About a month ago, Austrian finance and stock market blogger Christian Drastil let the community decide on a selection of most promising Austrian startups for an idea that he called the UPside award via his blog and the Facebook page Austrian Startups Pinwall: The crowd decided on the ten most appealing and simply memorable Austrian startups, which were then ranked by financial market experts from Deloitte, business consultants from Rosinger Group, bankers, and private equity managers as well as a member of the Federation of Austrian Industry in terms of their estimated future potential. Patron of the whole process and controller during the selection was the former OMV CEO Richard Schenz.
The questions on the voting, in which each member of the jury could spend one to five points on a startup, were rather straightforward: “Which idea is unique? Which venture is fit for other markets? Which one has the most upside?” wrote blogger and Börse Social founder Drastil on his website. Nominated by the community were blossom.io, iq-foxx, Linemetrics, MySugr, Runtastic, Whatchado, wikifolio, willhaben.at, zoomsquare and kochabo – with the last one having joined later because Viennese startup Shpock did not want to be voted on.
A clear winner and a photo finish between second and third
In the end, Austrian venture Runtastic scored 37 points from the panel of fund and private equity managers, consultants and analysts while the second place was ferociously fought for: Linemetrics managed to get 28 points, whereas the shopping portal willhaben.at finished at the third place with 27 points. Only the first three positions were disclosed, though.
“The next Red Bull, if the firm proves that it can earn money on a continuing basis,” was one of the jury comments for sports app Runtastic, while production-optimising venture Linemetrics was commented on positively by a jury member that this is “a market segment that isn’t covered by the big firms”.
The idea behind it and the future
Blogger Christian Drastil’s intention behind organising the UPside award, besides curiosity, was more media awareness for the upcoming ventures of the Austrian startup scene and connecting this issue also to the capital market by inviting finance experts, in particular, as jury members: “Who knows, maybe [some of the ventures] will be in need of funds one day in order to get to the big breakthrough when the three F’s – Family, Friends and Fools – are exhausted; then, they can always draw from the capital market,” Drastilexplained one of the intentions behind the UPside award on his blog at the beginningof April.
Rosinger Group CEO Gregor Rosinger, for example, turned the attention towards another direction: “In times of economic change, the economy and especially the labour market are in need of a dynamic founders scene. It is imperative to encourage and challenge them and eventually capitalise on them via investors and the capital market,” he is quoted about the award.
When it comes to the future of the UPside award, Drastil points to CEE: “Since there are big research teams of banks for the CEE region, we will also be running an UPside award with a CEE focus in the fall,” Drastil told inventures.eu and added that the three winners Runtastic, Linemetrics and willhaben.at will be offered a place in the jury then as well.