Today’s guest is Markus Wanko, the Head of Technology Transfer at TWIST, which is the Tech Transfer organization for the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) in Austria.
Markus has been driving the development of IST Park, the technology park adjacent to IST Austria and IST Cube, a science and tech-based seed fund.
Markus came to TWIST after a 15-year career in investing and strategy. Specifically, Markus’ background is in venture capital investing with Safeguard Scientifics and the European Investment Fund, strategy consulting with the Boston Consulting Group, and principal investment with QIA, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds.
Over the course of his career, Markus has supported a broad range of startups in the process, energy, and tech industries.
In today’s episode, you’ll hear Markus discuss how he came to Austria and to TWIST, how Tech Transfer in Austria compares to other countries, and how TWIST has been making an impact.
In This Episode:
- [02:21] How Markus Wanko ended up in Austria and at TWIST.
- [04:30] Markus talks about TWIST and IST Austria.
- [06:46] We learn more about IST Park.
- [08:19] IST Cube’s background.
- [10:31] Venture funding can be difficult in Austria. What other fundings are available for Austrian startups?
- [11:52] How tech transfer is handled in Austria and how it compares to the US and the UK.
- [14:30] The role of the Austrian government in tech transfer.
- [16:03] Markus’ office structure and his surprising team size.
- [17:29] The benefits of having a Fellowship Program for the team.
- [19:48] Markus addresses putting the total amount of inventions, disclosures, patent filings, and royalty revenues in the last five years into context.
- [21:58] The most important aspect of managing innovations that gives them the greatest chance of success.
- [24:01] Tech transfer offices can also make contributions to the success of managing innovations. Here’s how.
- [24:32] Markus shares some examples of TWIST’s corporate partners.
- [26:03] Markus reveals some successful technologies and startups that have come out of TWIST.
- [28:10] Are there any big challenges for TWIST?
- [30:07] The diversity, equity, and inclusion program at TWIST.
- [32:50] Does credentialing in the tech transfer industry make a difference?
- [34:45] Three wishes that Markus would make to improve his office.