Wien Energie Innovation Challenge #8

The challenge

In this Innovation Challenge, Wien Energie will work together with start-ups to develop the energy solutions of the future. This year, the focus areas are:

  • Digital solutions for product advice
  • Automated contract revision using text recognition
  • Predictive maintenance for charging stations

Application deadline (extended!): June 3, 2024

Wien Energie: Innovation Challenge #8

Wien Energie is looking to join forces with innovative start-ups in order to develop solutions for a future powered by sustainable energy and mobility. By bringing innovative start-ups together to work with their in-house experts, Wien Energie aims to develop sustainable energy solutions for a climate-neutral Vienna.  

Since 2017, Wien Energie has been working with start-ups and strategic partners from all over the world on “Innovation Challenges” and other programs to develop sustainable solutions in the areas of carbonless energy generation, circularity, electromobility and digital transformation.

Why does Wien Energie value its collaborations with start-ups? Wien Energie can develop products with more agility and speed when working together with start-ups. Successful pilot projects from these collaborations can be scaled up at a later stage, generating new products and business models for Wien Energie and the city of Vienna. Young companies can also benefit from Wien Energie’s infrastructure, expertise and access to over 2 million customers, thus helping start-ups to successfully launch their ideas and products on the market. Collaboration is a win-win situation for everyone.

Focus Areas

Providing customers with excellent product advice is of the utmost importance to Wien Energie. To make this service even more efficient, we are looking for a digital product-advisory solution that guides customers through the decision-making process, from the initial search for information to the final decision to purchase.

By incorporating informational materials—such as product tables and detailed information directly from our website—our goal is to provide our customers with a personalized and interactive experience. This tool should be able to answer customer questions, provide clear recommendations and empower customers to make informed decisions.

We’re particularly interested in solutions that combine generative AI with company-specific data to ensure the best customer experience. We are open to new approaches, but will prioritize solutions that are based on Microsoft Copilot or OpenAI models, as well as those that use the OpenAI SDK interface to simplify future integrations.

Wien Energie’s sales and customer service teams organize advertising campaigns several times a year. Our campaigns are both digital and analogue, and we are always seeking ways to optimize them.

Currently, we are looking for a solution that makes it possible to scan handwritten changes made in the mailed-out documents and accurately extract the relevant information from them. It would also be an advantage if the solution can run in the background so that our employees do not have to use any additional applications.

Additionally, the solution should support the automation of workflows to improve our customer service and the efficiency of our advertising campaigns. To this end, we are  open to optimizing the design of the documents to be scanned in order to achieve a higher success rate, as well as solutions offering comprehensive document management in this context.

Electrified mobility plays a strategic role at Wien Energie, with a focus on excellent customer experience and the optimization of internal processes through the use of advanced technologies.

We are currently looking for a solution to enable predictive maintenance for our charging stations. The solution should use and analyze existing data sources to create maintenance forecasts for our infrastructure. It should also be able to independently detect patterns that deviate from normal values in order to identify failures in advance and minimize potential blind spots. Additionally, it’s important that the instructions sent to our technicians based on the analyzed data are intuitive and understandable.

The partner should have domain experience or expertise in (predictive maintenance of) charging stations. They should also be able to integrate empirical values, manufacturer information and other relevant data points to enable a comprehensive evaluation of problems.

How it works

& Exchange

Intensive cooperation and exchange with Wien Energie experts. You have the opportunity to work on a joint project together with Austria’s largest energy provider.


The top start-ups and projects will receive an award budget of up to 50,000€ for their PoC or pilot project. With this award you can get straight to work on implementation.

Partnership with
Wien Energie

Benefit from Wien Energie as a partner or customer. You could also gain access to Wien Energie’s network when scaling up.

Who should apply?

Start-ups that meet the following criteria are invited to apply:

  • Your product or technology is ready to use.
  • You already have customers or (pilot) projects in the energy sector or similar industries.
  • You are ready to cooperate with Wien Energie.
  • The founder or director of your start-up can participate, preferably in-person, at our Innovation Bootcamp in Vienna on Nov. 20-22, 2024.

How will applicants be selected?

Your application will be evaluated by a jury made up of Wien Energie’s top management. The jury will evaluate your application based on the following aspects:

  • Level of innovation
  • Sustainability and CO2 savings
  • Need for the solution
  • Feasibility in the next year(s)
  • Revenue or savings potential



The start-ups selected at the pitch session will move on to the Innovation Challenge, which consists of three phases: a Collaboration Phase, an Innovation Bootcamp and an Acceleration Phase. (Dates subject to change)

Black line with black and red circles for key dates.

Success Stories

Kraken IM

Using the data platform from Kraken IM, Wien Energie can now forecast and analyze the CO2 emissions for projects still in the design phase and track them through to implementation. This allows the company to make data-based decisions that will help bring Vienna closer to its climate targets. This project was started as part of the Innovation Challenge #7.

Smart Thermal Network

Through a digital twin, Wien Energie is driving the digitalization and automation of its district heating’s secondary network and continuously developing optimization models. The Smart Thermal Network Team together with the Scandinavian startups Gradyent and Noda won the 5th Wien Energie Innovation Challenge.

Smart Inspection

With the help of intelligent drones, Wien Energie can quickly and efficiently check its facilities for defects, day or night. This innovative approach helps them to minimize the downtime of their wind and photovoltaic plants. Smart Inspection was launched as part of the first Wien Energie Innovation Challenge in 2017.


You can start the application process by completing the application form, which will be available until June 3, 2024 (deadline extended). After we have reviewed all applications, we will contact the applicants. If your start-up is working on an exciting solution and we want to learn more about it, then we will invite you to an online pitch session at the beginning of July. During this session, we will  get to know each other better and clarify any initial questions from both sides. The best start-ups per focus area will then be invited to take part in the Collaboration Phase.

Wien Energie is a public company and is required to run open calls for tender. As the goal of this challenge is to successfully implement, roll-out and scale projects, it is subject to the tendering process which is carried out on the ANKÖ platform. All start-ups that apply on the landing page will receive a link to the ANKÖ platform. An application for the Innovation Challenge #8 will only be valid when the ANKÖ process has been successfully completed. The deadline for the process on the ANKÖ platform will be sent to the applicant together with the link.

Your application should contain as much information as necessary for third parties to assess your business model and market potential. We will contact you if something is unclear or more information is needed. Based on this information, we will make an initial selection. 

Yes, absolutely. This program is all about collaboration and finding solutions together.

Applicants that show the most potential will be invited to a short, online pitch session. At this session, the start-ups should present their solutions, USP, market potential and proposals for a collaboration with Wien Energie. The pitches will take place virtually and Wien Energie experts will be present to evaluate each presentation.

From the start-ups participating in the pitching session, we will select max. 5 startups for the Collaboration Phase. In this phase, the startups will work together with Wien Energie experts to prepare prototypes, pilot projects and business cases, and a collaboration manager will support the joint working process.

Up to five teams made up of start-up staff and Wien Energie experts will develop their concepts and pitches at the Innovation Boot Camp.

In-person participation is preferred, however online participation can be arranged if necessary.

Five start-ups will work together with Wien Energie experts to develop concepts, pilot projects and pitches at the Innovation Bootcamp. On the last day of the camp, the teams will present their concepts to a jury, which will then select the most promising concepts for the Acceleration Phase.

In-person attendance at the bootcamp is desired, however virtual participation can also be arranged as necessary.

The jury for the presentations at the end of the Innovation Bootcamp will be composed of high-level Wien Energie executives.

The number of pilot projects to be selected for the Acceleration Phase will not be defined in advance. All pilot projects that Wien Energie considers relevant could advance to the next phase.

The start-ups that are invited to the Boot Camp but are not selected by the jury will receive compensation of up to 2,000€.

After the Innovation Bootcamp, Wien Energie will set up an individual cooperation agreement with selected start-ups. The goal is then to build a prototype and / or prepare the project for a long-term cooperation. A budget for the first prototypes and pilot projects can be provided.

After the Acceleration Phase, successful pilot projects can be rolled out and/or scaled-up. A decision on follow-on projects or future activities will only be made after the pilot project has been completed.

Travel and accommodation costs for the program incl. Innovation Bootcamp will not be reimbursed. Alternatively, virtual participation at the Innovation Bootcamp is also possible.


Wien Energie supplies two million people and 230,000 commercial and industrial facilities with a reliable source of energy. Supply security and climate protection are two of our top priorities. Electricity and heat production come from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydropower as well as biomass, waste recycling and cogeneration.

With 3,042.0 million euros of revenue and 2,179 employees (2022), Wien Energie is one of the 30 most profitable companies in Austria and one of the largest employers in Vienna.

Climate Lab is a place where innovators in the fields of climate protection and the circular economy can work together towards a shared goal: achieving climate neutrality and the transition to a circular economy as quickly as possible.
Our work centers on building cross-sectoral alliances with a special focus on the areas with the highest potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—energy, mobility and construction. Together, we exchange, collaborate and co-develop solutions.

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