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.
Apply under one of the following categories:
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.
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.
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.
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: https://www.patentamt.at/de/tipps-wettbewerbe/
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): https://www.patentamt.at/kontakt/
YES. All participants are free to submit several ideas.
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).
Smart minds never run out of questions. We’re happy to answer yours – just get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.