Wien Energie Innovation Challenge #7

At a glance

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:
  • Utilizing the flexibility of e-charging infrastructure
  • Tracking CO2 emissions along the entire supply chain
  • Digital solutions for efficient customer service
The application period is now closed.


Wien Energie: Innovation Challenge #7

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 internal 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, decentralized energy supplies, electromobility, smart city solutions and more.

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. On the other hand, young companies can 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. In other words, collaboration is a win-win situation for everyone.

Focus Areas

Utilizing the flexibility of e-charging infrastructure

With intelligent charging management, loads can be appropriately shifted in order to generate revenue on the electricity market. We are looking for software solutions that can steer and optimize charging behavior based on the current energy markets, grid constraints, local consumption, local production and customer needs.
Tracking CO2 emissions along the entire supply chain
There is a critical need for sustainable, intelligent supply chains and this need will only grow in the coming years. We are looking for solutions that can track the total cost of ownership for our supply chains, with a special focus on CO2 emissions. Our goal is to have a complete life cycle approach, from the original purchase (including information on our suppliers) to recycling and disposal. Of particular interest are solutions that are able to automate processes, such as defining the categories of purchased products thus contributing to the correct evaluation of our CO2 emissions.

Digital solutions for efficient customer service

Customer inquiries are received through different channels – online, in writing, by telephone and in person. Our first priority in the area of customer services is to find solutions that direct customer inquiries to the correct channels, thus reducing the number of inquiries landing in unsuitable channels. Our second priority would be to expand our self-service options. We are open to solutions that tackle either the first or second priority, as well as ones that cover both focus areas.

How it works

Feedback and 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 founders or leaders of your start-up can participate in our Innovation Bootcamp in Vienna  on Sept. 13-15, 2023.

    The application period is now closed.

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)

Success Stories

Bot Tina

Wien Energie’s automated service chat is able to process customer inquiries quickly and efficiently. This allows it to continuously improve service quality and expand the self-service options for customers. Bot-Tina was developed as part of the Wien Energie Innovation Challenge 2017.

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.


How does the application process work?
You can start the application process by completing the application form, which will be available until June 12, 2023. 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 end of June. 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.

How should the application questions be answered?
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.  

Is it possible to apply if we have already received funding?
Yes, absolutely. This program is all about collaboration and finding solutions together.

What happens at the online pitch session at the end of June?
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.

What happens during the Collaboration Phase?
From the start-ups participating in the pitching session, we will select 5-7 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.

What will happen at the Innovation Bootcamp on September 13-15, 2023?
Five to seven start-ups and experts will work on their concepts and pitches at the Innovation Bootcamp. Here, the startups will work together with Wien Energie employees and experts to develop a joint pilot project. 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. Also, start-ups that are invited to the bootcamp but are NOT selected by the jury will receive compensation of up to 2,000€ to help cover their expenses.

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

How many pilot projects will be selected by the jury for the Acceleration Phase?
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.

What happens during the Acceleration Phase?
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.

What happens after the Acceleration Phase?
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.

Are travel expenses reimbursed?
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.

I would like to apply! Notify me!​