While business angel activity has grown over recent years and a range of government grants are now available, institutional equity investors addressing the seed and early stage segments are still rare in Austria.
Signing an agreement to form IST CUBE, a new investment platform to support the creation and development of tech startups, the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) and a subsidiary of Lansdowne Partners have taken a significant step towards closing this gap and improving the situation for young tech based founders who plan to host their ventures in Austria. Proposals are not restricted to research at IST Austria but are welcome from all technology based founders in and beyond Austria.
IST CUBE will invest in advanced technology companies, many of which are derived from academic research, and will help successful founders to generate viable business models, form strong teams, and, develop their ventures with an ambition of having a global leadership role in their chosen field.
Harald Mahrer, Federal Minister for Science, Research and Economy comments: "Translating academic research into commercial products through start-ups is of vital importance for the future competitiveness of Austria. The initiative of IST Austria and Lansdowne Partners is a great example of entrepreneurial spirit that brings together research and private investment in a novel way."
Tom Henzinger, President of IST Austria said: "At IST Austria we want to support brilliant young people whose path takes them to entrepreneurship. Together with Lansdowne Partners, and other potential investors, we want to create an environment in which innovations can thrive."
IST CUBE is being structured as an open investment vehicle so other like-minded investors can participate in supporting this endeavor. The Managing Director of IST CUBE is Markus Wanko, Head of IST's Technology Transfer team, and a former venture capital investor. Mr. Wanko is leading the effort to build IST CUBE's team and develop its investment fund.