Founders.Week 2023 brought together 30 students from Linz, Salzburg, Vienna, and the surrounding areas. This group represented a wide range of fields of study, including AI, management, psychology, law, economics, computer science, aerospace engineering, and agricultural technology.
Notably, Founders.Week 2023 received the prestigious "Green Event" certification from the Upper Austrian government, recognizing the event's commitment to sustainability and environmental awareness. In addition to reducing plastic use, the event featured regional, sustainable, and seasonal catering for all participants.
Throughout the week, the six teams worked intensively on their ideas, guided by various mentors, experts, and workshop leaders. They embarked on a creative development process that included workshops such as Design Thinking, business modeling, and pitch training. As in previous years, the diversity of ideas was impressive, ranging from repurposing chopsticks for furniture production to providing student-prepared meals and a AI fitness device for measuring muscle-building efficiency.
The highlight of the week was the closing event on Friday at the LIT Open Innovation Center, where the teams presented their ideas to an expert jury comprising Dominic Koll (qapture), Christian Kaar (Runtastic, Leaders21), Christiane Tusek (Vice-Rector of JKU), and Elisabeth Berger (Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship). The Upcyklr team (consisting of Halil Metbala, Raphael Weiß, Raphael Luif, and Severyn Tsymbala) impressed the jury and secured a wildcard for the TV show "2 Minutes, 2 Million." This unique opportunity will take their idea to a whole new level and provide access to potential investors and industry leaders. Professor Alexander Zauner rounded off the official part of the evening with an inspiring keynote on "5 Secrets that Make the Difference for Your Startup," followed by networking opportunities for the participants.
Founders.Week 2023 was marked by an intense program, strong involvement of the regional and cross-regional entrepreneurial ecosystem, and impressive pitches. We extend our heartfelt thanks to all participants for their motivation and unwavering dedication and look forward to the realization of many of these promising ideas. Special thanks also go to the individuals who made Founders.Week 2023 as a sustainable "Green Event" possible. We give special recognition to all experts, mentors, workshop leaders, and sponsors who generously shared their knowledge and contributed to the overwhelming success of this week.
Founders.Week remains an unparalleled opportunity for students to embark on their entrepreneurial journey. For those who missed this exciting week, the door is open to join this adventure next year. Intrigued? Be part of Founders.Week 2024 as it opens up new horizons!