Irene Fialka

CEO INiTS, Vienna’s University Business Incubator

Dr. Irene Fialka is CEO of INiTS, Vienna’s University Business Incubator (UBI) supporting entrepreneurs with R&D-based business ideas serving all academic institutions in Vienna. Dr. Fialka graduated in genetics at the University of Vienna and worked as postdoctoral fellow at the University of Geneva as well as at the I.M.P., Boehringer Ingelheim’s basic research institute in Vienna. She joined INiTS (founded in 2002) in its early days in 2004. Since then, she has helped to develop services for hi-tech-startups in divers industries and worked with founders of innovative startups, in particular life sciences startups, e.g. the founders of Lexogen, Marinomed, Miracor, mySugr, Origimm, S-target.
Dr. Fialka became CEO of INiTS in 2012. Under her leadership INiTS was awarded three times by UBI Global ( as one of the TOP ranked UBIs in the world. The track record of successful startups that went through INiTS’ intense incubation program in their early days also contributed to the great development of the startup ecosystem in Vienna, one of the rising stars amongst the startup hubs in Europe. INiTS’ startups have proven to be extremely successful in raising funds (12 x the average UBI-supported startup according to UBI Global) and finding strategic partners, e.g. for licensing deals or exits. To further support the collaboration between corporates and startups Dr. Fialka and her team launched the HealthHubVienna ( in 2018, an acceleration program for international health startups. This open innovation initiative is performed in collaboration with academic institutions as well as companies such as Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer and Uniqa. As an open innovation practitioner Dr. Fialka also lectures startup and innovation related topics at universities.