materialsHACK: Materials Meet Innovation

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From July 8th-10th, Europe's biggest hackathon for materials took place in Vienna, Austria. Here's why we did it, what happened and how events like this increase innovation for corporates as well as participants.

Europe’s biggest hackathon for materials is over. What will definitely live on are the innovative ideas and experiences people left with from this event. But what actually happened that weekend at Io2 Hub? Let’s take a look:

Inviting Europe’s Brightest Materials Entrepreneurs, Experts, Designers & Business Developers

The 11 teams that took part in materialsHACK consisted of people with different skill sets: materials experts, industial designers, business developers, engineers, entrepreneurs. Out of over 200 application we received for Europe’s biggest materials hackathon to date, we selected 44 highly skilled professionals, entrepreneurs, researchers and students with different backgrounds from corporations to startups.

How we found the people, that were in the right spot to take on the given challenge? We made use of StartUs‘ extensive network in the European startup ecosystem. We’ve been bulding this community since 2014, currently counting over 200 ambassadors in the 47 most active European startup cities, as well as using our own online network,,  & our social media channels, reaching 400.000+ startup enthusiasts monthly. This allows us to mobilize the most talentent entrepreneurs, skill-teams and startups to work together on innovation challenges in a variety different industries.

Differentiation Is Key: Skills

The key to accessing the full potential of our participants was taking care, that each team has a complementary skill set & works well together.

The incredible productive atmosphere, that capured Io2 Hub on this weekend was unique: From explaining the actual challenge to brainstorming and pitching – it was clear that the teams aimed to bring out the best of each other and not only grow with this challenge but – of course – win it.

The 11 teams that were involved in the competition were Idea Bunnies, Project CFPP, engiNEWers, Team 10, BetaMat, InnovMat, Momomers, 4 Kontinente, Patchwork, Plastic Surgeons and last but not least: Stroopwafels. What impressed our corporate partner among other things was “how fast innovative ideas can be conceived, evolved and worked out in such detail by the right teams in just 2.5 days”, according to Andreas Meinecke, Expert for External Cooperation.

Solving The Challenges Of Today’s World

The ideas that were generated by the teams spread from solving energy problems, new city designs to logistics & transportation. One thing that especially stood out was, that new ideas and applications were found for seemingly small things which, in the end, proof to have a huge impact on everyday life. And it paid off: initially two teams were supposed to win materialsHACK – in the end the jury agreed one additional winning team that now enters their own incubation phase.

Bottom line: Getting Europe’s brightest people of one industry together in one room, balancing their skill-sets so the complement each other, letting them work freely for 2,5 days and offering mentor sessions to bring their ideas even further, really shows new opportunities and is the trigger for incredible progress of innovation!





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