aws First Incubator

Questions and answers

The following FAQs serve to answer open questions before and during the application process as well as in the course of the ongoing funding project. The FAQs provide a basic overview without any claim to completeness and are updated on an ongoing basis. Only the program document and the guidelines, which can be found under "aws First Downloads", are legally binding.


Target group
People who

  • want to start their own business with an innovative idea alone or with a team of up to 4 people
  • meet the specific criteria of the respective target group of the call (e.g. age limit)

Module A

  • Module A is aimed at persons who have not yet founded a company with the project to be submitted and are/were therefore economically active.
  • Persons submitting an application for aws First Incubator Module A may also not yet be entrepreneurially active in the business field of the project or have holdings in partnerships or corporations in this business field.

Module B

  • Companies that were founded no more than 6 months ago (max. net turnover EUR 10,000)

How will I be supported by aws First Incubator?

  • Financially: Each project can be supported with up to EUR 55,000 (incl. gender bonus). This includes grants for project, rental, travel and personnel costs. The personnel cost subsidy is limited to a maximum total of EUR 7,200 per project member and is paid out in a maximum of 12 monthly installments.
  • Gender Bonus: If, at the time the grant is awarded, the project includes (one or more) women who (will in future) own more than 25% of the shares in total, the grant awarded increases from 90% of the eligible costs or EUR 49,000 to up to 100% or a maximum of EUR 55,000.
  • Further details can be found in the tender information in the download area.
  • Mentoring: For the duration of the program year, the projects are entitled to mentoring units by experienced founders and experts.
  • Training & workshops: In numerous workshops, experts help, among other things, to develop a business model from the idea. Details on the topics and other content can be found below.
  • Workspaces: Renting co-working spaces, workshops or office space in the federal states.
  • Networking: Excursions and participation in events in the start-up scene as well as the regular aws First Community meet ups give you the opportunity to exchange ideas with other young entrepreneurs.


Does participation in the aws First Incubator cost anything?
No, aws First Incubator is a support program. Costs for services offered within the framework of aws First Incubator are covered in full.


What costs can be funded by aws First Incubator?
Eligible costs are all direct and actual costs attributable to the project for the duration of the funded project that are clearly necessary to achieve the agreed objectives, subject to the requirements of economic efficiency, economy and expediency. Possible eligible costs include Personnel costs, travel costs to aws First Incubator events, rental costs for workstations as well as material costs and third-party services within the project costs.

All costs required for the development of the project within the framework of aws First Incubator as well as current or future personnel resources must be taken into account in the project budget plan.

More detailed information on the eligible costs can be found in the program document and in the tender documents of the respective call.

Please note: Project costs cannot be changed at will after approval. Therefore, the budget plan must be carefully finalized before submitting the application.


Do I have to have a team to participate in the aws First Incubator program?
No, you can either apply alone or in a project team of up to 4 people. In order to be able to divide the work in a project optimally, it naturally helps if the project does not have to be developed alone. In order to be able to financially support people who join the project team later, they must be taken into account in advance in the budget planning under personnel costs.


How much time do I have to take to participate in the aws First Incubator program?
After your application documents have been reviewed, you will be notified whether you have made it to the second round of applications and will automatically take part in the aws First Start-up Camp. The Start-up Camp is mandatory for all project members. Only those who take part can be accepted into the aws First Incubator program.

At the start of the program, training sessions (usually Friday - Saturday) and workshops on topics relevant to start-ups take place over the course of a year.

The costs for these are covered by the travel allowance within the project budget. Outside of the training sessions, intensive independent work is carried out on the further development of the project.

In addition, monthly project progress reports must be prepared - on the one hand to set goals for each month and on the other hand to reflect the current status quo of the project.


What content is covered in the training sessions?
Topics of the training sessions:

  • Customer analysis and customer benefits
  • Competitor analysis & prototyping
  • Solution development & value proposition
  • Business Model Creation
  • Market analysis, market entry & financials

Topics of the workshops:

  • Storytelling & pitch training
  • Patent, copyright & trademark law
  • Taxes & company forms
  • Financing & Funding
  • Marketing
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Fundraising
  • Negotiations
  • Customer Journey
  • Accounting duties
  • ...


Can I study or work alongside the aws First Incubator program?
Yes, it is of course up to our funding recipients what they do alongside their participation in the program. However, it should be noted that participation in workshops and training sessions as part of the aws First Incubator program is mandatory and that developing a business idea is not a part-time job.


Do I have to take part in the workshops & training sessions?
Yes, participation in the training sessions is mandatory for all project members. The workshops must also be completed by at least one project member who is responsible for the respective subject area in the team.

Acceptance into the aws First Incubator requires a high level of motivation and commitment to further develop the project within the program and to continue training yourself. Our workshops, training and coaching sessions are an important part of the program.


Do I have to live in Vienna to participate in the aws First Incubator program?
No, as the aws is a national funding agency, it aims to support all federal states equally. We therefore also try to bundle our workshops and offer some of them online and to match the mentors to the places of residence of the funding recipients.

However, the majority of workshops and training sessions will have to take place in Vienna. It is therefore not recommended to apply if you live abroad. For all program-specific events that require travel within Austria, travel and accommodation costs will be covered by the requested grant within the project budget.


When can I apply?
All relevant information about the application process can be found on the aws First Incubator website.

Additional information about the program and interesting facts about Entrepreneurial Thinking can also be found on our Facebook page and Instagram page.


How is the funding application submitted?
Without exception, funding can be applied for online via the aws Funding Manager. All information on the required application documents can be found in the tender documents for the respective call under "Downloads".

In order to be able to fulfill all requirements for a successful application, we require a careful examination of the tender documents. Incomplete applications cannot be considered.


In which language can I write the application?
The application documents should preferably be written in German, but it is possible to submit them in English.


How does the selection process work?
As soon as the funding application has been submitted on time via the aws Funding Manager, the application will be reviewed by the aws and an external jury for compliance with the formal criteria and evaluated in terms of content at the end of the submission deadline. The evaluation criteria can be viewed in the aws First Incubator program document.

Based on the content evaluation, a pre-selection of projects will be made that will be invited to the aws First Start-up Camp. Participation in the aws First Start-up Camp is mandatory in order to be accepted into the program. Following the Start-up Camp, the final decision will be made as to which projects will be accepted into the aws First Incubator program.


What happens at the start-up camp?
At the aws First Start-up Camp, we want to give our jury the opportunity to get to know the people behind the project personally.

During this period, there is the chance to prove to the jury who really has what it takes to be an entrepreneur. This is worked out by means of various challenges and workshops. In addition, the applicants get to know each other better and can therefore also benefit from direct feedback from the other participants.


In which language do the workshops and trainings as well as the aws First Start-up Camp take place?
The program contents of aws First Incubator, including the aws First Start-up Camp as well as workshops and training sessions, are held in German or English, depending on the target group. Coaching and mentoring units can be coordinated bilaterally.


Will my idea be treated confidentially?
Yes, the aws and the external jury will treat the submitted projects and ideas in accordance with data protection and confidentiality requirements.


Can aws First Incubator funding be combined with other funding?
Provided that the de minimis ceiling (applies exclusively to Module B) is not exceeded and there is no double funding with regard to the submitted costs, a combination with other funding is possible. The costs of the project approved by aws First Incubator cannot be additionally financed by other funding.

An independent examination of whether certain subsidies are mutually exclusive is required at an early stage and before submitting the application. Information on this can be found in the legal bases and program documents of the respective funding.


How is the funding to be treated under tax law?
The tax treatment of funding by aws First Incubator must be assessed individually according to the current legal situation and the situation of the funding recipient(s). Tax law issues can therefore not be explicitly clarified with aws. It is advisable to consult a qualified tax advisor. Further information can be found in the tax factsheet.


Can I leave the aws First Incubator program early?
Yes, if it is determined during the course of the program that self-employment is not the right path for you or the project cannot be continued for any other reason, you can leave the program at any time. The aws First Incubator program management must be informed immediately in writing of a planned exit.