In spite of the heat, Vienna’s sektor5 was lively Tuesday night when the non-profit association AustrianStartups held their second meet-up (read about the first Stammtisch here).
“We want to serve as a voice for the community,” said general manager Christoph Jeschke. In light of the upcoming elections, the association says it has started to develop a set of concrete political demands after collecting the results from their online survey. Austrian startup founders, investors, and public funding institutions have questions that politicians from all major parties will try to answer in a series of events.
“We speak for innovative, non-traditional companies”
The Green party was the first one to take on the challenge. Federal spokesperson of the Grüne Wirtschaft (association for liberal entrepreneurs) Volker Plass was confronted with a series of not-so-easy-to-answer questions from the audience (“how do you define a startup?”) but promised to try and speak for innovative, non-traditional companies. “Politicians don’t understand startups,” Plass said. “Austria is working with an old system. It will take a while until we arrive in the 21st century.”
After someone raised the question about the legal form of companies, he argued for a new reform. “GmbH Neu was definitely a step in the right direction but there is much more to do.” The conditions for young innovative entrepreneurs are anything but ideal, he added. “It’s extremely difficult for young people who start a business from scratch.”
What’s new at AustrianStartups?
The event also included an update from AustrianStartups. The team announced their first supporting members (“Förderungsmitglieder”), who contribute to the association financially. Among those are sektor5, Pioneers, Styria Digital, Puls4, Clusterhaus as well as Alps Ventures and HerbstKinsky.
What’s also on the table for AustrianStartups is that they will launch their new website in August. Further, the team plans to implement an events calendar for this coming September. “We want to give an overview of what’s happening in the startup scene in Austria,” said Jeschke. “It’s for everyone, who is not as connected as they might want to be.”
The next Stammtisch is going to be on 20 August, where a spokesperson of either the SPÖ or the ÖVP will have to face the questions from the community.