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February 17, 2021

More than 40 million euros fresh capital for life science and tech spin-offs

IST cube increases venture fund for science start-ups tenfold in cooperation with the European Investment Fund (EIF) and 25 other investors

IST Cube
IST Cube ©IST Cube

IST cube is a venture fund initiated by IST Austria for life science and tech start-ups from an academic environment. At the end of 2020, the IST cube team, with its long experience in technology transfer, business development, patent law and financing, successfully closed a large international financing round: More than 40 million euros are now available to develop pioneering scientific research projects into commercially successful companies.

Investors in the IST cube venture fund include the EIF, the Province of Lower Austria, aws – Austria Wirtschaftsservice, Vienna Insurance Group, Mitterbauer-Beteiligungs-AG and around twenty other private investors.

More than capital for founders: Know-how, network and infrastructure 

“With the IST cube venture fund, we are primarily addressing founders at universities and non-university research institutions who want to develop their spin-off with an institutional partner,” explains Markus Wanko, founder and managing director of IST cube. “We can now invest up to several million euros per start-up – for the foundation as well as in later development phases within the framework of further financing rounds.”

IST cube acts as an investor as well as a partner for the start-ups, as Michael Lukesch, founder and CEO of the biotechnology start-up VALANX Biotech from the IST cube portfolio confirms: “With IST cube we have not only brought capital on board but also an extensive national and international network. We were able to expand our team, populate a new lab in the IST Park and thus initiate a new phase in the development of VALANX on its way to the market.”

An attractive home base next to the IST Austria campus

Thanks to IST cube’s partnership with IST Austria, the portfolio start-ups have access to a research facility in Klosterneuburg that is unique in Austria and renowned worldwide. “The IST cube team has made a great success with this new round of funding,” said a delighted Tom Henzinger, President of IST Austria and supporter of IST cube since the very beginning. “We are looking forward to opening the technology park, IST Park, which is located right next to the campus, to numerous other exciting life science and tech start-ups in the future.”

About IST cube

IST cube is a venture capital (EuVECA) fund regulated by the Financial Market Supervision, managed by an independent management company and thus open to private investors. The IST cube team consists of Dr. Ingrid Kelly, Dr. Bernard Petermeier, Florian Resch, Dr. Alexander Schwartz and Markus Wanko.

The interdisciplinary IST cube team forms an intersection between academia and the financial world and invests in early-stage, technology start-ups as well as life science and tech start-ups from the academic environment. Thanks to many years of experience in tech transfer, business development, patent law and financing, IST cube offers qualified founders not only capital (pre-seed, seed, Series A and Series B) but also coaching and support in all aspects of the transition from a research project to a commercially successful company.

So far, eight start-ups from the fields of medicine, biotechnology, IT and display technology from various Austrian universities such as MedUni Vienna and TU Graz as well as IST Austria belong to the IST cube portfolio. The spectrum is as broad as science itself: From biologists working on programming the elements of life to computer scientists exploring the possibilities of machine learning in healthcare and business.

More information can be found here:


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