A gate to markets in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) – that’s how most entrepreneurs and investors perceive Vienna. The capital of Austria is home to people of 182 different nationalities and one of the most promising startup hubs in Central Europe.
With notable exits of Vienna-based companies like the employer rating platform kununu to XING in 2013, fleamarket app Shpock to a Norwegian publisher for just below 200mn € as well as mySugr to Roche in 2017, and not to forget the Linzer Runtastic to Adidas for $240mn, Austria’s startup scene has drawn quite a bit of international attention already. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, Austria is best for public pre-seed investment;
Vienna is the largest university city in the German speaking countries. With over 200,000 students across 20 public and private universities and 3bn € R&D investment annually, the city produces a constant flow of innovative ideas, which can be best seen at the university incubator INiTS, which provides an incubation program for the early stages and helps to attract investors to follow-on. For example AC & Friends GmbH, Apex Ventures, Business Angel Institute, FSP Ventures, Reimann Investors, btov Partners, Media4Equity Invest have invested in companies in Vienna in the past.
The Vienna Business Agency serves as reference point for entrepreneurs embarking on the start-up journey by providing hands-on information on how to develop and establish a start-up. A number of incubators and accelerators (i5invest, INiTS, Raiffeisen Elevator Lab, Round2 Capital Partners, Agro Innovation Lab, ELEVATE, SLAX, weXelerate), crowd investing platforms (Conda, Fundraizer, 1000*1000), venture capital (Speedinvest, FSP Ventures, Gamma Capital Partners, Capital 300, Apex Ventures) and angel investors (PrimeCrowd, Startup300) are also on stand-by, seeking creative ideas to help launch into the market.
Some of the successful start-up adventures in Vienna include bgood (customer service), bluesource (mobile solutions), byrd (e-commerce logistics), CONDA (crowdinvesting), crystalsol (green energy), Marinomed (R&D), mySugr (health), Robo Wunderkind (robotics), Waytation (customer service), WUGGL (farming), Tricentis (software testing), tourradar (travel), firstbird (recruitment) and anyline (digital data).
Who wants to follow the local scene, has two startup blogs to choose from: Der Brutkasten and TrendingTopics both share news on entrepreneurship and innovation. Also recommended: The Newsletter of Austrian Startup, an association of entreprenerus for entrepreneurs. Regular start-up events, such as the Pioneer Festival, WeAreDevelopers, Entrepreneurship Avenue, i2c Networking Friday, and major competitions, like i2b Business Plan Competion, add to the vibrant scene.
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