Support for Startups in the Pre-Seed Phase in Austria’s Ecosystem

Date: 19.06.2024

Austria has become a significant hub for startups in recent years. The comprehensive ecosystem offers founders numerous opportunities to develop their ideas and establish themselves in the market successfully. The Austrian Startup Monitor provides detailed insights into the development of the startup sector, highlighting key trends and challenges that young companies face. A strong focus is placed on supporting startups in the pre-seed phase, a critical stage for long-term success.

Key Players in Supporting Pre-Seed Startups

·       Austria Wirtschaftsservice Gesellschaft (aws)

One of the central funding agencies in Austria is the Austria Wirtschaftsservice Gesellschaft (aws), which is dedicated to supporting startups and innovative companies. Its goal is to strengthen the competitiveness and innovation capacity of Austrian businesses. AWS offers various programs specifically for the pre-seed phase to support young companies in their early development stages. The aws PreSeed program targets technology-oriented startups, providing financial support of up to 200,000 euros. This program helps founders transform their innovative ideas into marketable products. Building on this, the aws Seedfinancing program offers further financial support for market entry and business growth. Moreover, the aws First Incubator is a significant program tailored to the needs of startups in the pre-seed phase, offering comprehensive support, including coaching, mentoring, and access to a wide network of experts and investors.

·       Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)

Another crucial player in supporting startups in Austria is the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). Its primary goal is to promote research, technology development, and innovation, thereby enhancing Austria’s technological capabilities. The FFG Small Projects program supports startups and SMEs in conducting smaller innovation projects. This program aims to enable companies to explore and develop new technologies without bearing the financial risks alone. Funding includes grants for projects such as market research, feasibility studies, or prototype development.

·       AplusB Centers

In addition to these national agencies, the AplusB Centers are a network of incubators specifically designed to support technology-oriented and innovative startups. These centers offer a combination of infrastructure, consulting, coaching, and access to funding. They help startups validate their ideas, develop prototypes, and prepare for market entry.

·       Regional Support: Carinthian Economic Promotion Fund (KWF)

Regionally, the Carinthian Economic Promotion Fund (KWF) plays a vital role in supporting startups and SMEs in Carinthia. KWF offers a variety of programs specifically tailored to the needs of founders in the pre-seed phase. One of the key programs of KWF is the TDIKT Call, aimed at promoting innovation and technological development in the region. This program provides financial support for research and development projects, helping startups bring their innovative ideas to market readiness.

Austria’s startup ecosystem offers a wide range of funding instruments and support programs specifically tailored to the needs of startups in the pre-seed phase. Institutions such as AWS, FFG, AplusB Centers, and KWF play a crucial role in providing young companies with the necessary resources and expertise to realize their innovative ideas and achieve long-term success. Continuous support and promotion by these institutions significantly contribute to the dynamic development of the startup sector in Austria.

For further information, you can visit the following websites:

Austria Wirtschaftsservice,

Austrian Research Promotion Agency,

FFG website.

AplusB Centers

Carinthian Economic Promotion Fund.