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[A1 – Startups as an external innovation source: Why they push us forward]

A1 – Startups as an external innovation source: Why they push us forward

Due to our fast economic development and technological change, corporates like us at A1 face new challenges and the need for accelerated business development grows. Therefore entrepreneurship becomes even more important and organizations need to find new ways to create innovative solutions and think out of the box.

Big companies are looking towards two different directions in order to create innovation: On the one hand they look for internal solutions, on the other hand they might want to take advantage of external opportunities. Regarding internal solutions, companies use their employees’ know-how and create special departments that concentrate on development and innovation or special programs to generate ideas.

From an external point of view there is the possibility to generate innovations by vendors or startups.

At A1 we recognized already in 2011 that we will have to build up specific knowledge in a short period of time and we were also aware of the potential that startups have in this context. In order to move forward with this concept we created the A1 Start Up Campus, building the infrastructure to support young founders. With one of the first startup programs in Austria we have now been supporting founders for 5 years. During this time, 11 startups moved to the A1 Start Up Campus and currently 7 of them are part of our programme. Our startups benefit from a standard package containing office space, consulting, business products & media work as well as from customized measurements.

„Corporates are like tankships, they are robust and stabile, but they cannot change their course easily. Whereas Startups are like speedboats, they are flexible and able to change the course constantly,“ explains Mario Mayerthaler, Head of A1 Start Up Campus and Innovation at Telekom Austria Group.

One of the success stories deriving from this program is Parkbob. With Parkbob, a parkfinder app founded by Christian Adelsberger, we were able to expand the “A1 Mobile Parking App” and offer additional features to the customers. Until now, A1 Telekom Austria has invested 600.000 Euro in Parkbob which enables the startup to be present in at least 50 cities until the end of the year.


Therefore, a corporate trend to intensify and institutionalize cooperation with startups is apparent. The specific need for innovation creates a new environment between startups and corporates. If you are interested in this topic or like to know more about our A1 Start Up Campus and Programme, join us at the Entrepreneurship Avenue on May, 12th 2017.


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