Deadline: Closed for 2024
Thank you for your applications!

Don´t miss out on this opportunity in 2025!

Stay tuned for details about Start-up Idea Competition 2025.
The opportunity
Does your heart beat for innovation?
Are you ready to change the world and disrupt the status quo?
Convince the jury and win up to €12,000

Every year Science Park Graz organises the Start-up Idea Competition to inspire and encourage innovators 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.

Apply under one of the following categories:

  • Energy & Environment
  • Mobility
  • Health & Life Sciences
  • Special Societal Impact
  • Digital Economy & ICT
  • Space

Congratulations to the winners of the Start-up Idea Competition 2023

The jury 2023

Jury Members
We are delighted to introduce our jury of experts.
Martin Mössler
Managing Director SPG| ESA Space Solutions Centre Austria General Manager |  ESA BIC Austria General Manager | ESA Business Ambassador | Head of Board ESA Space Solutions
Frank M. Salzgeber
Head of Innovation and Ventures Office, ESA
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
Gernot Faustmann
Gernot Faustmann
Technology Transfer at University of 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.

Will any costs such as travel expenses be covered by Science Park Graz, if I get shortlisted and invited to pitch in front of the jury in Graz, Austria?

NO. Please note that Science Park Graz is not able to cover any costs such as travel expenses related to your participation in the competition. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to pitch in front of our jury in Graz; please note that your physical presence will be required, remote participation is not possible. Any necessary travel arrangements and related costs are at the sole responsibility of the shortlisted applicant(s). Everybody taking part in the competition by submitting their idea will be invited to join us for the Award Ceremony event taking place after the jury pitches. Event attendance is free of charge, however, any necessary travel arrangements and related costs are at the sole responsibility of the applicant(s).

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

Partners and sponsors
Together we make the magic happen
  • Technical University Graz
  • Medical University of Graz
  • AWS - Austria Wirtschaftsservice
  • Styrian Business Promotion Agency – SFG
  • Stadt Graz
  • FH Joanneum - University of Applied Sciences

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