The Energy Boost for your Start-Up

We are looking for digital-based innovative, scalable business models!

The Next-Incubator is the open innovation lab of Energie Steiermark, one of the largest service companies in Austria. 1700 employees devote their experience and expertise to a fair partnership with approximately 600,000 customers in Austria and abroad. We are looking for start-ups and innovators to jointly develop products and services for Energie Steiermark’s new digital business. Are you the next Runtastic, Uber or Amazon? Then apply now!

We are particularly interested in innovative, scalable solutions in the areas:



Work-life balance


We can offer you

(Co-)Product development within the Energie Steiermark infrastructure

Administrative support

We take care of the “unpleasant” tasks such as the legal and commercial matters.

Feedback & Know-how

A pool of internal and external experts with years of experience are on hand to offer their consulting expertise.

Lead user access

We facilitate access to lead users to enable rapid product testing (Product-Market-Fit).

Network of partners

Our international partner network supports the product development

Market access

Benefit from the coverage and trust enjoyed by Energie Steiermark during the product launch.

Financial support

We provide support for the development and marketing of your solution.

We are happy to put a workplace infrastructure in Graz at your disposal for your time in the Next-Incubator as required.

Our Next Co-Creation Approach

We are looking for teams with lots of motivation for operational cooperation at the project level as well as expertise and experience sharing in the form of joint meetings, feedback sessions and participation in events. We would like to test your functioning prototype as part of the joint pilot projects and develop it until it’s market-ready.

Together with selected teams we want to develop innovative & scalable products, services and business models for the customer.

We want to go through the following process together with you:

  • Open call

    Start-Ups can apply for Next-Incubator using the online form until 31 July.

  • Selection process

    10 finalists selected by an internal jury of experts.

  • Next-Incubator boot camp (18 & 19 Sept.)

    The 10 finalists will be invited to Graz to develop business models based on their functioning prototypes which are specially tailored to the needs of Energie Steiermark customers together with us over two days.

  • Pre-incubator (Oct.)

    Specific use cases, timelines and details will be drawn up together with the Next-Incubator Crew in a team-specific workshop and recorded in writing in a cooperation agreement.

  • Next-Incubator (Start Nov.)

    Pilot project carried out to develop the technical solution and formulation of a Go2Market strategy.

    1. Proof of concept: technical validation of the solution by selected test users

    2. Proof of market: testing and development of the solution by a group of advanced test users

    3. Stop or go decision following completion of the pilot project

    There will be ongoing milestones in order to evaluate (iteration/pivot) the solution throughout the entire pilot project.

  • Go2Market (Apr. 2018)

    In the event of a go-decision, a joint go-live and roll-out of the solution based on individual contracts if possible.
    Inclusion in Energie Steiermark’s communication, public relations and sales.
    Future stakes or investments are not excluded.

The range of projects is decided on by an internal panel of experts. Key criteria for inclusion in the Next-Incubator:

  • Functioning prototype
  • Team composition
  • Scalability of the solution (costs, growth potential)
  • Implementation speed (Go2Market 2018)
  • Innovative character (e.g. the business model, technology, front end etc.)
  • Strategic fit (as an independent product or white labelling solution)

Our Partners

Our Next-Incubator Start-Ups


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We look forward to hearing groundbreaking ideas from motivated visionaries!