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Start-up Garage (Gründungsgarage)

The Start-up Garage is the leading supporter students and researchers who are interested in founding a start-up and are currently in the pre-start-up phase. We support them by helping them to develop their potential and business ideas and thus to help them shape the future of the regional economy.

  • Do you have an idea, want to found your own business and need help getting started?
  • Or perhaps you don't have a business idea (yet), but you’d like to meet interesting people to develop new ideas together?
  • Are you looking for a co-founder or do you want to work in a start-up yourself?
  • Or do you just want to dip your toe into the start-up pool, expand your network, learn about cool start-up projects and support the Start-up Garage as a volunteer?

Then you've come to the right place!

In the Start-up Garage Accelerator Programme, you or members of your team work on the further development of your business idea for one volume (semester) and receive supported from our interdisciplinary network. You can contact experienced mentors and experts from the field to exchange experiences and receive coaching. In addition, you will get all the information you need to start a business – from developing the draft of a business model to making the pitch. At the end of the semester, you will present yourself and your business idea at the final pitching event in front of an exclusive audience, which includes not only high-ranking representatives from the universities and industry, but also potential investors.

To ensure that all participants get optimal support, the number of participating start-up projects is limited: 10 ideas are accepted into the Start-up Garage each semester. Apply now and get started!

Supporting people and helping them turn their (business) ideas into reality is my passion. Innovative ideas need support from competent mentors – you’re sure to get this support at the Start-up Garage!


  • Name: Gründungsgarage (Start-up Garage)  
  • Tasks: Supporting students and researchers in all fields of study in the further development and implementation of their business ideas.
  • Address:
    Gründungsgarage - Verein zur Förderung des Unternehmertums
    Elisabethstraße 50b/2. OG
    8010 Graz
    Institute of General Management and Organisation
    Kopernikusgasse 24/IV
    8010 Graz  
  • Contact:
  • Target group:
    • Start-up Garage (Gründungsgarage) Academic Start-up Accelerator Programme: Students and researchers with an innovative business idea in the pre-start-up phase.
    • Start-up Garage Growth Garden: Students and researchers who want to activate their “start-up” gene and develop new ideas together with other people with entrepreneurial mindsets.

Services for Students and Researchers

50,000 EUR consultancy value per start-up project

300+ hours of coaching, workshops and mentoring

Support through our interdisciplinary non-profit initiative, which has been established at the University of Graz and TU Graz since 2013:

  • Develop new (business) ideas in the Start-up Garage Growth Garden
  • Kickstart your business in the Start-up Garage Accelerator Programme
  • Further develop your business idea by receiving mentoring and coaching from experts from the field
  • Get access to our large network of entrepreneurs, Start-up Garage alumni, potential investors and supporters
  • Get interactive cooperation and regular exchange opportunities in the Start-up Garage Volume
  • Take part in workshops and gain expertise on topics important for your start-up
    • Business Model Development
    • Design Thinking
    • Intellectual Property Rights
    • Online Marketing
    • Taxes & Law
    • Pitch Training
    • …and much more!
  • Co-Founder Matching
  • Start-up Garage Alumni Network
  • 2 semester hours / 2 ECTS for students

Achievements in 14 Volumes

  • 149 start-up projects further developed
  • 285+ participants supported
  • 48 successfully founded companies
  • 150+ jobs created
  • 3 winning places in the final pitching competition per volume (semester)

Start-up Garage – turn your idea into a business

More offers for start-up enthusiasts

The Institute of General Management and Organisation (UFO Institute) provides advice and support for all TU Graz students and employees who are interested in starting a business. We will gladly arrange further contacts within the TU and in the network insofar as possible.

In addition to providing counselling and support, the UFO Institute offers interesting courses on the topic, e.g. founding a company (German), entrepreneurship (English), MOOC Start-up Journey: creating a business model and even more for in-depth study of management topics. Courses offered


The Start-up Garage kicks off each volume at the beginning of the winter or summer semester. The top 10 business ideas are selected in a hearing process and can then take part in the Accelerator Programme. Apply with your business idea by filling out the Start-up Garage online form at any time.

The Start-up Garage Growth Garden is our new form of support, which has the character of a bootcamp. Here, cool people network with one another and new innovative ideas are developed. More information on how to apply and the next Growth Garden date can be found on our Growth Garden website.

If you don't have a specific business idea yet, but want to immerse yourself in the Graz start-up scene and gain some experience, then apply as a volunteer at the Start-up Garage.

If you’re looking for a co-founder or are interested in working in a start-up, you have the opportunity to submit applications for open positions to us via our Co-founder Matching or let us find you at start-ups.

We look forward to seeing you!