Published In

Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology: Technology Management For Social Innovation, Proceedings

Document Type


Publication Date



Sustainable development reporting, Business incubators -- Austria, New business enterprises, Technology -- Management


This paper shares the experiences of INITS, a business incubator located in Vienna, Austria, which consults to startup firms in Austria and (with partners) in Europe. INITS has investigated the technology readiness levels and market readiness levels of 57 startup firms in a variety of industries, who are engaged in social or environmental entrepreneurship, where the impact motive prevails over the profit motive. Thus, INITS provides 57 longitudinal case studies of social and environmental innovation in startup firms that have gone through the complete incubation process. Thirteen of these cases underwent an 'open incubation' process developed by INITS. INITS has learned a few important lessons from these endeavors. The open incubation method is more focused and streamlined than traditional methods. A formalized Web-based application process, as well as prolonged interaction with fellow startup firms and external experts, identify errors early, which accelerates incubation. Open incubation also achieves higher technology readiness levels and delivers lower technology risk, especially in the life sciences. Finally, open incubation is not restricted to startups that follow the triple bottom line. Applications for startups in multiple domains are possible. © 2016 Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology, Inc.


This is the publisher's final PDF. Copyright 2016 by PICMET. Paper delivered at the 2016 Proceedings of PICMET '16: Technology Management for Social Innovation.



Persistent Identifier