adASTRA – The STRABAG Intrapreneurship Programme

How adASTRA turns everything upside down

STRABAG has set its sight on actively and innovatively shaping the future of the construction industry. With adASTRA, the Group wants to tackle future challenges and draw on its own resources for the necessary impulses and competencies: the innovative spirit of its employees. However, to exploit this internal potential, the right framework must be created.

The intrapreneurship programme focuses on people and their innovative strength, in keeping with the motto “People First”. STRABAG is convinced that great success can be achieved through the opportunity to drive forward one’s own initiatives and ideas as well as through appropriately promoting entrepreneurial thinking and acting.

The company considers the resulting innovation projects “internal start-ups“ that develop new business models in Group-wide approaches and teams. In order to achieve this goal, we try to actively break through the silo mentality within the Group while further promoting networking among each other.

Following the approach of start-up, with adASTRA, STRABAG focuses on speed to quickly achieve validatable results.  This requires both start-up methodologies and agile working methods as well as a learning culture that always sees mistakes as opportunities. As part of the programme, six crews of five intrapreneurs each, work on individual missions.

The Missions

Five missions, one goal: developing innovative business ideas that help solve some of the Group’s major challenges.

Team teamup –
This crew set out on a mission to make job hunting as easy as online dating – with great success.
Team ENDOWaste –
Sustainability plays an important role in more and more economic sectors. This also applies to the construction industry, the starting point for the idea of Team ENDOWaste.
Team HEATERS –
The Group’s construction sites suffer from high disposal costs, among other things, for wood. Some of the wood comes from packaging materials that the manufacturers technically, from a legal point of view, have to take back. In practice, however, this is difficult to implement, and places a financial burden on the construction sites. Team HEATERS now has a solution.
Team INTERSTELLAR –
The life cycle management of a building needs to be simplified. INTERSTELLAR has found a digital solution.
Team Home of Work –
Current studies show that more than 80% of companies expect even more working from home in the long term. This means that the demand for conventional office space and flexible working options is changing. Home of Work developed and presented a solution to this.
Team unLIMITed –
Every year, an average of around € 82 million worth of waste is disposed of on the Group’s premises in Germany. Due to a lack of recycling options, surplus construction resources such as wood, steel and other materials are also recorded as waste. This was the starting point for Team unLIMIITed.

Five missions, one goal: developing innovative business ideas that help solve some of the Group’s major challenges.

“Digitalisation and innovation mean doing things differently than before. The trick and challenge are to combine this new required mindset with our classic trade, which we have been practising for decades. That’s why I’m trying to join the start-up culture with our corporate-driven desires for innovation and digitalisation.”

Klemens Haselsteiner
Chief Digital Officer, Member of the Management Board STRABAG SE

Being part of the adASTRA mission: on the journey to the stars

The adASTRA intrapreneurship programme guides the crews through different phases on their missions.

In these phases, they work together with coaches, experts, and mentors to gain important insights into markets, ideas, and customers.  All this knowledge is combined in a sound business model, then presented at Demo Day.

adASTRA cleared for take-off:
99 new ideas were submitted. In a thorough process 30 intrapreneurs were selected and 6 missions elaborated.
Crew Onboarding:
Our crews were prepared for their journey. Before Innovation Camp, everyone received exciting astronaut boxes.
The wait is over:
As part of the Innovation Camp, the entire 2021 crew were prepared for their journey. First thoughts and approaches were presented and tested straight away.
Sprint 1 and 2:
Customer personas were developed, and their customer journey defined. The “jobs“ of the customers with all their problems and opportunities were examined more closely, with competition always in mind. But are assumptions always true? The many speculations and hypotheses about possible target groups now must be proved. Interviews were designed to bring light into the darkness and lead the crews towards their goals.
Sprint 3:
Which target group problem has the greatest potential for a business idea? How might we define the problem in a way that stimulates creativity? What could possible solutions to the problem look like?
Sprint 4:
The crews looked at their solution and at what problems the latter would solve for their target groups. To understand the different action steps of customers and users the crews also drew Storyboards.
Sprint 5 and 6:
How do we actually make money with the idea – who pays for what? (Business Model)
How do we reach our customers? (go-to-market)
Evaluation of the status quo – where do we stand?
Problem-solution-fit – based on which hypotheses do we start the testing phase of the prototype?
Creating a roadmap – where are we heading with our mission?
Sprint 7:
Last but not least, the intense phase began. It was all about putting the finishing touches to the business ideas and facing the last big challenge in the programme: selling this business idea.

The adASTRA intrapreneurship programme guides the crews through different phases on their missions.

In these phases, they work together with coaches, experts, and mentors to gain important insights into markets, ideas, and customers.  All this knowledge is combined in a sound business model, then presented at Demo Day.

Demo Day

Showdown. In five-minute presentations, all six teams pitched their elaborated idea in order to receive funding to continue their project. Three out of six teams succeeded, the three projects that did not receive full funding will also be pursued in other ways. A win-win situation for all involved, not only for STRABAG, but primarily for the 30 adASTRA pioneers, who look back on a unique mission..

(German only)

In short, Demo Day was a top-class event. Not only will the pioneers and adASTRA managers take the results of the intrapreneurship programme with them, but above all, the euphoria and spirit that the programme and not least the event brought. It remains exciting to see how the teams and their missions develop in the future. Ongoing updates and news about adASTRA will follow regularly here.

A picture is worth a thousand words


Find out what the crews report on the programme and their experiences.

Team Home of Work
Katharina Six-Hönigsberger, Seyit Can, Daniel Faller, Stefan Schoneboom-Gräfe and Corina Kerschner
Team ENDOWASTE
Anna Martenyi, Christina Lunzer, Tobias Klotz and Dominik Bühler
Team teamup
Julia Grässl, Florian Maulik, Laura Bezic, Sandro Jordan and Kimberly Ebeling
Team HEATERS
Kevin Pusch, Stefan Höhn, Susanne Baumann, Angela Rinn and Timo Riedle

Eine Frage zu adASTRA?
adastra@strabag.com