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Founders at TU Graz

Entrepreneurial thinking is very important at TU Graz: Numerous staff members and students develop business ideas, found start-ups and turn innovative ideas into reality.

TU Graz values, supports and encourages its founders through comprehensive programmes and offers. One of the key objectives of our University, therefore, is to encourage an outstanding entrepreneurial mindset and start-up activities among students and employees.

4 young people walk across campus

What TU Graz Offers

TU Graz offers a variety of courses, project formats as well as advice that support TU Graz members (students, doctoral candidates, employees) who are contemplating and planning start-up projects. These offers draw attention to existing offers at TU Graz and in the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Ideas for start-ups often arise in connection with a project thesis, dissertation, or research project, and possibly even in cooperation with a company. The associated framework conditions, opportunities and potential next steps can usually be clarified quickly and easily in an advisory meeting.

Here you can find special offers

Start-up Map of TU Graz

Start-up Map

Many engineers and scientists at TU Graz develop a business idea, either during their studies, directly after graduation, or after several years of employment. They decide to seize the chance to turn their idea into reality – as an individual entrepreneur or as a member of a team, in the form of a start-up company or a university spin-off.

Start-up activities carried out by TU Graz graduates, students and staff in the period from 1950 to the present are documented on the TU Graz Start-up Map.

For Students

Are you still studying but are interested in preparing yourself now to set up a business in the future? Do you have an idea and want to develop it further, ideally while you are still studying? Have you invented something together with others and now would like to commercialise it?

At TU Graz, you can prepare for founding a start-up in a variety of ways.

Offers and Networks

Support programmes and initiatives


Certificates, courses and videos


Laboratories and rooms


Start-up events


Game Development Graz

Dominik Wieser and Philipp Reitter

Dominik WIESER and Philipp REITTER, founders of ARIVO GmbH


During our studies at TU Graz, we already realised that we wanted to apply the knowledge we had acquired in the real world.

In the Start-up Garage (Gründungsgarage) we gathered the tools we would need to turn our business idea into reality. What started with a simple but best-in-industry license plate recognition system developed into a full-fledged digital parking management system that can be used to map even complex processes and scenarios.

Later, we were incubated at the Science Park Graz, where we learned that being able to assess market potential and scale an IT system are crucial for business success. This know-how as well as networking with partners helped us to gain a foothold in the market.

We are proud of the fact that a car now drives through an ARIVO installation every second.

ARIVO offers the best-in-industry automatic license plate recognition and parking management system for parking operators.

 

Start-up Garage

Stefan Strein

Stefan STREIN, CEO & Founder of doro Turbinen GmbH


My mechanical engineering studies at TU Graz provided me with the expertise to ask the right questions and find technically applicable answers for these.

The Start-up Garage (Gründungsgarage) was the crucial contact point for actually pursuing my start-up idea. I had been carrying the idea and the knowledge about the technical implementation around with me for a long time. However, I lacked the economic know-how and the contacts to partners and networks, which would allow me to commercialise the product. The Start-up Garage gave me a lot of support here, saved me a great deal of time and money and served as the springboard to the Science Park Graz.

Today, doro Turbinen GmbH is internationally active and is in contact with turbine producers from India and Southeast Asia. The decentralised supply of rural areas with small power plants is an attractive option for many emerging countries, helping them to counteract the rising demand for electricity.

doro-C is a plug and play (PnP) small hydropower plant that was developed to exploit the potential of unused shallow water in ways that are simple to develop and environmentally friendly.

 

Courses and Certificates

Starting in the winter semester 2020/21, it will be possible to prove special competences by achieving certificates from TU Graz, for example, by taking advantage of courses offered on the topic of entrepreneurship. A good mix of theory and practical courses are offered, which enable you to gain valuable experience that you can then apply in initiating, designing and carrying out your own (start-up) projects. Even if you are not necessarily aiming for a certificate, many of the introductory courses listed on the subjects are a good place to start.

More information in the intranet TU4U

Student Teams

The student teams at TU Graz put the knowledge they have gained in studies into practice and take part in international competitions with innovative projects.

By taking part in the diverse teams and initiatives, students can deepen their professional competencies, strengthen their soft skills and establish contacts with business, industry and research partners – the ideal prerequisites for founding a start-up.

To the student teams at TU Graz

Ines Wöckl and Alexander Rech

Ines WÖCKL and Alexander RECH, founders of Flasher GmbH


Our founding activities were supported by

  • the enrolment in the master's degree programme in Information and Computer Engineering. Thanks to the numerous industry cooperations at TU Graz, I was able to complete an industry-related dissertation in the field of smart access and then make contacts and discover new perspectives in the Circle of Excellence. (Alexander Rech)
  • the broad knowledge acquired from my business studies and my doctorate in finance. By performing voluntary work in the Finance Club Graz, also acquired soft skills and leadership competences. (Ines Wöckl)

Together, we took part in the TU Austria Innovation Marathon and were able to make interesting contacts. With the support of the Science Park Graz and advice from the F&T House, we managed to get our start-up Flasher off the ground.

In Flasher, we are developing smart upper arm bands equipped with LEDs and sensors for male and female cyclists and e-scooter riders, which increase their visibility and protect them optimally in road traffic.

 

Karin Pichler and Christian Haintz

Karin PICHLER und Christian HAINTZ, founded feedbackr and serve as mentors at the Start-up Garage (Gründungsgarage)

During our studies, partners from industry were repeatedly invited to take part in lectures and exercises, including an exercise on mobile app development. The industry partner was so enthusiastic about our idea that he quickly put us in contact with the Science Park Graz. So, one thing led to another, and our team was accepted into the Science Park Graz a few months later. Without this outside help, we probably wouldn’t have taken this step.

We were also allowed to carry out our diploma theses on a very practical topic that’s close to our hearts: supporting sincere interactions in courses. The support from TU Graz and our supervisors was highly valuable to us. This laid a foundation for our product feedbackr. It’s an audience response system that allows the submission of anonymous feedback in real time. In the meantime, feedbackr is used worldwide in many branches of industry.

In the meantime, we’ve been able to gain a lot of experience in being self-employed. And we’re happy that we can give something back to TU Graz. As mentors at the Start-up Garage, we have the honour of being able to provide coaching and support innovative product ideas. We’re really happy that we can give something back and ideally help the teams avoid making some mistakes.

 

Manuel Bruschi

Manuel BRUSCHI, Co-Founder of TIMEULAR GmbH


At TU Graz, I was able to formulate my start-up idea while carrying out my master's thesis work and, with the support of my teachers, take the first steps towards assessing the market maturity for this idea.

In the Start-up Garage (Gündungsgarage), mentors supported me when I had to tackle complex questions. In addition, the four-month accelerator programme with like-minded people created a challenging and supportive group dynamic, enabling all of us to move forward more rapidly and learn from each other. Universities need hands-on initiatives like the Start-up Garage to spark the students’ entrepreneurial interests, regardless of whether they are able to pursue these interests or not. As in academia, we learn the most from making mistakes in entrepreneurship.

Timeular allowed us to become the Start-up of the Year in 2016, the Newcomer of the Year at the Central European Startup Awards in 2017. I also made it on to the Forbes 30 under 30 list, among other things.

Timeular has developed the first time-tracking cube with 8 sides, which automatically records activities through its rotations. This makes it possible to assign work precisely to different projects.

 

Martin Glinik

Contact for Students

Martin GLINIK
Institut of General Management and Organisation
Phone: +43 316 873 7515
entrepreneurshipnoSpam@tugraz.at

 

I always wanted to work with people who have the courage to change and want to make a difference. That's why it fills me with great joy to promote interdisciplinary entrepreneurship among students and thus raise awareness about the career option of starting a business at TU Graz.

If you would also like to develop your entrepreneurial ideas and unleash your entrepreneurial potential, I would be happy to support you along this exciting path!

For Doctoral Candidates

Are you working on your dissertation and would like to develop the result into an applicable product independently or together with others?

We will be happy to work with you to map out the next possible steps, help you find the right support options and clarify the legal framework, if necessary.

Offers and Networks

Advice and support

Online course


Laboratories and rooms


Start-up events in Graz

Stephan Weinberger, Christoph Grimmer and Florian Gebetsroither

Stephan WEINBERGER, Christoph GRIMMER and Florian GEBETSROITHER, founders of EET GmbH


When you begin to develop your start-up idea, you often don't know how to take the first step. At this point, we were supported by two departments at TU Graz: In the Research & Technology House, we received fantastic support on the entire topic of intellectual property (IP) and, in the Science Park Graz, we received great support that helped us turn our business idea into reality.

Looking back, we can safely say that two out of three necessary forms of support came directly from TU Graz. We recommend every founder to get in touch with TU Graz in order to set off on the exciting journey of founding a company.

EET GmbH produces photovoltaic systems with electricity storage for balconies.

Courses and Certificates

Starting in the winter semester 2020/21, it will be possible to prove special competences by achieving certificates from TU Graz, for example, by taking advantage of courses offered on the topic of entrepreneurship. A good mix of theory and practical courses are offered, which enable you to gain valuable experience that you can then apply in initiating, designing and carrying out your own (start-up) projects. Even if you are not necessarily aiming for a certificate, many of the introductory courses listed on the subjects are a good place to start.

More information in the intranet TU4U

More Stories from Successful Founders

Contact for Doctoral Candidates

Mario FALLAST
Research & Technology House
Phone: +43 316 873 6038
entrepreneurshipnoSpam@tugraz.at


Together with a fellow student, I co-founded smaXtec in 2009, a high-tech start-up with an international market. Since then, I’ve been significantly involved in the further development of the product and organisation. I’ve worked at TU Graz since 2005, so I also know the University environment very well, with all the possibilities it offers as well as the rules of the game.

I’d be happy to contribute the experience I gained in both worlds and accompany you on your start-up project journey in the TU Graz environment… all the way to implementation!

For Employees

Have you invented, developed, or come up something that you would like to market or even develop further in your own company in order to make a finished product?

Contact us and work together with us to map out the next possible steps in this direction. If required, we will be happy to involve the persons responsible for funding, inventions and licences at TU Graz and help you to cut through all the red tape.

Offers

  • Personal advice and support from the Research & Technology House
  • Spin-off Fellowship – central support for Southeast Austria through the Research & Technology House
  • Science ParkGraz – High-tech incubator in Graz

Online course

Michael Cik
Michael CIK, founder of Invenium Data Insights

In 2013, together with my co-founders, I had the idea to create a basis for the digitalisation of the mobility survey by using newly developed analyses. Thus, I founded the company Invenium Data Insights.

I’m convinced that you also have revolutionary ideas. An idea is the starting point of the journey, which will require a great deal of perseverance and stamina from you and will demand business-related soft skills, as well as strategic planning and vision.

By packing the right tools into our bag and choosing the right travel companions – like TU Graz in our case – the journey is sure to end positively. We were able to learn the relevant skills at TU Graz and received support for our idea from many sources, from the Rectorate to the University Council.

Invenium Data Insights is the leading provider of mobile-based movement flow analysis in Austria.

Contact for Employees

Mario FALLAST
Reserach & Technology House
Phone: +43 316 873 6038
entrepreneurshipnoSpam@tugraz.at

 

As the co-founder of smaXtec, a high-tech start-up with an international market, and a staff member at TU Graz since 2005, I’ve gained experience in carrying out innovative projects. Forging new, uncharted paths in new or existing organisations and getting comrades-in-arms on board are particular challenges.

I’d be happy to contribute the experience I gained in both worlds and accompany you on your start-up project journey in the TU Graz environment… all the way to implementation!

More Stories from Successful Founders