circle17 Workshops

Understand trends, identify challenges and explore ways through which you can partake in the circle17 initiative


The discovery phase is all set to prepare participants for a mindset of exploration.

In two consecutive Workshops participants are guided through a process to figure out their pressing sustainability challenges, prepare for the Impacthon and get input regarding the current circle17 topic.

Curious to how you can get involved in one of our workshops? Sign up for our Mailinglist and get notified once the dates are set!


Challenge Lead Workshops

Through a series of three engaging onboarding workshops, you receive guidance on defining your sustainability challenge. We will tap together with external experts in the fields of resilience and circular innovation and will shed light on how partnerships with startups could look like.

1. ReThink: Why you need to become more resilient now more than ever

November 2, 2020, 15:00 - 17:00 Austrian time, online

Participants will get the opportunity to explore how circular economy & ultimately the contribution to the SDGs can help them become more resilient.

  • Learn about your biggest sustainability challenges
  • Understand the SDGs as a resilience factor
  • Identify and draft your own company risky areas that should become more resilient
2. ReDesign: Circular innovation as the means to become more resilient

November 4, 2020, 15:00 - 17:00 Austrian time, online

Participants learn more about circular economy in depth and how they can link the risks/challenges they realised from the first workshop with potentials of circular economy. 

  • Specify and Design the challenge you want to lead into the circle Impacthon.
3. ReConnect: The do's & don'ts in a startup-collaboration for a resilient future

November 10, 2020, 15:00 - 17:00 Austrian time, online

Participants are prepared for what it takes to partner with startups. Moreover, expectations towards the commitment needed to engage within the online multi-stakeholder collaboration environment that circle17 facilitates.  

  • What kind of partnerships are possible with startups and social innovators
  • How can you ensure a value-based collaboration
  • What is an Impacthon, what preparations are needed to make the most out of the experience

Social Innovator Workshops

Through a series of three engaging workshops you will learn what resilience means in startup terms and how it is connected to the SDGs. You will actively work on pivoting your own venture into a resilient social business and get a taste of how cooperation can accelerate your social innovations.

1. Inspire: How to (not) fuck up during a crisis - pivoting for good

September 23, 2020, 18:00 - 20:00 Austrian time, offline

Together with Fuckup Nights Vienna we will explore what resilience means in the startup world and how it is connected to the SDGs. Learn why founders fucked up during the crisis and how they found the courage, ambition and boldness to turn a crisis into an opportunity.   

This offline event will be hosted at the Student Hotel and have only a limited amount of tickets. Preregister here to save your spot!

Download iCal

2. Change: The changing world of responsible investing

October 28, 2020, 18:00 - 19:00 Austrian time, online

In the workshop “The changing world of responsible investing” we will take a closer look at the subject of impact investing. After an introduction into the topic, representatives from various sectors will discuss the relevance and necessity of sustainability considerations in the investment sector.

Here you can register for the online event.

Download iCal

3. Connect: Developing a blueprint for collaboration

November 11, 2020, 18:00 - 19:00 Austrian time, online

Cooperations are a major way to accelerate your social innovation and have a bigger impact on society. Learn what it takes to partner with corporates. We will cover all dos and don’ts for a successful collaboration and answer your questions regarding  legal, financial, human resources that need to be invested into building a partnership on the long-term. 

Here you can register for the online event.

For signing up to all 3 workshops please fill out this form.

Download iCal

All events of circle17 are CO2-compensated and are therefore climate neutral. You can find out more about our efforts to take responsibility here.

Program Partners

circle17 is a true community effort, involving organisations 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?.

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? Contact us!

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