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The platform where entrepreneurs
bring their ideas to life

Starts in September ’22

Join the Program

Pioneers.Peak Mission

Empower entrepreneurs to create and scale new products, services and business models.

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What is Pioneers.Peak all about?

Pioneers.Peak is an Entrepreneurship Hub where teams from different companies work side-by-side on their business ideas. With the help of Pioneers venture coaches and a pool of experienced Peak startup experts, early ideas and business opportunities are developed, tested, and potentially rolled out to the market.

Do you want to gain first entrepreneurial experience and bring innovative ideas to life?

Next to teams from companies such as OMV, Porsche and Bosch, we as Pioneers, with our long history as an innovation builder, decided to also start our own ventures. We look for students and young professionals who want to join this journey and co-create innovative business ideas in the area of sustainability and climate with us. Apply and join the first development phase (the Pre-Seed Program) of Peak from September to December.

The application deadline is July 31st, 2022. The final teams will be formed by the end of August.

There are two ways to apply:

Single application
Apply for Peak as a single contributor and we will match you with other students and young professionals to form a team and work with us on the Pioneers challenges.

Team application
If you already have other students or young professionals to join you, you can also apply directly as a team. Please make sure every team member fills out the application.

Pioneers.Peak Topics 2022

Topic 1 – CO2 Certificate Trading

What is the challenge?

The world is full of potential for mitigating or reducing carbon emissions. Still, we don’t have enough incentives to change behavior, adapt to new technologies, and work on reducing our carbon footprint. On the other side of the market, we have a growing market for CO2 offset products which will be important for allowing companies and individuals to reach net zero. How can we bring these challenges together?
A first idea: The offset tokenizer is a solution where people can track and audit their CO2 improvements and create offsets that they can trade on the voluntary market. E.g. Michael is changing to a new heat pump instead of the old Gas heating system, through this he is reducing his carbon footprint a lot and has the opportunity to transfer this reduction into a CO2 certificate which he can trade as a CO2 offset token on a platform. Furthermore, other CO2 offsets can be traded on the marketplace.

Explore with us the future of CO2 certificates and help us find a problem-solution fit for a fast-growing environment!

Topic 2 – Energy Optimization in the Agricultural Sector

What is the challenge?

Agricultural businesses are struggling with increasing energy prices as most farms are highly dependent on diesel due to its high energy density. For farmers it would be of great benefit to have a data-driven application that could help them optimize their energy consumption and related expenses. How could such an application support farmers?

Potential areas for optimization are for instance digital records of the location or the area, soil conditions, machinery as well as produced goods and quantities. Additionally, a great advantage for farmers would be the integration of different data, for example energy consumption or external factors like weather, along with market prices for fuel and goods. As a result, continuous energy and cost monitoring could be made possible for agricultural businesses. Using all this data, the application could also provide farmers with suggestions for optimization with regard to planning an environmentally friendly but cost-effective energy mix as well as long-term investments like switching to renewable energy sources (wind, hydropower, bio diesel).

Work with us on finding a way to optimize energy consumption and making agricultural businesses more sustainable!

Topic 3 – Transparency for Climate-related Information 

What is the challenge?

Behavioural change is a critical component in combatting climate change, and information is a key component in this. With an ever increasing set of standards, labels and frameworks, consumers are confused and overwhelmed with information – hence, ultimately not changing their behavior at all. How can we make information about environmental impacts of products accessible, understandable and trustable?

First ideas: Scan a product, get more information. Scan your bill and get information. Information comes from a universal database of environmental impacts. Blockchain-based tracking of solutions. Create a platform where companies can upload their information and are checked to get certified and tracked.

Work with us on making information regarding climate change accessible and transparent to everyone!

Topic 4 – Energy Forecast and Cost Optimization for SMEs

What is the challenge?

Large manufacturing companies as well as big retail chains usually have their own in-house energy management divisions, whereas SMEs (small & medium-sized enterprises) often neither have the therefore required know-how nor the necessary human or financial resources. Nonetheless, also SMEs tend to have considerable energy requirements, which also results in substantial energy expenses. How can we help SMEs to cope with their energy management needs?

The goal of this challenge is to develop an application that supports SMEs in recording and forecasting their energy requirements based on AI and Machine Learning technology. Furthermore, historical data regarding energy market prices should be integrated as well as access to the energy markets in order to enable contracts and options trading. Also, an optimization algorithm that calculates optimal options, i.e. regarding buy or sell decisions, shorts or longs for spot and future contracts, would be of great benefit to SMEs.

Help us revolutionize energy management for SMEs!

Topic 5 – Data Sharing & Collaboration in ESG 

What is the challenge?

Sustainability and in particular carbon footprinting is a large challenge with regards to data availability and data accuracy. Ultimately all of this data needs to be brought together, for analysis and reduction identification – not only at a firm level, but along entire value chains. How can we incentivize data sharing and collaboration?

First idea: Build a platform for whole supply chains to collaborate on carbon footprinting and easily create their joint footprint online.

Work with us on finding a way to incentivize data sharing and collaboration in the sustainability area!

Pre-Seed Program (Sept. – Dec.)

3 months concept validation

Design the customer, problem and market hypotheses and validate them with the latest experiments.

4 two-days on-site sprints

Work side-by-side with other corporate innovators in an innovative
co-working space in Vienna.

Expert support system

Get ongoing coaching and feedback from innovation, Tech, HR and investment experts.

Save the on-site sprint dates in Vienna, Austria:

  • Sprint Kick-Off: Sep 14-15
  • Sprint Solution & Validation: Oct 05-06
  • Sprint Business Model & Roadmap: Nov 03-04
  • Demo: Nov 30-Dec 01

In between the sprints, teams will get ongoing remote support from venture coaches and Peak experts.

Your participation in Pioneers.Peak will be completely free of charge, even if you do not reside in Vienna. The costs for accommodation and transport will be covered by Pioneers. Why? Because we want to reward you for your efforts put into the ventures.

Outcomes of the Pre-Seed Phase

At the end of the Pre-Seed phase, the teams will present their final idea concept and together with Pioneers will make a decision about a further investment into the project. By December, the teams will have worked on the customer needs, prototype solution, business case, and model as well as a testing and an implementation roadmap.

Why join Pioneers.Peak?

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Gain entrepreneurial experience

Apply your university know-how to a real business opportunity and upgrade your skills in building innovative ventures. 

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Innovation Network

Get to know like-minded (corporate) innovators, learn from established companies and meet your potential employers.

Feedback & Coaching

Receive feedback and gain know-how from experienced venture builders and Peak startup experts .

Apply as a Student / Young Professional (Team)

You are a student or young professional (team) who wants to experience entrepreneurship hands-on and build a network in the innovation field? You want to work with us on climate and sustainability topics?

Then apply for the 2022 Peak batch of innovators by July 31st!

Apply here


Who are we looking for?

We are looking for bright-minded students and young professionals who are eager to learn what it takes to become an entrepreneur. You are in the last semesters of your studies or just finished university and want to apply your knowledge and skills to a real business opportunity. At Pioneers.Peak you will have the chance to get hands-on experience in building a venture from the ground.

How can I join?

You can join as a single contributor or together with other colleagues (team). You can apply to one or several of the Pioneers’ challenges and will be matched accordingly.
We aim for a team of 3-4 students / young professionals per challenge.

How much time will I need for Peak from September to December?

You will need around 4-8 hours per week plus the 4 two-days on-site sprints to validate the business opportunity in just three months.

Can I participate remotely in the sprints?

No, all the participants have to be physically present at the sprints in order to be able to closely work together and exchange with other teams and the venture building experts.

What costs do incur for me?

Once selected for Pioneers.Peak, and in case you need to travel or need accommodation in Vienna, we will cover your expenses (train, hotel, etc.).

What happens if I am not able to attend one of the four on-site sprints?

Please specify this in the application, so we can check the possibilities.

Do I need to have prior experience in entrepreneurship in order to participate?

We are looking for students / young professionals from any background interested in solving the challenges. Prior experience in working on own ideas is a plus, however not a must for the application.

Any more questions?

Do you have any questions regarding the structure, timeline or other details about the Pioneers.Peak program? Please contact:

Michael Wlaschitz

Michael Wlaschitz

Denise Steger

The Pioneers.Peak Crew and Network

The Pioneers team is working since +10 years as innovation and startup coaches and has guided +100 teams in the business validation.

Additionally, our partners bring in further Tech, HR and investment experience to support teams in later developments.

team foto Pioneers

Team and Experts

Michael Wlaschitz

Michael Wlaschitz

Venture Architect &
Team Coach

Foto von Micha Obrist rund

Michael Obrist

Venture Architect &
Team Coach

Anton Schilling

Anton Schilling

Scaling and Business
Model Expert

Sophie Rab

Sophie Rab

Venture Architect &
Team Coach

Thomas Gabriel

Thomas Gabriel

Strategy Development

Denise Steger

Program Manager


Ben Engmann

Operational Program

stefan ebner

Stefan Ebner

Tech Infrastructure

Maria Baumgartner

Maria Baumgartner

Startup HR
Speedinvest Heroes

markus lang

Markus Lang

VC / Investments

verena rund

Verena Judmayer

Circular Business Models

Franziskos Kyriakopoulos

Data / AI Technologies

matthias strazza

Matthias Strazza

Corporate Venturing

amelia suda

Amelia Suda

Female Entrepreneurship
Female Founders

Photo of Lukas Rippitsch

Lukas Rippitsch

Startup HR
Speedinvest Heroes

Hannah Wundsam

Startup Ecosystem
Austrian Startups

Daniel Horak

Sales and Funding Expert

Christian Friedl

Co-Innovation and Intrapreneurship
Institute of International Management FH JOANNEUM

Lothar Stadler

Global Tech Sales

Werner Töpfl

Finance and Global Operations

Kurt Steinwald

Branding & Communication Strategy
3 Feet Hi

Daniel Pressl

High-Tech Hardware
WILD Gruppe

Martina Schöneich

Sustainable Innovation
Green Tech Cluster

Kerstin Draxler

ACstyria Mobilitätscluster

… and many more to come!

The Pioneers.Peak Space

Tribe.Space Vienna

Community Partners