The Austrian Start-up and Innovation Scene in NYC

Bridges vol. 42, December 2014 / Startup Corner

By Robin Tim Weis

Conventional wisdom would suggest that America’s biggest monthly meeting of entrepreneurs and engineers should occur in Silicon Valley. Instead, the most recent meeting was hosted in New York and gained significant traction as the “New York Tech Meetup,” as noted by Slate, the US cultural magazine.

Over the past decade, New York City has transformed itself into a viable entrepreneurial East coast response to the Bay Area. The 1776 business incubator based in Washington, DC, recently underlined the fact that New York City now ranks just behind Silicon Valley in terms of total venture capital dollars spent.

The recent roadshow, co-hosted by the Office of Science and Technology Austria together with ABA-Invest in Austria, is additional testimony to this rapid development.

The roadshow was held at the Austrian Cultural Forum in NYC, where over 60 people contributed to a packed venue in which Austrian entrepreneurial stakeholders outlined the innovation landscape in Austria. Speakers included accent, the high-tech incubator of Lower Austria, as well as a Fellow from the Austrian Institute of Technology, and directors of both the Office of Science and Technology Austria – Washington and ABA-Invest in Austria.

The testimonial of the evening was provided by the Austrian start-up nextSociety, which helps professionals and entrepreneurs quickly identify the most relevant connections in their network, based on their professional interests and business specialties. 

Austria continues to provide fertile ground for entrepreneurs. The recent Global Entrepreneurship Index, published by the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI Institute), puts Austria in 18th place worldwide when it comes to the efficiency of its national start-up ecosystem. The  article particularly highlighted the avid absorption with technology evident in Austria, as well as the great internationalization of its industries. In sum, the study highlighted Austria as being “innovation-driven.”

The success of the roadshows will be continued into the new year as the Office of Science and Technology Austria – Washington, together with ABA-Invest in Austria, will venture to the Bay Area in order to direct further attention to the dynamic innovation landscape to be found in Austria.

Robin Tim Weis serves as a project manager in OSTA in Washington, DC. Previously, he served as a policy analyst at the International Narcotics Control Board in the United Nations. As a former Europe correspondent for and foreign commercial assistant for the US Embassy in Brussels, he has been a strong proponent of bolstering transatlantic relations. You can follow Robin on Twitter @RobinTimWeis.