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ViennaUP’23: Showcasing Vienna as a Global Innovation Hub

A picture of people meeting at ViennaUp'23
Image credit: WirtschaftsagenturWien_PhilippLipiarski
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Vienna has once again taken the global stage, playing host to over 14,000 participants from 96 countries during the nine-day startup festival, ViennaUP’23. From May 30 to June 7, the city buzzed with activity, with hundreds of investors traveling to Vienna and thousands of networking talks and pitching sessions happening throughout the city. 

A Global Meeting Point

This year ViennaUP’23 emerged as a significant meeting point for international attendees, who traveled from the USA, New Zealand, Japan, Thailand, several African nations, Australia, Malaysia, and many countries across Central and Eastern Europe. The event underscored Vienna’s status as a technology and innovation hub with a thriving mix of globally active startups, SMEs and industrial companies.

“The festival is now firmly established among the largest and most relevant startup festivals in Europe and is gaining ever more traction overseas,” said Peter Hanke, Executive City Councillor for Economic Affairs.

Startup World Cup at Vienna'UP 23

Networking and Learning Across Borders

Over the course of nine days, more than 50 individual events were held at 27 different locations in 12 districts of Vienna, fostering international collaborations. Attendees had the chance to engage in discussions on social entrepreneurship, sustainability, creative industries, building business as a female founder, and responsible technology development.

“ViennaUP is unique in that almost the entire domestic startup community hosts individual events under the same umbrella,” said Gerhard Hirczi, Managing Director of the Vienna Business Agency, highlighting the festival’s thematic diversity as a USP.

The festival’s diverse programme offered a conducive environment for startups to network with investors, partners, and potential customers, making it an attractive platform for both local and international participants.

Julia Bialetska, co-founder of S.Lab from Ukraine, was one of the many voices praising the festival. She said, “I really enjoy meeting people at ViennaUP’23. Everyone is so willing to share, discuss things and find solutions to the problems we have currently. ViennaUP is such a great platform for startups to meet investors, to meet partners, to meet potential customers!”

Read more:  Paramidonna is the Demo Day winner at this year's edition of Dare to Scale

Vienna as an Innovation Hotspot

ViennaUP’23 also had the backing of the Federation of Austrian Industries (IV). “It is important for us to show that Vienna is a vibrant technology metropolis with an excellent mix of globally active industrial companies, SMEs and startups, all cooperating with a first-class research community. In this sense, ViennaUP has become a perfect business card for Vienna as an innovative hotspot,”  Johannes Höhrhan, the Managing Director of IV, highlighted,

The enthusiastic responses from attendees indicate that ViennaUP has achieved its goal of showcasing the city’s economic potential to an international audience. According to a post-event survey, approximately 99% of the participants would recommend ViennaUP to others.

As the city basks in the success of ViennaUP’23, preparations are already underway for the next edition, ViennaUP’24, which is scheduled from 3 June to 9 June 2024. 

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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.