Austria’s Top 8 Startup Accelerators & Incubators [2023]

Are you looking for capital and/or mentorship for your startup? Austria has some of Europe’s best startup accelerators and incubators. Beyond funding, Austria’s startup accelerators and incubators also offer entrepreneurs and founders incredible valuable support for product development, sales and marketing.

Whether you are looking to find a co-founder, build your MVP and/or get the seed money you need to scale up, accelerators and incubators are the way to go.

In this article we have listed our top 8 accelerator and incubator programs in Austria. So, if you haven’t yet started to apply, here is a good place to start learning about them.

This article is part of a series where we present you the top startup incubators and accelerators across Europe. Check out our rankings for the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Finland and Switzerland.
Looking for Austria's top startup venture capital firms instead? Check out our ranking here.

Austria’s Top 8 Startup Accelerators & Incubators

NameAccelerator vs. Incubator?Sector focusProgram lengthFunding amount
Elevator LabAcceleratorFintech4 monthsDicretionary *
Grow F (by Female Founders)AcceleratorFemale-led businesses3 monthsUp to €50,000
Health Hub ViennaAccelerator (in partnership with Inits)Healthcare & pharmaceuticalN/ADicretionary **
Impact Hub ViennaAcceleratorVaries each year *3 – 5 monthsN/A
InitsIncubator and acceleratorSector agnostic12 months (incubator)Up to €100,000
Legal Tech HubAcceleratorLegal7 monthsNone
Elevate (by The Ventury)IncubatorSector agnostic4 months€5,000 minimum
weXelerateIncubatorSector agnosticN/ANone

* Companies may receive investment on a case-by-case basis

** Health Hub Vienna offers multiple accelerator programs dedicated to specific industries and may change from one year to another.

Expert-built financial model templates for tech startups

πŸ“ˆ 5-year pro forma financial model

πŸ“Š 20+ charts and business valuation

πŸ“ž Free support

Accelerator vs. Incubator: What’s The Difference?

Using the terms “accelerator” and “incubator” interchangeably is a common mistake. Whilst they are similar and sometimes can be found under the same roof (organisation), they are very different.

Startup Incubators

As the name suggests, startup incubators are tailored more to startups still in their incubation period for their ideas. As such, incubators help startup founders turn their ideas into early working prototype versions of a product or service.

Joining an incubator comes with many perks for early stage businesses. For example, incubators will typically let you use office spaces for twelve months, and in some cases every several years. 

Yet, not all incubators are equal. Some might be specialised on a specific industry, and others on a specific expertise: do you want to work on your Minimal Viable Product (MVP), or are you looking for help to kick-start your sales and marketing efforts?

Therefore, if you’re interested in joining an incubator program, you should first ask for feedback from founders who are currently in the program. You should find out how long they’ve been with the program and what growth they have achieved with its help. 

Incubators are designed to turn business ideas into prototypes
Incubators are designed to turn business ideas into prototypes

Startup Accelerators

In contrast, startup accelerators are ideal for startups that have already gathered some momentum. That’s why startup accelerators are best for startups with a complete cofounding team, a MVP, and that are looking to accelerate their growth (commercialise their product / service). 

Accelerator programs usually take place between a few weeks to a couple of months. In that time, they’ll give you access to their network, connections, knowledge, and a relatively small amount of funding for your startup. 

When looking for an accelerator program, it is crucial to do your research. Identify the program’s list of alumni. Who among their startups experienced success? How many failed? Who are in their list of mentors, and what accomplishments do these people have that you think would help you succeed in your business?

Taking the time to find the best-fit startup accelerator for your business is essential. After all, you’ll be trusting these people to help your business succeed. 

startup accelerator pros and cons
YC’s Demo Day

Expert-built financial model templates for tech startups

πŸ“ˆ 5-year pro forma financial model

πŸ“Š 20+ charts and business valuation

πŸ“ž Free support

1. Elevator Lab

Elevator Lab is Raffeisen’s own fintech startup accelerator and incubator.

They run 3 separate programs across different locations in the CEE region.

  • Partnership Program: 4-month accelerator program for global later-stage startups
  • Bootcamp: a 2-3 month incubator program where early-stage startups and founders can develop their MVP. Yet, note that this program isn’t available in Austria
  • Challenge: 2-3 month competition for later-stage startups where successful startups can pitch their business to Raffeisen’s own VC. Yet, note that this program isn’t available in Austria

Only the 4-month Partnership Program accelerator is available in Austria. During the program, startups benefit from support and mentorship to develop a Proof-Of-Concept (POC) for which Raffeisen covers the costs. Funding is therefore on a case-by-case basis.

2. Grow F (Female Founders)

Grow F is Female Founders’ accelerator program. Founded in 2019, Grow F has already accelerated 54 startups to date..! Grow F welcomes any female-led startup that has a highly innovative, digital and/or scalable business model.

In order to apply, your startup must also have an existing MVP and ideally some early traction.

Also, the (online) accelerator program runs for 3 months and offers founders 18 1-1 meetings as well as 45 hours of classes and workshops led by industry experts.

Although the program doesn’t automatically offer funding, successful startups may receive a €50,000 seed funding (for 5% equity) at Demo Day at the end of the program.

3. Health Hub Vienna

Health Hub Vienna is undeniably Austria’s leading healthcare startup accelerator.

Founded over 15 years ago, it offers startups and founders support and unparalleled access to industry leading experts and companies, for potential funding or paid contracts.

Moreover, Health Hub Vienna is backed by a number of high-profile corporate partners such as AstraZeneca, Novartis and Sanofi.

Yet, their accelerator programme is actually run in parternship with one of Austria’s top startup accelerators Inits (see our full description of Inits below).

Also, note that the accelerator is looking for corporate-ready startups with:

  • A validated business model
  • Teams of 8-10 people minimum
  • Early traction
  • An initial fundraising of at least €1 million

4. Impact Hub

Impact Hub Vienna is a startup hub that combines a co-working space, events and a community of entrepreneurs based in Vienna.

Impact Hub Vienna also offers startups and entrepreneurs a number of accelerator programs focused on specific industries such as fashion, social & impact or even transportation.

Moreover, their accelerator programs change every year and are typically created in partnership with corporates that support and sometimes invest in successful startups.

So, for the full list of programs available at the moment, have a look at their website here. Each program has its own application guidelines, funding terms (if any) and duration.

Expert-built financial model templates for tech startups

πŸ“ˆ 5-year pro forma financial model

πŸ“Š 20+ charts and business valuation

πŸ“ž Free support

5. Inits

Inits is a startup hub that offers startups and founders both incubator and accelerator programs.

It is one of Austria’s top startup accelerators and incubators. Indeed, Inits has supported over 250 companies to date via its different programs. They are:

  • START:IP brings together providers of innovative technologies (researchers for example) with interested founders, corporations and investors
  • SCALEup is Inits’ flagship programme: it is a 12-month incubator program for innovative technological startups in Austria. Successful startups may also receive up to €100,000 in funding
  • Health Hub Vienna: accelerator program in partnership with Health Hub Vienna (see more on that above) that focuses on healthcare and pharmaceutical startups
  • Validate Global: a 6-monthsaccelerator program for sustainable businesses. Validate Global is also backed by the Austrian Development Agency

Legal Tech Hub Vienna is an accelerator that offers startups and SMEs in the legal tech space support, mentorship and expert guidance from 500+ legal experts.

Although the accelerator program is based out of Vienna, they welcome applications from all around the world. Also, they have accelerated 16 startups to date.

Moreover, Legal Tech Hub offers a 8-week “Fast Track” program to help law firms and startups tackle specific pain points.

7. Elevate (by The Ventury)

Elevate is CEE’s innovation hub The Ventury’s 4-month incubator program. They accept applications from a number of tech industries, with special emphasis on Artificial Intelligence (AI) recently.

In addition to a co-working space, workshops and networking events, Elevate also offers startups and founders €5,000 initial funding as well as additional discretionary funding to help startups in their fundraising process.

8. weXelerate

weXelerate is another one of Austria’s leading startup incubators and accelerators. Actually, weXelerate is more of an incubator vs. an accelerator.

Yet, none of its 3 different programs offers funding. Instead, startup founders may benefit from expert coaching sessions and networking events.

More Free Resources For Austrian Startups

We have lots of free resources for Austrian startups. Have a look at our articles below:

Expert-built financial model templates for tech startups

πŸ“ˆ 5-year pro forma financial model

πŸ“Š 20+ charts and business valuation

πŸ“ž Free support