Start-ups: Interview with I.E.C.T.

Two of our attorneys, Franz Pegger and Barbara Egger-Russe, answered questions asked by our long-standing partner, I.E.C.T. – Hermann Hauser, about start-ups from the deep-tech sector.

The I.E.C.T. – Hermann Hauser is a catalyst for the development of young, promising, international entrepreneurs/start-ups/scale-ups and strengthens Austria (especially Tyrol) as a business location through new companies and new jobs.

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The interview:

A discussion with our partner: Greiter Pegger Kofler & Partners

The I.E.C.T. – Hermann Hauser is pleased to introduce one of its partners in an interview – the law firm Greiter Pegger Kofler & Partners. The interview focused on innovative and exciting start-ups from the deep-tech sector, on the strengths of lawyers and which topics young entrepreneurs should look at.


The I.E.C.T. – Hermann Hauser focuses particularly on research-based start-ups, especially in the deep-tech sector. Patent protection, spin-offs etc. are everyday business here. Which topics do you find particularly exciting in your work and are there areas where you have noticed a change in recent years?

Due to the start-up scene a lot has been happening in the field of corporate law in particular. Attempts are being made to “adapt” Austrian company law to international standards, and unfortunately this is where especially the formalistic requirements of GmbHs reach their limits. What is particularly exciting here is this adaptation of the well-tried to new business culture.

You have been working with start-ups for some time now. What role do you play when you work with start-ups? Is there an example or a situation where you, as a well established company, were able to learn from young founders?

There is always something to be learned. What is completely new for us are the terms, which are often quite difficult to translate into legal language. A good or bad leaver is clear, but with some other terms you are faced with a challenge. Especially from an entrepreneur’s point of view, something that can be learned from young founders is how important good employees are and how important it is to keep them them in the company long term, for example through employee participation models.

Greiter Pegger Kofler & Partners has been a partner of the I.E.C.T. – Hermann Hauser Group for many years and is particularly involved in the field of investment activities. What advice would you like to give the young founders?

In our many years of practice, we have often found that it makes sense to discuss possible scenarios in a business in advance, including the less pleasant ones. If everything goes well, contracts usually remain unused after signing; but if there are problems, the contract is used to solve them. For this reason, we can only advise everyone to take a little more time when negotiating a contract and to settle points that “you won’t need anyway”.

Once agin this year, you will take part in the Summer School as an expert. What first tips would you give young entrepreneurs who are considering founding their own start-ups? A lot of founders shy away from initial contact with a lawyer – either because of the fees, or because they are uncertain as to what to expect, etc. – Is there a classic “procedure” for approaching lawyers? When should this take place? Is any preparation necessary? What questions should be asked beforehand?

We can only repeat: take enough time to play through all possible scenarios. This is easier to do if a problem is not yet an issue.

The perfect time to consult a lawyer naturally depends on the individual case. As soon as you know roughly how you imagine the future – factually – we certainly recommend contacting a lawyer. That way, how ideas can best be legally implemented can be considered at an early stage.

The question of costs should be clarified right at the start so that everyone knows what they are getting into. Furthermore, the lawyer should be informed about all the vital points, i.e. how the founders see the future and their dealings with possible investors. Only when a lawyer has all the key information on difficult points can he or she  give good advice.

Thank you for the interview!

About Greiter Pegger Kofler & Partners:

Barbara Egger-Russe and Franz Pegger are partners at the Innsbruck law firm Greiter Pegger Kofler & Partners. Founded in 1897, the firm has become one of the largest commercial law firms in Western Austria. One of the firm’s main areas of practice is corporate law and M&A, including reorganisations. In recent years, the team has increasingly focused on the special requirements of start-ups. The law firm corresponds in German, English, Italian and French and therefore also provides advice to many internationally active clients. The firm receives the majority of its new assignments through recommendations from existing clients.

The I.E.C.T. – Hermann Hauser: the Interview.

Photo: (c) Blickfang