Planning and implementation of your own start-ups, associations, NGOs, initiatives and ideas

Since 2011, sustainable student initiatives and start-ups have been supported at BOKU with their own course. The course „Sustainable Entrepreneurship. Planen und Umsetzen eigener Start-up's, Vereine, NGOs, Initiativen und Ideen“ (engl. "Planning and implementing your own start-ups, associations, NGOs, initiatives and ideas") was awarded the BOKU Teaching Award (2nd place) in 2013.

The purpose of the course is to give students who want to ENTERPRISE something the opportunity to gain initial experience and develop sustainable business ideas.

Course content

  • Development of ideas, start-ups
  • Application project management
  • Get to know the start-up ecosystem in Vienna and Austria
  • Creation and implementation of a business plan
  • Realization of a first prototype
  • Elaboration of a financing plan


At the course, guest speakers are invited who have founded a sustainable company themselves or institutions that promote start-ups, such as the Vienna Business Agency, INiTS, Ashoka, Impact HUB Vienna.

Support offers

About half of the groups remain after the course. In addition to the course, the gW/N supports sustainable start-ups with the following activities:

  • Individual coaching on request from the project team
  • Events to promote sustainable ventures. Sustainable Entrepreneurship Day and Idea Days
  • Support from committed people at the BOKU and from their environment. From the private sector to the university and from the university to the private sector
  • Supervision of bachelor theses

A total of around 60 start-up ideas were developed.


The following start-ups are a few selected examples that were developed within the framework of the course:

  • Collective Energy advises sustainable companies <s> and schools </s> on jointly financed photovoltaic systems. Using crowdfunding, customers can participate in the PV systems and receive product vouchers in return. The first consulting service sold was for a 20 kW system atthe Brauerei Bruckner in NÖ. Collective Energy is winner of the Social Impact Award 2014.
  • The Netzwerk Existenzgründung in der Landwirtschaft (NEL) (Network for business start-ups in agriculture) promotes farm succession and business start-ups in agriculture. The association connects farm seekers and farm handlers through its farm exchange „Perspektive Landwirtschaft“ (“Perspective Agriculture”) and informs interested parties about the legal, financial and social framework conditions. NEL is the winner of the Earth Talks Start-up Prize.
  • The Leihladen (rental shop) LEILA, opened in 1160 Vienna in May 2014. Leila offers the common use of objects and thus promotes socially, ecologically and economically sustainable forms of consumption. This not only saves money and protects the environment, but also strengthens social cohesion and interaction. Finalist of the Social Impact Award 2014.