Vienna is best known for classical music, ballroom dancing as well as for its coffeehouse culture. It is regularly voted as one of the best cities in the world to live in. But did you know that Vienna is on a mission to become the startup capital of Europe?
Be in the centre of things.
#1 The right place. Choosing the right location for your startup is a critical business decision. If you click on any lists of “best cities to live in”, Vienna is usually at the top. But compared to European megacities like London or Paris, the cost of living in Vienna is surprisingly low. To give you an example: In Vienna, you can travel on public transport for as cheap as 1 euro a day.
#2 Quality counts. There is a high-quality standard that runs through both public and private spheres. Viennese and Austrians want to make and sell products and services that work and work well.
#3 Connected. Vienna is an international city. It is located in the centre of Europe with over 200 international headquarters and organisations. It is a dynamic business hub for trade between east and west. A glance at the flight arrivals and departures board at Vienna International Airport shows how well Vienna is connected to Western and Central Europe, South East Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Israel, as well as other leading destinations.
Startups are welcome to set up here in Vienna and the best ones have the opportunity to be supported with the Vienna Start-up Package to develop their business idea. For the current round, you can still apply until June 28th, 2017.
#4 Size matters. With 1,9 million inhabitants Vienna is the 7th largest capital in the European Union and 2nd largest German-speaking city after Berlin.
Keep in mind that Austria with its 8,77 million people is a compact market. Nevertheless Vienna is a gateway for doing business between Eastern and Western Europe. The city is also a key business capital within the three German-speaking countries Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Together these three markets have 100 million people with a high purchasing power.
#5 Top Priority. The Austrian government since mid-2016 has made more funds available for innovative startups. It put up 185 million Euros into a package that aims at internationalising the Austrian startup scene.
A new startup visa for non EU-citizens coming to Austria will take effect from July 1st, 2017. The money has also been used speeding up the administrative process for founders. Make no mistake there is still plenty of paper work left. Austrian bureaucracy is demanding, but reliable.
Founding a company, especially a Limited Company (Gmbh), is neither cheap nor fast. But you do not need to come up with the total of 35,000 Euros basic capital all at once. You can start with 5,000 Euros, and of course, you can immediately use your capital.
The Austrian Business Agency ABA is the first port of call for international entrepreneurs wanting to come to Vienna. Once you’ve moved here, the Vienna Business Agency offers initial information about setting up and doing business as well as grants and procedures.
#6 Ecosystem. With more than 200,000 students and 1,500 research institutes, Vienna is a leading worldwide knowledge centre and a good place to find partners and highly educated team members.
Vienna has a complete international startup ecosystem. It offers innovative hubs, co-working spaces, business events, meet-ups, incubators, accelerator programmes, Venture Capital Firms, Crowd Investing Platforms, together with an attractive grants system for startups.
#7 weXelerate, Europe’s largest multi-corporate Startup Hub, is getting ready to open up its 9.000 sqm of innovation space on September 18th 2017. If you’re one of the 50 startups a panel of innovation experts selects to join the weXelerate multi-corporate accelerator program, you will be able to choose from a menu of in-house programs dedicated to your needs and giving you the power and innovation know-how as well as access to world-leading corporates to boost your growth.
Application deadline is July 10th, 2017.