How next-incubator supports Austrian startups committed to making a difference

2 min read
28 Mar 2022

ext-incubator promotes ideas, projects and initiatives that meet binding ecological, economic and social criteria.

next-incubator is an independent innovation platform and think tank founded in 2017 by Energie Steiermark, one of the largest energy suppliers in Austria. It offers individualized business support to market-ready startups and companies who want to have a positive impact on the climate. It is particularly keen to hear from projects or organizations focused on one of the following seven Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): quality education; affordable and clean energy; decent work and economic growth; industry, innovation and infrastructure; sustainable cities and communities; responsible consumption and production; and climate action.

Throughout the year, next-incubator runs a series of open calls in collaboration with Energie Steiermark and external clients, or startups can also just put themselves forward as a speculative application if they feel their mission is aligned with next-incubator’s values and goals. It also actively scouts out projects working in its areas of interest. Unlike many other programs and offerings, next-incubator’s approach is not one-size-fits-all. The support offered is highly tailored to the organization’s needs, and the team at next-incubator prides itself on this very personalized and strategic approach. The assistance is generally offered across a three- to five-month period, and it works with companies within the areas of idea management, innovation, sustainability and project management, and across other topics that next-incubator feels the organization could benefit from assistance with.

For a solution to be a success, it needs to arise from a team that pushes together towards a common and powerful vision.

next-incubator is uniquely positioned within the energy sector to support and guide organizations who are committed to making a difference. More often than not, many of the companies go on to work with Energie Steiermark or see their product or service adopted and further developed by the energy supplier. With a wealth of expertise, unparalleled access to the energy industry and an ambitious and motivated team who are leaders in their field, next-incubator is committed to driving change through innovation and supporting companies to have a positive impact on the environment.

Most important tips for startups:

💡 Match our sustainability criteria. We want to have a positive impact on the climate, and your startup should be clearly orientated around one of the seven Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that we focus on.

💡 Be market ready. We want to get straight to work and start testing your project, so your product or service should be market-ready or ready to launch a pilot.

💡 Have a plan. We want you to have a detailed plan about how your pilot project looks and how it will work.

💡 Have a diverse and strong team with shared goals. We want you and your team to have a clear idea of what your business stands for and what your vision for its future is.

A version of this article is included in Startup Guide Graz, alongside many more expert insights and useful tips. Order your copy now!

Written by Lucy Beckley

Repackaged by Anastasia Ilcov

Photography by Kurt Remling