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The aim of the pre-seed phase is to support start-ups in getting from the first prototype to their own company and in generating their first sales.

This phase is intended for founders who have already completed the ideation process and have developed their business model. In this phase, support is further intensified and is supplemented by personal coaching and a mentoring program with top-class mentors from the university environment and business leaders. In personal coaching, the start-ups work on their individual development issues and are supported by experts from the Center for Entrepreneurship. The mentoring program is designed to provide start-ups with valuable contacts in research and business. 


In addition, the startup-uni offers projects in the pre-seed phase the opportunity to use office space in the Unicorn free of charge. With a total of 10 jobs, start-ups have the opportunity to grow their business in a professional environment. The open-space office is also ideal for networking with other start-ups. The location in the Unicorn also gives you the opportunity to talk to other accelerator programs, innovation hubs and freelancers. 


The pre-seed phase is explicitly designed to support start-ups in their founding endeavors, which is why the issue of funding and financing plays a crucial role in this phase. We provide support here with expert know-how on the subject of funding applications and also with regard to legal issues.  


In the pre-seed phase, start-ups are prepared for investor pitches. To do this, they develop topics such as IP registration, branding, websites, social media, analogue advertising media and much more. The presentation of the start-up is perfected in pitch training. At numerous events from the Graz start-up network, there is then the opportunity to advertise your own start-up. –Practice makes perfect   


The pre-seed phase aims to ensure that the start-ups generate initial sales through customers, investors or funding. This goes hand in hand with the founding of the company under corporate law.


The pre-seed phase is open to start-ups that have already innovated and validated their business idea and are ambitious to implement their business model. For this purpose, a first prototype should already be developed and initial feedback from customers and market partners should be available. 

The pre-seed phase lasts 3 to a maximum of 18 months. This depends on the complexity of the start-up project and the respective progress. However, office space can only be used as long as the start-up can demonstrate appropriate project progress within the pre-seed phase. 


Are you ready to take your start-up to the next phase and hit the ground running? 

Then apply now using our application form

You think your project fits the PRE-SEED phase?
Then get in touch with us!


Founding of his own company and first turnover


  • Mentoring by university professors and business leaders 

  • Individual support from employees of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Applied Business Administration 

  • Personal coaching (more intensive work on individual start-up topics with the respective experts)

  • Support for laboratory access / workshop access

  • Office Space in the Unicorn 

  • Assistance in applying for grants

  • IP login support

  • Support with legal issues 


  • Idea innovated and validated 

  • Founding team established 

  • Business model developed 

  • A business model canvas has been developed

  • Prototype developed 

  • First customer feedback has been obtained or discussions with market partners have taken place 


  • Incorporation under corporate law 

  • Website/ social media appearance 

  • Paying customers / permanent investors / letter of intent 

  • pitch deck

  • Business Plan  

Length of time

3 to a maximum of 18 months 


An example of a start-up in the pre-seed phase: 

With LinoEx, we support a university spin-off in the preparation of a detailed business plan, conduct market research together with students and support discussions with cooperation partners.  In addition, we support you with the application for the first larger financing rounds such as aws pree-seed.

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