Four years ago, I started to get interested in startups. Fresh from the rewarding experience of building up my own football club, I looked for ways to make similar experiences in my professional life. AustrianStartups was exactly what I needed. It was my first contact point and helped me find my first job in the startup scene – taking over the lead of the Pioneers Challenge at Pioneers Festival.  Now, four years and many challenging experiences later, I’m excited to take over as managing director at the very same organization that helped me so much at the beginning of my startup adventure.

Since those early days, AustrianStartups has grown into a respected player in the ecosystem and certainly had a lasting positive impact on numerous startups in Austria. I’m excited to continue this development and reach new milestones with our highly motivated team. We do not want to create an artificial hype, but deliver well-grounded insights into why startups are an important part of our economy, and actively support them in their development. With this in mind, we already carved out some strategic goals for the future that range from establishing an independent startup think tank to becoming more international as an organization.

Still, my plan for the next few weeks will primarily be to listen. I want to talk to as many of you as possible to make sure I really understand the needs and concerns of all stakeholders in the startup ecosystem. So whenever you see me at a startup event, please approach me and tell me how we could make your startup’s life easier. Yesterday, I already had some interesting conversations at our monthly Stammtisch and several people indicated that it would be helpful if AustrianStartups could offer guidelines for legal and financial documents that startups often need. I think that’s a great idea, and we will definitely check what we can offer here. In general, I was blown away by the positive response and optimism for the whole ecosystem. Your enthusiasm will be a great source of energy for the whole team of AustrianStartups.

To translate our visions into reality, we will need to further grow as an organization – so in case you want to join us in our quest to make Austria a startup hotspot, please apply for one of our volunteer positions here:  austrianstartups.com/jobs/. I promise that you will be part of an amazing team, take over responsibility, learn a lot, and ultimately have a strong impact.

Speaking of the team, I want to say thank you. Thank you for giving me such a warm welcome and working so diligently during the last few weeks, when it was still unclear who is going to take over. With your help and the support of our partners, I’m absolutely convinced that together we can lift the Austrian startup ecosystem to the next level.

And now enough of the talking, let’s buckle down to work. I can’t wait to get going and help make Austria the place to be for all startups.

 

Photocredit: Sebastian Popp

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