NOV 19 - 22


A 3-day event to unite for the development of sustainable business solution. To hack for Social Impact. 

Design the Future

The circle17 Impacthon is an online hackathon, all set to design, test, and execute moonshot ideas that help us deal with large-scale sustainability challenges 

This impacthon is a call for action to each and everyone, to each and every organisation and to each and every startup, who dares to think, look, and unite to pivot towards resilient change.

Your aim is to create new, competitive and resilient business models for the future. 


Exploring Challenges


Registrations open


Kick-off Hackathon

NOV 19

Design Sprint

NOV 20

Mentor Roasting

NOV 20

Final Countdown

NOV 22

Closing Ceremony

NOV 23
See below the 6 sustainability challenges areas.

Take a first look and see which challenge interests you and where you could potentially contribute your expertise. In your registration you can indicate 3 areas of interest.
Early October, the circle17 impacthon will officially open for registrations.

Read in our FAQ more information on how you can get involved and what the participation criteria are.
The circle17 will officially kick-off with a opening ceremony on NOV 19, late afternoon.

In here, insights will be provided in the program for the weekend and all that's ahead.
A full day design sprint, facilitated by "Circular Cocreation".

- Connect with challenge leads
- Collaborate and Co-create project solutions within a team
- Submit a final Team + Project Solution
Collaborate with a team coach on your project plan and connect with a world-wide network of experts to collect feedback and finalise your MVP.
Today is the final day to prepare yourself for your final project submission.
In the final ceremony, all stakeholders involved in the program will be united to celebrate the final results coming from the weekend.


These Mentors will be available to you throughout the impacthon to provide you with support in order to develop your project further. We work with Team Mentors, who coach a team over the course of the whole weekend. Moreover Skill Mentors are available to you on Sunday, for specific questions related to your business model.

Supporting Partners

circle17 is a true community effort, involving organisers and stakeholders of all ranges from our society.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more in-depth questions on how your journey could look like, please see our full FAQ section.

What is Circle17?

circle17 supports the design of practical business solutions to the most urgent sustainability challenges, by facilitating a platform for startup collaboration with corporates and non-profit organisations.  

In order to identify these most pressing sustainability challenges, circle17 co-operates together with corporates- and non-profit organisations. These sustainability challenges function as a strong foundation, inspiration and validation for the design of system-changing solutions. 

The development of these solutions is not a straight-forward given. It requires an inclusive and experimental approach, modern methodologies, creativity and an innovative out-of-the-box mindset. 

This is where all social innovators come into place: startup founders, academics, changemakers, enthusiasts, coders and creatives come into place. The circle17 Impacthon is an open-call for all those who believe it’s important to unite, in order to solve the most pressing sustainability challenges together. 

Not only does circle17 provide a safe space for eye-to-eye level exchanges, but an inclusive growth platform where the potential that lies with multi-stakeholder collaboration can be understood and unleashed.

Who’s behind circle17?

The circle17 project is brought to life via the two Non-Profit organisations AustrianStartups & respACT, and funded by the Austrian Development Agency.

AustrianStartups is Austria’s largest start-up platform and think tank for innovative entrepreneurship 

With a team of around 50 startup enthusiasts, the non-profit organization organizes more than 60 events annually, operates communication platforms for more than 30,000 followers from the startup environment and publishes Austria’s largest startup study – the Austrian Startup Monitor.

respACT has been supporting its more than 300 member companies for over 20 years in achieving ecological and social goals economically and independently. On a national level, respACT cooperates with ministries, scientific institutions and interest groups. As the coordinating office of the Global Compact Network Austria and partner of the WBCSD and CSR Europe, respACT is also the right contact at the international level.

Austrian Development Agency (ADA)
ADA supports countries in Africa, Asia, South-East and Eastern Europe in their sustainable social, economic and democratic development. In Austria, it contributes to a better understanding of global interrelationships and development cooperation through public relations work and the promotion of development communication and education. The Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA) plans the strategies. ADA, the agency of the Austrian Development Cooperation, implements them with public institutions, civil society organisations and enterprises.

How does the circle17 program work?

The circle17 programme consists of 5 phases. 


The discovery is all set to identify and determine the most critical sustainability challenges. In September and October, circle17 hosts workshops to explore trends and source challenges with Corporates and Civil Society. Moreover, open workshops will be hosted through which startup founders, academics, and enthusiasts can learn more about the design of resilient business models.

Learn more about the programme’s offer on our Discovery Page. 


The circle17 Impacthon is an online hackathon designed to share and rapidly develop practical solutions. Startup founders, entrepreneurs, academics and enthusiasts come together to work on society-level solutions to the sustainable challenges, posed by our network of (corporate) organisations.

Learn more about the impacthon, and how you can get involved here.


A tailored coaching trajectory will push the project solutions and teams that have arisen from the Impacthon forward. A pallet of modular services, for example workshops to develop skills, regular check-ins and project support, will be provided. 

Learn more about the coaching areas here.


Our circle17 Matchmaking event is a day in which we’ll bring all programme participants and project innovations together with an external network collaboration partners, and offer supporting modules to match interests and needs. 


During our Touchdown event, participants present the outcome of their journey throughout the circle17 programme and are given the stage they deserve. Time to celebrate and reflect on the experience together.

How can I join circle17?

We are looking for bold and innovative thinkers & do-ers that can help to develop solutions to the large-scale sustainability challenges that withhold us on individual, business and societal level to become more resilient.

For this to work, circle17 needs a strong community. We need you!

You can get involved in four different ways:

We are inviting all gamechangers, from creators, IT specialists, startups, academics and enthusiasts to participate and show us how you would solve various challenges through creative thinking and the (potential) application of technology.

Challenge Leads are corporate- and non-profit organisations that have submitted sustainability challenges, they face inside- and outside of their organisation.

Are you, or the organisation you are working with, faced with sustainability challenges in your daily operations? Are you interested in working together with a broad network of young innovators, startups and academics to dive deep into your challenge and work on solutions that could benefit your business- and society at larger scale?

Learn more on how you can host your challenge in the cirlce17 programme, below.

We’re looking for mentors who can coach the participants during the impacthon and experts who can answer questions along the way.

Are you a superhero mentor, interested in partaking in our programme to support the development of sustainable project innovations? – learn more on this page on how you can get involved!

The circle17 programme is a non-profit establishment, aimed at the development of resilient and sustainable business solutions. Are you, your company or organisation interested in exploring opportunities to support our cause? Please see below how you can be a part of the solution!

Contact Us

* Your information is processed in compliance with our privacy policy