Vielfalter is a startup accelerator program supported by Impact Hub Vienna, Kalkalpen National Park, WKO of Steyr, the regional development agency of Upper Austria, the Scheuch Family Foundation, and the Leader Region Traunviertler Alpenvorland.
Vielfalter was looking for innovative entrepreneurial ideas in the fields of ecological agriculture, sustainable tourism, food, health, and wood, that will have a positive effect on the Kalkalpen National Park region while creatively using its diverse resources. Every contestant attended an acceleration program which, depending on their needs, educated them on topics such as impact modeling, business modeling, financial planning, and sales and marketing. Due to the guidance and support provided by the accelerator, contestants developed their businesses quickly putting many of them in a prime position to win prizes.
Here are the 4 winners of Vielfalter who were recently announced at an event in Steyr, Austria.
Receiver of the €8,000 first prize, the Obstraupe is a harvester developed by David Brunmayr and his team at Verein Paradizer. It’s designed to harvest orchards efficiently and cost-effectively without damaging the fruits. Fruit orchards are vital ecosystems that contain over 5,000 different species of plants and animals. However, over the last 60 years, 85-90% of fruit trees have disappeared and the trend shows no sign of stopping. The Obstraupe is designed to push back and reverse this trend by offering farms and individuals a low-cost tool to harvest their fruit trees, keeping orchards, and the ecosystem around them, viable and thriving.
Winner of the €6,000 second prize, Kalkalpen.Wild offers a local and sustainable alternative to lovers of wild game. The Kalkalpen National Park area is home to a large variety of wild game untouched by the effects of modern farming or animal husbandry. Due to the structure of the local agriculture, animals rarely come into contact with things like pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. Kalkalpen.Wild is looking to build up their premium brand, offering a local solution to wild game that uses lead-free ammunition while building awareness concerning the dangers that lead-usage poses to biodiversity.
Spreissl and its inventor Katharina Salcher-Aigner is the winner of the €4,000 third prize. Spreissl is a regionally produced, sustainable and carbon-neutral firewood. It is made from domestic, PEFC-certified and air-dried wood from the Kalkalpen National Park region and packed in recyclable wooden crates, jute bags, or cardboard boxes. Normally, firewood is packed in plastic and imported from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and other countries further east.
Last but not least is the winner of the €8,000 special prize, Verein Bergwiesen. Their mission is to support the conservation of the biodiversity in the Kalkalpen National Park region by revitalizing and protecting the meadows of the mountains. Since they started two years ago, Bergwiesen has revitalized 25 hectares of slopes and meadows allowing for the regeneration and increased biodiversity of plants. Their long-term plan is to sell high-quality hay and pellet-food for horses and rodents from the revitalized areas.