Pokale Linzer Unternehmen des Jahres

Linz company of the year: Bergardi

Veröffentlicht am von Thomas Riegler

Zuletzt aktualisiert am

A sedentary work environment and the associated back problems are widespread health challenges of our time. However, a startup from Linz, Austria, has succeeded in taking on these common ailments. Bergardi has set out to reduce sedentary behavior and associated health issues. The three founders are Markus Franz-Riegler, Thomas Riegler, and Walter Schindlegger.

The inspiration for Bergardi came when one of the founders witnessed his brother suffering from a painful herniated disc. This motivated the three founders to develop a seating mechanism that helps people move during their work and reduces pain.  

Die Gründer von Bergardi


Together with ergonomic researchers and doctors, they worked intensively on the first prototypes for several years. After about 50 adaptations and relentless development work, it finally happened in early 2022 – the first production-ready product saw the light of day. It took about another year for the first Bergardi chair to be delivered. There were still optimizations in production, logistics, and the in-house e-commerce shop.




1️⃣ Bergardi on Expansion Course

In April 2023, Bergardi successfully completed the tech2b Scale-up Program. Over two years, they could benefit from valuable mentoring and access to first-class infrastructure. Now is the time to leave the incubator's nest and continue on the 'Strada del Startup' at Tabakfabrik Linz. In the "Innovationsstraße" of Tabakfabrik Linz, a lively biotope is presented where aspiring startups and renowned companies meet on an equal footing. This environment provides the ideal setting for idea exchange, inspiring events, and exciting collaborations.



In Linz, tradition and innovation merge in a unique way. Both established industrial giants and emerging startups can be found in one place – such as Tabakfabrik Linz. Supported by a broad network of funding programs and competent advice, such as tech2b, UBG/KGG, and the Wirtschaftskammer OÖ, Linz offers financial incentives and expertise alike. Linz is the ideal place for startups to grow and thrive.

In May 2023, another significant milestone was reached. Bergardi took the big step and appeared on the TV show "2 Minuten 2 Millionen." This event proved to be a springboard for Bergardi to win Austria for its innovative vision of "preventing back pain due to prolonged sitting" and to inspire a broad following. The result of the TV show was overwhelming: Within just 48 hours, all available Bergardi chairs were completely sold out.

The icing on the cake of this year is undoubtedly the title "Linzer Startup des Jahres" (Linzer Startup of the Year). This prestigious title crowns the year 2023 and impressively attests to Bergardi's innovation strength and its enduring commitment to the well-being and health of people – far beyond Linz and Austria.

Unternehmen des Jahres 2023 aus Linz

Bergardi has won the coveted title "Linzer Startup des Jahres" at the Linzer Unternehmensauszeichnungen (Linz Corporate Awards). This success underscores their outstanding performance in the Linz business environment and their dedication to innovation and health.


The title "Linzer Unternehmen des Jahres" is awarded in collaboration with WKO-Linz and Junge Wirtschaft OÖ (JWOÖ). The Junge Wirtschaft Oberösterreich is an organization that supports startups and young entrepreneurs in Upper Austria. It provides important resources and networking opportunities to promote the development of startups.

But growth is set to accelerate further. For scaling, Bergardi is looking for additional business angels. "To fully leverage our potential and ensure scalability, we continue to search for investors who share our vision and want to accompany us on our journey" (CEO Markus Franz-Riegler).


2️⃣ Health Effects

Noteworthy is the collaboration with FH Gesundheitsberufe OÖ (University of Applied Sciences for Health Professions Upper Austria). The university recognized the potential of Bergardi chairs after the convincing beta-test phase in 2021. In a year-long clinical study, the research partner examined the effectiveness of the active-dynamic chairs. The joint cooperation opens an exciting perspective in the context of workplace health promotion and will advance further research.

In this pilot study, only individuals experiencing pain in the back participated. The initial results show that Bergardi chairs sustainably improve health during prolonged sitting. Bergardi actively promotes movement while sitting, relieves the spine, and contributes to the prevention of back problems. The clinical study has identified significant effects between static and active-dynamic chairs, reducing back pain on the Bergardi chair by an average of 66%.


3️⃣ Achievements and Awards

Bergardi's successes in recent years speak for themselves and are confirmed by independent reviews and awards. In November 2022, Bergardi was successfully tested and certified by the AGR (Aktion Gesunder Rücken - Campaign for Healthier Backs). This recognition as a back-promoting product by an 11-member medical commission is a significant milestone. The certification emphasizes that Bergardi chairs are not only ergonomic but also demonstrably promote back health.

In the current year, Bergardi has received further awards:


🏆Winner "Linzer Unternehmen des Jahres 2023" (Linzer Company of the Year 2023)

🏆Winner Diploma from tech2b Incubator

🏆 Top 3 "Rising Stars" at the EY Scale-up Award

🏆 Top "10 Future Hopes" at the Pegasus Business Award

These awards confirm our role as pioneers in the development of a dynamic and healthy working environment and underscore the importance of our active-dynamic seating furniture. (Thomas Riegler, CMO)


4️⃣ Future Goals and Developments:

The coming years are an important phase of growth and development for Bergardi. The focus is first on expanding into the German market and then into the entire D-A-CH region.

Bergardi wants to increase attention to everyday movement together with renowned health experts. The mission is to raise awareness among people for movement and their physical and mental well-being.

"We are firmly convinced that the regular movements of Bergardi chairs can make a significant contribution to maintaining and improving physical health throughout Europe." (Thomas Riegler, CMO)

Bergardi is ready to take on these exciting challenges and actively contribute to raising the health standard in the modern working world.

We are confident that more successes and awards await us on this journey, which are worth sharing and celebrating! 

The Bergardi Team


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Bergardi - Product selection

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Liebes Bergardi Team!
Es freut mich zu lesen, dass eure Stühle super ankommen! Ich bin selbst begeistert von euren Stühlen! Umso spannender finde ich euren Durchbruch zu verfolgen. Bin schon ganz neugierig wie es bei euch weiter geht!
Alles Liebe!


Gratulation!! ❤️
Die Auszeichnung habt ihr wirklich mehr als verdient!


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