BOB - Minister for economic affairs Mitterlehner honours the best business ideas of Life Science

Team from Austria wins international business plan competition of the Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws). 15.000 euros prize money for the 1st place.

Vienna, 18th October 2012. –, the award ceremony for the best business plan, a festive gala, marked the highlight of the 6th round of the international business plan competition Best of Biotech. “The competition is an important instrument for the innovation policy, as scientific know-how is translated into innovative products and good ideas are transformed into competitive start-ups. Economy and Society equally benefit from the innovative power of research-intensive companies’ ideas, since Life Sciences bring medical progress and solve health problems,” remarked Mr. Mitterlehner.

The business plan competition, financed by the Federal Ministry of Economics and organized by the national promotional bank Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws), registered a record number of participants in the current round: 26 teams participated in the final phase of the two-staged competition. More than half of the participants come from Austria. Business ideas were also submitted from the USA, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Finland as well as from Asia. Three winning teams from Austria outdid their international competitors and convinced the expert panel in the final hearing. The entrepreneur talents received prize money of 40.000 euros in total –sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, AFFiRiS and the Tiroler Standortagentur. The Medtech award went to “Hand in Scan” and was awarded for the second time by the cluster initiative LISAvienna.

Impulses for the Austrian economy

The organizer of the competition, the federal promotional bank Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws), positively welcomes the high number of international attendees, the huge interest and the broad support from industry and politics. In the framework of the competition, the participants receive intense feedback on their business plans and have the opportunity to make valuable contacts with investors and cooperation partners. Edeltraud Stiftinger, managing director of the aws, explains: “The life science location Austria has developed excellently. In order to continue the success story, our economy needs new, innovative companies. As a promotional bank we accompany the most promising business ideas from the very beginning with custom-tailored support, enabling founders to continue their path to entrepreneurship.” Bernhard Sagmeister, co-managing director of the aws, adds: “I congratulate the award recipients. The creativity and the high competence that the awardees showed in their projects, is impressive.”

The Best of Biotech winning teams 2012

1st Place – 15.000 euros prize money (Sponsor: Boehringer Ingelheim): The first prize goes to the young biotechnology company Vira Therapeutics. The company aims to develop a novel, highly potent oncolytic virus, VSV-GP, for the treatment of a broad range of cancers, starting with melanoma.

2nd Place – 10.000 euros prize money (Sponsor: AFFiRiS): The second place goes to Austrian SIMcharacters. The SIMCharacters Team breaks new ground in the development of small training simulators and combines know- how in the medical area, lifelike anatomy and high-class animation technology.

3rd Place – 5.000 euros prize money (Sponsor: Tiroler Standortagentur): The jury awards the team of EveliQure  with the third place. EveliQure is a recently founded Vienna based biotech company focusing on the development of live attenuated bacterial vaccines for the prevention of diarrheal diseases that are highly relevant for travellers and young children living in developing countries.

Medtech Award – 10.000 euros prize money (Sponsor: LISAvienna): The “Hand in Scan” team is awarded the Medtech award. They develop, validate and commercialize a hand hygiene for the digital imaging technology-based direct and objective evaluation of hand washing. Their mission is to effectively reduce the 1.4 million daily HAI cases, saving the life of 200,000 people annually. 

About Best of Biotech

„Best of Biotech – get your business started“, is an international business plan competition with focus on Life Sciences, run by the Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws) on behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Economics, Family and Youth (BMWFJ). The competition is carried out together with the AplusB centres (founding centres of Austrian universities) and international partners. Best of Biotech is financially supported by Boehringer Ingelheim (1st prize), AFFiRiS AG (2nd prize) and the Tiroler Standortagentur (3rd prize) as well as by the cluster initiative LISAvienna (Medtech award) and Baxter. The record of the international business competition so far is quite remarkable: 52 new companies established and more than 211.000 euros of prize money.

About Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws)

The Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH (aws) is the Austrian government promotional bank. aws offers Austrian companies financial assistance in the form of loans, guarantees, grants and/or equity as well as consultancy services from the start-up to expansion phase.

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