tobaccoland is the leading supplier of more than 5,500 kiosks in Austria, having access to more than one million customers per day. The market was long considered as a niche and products were traditionally sold instore. In order to foster innovation and shape the future of Austrian kiosks, tobaccoland was looking for new sources of innovation in terms of new products and services. The overall challenge was to unite the two worlds of a tradition-bound, well established corporate and innovative products and services.


However, until now kiosks were not on the radar of most startups despite being a perfect source of innovation. Thus, we created the tobaccoland Startup Factory based on our client’s specific needs. The program targeted startups that have an innovative product or service that can be sold in kiosks digitally or aren’t bigger than a milk carton. Through our tailor-made scouting process, more than 100 applications from 21 countries were generated. After an intense screening phase, the 8 most promising startups were invited to build a clear Proof of Concept, validate the product/service and make it investment-ready within a period of only three months.

Ultimately, through the Startup Factory after only three months tobaccoland was able to add seven new and innovative products and services to its portfolio.


By tailoring the concept and scouting process to tobaccoland’s needs, WhatAVenture not only identified and build a pool of high-quality startups as a new innovation source for the corporate but positioned itself through the widely spread communication activities as an innovative company.

During the process, WhatAVenture served as a facilitator between corporate and startup world. By initiating exchange processes between tobaccoland and matching startups, new opportunities for successful business models were illustrated. Instead of a months-long negotiating phase, the Startup Factory made it possible to quickly evaluate the potential of the participating startups and their ideas in a resource-efficient way. Eventually, not only tobaccoland benefitted from gaining access to innovative solutions, but the startups were connected to a strong partner with a large network – a real win-win situation, laying the groundwork for successful, long-lasting collaborations.