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8th Pioneers Conference 2019: Deep Tech and Storyball

Storyball wins at the Pioneers Festival © Mark Somay/Pioneers

About 2,500 trade visitors, business angels, venture capitalists and 500 selected startups came together this year. In 2019, the emphasis was on the far-reaching process of digitization ("deep tech") which is transforming society. The keynote speakers included Pete Worden, earlier a high-ranking NASA manager and now Head of Breakthrough Prize Foundation. The conference took place for the 8th time. The winners of this year's pitches were the startups Storyball and 7Lytix. Storyball was bestowed the title of "Pioneer of the Year". The startup developed a toy stimulating the creativity of children and encouraging them to play outside without any monitors. The company raised more than USD 136,000 on Kickstarter 2018 within the context of a crowdfunding campaign. 7Lytix performs risk analyses, automation, pattern recognition, recommendations, previously unknown interrelations, image recognition and much more with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The company won the Pitching Challenge of the newspaper publisher Mediaprint primarily targeting data analysis startups.

Open Startup Calls

weXelerate Batch 5
Deadline: 31/05/2019
A 4-month long, equity-free program which collaborates closely with top Austrian corporations. Explore and connect to the diverse weXelerate innovation ecosystem and develop your business in Austria & the DACH region. Batch 5 runs from October 2019 to January 2020 in Vienna.

Grow F by Female Founders
Deadline: 30/06/2019
The three-month program aims to kickstart highly innovative and scalable female-led ventures. This accelerator program focuses on startup development, founder development and one-on-one support.

Vienna Start-up Package
Deadline: 24/06/2019
The Package offers a two month program and supports selected international start-ups who want to develop their business idea in Vienna and explore the Austrian and European market. The start-ups will not only enjoy free flight tickets, housing, office space and coaching, but get an exclusive introduction to the Austrian start-up ecosystem and its players.

INiTs Start-up Camp
Deadline: 03/06/2019
INiTS offers early-stage startups 100 days of intensive support and shows you the path to market success. The incubation phase lasts a total of 12 months, during which the incubees are individually coached and prepared for market entry. As an option, INiTS provides its startups with up to € 100,000 START capital.

Deadline: 30/06/2019
The program is focusing on technology innovations with an application in travel and tourism. This covers a wide field from FinTech, Blockchain, AI, Data Management, Health Care, Robotics to Smart City/Region and Mobility. The Next Floor accelerator program is based in Salzburg, Austria. All start-ups receive 12 weeks of professional tourism business training including access to mentors, investors and a wide range of potential strategic industry partners.

Elevator Lab Partnership Program by RBI
Deadline: 26/05/2019 (application period nearly over!)
The Raiffeisen Bank International Group is looking for startups with proven innovative fintech products and technologies. Elevator Lab aims to jointly develop scalable business cases and enable international growth. The intensive 4-month program starts after the finale in October 2019 leading up to Demo Day in February 2020.

Discover Vienna: Digital Entrepreneurship
Deadline: 04/06/2019
The Digital Entrepreneurship Summer Program 2019, offered by Talent Garden Innovation School Vienna and the Vienna Business Agency, offers international startups a two-week program taking place from July 15th – July 26th 2019. The program targets international start-ups regardless of the market in which they are working in.

Aws BoB – Best of Biotech
Deadline: 27/06/2019
BoB is an international life science business plan competition organized by Life Science Austria (LISA), a program run by the Austria Wirtschaftsservice on behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs. Early phase ideas receive a cash prize of EUR 5.000,- in each category for the best pitches, start-ups can win a cash prize of EUR 7.500,- for the best project in each category.

apti – Austrian PropTech Initiative award
Deadline: 30/05/2019
Startups with an innovative idea for digitalizing the real estate sector can win a place in the PitchBox at the event „PropTech Vienna" on 7 November 2019 in the Vienna Sofiensälen, to the value of € 1,200 and an advertising budget with their media partners "Die Presse" and "Immobilien Magazin" to the value of € 15,000.

The Ventury ELEVATE Batch 5
Kickoff: 04/06/2019
The acceleration program ELEVATE, focusing on AI & machine learning startups, helps you to validate your business idea, gain traction and gets you ready for your first customers and investors.


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