Supporting innovative business ideas

An ERDF co-funded business support programme has helped turn innovative business ideas into successful ventures in and around the Austrian capital.

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INiTS offers a range of services to help entrepreneurs to set up their business INiTS offers a range of services to help entrepreneurs to set up their business

Start-up companies in the Vienna region have been helped to get off the ground by a business support programme that particularly targets technology companies.

The INiTS Universitäres Gründerservice has, since 2003, provided more than 130 young companies with start-up capital and business advice. From 2007 the programme was expanded with the help of ERDF funds. A wide variety of industrial and manufacturing sectors have been helped by the programme, including information communication technology (ICT), the life sciences, engineering, clean-technology, and social entrepreneurship. The programme targets innovative business ideas with an academic background with the potential to grow and create jobs.

Stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship

Many of the entrepreneurs who come to INiTS for support are young academics who want to create their own companies in technological sectors. Those whose applications are successful receive some start-up capital as well as coaching and advice on issues such as preparing business plans, further fundraising, team development, office accommodation and training. Participating start-up companies are also put in contact with other entrepreneurs, industry and other experts, investors and partners. The idea being that such companies can, in a creative environment, share ideas and good practice in their respective fields and be accelerated on their path to success.

Project manager Irene Fialka said that the INiTS business start-up programme had been highly successful, with around 90 % of new companies still going four years after getting underway. The programme has also helped to create about 800 new jobs, about 45 % of which are in the ICT sector.

Creating jobs

Another measure of the importance to the region of the programme is the fact that 56 of the oldest start-ups helped under the scheme generated EUR 13 million of tax revenue in 2011. This figure is expected to grow to EUR 46 million a year by 2017, generated by the 98 start-ups helped into existence by the end of 2011.

“It’s also part of the programme to work with entrepreneurs to help them define the market, intellectual property issues, and also draw up the first draft of a financial plan.”

            - Irene Fialka, Project Manager and Chief Executive Officer of INiTS

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “INiTS Universitäres Gründerservice Wien GmbH” was over EUR 14 million, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 681 532 from the Operational Programme “Vienna” for the 2007-2013 programming period.

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