Who can participate?
- who has an idea and a team of 2 to 4 people and would like to become self-employed
- is between the ages of 18 and 30 at the time of application
- has not yet established a company with the project being submitted
How will I be supported by aws First?
- Financially: Each team member receives (on a voluntary basis) a grant totalling € 4,800, which is paid in 12 monthly instalments. Project costs will also be financed in the course of ongoing implementation. Each team can collect a project budget of up to € 20,000.
- Mentoring: Mentoring (by experienced founders) for one year (minimum of 8 meetings)
- Training: During several workshops, experts help you and your team to develop your idea into a business model. Details regarding the topics can be found on the following pages.
- Office facility: Leasing of co-working spaces in the Austrian federal states
- Networking: By going on excursions and participating in start-up scene events and the regular aws First community meet-ups, you have the chance to exchange ideas with other young entrepreneurs.
Does it cost anything to participate in the aws First Start-up Lab?
No. aws First is a support programme. We fully assume all costs for services provided within the framework of aws First.
Do I need to have an idea to get involved?
If you want to start your own team, then yes. But you can also join an already existing team within the Team-up! initiative. For instance, if you can present well and enjoy communicating with people, then you could help out a team that still needs this particular skill!
Do I need to have a team to get involved?
Yes. The application is done as a team (2-4 people). For you to be able to optimally divide your work, it is of course best if there are four of you. If you do not already have a team, you can still find one on our Facebook page or register with us so that we can connect you.
How much time do I need to set aside to participate in the aws First Start-up Lab?
Should you progress to the second round after your application (about which you will of course be notified by us in good time), you and your team are obliged to take part in the aws First Start-up Camp. Only those who participate in the Start-up Camp can also participate in the Start-up Lab.
From January to December 2020, there will be 4 blocked training sessions (in each case Friday-Saturday/Sunday). Depending on where the teams come from, these workshops can take place in Vienna but also in the federal states. In addition, the aws First reality check workshops are held throughout the year (usually on Fridays). We assume the travel expenses for this. Outside of the training sessions you will of course work intensively on the further development of your project, because in spring you will present yourself to the jury with an elaborate business plan.
To help you better concentrate on your project for a whole year, we will pay you the monthly grant.
Which contents are covered in the trainings?
Topics covered in the blocked training sessions:
- Customer group analysis and customer benefits
- Competition analysis & prototyping
- Solution development & value proposition
- Business model creation
- Market analysis, market entry & financials
Topics covered in the 1-day workshops:
- Storytelling & pitch training
- Patent, copyright & trademark law
- Taxes & corporate forms
- Financing & funding
- Start-up marketing & sales
Is it possible to study/work during the course of the Start-up Lab?
Yes. What you do besides participating in the programme is of course up to you. However, please keep in mind that developing a business idea is not a part-time job, but requires a lot of energy and motivation. Therefore, we tend to advise against working full-time next to the Start-up Lab.
Do I have to live in Vienna to be able to participate in the Start-up Lab?
No. aws is a national funding agency and our aim is therefore to provide equal support to all federal states. We coordinate the mentors, the co-working spaces and the locations for the training sessions with the team members' places of residence. The aws assumes the travel costs for all programme-specific events for which travel is required.
What happens at the Start-up Camp?
At the Start-up Camp, we want to give our jury the opportunity to personally get to know you and your team.
During this weekend, you have the chance to prove to the jury that you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. We will be able to determine this through various team tasks and workshops. On top of that, the teams get to know each other better while being surrounded by Austria's beautiful nature and can certainly profit from the feedback of the others.
Simply participating in the Start-up Camp is already a great distinction, because you are among the best applicant teams!
When can you apply?
All relevant information concerning the application process can be found on our homepage www.aws.at/first.
Be sure to visit our Facebook page regularly for more information https://www.facebook.com/awsfirstcommunity/.
Can I withdraw from the aws First Start-up Lab?
Yes. Should you realise that self-employment is not the right path for you after all, you can always choose to discontinue the programme. If you wish, we can take care of replacing your role in your team. If you wish to withdraw, please communicate this immediately to the aws First project management as well as your team.
Our FAQs are of course intended to be continually updated with your questions. If there are any unanswered questions, do not hesitate to contact us: