On Monday, Austria’s Federal Economic Chamber (WKO) revealed the 20 Austrian IT firms which will participate in this year’s Go Silicon Valley initiative (read our previous article on GSV). The program offers Austrian startups and SMEs a chance to access the USA’s (perhaps the world’s) centre of IT innovation, Silicon Valley, California, and access to its abundant sources of partnership and venture capital. Some of the 56 previous participants include Austrian startups Everbill, Sunnybag, xScited; and blossom.io.
According to WKO’s Rafael Rasinger and Anton Emsenhuber, who manage the program from Vienna and Los Angeles, respectively, 29 participants applied for this year’s juried competition and “because of the high quality of applicants, all 20 slots could be awarded.” Emsenhuber credits the tightening of eligibility criteria this year, which helped to keep the field smaller and more likely to succeed.
Before the jury process started, this year’s applicants were coached during a workshop held on 14th of February. Business consultant Dr. Wendy Williams of Peppermint Solutions discussed cross-cultural communication and pitching advice was given by “Valley Graduate” Alexander Pinter, of Insposo (their informative stacks are available for download here and here).
… and here is their future work space at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunny Vale. Photo: WKOThe Envelope Please…
Reviewed by a jury that included Tom Rice and Fernando Gouveia, of the Valley-based Plug&Play Tech Center, and Valley “Ecobator” Rick Rasmussen, of NestGSV and Sand Hill Angels, this year’s participants are:
- Smart Information Systems GmbH (Smart Assistant e-commerce solution)
- KnowledgeFox GmbH (Knowledge Management)
- Scribando (Book-author tool)
- Connecting Software s.r.o. & Co KG (Server Data integration solution)
- expressFlow.com (cloud storage encryption)
- zoomsquare OG (real estate search platform)
- ‘Masterlizer’ from Maximilian Kamenar (founder of PechaKucha and remixhambane)
- opvizor GmbH (virtual-machine ware auditor)
- PHACTUM Softwareentwicklung GmbH (Mobile/NFC Access & Lock)
- RealLifeConnect Limited, (RFID/NFS – offline social media)
- Appjungs GmbH & Co. KG (xeer, pocket.do, speakenglish apps)
- Stefan Strohmer (yu.my cross-platform link-sharing)
- Superevent Information Systems GmbH (event-management mobile app)
- levatis Software Service GmbH (scheduling software for business and projects)
From Lower Austria:
- Mymundus (browsing history search tool)
- Telecommunication Software GmbH (Samwin telecom solutions)
- VisoCon GmbH (video conferencing platform)
- gr3at (social-media tool for leisure activities)
- Ari Griffner Patentholding KG (previously, maker of pre-fab houses)
- LUZEO GmbH (corporate funding platform)
If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere
Each participant will spend up to three months in Silicon Valley. The first term begins in April and some participants are on the airplane even as this article is being written.
Emsenhuber, returning to his base in Los Angeles this week, believes “Austria enjoys a high potential for innovative companies. Those that can make it in the competitive and fast-paced envrionment of Silicon Valley will also be successful in the US market and competetive internationally.”
WKO Press Release (German)