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ViennaUP’22 gathers the CEE innovation communities for a week-long startup festival

Image credit: © Vienna Business Agency by Karin Hackl

Are you ready to talk about startups, hear what key CEE innovators have to say about the future of the regional tech ecosystem, and explore the city of Vienna like never before? ViennaUP’22, the largest community-driven startup festival in Central and Eastern Europe, is taking place in a month’s time to create an interconnected experience for startups, investors, tech enthusiasts, creatives, and visionaries. The week-long festival, which is curated by the Vienna Business Agency, kicks off on May 27th, 2022, and will consist of hybrid, fully-onsite, and online stand-alone events brought by ecosystem program partners.

With 40+ program partners, among which are key players from the international startup scene and high-profile investors, ViennaUP’22 will shine light on hot innovation topics such as smart cities, impact entrepreneurship, life sciences, creative industries, fintech, and many more. 

Besides hearing the perspectives of the curated speakers, the participants will be able to engage in network meetings and lectures, start conversations with like-minded professionals, and get inspired by the atmosphere of Vienna, one of the most diverse startup communities in the CEE. 

Due to the decentralized nature of the ViennaUP’22 festival, all events are independent and interested participants can register accordingly via their links in the official program schedule.

From technology to beyond, and From now to future

The unique setup of the ViennaUP’22 festival consists of multiple types of event formats including conferences, networking sessions, hackathons, workshops, job and talent fairs, pitchings, and “meet the experts” sessions. While the topics that will unfold during the week-long event will be clustered around 4 main areas: Technology and Future, Startup and Investments, Technology and Creativity, and Talent and New Work. 

The ViennaUP’22 festival will aim to show the participants new perspectives on the role of technology in business and society, by tackling topics such as digital humanism, gender equality, and sustainability. There will also be a special focus on showcasing how today’s technology solutions can be an answer for tomorrow’s challenges. And last, but not least, the festival envisions serving as a bridge between the innovation ecosystem of Vienna and the rest of the world. 

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Let’s explore in more detail which will be some of the intriguing events happening throughout the week of May 27 and June 3, 2022. Starting on the first day, the Vienna Business Agency will hold a hybrid free Smart City Summit to highlight what are the steps that businesses and society have to make so that our cities remain liveable for our grandchildren. During Connect Day 2022, corporates will be looking for innovative startup products and services, while the AVCO Investors Breakfast will provide investors and founders with opportunities to mingle, exchange contacts and find valuable partnership leads. 

In addition, Startup Live will host a 3-day bootcamp to help starting founders turn their ideas into business, while NEAR will power the first-ever sustainable blockchain hackathon. The Talent Garden Innovators Week, happening onsite at the campus of Talent Garden, on the other hand, will offer participants an opportunity to improve their skills through workshops, mentoring, and coaching sessions. 

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Why is the festival held in Vienna

To begin with, Vienna has been selected as the World’s Most Liveable City for ten years in a row. The lively atmosphere in the city perfectly reflects the dynamic in the local startup ecosystem. Vienna is also well-known for its knowledge-based economy and for having access to top talents and excellent infrastructure. 

Vienna has emerged as a hub between the West and the CEE, a gateway to the DACH market, and the perfect starting point for market expansion. Considering all of that, it is not a surprise that over 40% of founders in the Austrian startup ecosystem were born in another country. The appeal of the international startup community towards Vienna is evident as results from the European Startup Initiative survey show that the 700 founders voted the Austrian capital as one of the top innovation destinations.

Have a look at the Startup Ecosystem overview of Vienna Business Agency to find out which are the top co-working spaces, incubators, and accelerators or media and services in town and to make a map for your visit during the festival. 

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The Vienna Business Agency offers a “360° service” for companies in Vienna. This includes funding and advice, workshops and coaching for start-ups, assistance with the search for industrial space or office premises, contacts to potential partners in the technology scene or in the creative industries.