Startup development in Austria: Lifecycle and challenges
Thanks to its central position in Europe and close business ties with Southeast and Eastern Europe, Austria is steadily growing in startup development related to deep tech (Artificial Intelligence & Big Data, Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics, Agtech & New Foods, and Blockchain). These bright new entrepreneurship adventures contribute to Austria’s economy with new growth, job creation, and new ideas.
Funding, programs, research institutions, and competence centers – everything has to be taken into account when establishing tech startups. In case you are looking for government support, we will give you a tour on how to get your bearings as a young entrepreneur looking to develop fresh ideas into a rock-solid tech startup in Austria.
Startup development misconceptions
The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) is the first port of call in Austria. It acts as a one-stop-shop for industry-related research, supporting young entrepreneurs in developing, implementing, and establishing their ideas. FFG acquires a wide array of funding schemes and services to help turn these ideas into successful products.
As an extended hand of the Austrian government, FFG positioned itself as a vital partner of the startup ecosystem from the very beginning, investing each year between €65-70 million in overall support. The support structure is generally open to any thematic focus and covers up to 80% of each stage’s total costs. Tech entrepreneurs can find additional information fortifying the statement on the following link.
It is a widely accepted misconception that investment in R&D is only for large scale organizations and established brands with generous funds at their disposal. Startups usually wait until the market launch begins with the R&D phase, mainly due to startup development’s agile nature. This makes it difficult to create room for the engineering teams to discover adequate solutions independently later. We strongly advise entrepreneurs to dedicate time and assets for this phase and make the startup scaling process smoother in the later stages.
Apart from large R&D projects funded in the FFG general program with project time of up to 5 years, the small scale project is an example where FFG supports smaller research and development projects carried out alone or in cooperation with 3 parties. As a result, they have commercially usable products, with the funding phase’s maximum duration no longer than 18 months. To make ideas develop fast in a free creative environment, startup owners don’t have to create in-detailed business plans. Perfect!
Startup lifecycle covered from start to finish
If you are already thinking of establishing a tech startup in Austria or already operating one, these eligibility limitations you should consider:
● The organization should not be existing for more than 5 years,
● With a maximum of 249 employees on the payroll,
● Without reorganizations, restructuring, establishing the new company sites, merging existing companies, etc.
Before reaching The Austrian Research Promotion Agency, look at the map of funding schemes to better understand where your startup fits. You can get in touch with FFG personnel by using the following email [email protected].
Like a growing organism, all businesses have a life cycle. Although many factors influence growth, we want to focus on specific growth stages related to funding services available at FFG.
With the range extending from idea generation (e.g., Spin-off Fellowship, Innovation Voucher, Patent Voucher or Impact Innovation) and product development (Projekt.Start, Startup Funding) to market launch (Markt.Start), FFG tends to provide full support and cost coverage as explained on the graphics below.
As every startup story begins with an idea unknown of real-life business mindset limitations, it is essential to provide extensive support during its life cycle to go freely and unclog to the moment when it hits the market.
Austrian startup ecosystem provides environment and infrastructure to give tech startups unlimited freedom to test, enhance, and bring solutions to the digital revolution daily. The rest is on you, young entrepreneurs! Good luck!
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