A short introductory to the Viennese Startup scene

To many foreigners and investors abroad Austria seems like a country locked in its history. With the economic powerhouse Germany to the north, and the high-tech Netherlands above that, many have overlooked the quick developments taking place in Austria. However, regardless of Austria’s startup scene often being neglected, numbers and facts are showing different. Let’s take a deeper look.

Firstly, with a population of 8.5 million and a fast-growing capital Vienna, Austria is brewing a revolution of its own. According to Stadt Wien, between 2006 and 2016, Vienna’s population has grown by 11%. Furthermore, it is expected to increase by another 250,000 by 2029. Austria, is the country of antique beauty. It is also starting to rise as one of the world’s most alluring bases to launch a new business. Examples of Runtastic, the fitness app acquired by Adidas in 2015 for $240 million, and MySugr, a diabetes app acquired by Roche for €74 million, prove the confidence in the region’s startup potential.

On the other hand, events such as Vienna UP’20, the biggest international startup event in Austria, show just how much the city is eager to welcome fresh new ideas and startups. For a whole week, Vienna will be providing an international stage for companies, investors and talents with more than 80 workshops, conferences, networking events and talks.

Moreover, it’s good to mention that Vienna hosts much of Austria’s public start-up infrastructure. The Vienna Business Agency supports local and international companies in all phases of their business development, providing advice on all corporate issues and helping expats get up and running in Vienna. Anyone wanting to start a company, startups, sole traders, domestic and international small and medium-sized enterprises or corporations can receive all the information they need about different areas including:

  • Funding
    For companies from any industry and of any size in Vienna.
  • Real estate
    Business premises, production sites and laboratories of all sizes, with special infrastructure, setups, relocations, expansions, and office leases.
  • Advice
    On all aspects of your business life: personalised and free-of-charge.
  • Networking
    With companies to help you move forward.

The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) grants national funding for industrial research on both the domestic and European levels. Austria Wirtschaftsservice (AWS) is a finance service that offers first-stage, pre-seed and seed finances to businesses.  Despite some of these grants being not too hefty (around €5,000), they can go up to €1 million. The AWS in 2015 funded 3,613 startups with about €218 million and the FFG supported 102 startups with €71 million. These numbers show the Austrian government is willing to give a hand and help new business as much as possible. For more information, AustrianStartups provides a list of federally available grants here.

Furthermore, the City of Vienna and the Vienna Business Agency have launched a large-scale economic push they hope will provide new impetus for 2020.  As part of the VIENNA 2030 business strategy, the Vienna Business Agency will implement three focus projects on the topics of digitalization, neighborhood revival and food. In addition, the Vienna Business Agency has adopted a new brand presence in response to the rapidly changing technological environment and business landscape and in the hope of attracting even more international companies to Vienna.

Additionally, The Vienna Startup package offered by the Vienna Business Agency. The package is awarded to 20 promising startups – a unique opportunity of joining the city’s community with extensive support. It offers a four week program and supports selected international startups who want to develop their business idea in Vienna and explore the Austrian and European market. The startups will not only enjoy free flight tickets, housing, office space and coaching, but get an exclusive introduction to the Austrian startup ecosystem and its players. You can read more about Vienna Business Agency’s startup endeavors to push the Viennese startup scene here.

To work and live in Vienna

When it comes to working conditions, developers in Austria are overall happier than in other countries. According to the 2019 developer survey from Stack Overflow, almost 70% of Austrian devs are happy with their current jobs. This sheds light on the current situation in the Austrian companies related to tech and development.

Finally, as for living conditions; it is enough to say that Vienna has been awarded the Mercer Quality of Living City Ranking award. The city has received the award 10 consecutive times. Vienna scored 99.1 out of 100 points in total in various aspects. Stability, crime, healthcare, personal freedom, housing, recreation, culture, environment, education, public transport, and infrastructure are just some of them.

WeAreDevelopers is proud to call Vienna its headquarters and contribute in making Austria’s capital a tech hub for future companies. Check out our Congress Vienna and feel free to join us in making Vienna and Austria a better networking and idea-sharing place.

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