Why is Vienna a perfect destination to land your startup?
December 2, 2020
min read

Why is Vienna a perfect destination to land your startup?

Adnan Pavlovic
Adnan Pavlovic
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Between Berlin, London, and Amsterdam, recognized as fast-moving, vibrant, and technology-oriented megalopolises in Europe, we often miss Vienna out. Due to being one of the unique technology hubs situated in the middle of the old continent, Vienna is often perceived as a hidden jewel of tech hubs. 

Are you an entrepreneur looking for a place from which you can begin your startup journey, a place loaded with robust infrastructure, networking capabilities, access to venture capital funds, and a place where Saturdays and Sundays are indeed beautiful? Well, then read the lines below. 

Vienna - a city for life

“Vienna - a city for life” is one of the City of Vienna’s current slogans, and indeed each year, Vienna captivates visitors from all over the world. The city, located in the heart of Europe, is famous for its history, musical tradition, wealth, and superb sights in its incomparable atmosphere. Vienna, as well, corresponds as a perfect location for international corporate headquarters and a place to be for a freshly seeded startup that needs to get its bearings before developing products that will contribute to the technology revolution in which we now live. 

The Austrian capital has a robust startup infrastructure with plenty of coworking spaces and accelerators, providing vital support for entrepreneurs. The city has had its share of success stories, including mySugr, Runtastic, Bitpanda, and ready2order.

Startups in Vienna

The latest survey done by the Austrian Startup Monitor in 2019 has confirmed 464 startups being founded in Austria. While in Vienna, more than half of Austrian startups reside. 

What contributes to Vienna to be recognizable as a place to base startup operations in 2020? First of all, robust infrastructure consisted of numerous co-working spaces, such as Talent Garden, and the state of the art transportation system, making it unnecessary to commute with your car. Besides, Vienna has a strong network of various Venture Capital (VC) corporate and university investors. Top VCs include 3TS Capital Partners, Hansmen Group, i5invest, Speedinvest, Apex, Capital300, among others. 

Besides the Austrian government’s state support for startup programs, the Vienna Business Agency provides additional support for startups on a city level. The Vienna Business Agency has been supporting business and the Viennese economy for more than 30 years. Since 2009 the Vienna Business Agency has been involved in supporting startups and building a Vienna startup ecosystem. 

Initiatives such as the Vienna Startup Package from the Vienna Business Agency, a four-month all expenses paid trip including an individual business coaching worth 2,000 Euros to the city for international startups, have led to startups coming to Vienna from all over the world. 

The Vienna Business Agency functions as an information and cooperation platform for Viennese technology developers. To ensure that the city’s potential as a location is fully realized. The Vienna Business Agency assists startups and supports them with targeted funding and a wide range of consultancy and supported activities. 

Source: Austrian Startup Monitor 2019

Led by the conviction that creating a startup ecosystem is more than providing just an infrastructure, that is why - in addition to providing funding, office space, skills, and know-how for startups - they are striving to create a vibrant, entrepreneurship driven community. 

In case you are seriously considering setting your startup in Vienna, take a look at the continuous Innovation funding program developed under the Vienna Business Agency.

Building a startup in Vienna

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is currently playing an important role in the Austrian startup sector. That can be relatable for the Vienna startup scene, as overall, Europe is the second most important hub for AI startups after the United States globally.

In 2005 Bernd Greifeneder started his success story with Dynatrace in Linz. The software company specialized in Artificial Intelligence (AI), but later on, moved to the USA to establish its HQ. Years later, Dynatrace has more than 2200 employees located in 50 countries. But there is one thing that Dynatrace did not have until now: a location in Vienna. As Dynatrace is moving to the Icon Tower at the central train station in Vienna, that is now changing. By December 2020, the Vienna location will be a new home for up to 120 employees - mainly software developers.

On the same level, rapid developments in the FitTech industry have occurred in Austria, where startups have significantly altered the sector and contributed to a real FinTech boom with monoliths such as N26 digital bank. However, considerably smaller ventures such as Viennese ready2order have specialized in cloud-based Point-of-Sale (POS) business. The startup recently announced a new office opening in Germany (Berlin) after a successful €5 million investment round under Reimann and Speedinvest.

Austrian startups have made spectacular exits at the forefront of a rapidly growing startup scene. Vienna, in particular, is increasingly turning into a startup hotspot. According to Startup Report Austria, invested money increased by 63%, from 145 million in 2017 to 237 million in 2018. These include companies such as the flea market app Shpock (finderly) and Hitbox. 

Based on WeAreDevelopers’ market insights, we have created a list of promising startups orbiting around the Vienna tech ecosystem. We recommend using it as a reference point for young entrepreneurs considering establishing their ventures in Austria’s capital.

WeAreDevelopers, Europe’s largest job marketplace for software developers, focuses on the Vienna tech ecosystem and its attractiveness to the international tech companies with a new addition to the WeAreDevelopers Live series. This year, to compensate for the lack of the annual Vienna conference in the iconic Hofburg palace, The Third edition of Live Week will take 5 days. It will stream 5 tracks consisting of hyper-focused coding sessions, hands-on workshops, and live Q&A sessions to help take your skills to the next level. WeAreDevelopers Live Week - The third edition is being brought to you in collaboration with the City of Vienna and Vienna Business Agency.


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