In November 2021, the City of Vienna went live with its own profile on dealroom.co – after a year of preparation by the Vienna Business Agency. The entire startup ecosystem of Vienna, Austria is represented. “Start-ups, investors, public institutions, universities, physical persons – they all can be found on vienna.dealroom.co and create new networking opportunities,” says Gabriele Tatzberger, Head of Startup Services at the Vienna Business Agency.
The profile on dealroom.co is another important step towards internationalization. Until now, the organization was only involved in local initiatives such as Start-up Report, Austrian Start-up Monitor and Austrian Start-ups. On vienna.dealroom.co, the data has now been collected in a freely accessible place where it can be compared internationally. “Leading international location rankings already use data from dealroom.co in their comparisons. So with the new Viennese start-up database on dealroom.co, we have opened wide another window for the international visibility of the Viennese scene,” says Tatzberger.
Investors, start-ups and growth companies
Among other things, dealroom.co works with crowd-based maps in its ecosystem solutions. These represent macro trends as well as detailed data for investors and start-ups. Representations can be customized by the caller. One example is the so-called investment heat map that depicts the strengths of the start-up ecosystem. Also, unicorns as well as record investment periods or the most active venture capitalists in a certain period can be displayed.
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Vienna is still a strong brand in terms of quality of life, music and culture, but it is still not perceived as a center of innovation, explains Gerhard Hirczi, Managing Director of the Vienna Business Agency in a video interview with the online medium Brutkasten. Yet Vienna already has a lot to show for itself in the innovation sector: in 2019, it ranked first in Roland Berger’s global Smart City Index – on par with London.
But according to the analyses of the European Innovation Scoreboard, Vienna is already an innovation leader – measured by its “hidden champions and imaginative companies with a global reputation.” On a European level, Vienna is succeeding above all with its outstanding performance in the life science sector and globally with start-ups in additive manufacturing, says Tatzberger: “Products from Viennese 3D printers are being sent to the moon and the global fintech scene networks in Vienna.”
Other strengths of Vienna’s start-up ecosystem include fintech, enterprise software and edtech (educational technology). As recently as 2021, the tutoring platform gostudent achieved unicorn status.
Stability and long-term focus
An example of Vienna’s fintech scene is the start-up bitpanda, which managed to cross the unicorn threshold in 2021 and is now one of three unicorns in Vienna. bitpanda aims to make investments more accessible through simplified processes and the possibility to invest in stocks, crypto and precious metals on one platform.
In a sense, bitpanda also reflects Vienna’s innovation strategy: The economic policy of the metropolis on the Danube manifests itself in values such as stability and durability. All initiatives aim to create prosperity and quality of life for as many as possible. Above all, it seeks to create high-quality jobs and an excellent infrastructure, according to the Vienna Business Agency.
Vienna has recently benefited from its proximity to Eastern European markets. Since the early 2000s, the location has been used by American, Japanese and Western European corporations to tap into Eastern European markets. In the years since the EU’s eastward expansion, companies from Eastern Europe have also become increasingly active in Vienna. Currently, roughly a third of annual direct investment originates from the DACH countries, the CEE region, and other countries – primarily the EU and the USA.
With the participation in dealroom.co, Vienna has earned a place on the roadmap of important players. The visibility of Vienna as a start-up ecosystem and location of modern and innovative companies is now poised to increase.
Dealroom.co is freely accessible. The Vienna Business Agency only provided the human resources to set up the platform and will also maintain it on an ongoing basis. Data can be entered by participants themselves. dealroom.co then supplements this information with data that is available worldwide, crawled from various sources or calculated with the help of AI.
Now the success of vienna.dealroom.co lies primarily with stakeholders from the scene. They can further develop the quality and informative value of the platform by entering their company data or information on investments that have been made,” says Tatzberger. Better data delivers better search results.
The Vienna Business Agency knows that Austrian investors tend to be cautious when it comes to providing personal information. In the Anglo-Saxon world, things are different. “An interview survey on financing in Vienna showed that domestic investors don’t like to talk about it even when they’ve had a successful round. Maybe we can overcome this hurdle with this tool and show ourselves to be the strong location that we are,” Hirczi said in the above video interview.
To be prepared for the major challenges of the coming years, Vienna wants to focus its efforts as part of its Vienna 2030 economic and innovation strategy. To this end, various topics have been defined. Building on its existing strengths in the life science sector, Vienna is striving to achieve the status of a healthcare metropolis. But innovation potential can also be found in the city’s traditionally high tourist and cultural significance. The city also wants to promote innovation in the areas of smart urban production and contemporary smart solutions for urban living space.
The data platform was founded in 2013 by Yoram Wijngaarde in Amsterdam. He previously worked at Lehman Brothers, among other companies, and was later director of the Noah Conference. At dealroom.co, he provides investors and venture capitalists with the digital capabilities to search specifically for promising startups and growth companies. They can also conduct market research and analysis across industries and locations. Customers have access to an SaaS (software as a service) platform and an API (application programming interface). These tools allow the dealroom.co database to be connected to proprietary business applications and integrated into daily processes.
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