 years and during her leadership Ignite has generated over 250 business ventures; more than £200 million in funding was raised and approximately 4,300 jobs were created by Ignite alumni ventures in the last four years. Yupar was a Director of International Development as well as Programme Director of IGNITE and Collaborative Programmes at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, Judge Business School.

Yupar was previously a Programme Director at the European Forum for Entrepreneurship Research (EFER) to manage the EC funded EFER European Entrepreneurship Colloquium (EEC) which trains European professors and educators to teach entrepreneurship. She has a particular interest in understanding the people aspects and the social capital effect of business formation in entrepreneurial cluster development. Her research on the “Social Capital of Cambridge Cluster” was awarded one of the top 50 articles in the Emerald Management Review 2005. Her recent research is “European Spin‐Off Practice: A Comparative Study at Four European Universities at University of Cambridge, KU Leuven, ETH Zurich, and TU Munich” published as a book chapter in Entrepreneurship and Talent Management from a Global Perspective in 2016. Yupar’s previous experience includes business development, project management and enterprise development. Yupar completed her MBA at Cambridge Judge Business School in 2002.

Christoph Richter
Christoph RichterCEO Intellyo

more about Christoph Richter

Christoph Richter – Entrepreneur, Technology Evangelist, Software Developer with 10+ years of experience in .net Development & Architecture Christoph helped already at the end of the 90ties in building, the first German-speaking newspaper on the internet. At bwin, where he managed as Technical lead a lot of key projects, helped him getting a lot of high level knowledge early in his career. His deep involvement in pioneering Austrian web companies gained him a lot of experience that he happily shared with the rising start-up scene. He is Mentor at the WU Vienna Entrepreneurship Academy, at the incubator INiTS and also involved in Austrian governmental research groups supporting the start-up scene. He has appeared as guest lecture in WU Vienna, TU Vienna. Currently, he is co-Founder of, a real estate start-up that was awarded Austrian Start-up of the Year 2013.

Shailendra Vyakarnam
Shailendra VyakarnamDirector of the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield University

more about Shailendra Vyakarnam

Dr Vyakarnam worked in industry for several years before completing his MBA and PhD. He has combined academic, practitioner and policy interests to provide advice to government agencies and UN agencies in several conutries, on the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems, technology commercialisation and entrepreneurship education. He has mentored entrepreneurs and held non-executive directorships of small firms in addition to developing growth programmes for SMEs over se veral years.

He is co-founder of AcceleratorIndia which takes UK technologies into India and is Chairman of Kisanhub, an earlystage agro-tech venture that provides real time decision support for farmers. He is presently mentor for an alumnus of Ignite also involved in agriculture – a company that provides micro-climate data to vineyards. Shai is trustee of the Gen Initiative which support work being done for education and economic sustainability in India.

Miranda Weston-Smith
Miranda Weston-SmithMWS Consulting

more about Miranda Weston-Smith

Miranda helps early stage biomedical businesses to attract investment and develop their business strategy. She founded and runs BioBeat, a programme to inspire the next wave of bioentrepreneurs and business leaders.

Miranda has worked with many entrepreneurs and is experienced in fundraising, business planning and technology transfer. She is an Access to Finance Coach for the UK Business Growth Service, member of St John’s Innovation Centre Training Team, long standing Mentor for the Ignite Programme at Cambridge Judge School’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning and contributes to the University of Cambridge Masters in Bioscience Enterprise course. She brings experience as a Technology Manager at Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge, where she assessed and marked life science technologies, negotiated licences and spun-out companies. She was responsible for technology transfer at the University of Cambridge for the Cambridge-MIT Institute. In her five years at the seed capital firm, Cambridge Research and Innovation, she identified and invested in early stage technologies. Miranda  co-founded Cambridge Network with Hermann Hauser.

Miranda holds an MA (Cantab) in Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, is a Fellow of the Linnean Society and holds the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants’ Diploma in Management Accounting. She has edited eight books and contributes regularly to industry publications.

Our Contributors

Industry experts, VCs, business angels and many more from different fields support you with their know-how, valuable insights and network.

Andreas Riegler
Andreas RieglerAPEX Ventures

more about Andreas Riegler

Andreas has a degree in mechanical engineering and business administration from the Technical University in Graz, Austria and Harvard University, MA.

In various executive roles within the Sony corporation he helped establish a leading global media service company and was heading international teams in Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Brussels and Salzburg. Within his 20 years in the media services business he supported music labels, Hollywood Studios and Video Game Publishers in their transition to digital workflows.

Prior to joining APEX Andreas helped establish various technology and media start-up globally and supported VR/AR initiatives between the US and Europe. Andreas is married and has two kids.

Marie Helene Ametsreiter
Marie Helene AmetsreiterSpeedinvest

more about Marie Helene Ametsreiter

In the course of her numerous marketing and general management positions in Western and South-Eastern Europe, telecommunication industry expert Marie Helene has gained sound experience in the telecom industry. As Head of International Market Affairs and Head of Strategic Market Planning and Research at Mobilkom Austria, she took on great responsibilities and developed a profound understanding of the telecom environment.

Marie Helene gained further hands-on experience taking over Sales and Marketing for VIPnet, Croatia’s first private mobile phone network. Her outstanding performance made her become VIPnet CEO and President of the Board – positions she held for over 3 years. In March 2011, Marie Helene’s next challenge was leading OMV AG’s Corporate Sustainability Department, one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies. Marie-Helene is heading Speedinvest´s office in Munich and focusing on Industry 4.0 investments.

Birgit Hofreiter
Birgit Hofreiteri2c

more about Birgit Hofreiter

Birgit is responsible for the business development and activities undertaken by the i²c. What started with the program design and management of a supplementary curriculum on innovation for master students at the Faculty of Informatics at TU Wien, grew within 3 years into a cross-faculty Innovation Center offering different services: amongst other things a StartAcademy for Scientists – a unique concept for R&D transfer at Universities. In this StartAcademy scientists investigate the business potential of conducted R&D projects/PhD topics. Additionally, she fathered the i²c Award – a realisation grant for conducted PhD research with high business potential. Birgit is advisory board member of AustrianStartups and co-initiator & steering committee member of the IEEE International Conference on Business Informatics – An academic conference and outlet for applied informatics. Repeatedly, she acts as innovation scout and jury member.

Christoph Kanneberger
Christoph KannebergerAPEX Ventures

more about Christoph Kanneberger

Christoph was born in 1976 in Vienna, Austria. He studied Business Adminstration at the WU Vienna.

Right thereafter he started working for UBS Investment Bank in London. After three years he moved on to work for JP Morgan in Frankfurt for eight years. After more than a decade in Investment Banking he decided to try something new and headed a large HR Service Provider operating in seven countries.

Before he co-founded APEX Ventures Christoph acted as a Business Angel and invested in more than half a dozen startups. He considers the collaboration with young founders as truly inspiring and is happy to support them in the fields of: financial analysis, valuation, financing, business strategy development and providing access to his international network (banks, clients, talent, etc.).

Christoph is married and has one son.

Daniel Horak
Daniel HorakCONDA

more about Daniel Horak

After graduating from his studies, Daniel founded his first startup in 2007, Spoken Language System. In 2012, he co-founded CONDA – the leading Austrian crowdinvesting platform – and is currently the managing director for marketing & sales. Daniel is very well connected in the Austrian startup community and also board member of AustrianStartups, a non-profit organization which supports startups in Austria.

Fritz Schweiger
Fritz SchweigerQ - Advisers Group

more about Fritz Schweiger

As a creative entrepreneur and investor, Fritz has established and developed Q·ADVISERS GROUP and various successful ventures. Q·ADVISERS GROUP is an independent investment platform around the corporate finance boutique Q·ADVISERS. Group companies are active in venture capital and privat equity, real estate, family office services and alternative strategies asset managment. Q·CAPITAL VENTURES is the group’s venture capital arm, based in Vienna and operates as a “deal-by-deal” investment platform.

In Fritz’ corporate life he formed and led as CEO, CA IB Securities London, the powerful Austrian niche investment bank for Central and Eastern Europe and managed UniCredit’s Global Equity Distribution.

Fritz believes in small, flexible organisations with room for entrepreneurial talent, change and spirit. He likes to work with a network of people who share similar values, don’t take themselves too seriously and can work well together over regional or corporate boarders. Fritz operates a powerful network of entrepreneurs and investors.

Georg Huber
Georg Huber
Gerald Hoerhan
Gerald HoerhanInvestment Punk Academy

more about Gerald Hörhahn

Gerald Hörhan is an Austrian investment banker, free thinker and publicist.

He earned his degree in Economics and Applied Mathematics, and graduated from Harvard University with Magna Cum Laude. He was then lector for statistics at Harvard University and investment banker at JP Morgan in New York and McKinsey in Frankfurt.

Since 2003, Hörhan successfully works as an entrepreneur in the field of investment banking, corporate finance and real estate business. Among his function as board director and companion of Pallas Capital Holding, a leading corporate finance company for mid-sized enterprises, he is part of the supervisory committee in a number of mid-sized enterprises in Austria and Germany.

Furthermore, Hörhan works as lecturer at the University of Economics in Vienna. He is also cofounder of „Die Finanzschule”, where participants are given an understanding of the basics and tools of how to deal and handle money and investments. With his books „Investment Punk“, „Gegengift“, „Null Bock Komplott“, he became bestselling author.

Hörhan is concerned with the aim to teach the right way of dealing with money, therefore he founded the Investment Punk Academy where interested parties can improve their skills in financial economy.

Markus Lang
Markus LangPioneers Ventures

more about Markus Lang

Markus is a tech entrepreneur turned venture capitalist. He is a managing director at Pioneers Ventures, an Austrian early-stage VC firm supporting outstanding founders of digital tech companies all across Europe. He has taken over several board roles in his portfolio startups and helped them to raise more than EUR 15M in follow-on funding. Previously, he co-founded & led a logistics tech startup, helped to scale several companies and worked as a project manager & consultant.

Jamie Urquhart
Jamie UrquhartPond Ventures

more about Jamie Urquhart

Jamie Urquhart is a Venture Partner with Pond Ventures. He is highly experienced

in global technology licencing businesses. Jamie was with ARM Holdings plc, from ist inception in November 1990 until November 2002, a company he co-founded. During that time he undertook a number of roles, including Chief Operating Officer at the time of their IPO on LSE and NASDAQ and latterly Chief Strategy Officer. Before that he was with Acorn

Computers Limited, joining in 1984 as a VLSI Design Engineer, becoming VLSI Design Manager of the VLSI Design Group. In the course of his Angel and VC investing activity Jamie has been a non-executive of several start-up companies. Jamie holds a BSc from Bath University in Physics and Physical Electronics and is a Fellow of the IET.

Michael Forster
Michael ForsterFortis
Johannes Naimer-Stach
Johannes Naimer-Stach288 Consulting

more about Johannes Naimer-Stach

Johannes Naimer-Stach has a strong academic background in business administration and European studies, studying amongst others at University of Vienna, Jagiellonian University Cracow and KU Leuven (former EHSAL). After initial steps as innovation consultant and carbon emissions trader, Mr. Naimer-Stach took over WWF Climate Group Austria in 2010. As WWF climate change expert and campaigner Mr. Naimer-Stach contributed amongst others to the creation of the Science Based Targets, ran nationwide awareness raising campaigns and led impact-driven partnerships with national and international corporates alike. Realizing the major leverage effect of public procurement, Mr. Naimer-Stach moved on to become a sustainability and innovation expert with the Austrian Federal Procurement Agency (BBG) in 2014. In 2016 he set up his own consultancy, 288 Grad Consulting, with a major focus on sustainability and innovation management. Since its start, 288 Grad has been helping public organizations, NGOs, corporates and impact-driven start-ups creating positive climate impact. This has also involved the roll-out of Climate-KIC programs, like the Accelerator, the ClimateLaunchpad or the Climathon. In June 2018 Mr. Naimer-Stach became country manager of the newly established Climate-KIC Austria branch to help taking climate action in Austria to the next level.

Philipp Stangl
Philipp StanglPioneers Ventures

more about Philipp Stangl

Philipp started his career as a Management Consultant at Arthur D. Little in the Telco Industry and afterwards as a Tech-Analyst at i5invest, looking at technology and business models from around the globe.

He startet his first company, KochAbo, in the food e-commerce space, and built it together with his team from 0 to 7-figure revenues with a footprint in 4 european countries. The VC-funded company was exited to Marley Spoon in 2015.

Currently, Philipp serves as Managing Director at Pioneers Ventures, doing early-stage investments in digital startups all over Europe. Over the last 3 years, Pioneers Ventures has invested in 32 companies that have gone on to raise more than 20M in follow-on financing

Johannes Ziller
Johannes ZillerWARBEK

more about Johannes Ziller

MMag. Dr. Johannes Ziller is associate at the law office of WARBEK in Innsbruck, Austria, since 2011. He studied law and business administration at the Leopold-Franzens-University Innsbruck and obtained his doctoral degrees in law in 2011.

MMag. Dr. Ziller published his doctoral thesis on the topic “The attorney’s obligation to provide information on litigation risks” and received several awards for this thesis. He co-lectures the course “Cultural Law” at the Leopold-Franzens-University Innsbruck, focusing on intellectual property rights, fundamental rights and data protection.

At the law offices of WARBEK, he is specialized on general civil law and corporate law, including the funding of businesses.

Karin Brauneis
Karin BrauneisBrauneis & Partner
Lisa Fassl
Lisa FasslAAIA

more about Lisa Fassl

Active for several years in the startup scene, Lisa has already been able to go through several stations and get to know the ecosystem from different angles. The passionate hobby photographer is particularly interested in projects with digital components and supports startups hands-on in their further development. In addition to her role as Managing Director of the Austrian Angel Investors Association, she is a co-founder of Female Founders and has an active seat in the advisory board of IdeenTriebwerk Graz.

Tal Catran
Tal CatranTC Holdings

more about Tal Catran

Tal is the undoubted Accelerators Guru, founded 10 accelerators programs in Israel and several globally. Tal is also a renowned Keynote Speaker sharing his toolbox of knowhow with entrepreneurial ecosystems worldwide. Tal serves as advisory board and chairman in a variety of companies and technology startups. His experience enables him to establish and enhance entire startup ecosystems. Tal’s active involvement with startups, accelerators, innovation hub and major players in the entrepreneurial ecosystems stretches from Israel to Austria, Italy, Romania, Russia, Georgia, Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Ukraine India and China. Tal brainstorms with municipalities, government offices and financial leaders to format the right recipe that would serve as a wakeup call and motivation boost, to get the ecosystem engine running.

Walter Ischia
Walter IschiaMAD

more about Walter Ischia

Walter is a perfect link between startups and corporates. He loves to support teams at building successful business. In the year 2000 he cofounded phion, Austrias first startup who succeeded to make an IPO. He spent seven years in a bank, where he lead several innovation projects and  got a profound understanding of corporates. Since 2015 he as worked as business development manager,  start-up coach and investment team member for I.E.C.T. – Hermann Hauser. Besides he is the contact person for CONDA Crowd-Investing projects in Tyrol.  Today Walter is Managing Partner of MAD Ventures, a company builder for tech innovators.

Michael Raab
Michael Raab

more about Michael Raab

He studied economic and social science in Vienna and Basel. After years working as human resource developer in an Austrian Business consultancy he decided to change careers and use his know-how and his work energy to help founders. In his main focus point is the funding of innovative projects. The CEO of MINTED helps founders to find alternative ways of financing to realize their projects like crowdinvesting or funding campaigns.

Pinar Kilickiran
Pinar KilickiranHeaRT

more about Pinar Kilickiran

After getting her Ph.D. in Chemistry from TU Braunschweig and a Postdoctoral stay at Stanford University, Pinar worked many years at Sony Corporate R&D leading various projects and a research team in the areas of Displays and Bisosensors. Pinar moved to Tirol in 2013 and since recently she was acting as a Start-up Consultant at CAST GmbH, supporting Start-up Teams from Tyrolean Universities. During her CAST time, she was also responsible for the technology transfer issues of Medical University of Innsbruck, acting as an IP consultant. Since June 2017 Pinar is the CEO of a high-tech medical device company; Heart Regeneration Technologies GmbH. HeaRT is a spin-off from the Medical University of Innsbruck and develops cardiac shock wave therapy devices for patients with cardiac failures requiring open heart surgery.

Stefan Kreppel
Stefan KreppelFFG

more about Stefan Kreppel

Stefan Kreppel is one of the leading Austrian experts in the fields of innovation and start-up. Through his long experience he has a strong network with in the start-up ecosystem and the Business Angel and venture capital community. He works as a Start-up representative at FFG and is responsible for all Start-up related Funding Schemes and represents the FFG in Start-up Topics.
Beside his job as a start-up representative of FFG he acts as a start-up Mentor and Coach, Speaker at several events like the Pioneers Festival and is lecturer at the technical and economical university for the topics innovation and design thinking and business planning and finance.

Stefan Warbek
Stefan WarbekWARBEK

more about Stefan Warbek

Dr. Stefan Warbek: Born 1965 in Innsbruck. Working for Alliance Francaise (cultural department French Ministry of Forgein Affairs) until 1994. Since 1994 working in internationally active business law firms. Admitted to the Vienna bar in 1997. 1999 WARBEK law office was founded in Innsbruck to protect creative and innovative ideas and hence help to promote their break-through. The firm’s expertise lies in the area of start-ups and strategic patents, trademarks, designs or copyrights as well as data protection and other important personal rights.

The lawyers of WARBEK law office are delivering lectures on selected legal topics, as e.g. for the University of Innsbruck, the Management Center Innsbruck (MCI) or the Chamber of Trade, Commerce and Industry. With Bernd Ebersberger Stefan Warbek shares the responsibility for the MCI executive program about patent and license management, both are the backbone of the MSc in Innovation and IPR.

WARBECK’s client base ranges from companies operating in engineering, research, art and culture to show business and sports. They support national and multi-national companies of any size, including start-up entreprenuers, international designers and fashion labels, representatives of the international patent industry, universities, public institutions, as well as artists and charities.

Oliver Holle
Oliver HolleSpeedinvest

more about Oliver Holle

In 1997, long before European pioneers were familiar with terms like “mobile”, “entrepreneur” or “startup”, Oliver, switched from his path towards an academic career – at that time he was working on his PhD thesis in Economics at Columbia University – to launch his  first tech startup, creating funny, more or less useful online games. After raising way too much money and spending it all in the first tech bubble of the early 2000’s, Oliver and his team went through long three years of painful battle against insolvency, finally emerging with successful pivot into mobile data. In order to accelerate growth, Oliver merged his company with two other startups into 3united AG to become a highly profitable European leader in mobile content and messaging. The acquisition of 3united by Verisign was not only one of the biggest exits coming from Austria at that time but also took Oliver to Silicon Valley, where he spent two years with one of the most ambitious tech companies of that time.

Werner Wutscher
Werner WutscherNew Venture Scouting

more about Werner Wutscher

Werner Wutscher has many years of experience in top management positions in public service administration and corporate management. In the last few years he has invested in startups and shared his knowledge and experience as a Business Angel („Austrian Business Angel of the Year 2012“). Understanding both worlds puts him in an excellent position to bridge the gap between corporations and startups.

Kurt Kofler
Kurt KoflerTyrolean Business Angel GmbH

more about Kurt Kofler

Kurt Kofler holds a PhD in natural sciences from the University of Innsbruck. After the time

as research assistant at the Medical University of Innsbruck, he joined Cemit where he was responsible for the development of R&D projects.

After a short period as independent consultant for innovation projects he was appointed as CEO of the Tyrolean Business Angel GmbH.

The Location

Werkstaette Wattens is an international company centre for startups, entrepreneurs, movers & shakers and service providers at various stages of development. The focus is on technology and innovation, the creation of regional value and sustainable growth.

In addition to a co-working space, team offices and production & workshop units, Werkstaette Wattens also offers a Fablab for individual use at its 2,400m² facilities. Partnership contacts into the entrepreneurial ecosystem, services and programmes for both, business and prototype development, are paired with professional support to offer platforms and opportunity for interdisciplinary exchange and networking.

Werkstaette Wattens is an initiative of Destination Wattens Regionalentwicklung GmbH, a Public-Private Partnership between the Wattens municipality and Swarovski to stimulate the regional economic development.

The European Forum Alpbach (EFA) is an interdisciplinary platform for science, politics, business and culture. Established in 1945, the annual European Forum Alpbach and their events throughout the year address the relevant socio-political questions of our time.

They connect international decision-makers from all sectors of society with an interested audience and committed young people. The goal is to create a dialogue across the generational, ideological and other lines that divide us.

Developed by


In partnership with


Hosted by




In cooperation with