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Austria Strengthening Venture Capital Structures with Seoul and Shanghai

Published: November 9, 2018; 15:27 · (Vindobona)

Margarete Schramböck, Austrian Federal Minister for Digitisation and Business, visited Seoul, the capital of South Korea and China's greater Shanghai metropolitan area, together with a high-ranking delegation of experts from the fields of digitisation, science and business, with the aim of strengthening Austria as a location for innovation.

Cooperation agreement with D.CAMP, a Korean non-profit foundation, signed. / Picture: © D.CAMP

The primary goal is to make the regions more accessible for Austrian companies.

Austria concludes agreements with target countries Singapore and Hong Kong

This summer, a high-ranking delegation with representatives of the Austrian government, aws and FFG (GIN Austria - Global Incubator Network) already concluded six cooperation agreements with Singapore and Hong Kong.

Cooperation with startup hotspot South Korea to be expanded

This time, before the trip to Shanghai, the delegation visited the South Korean capital Seoul.

In addition to appointments with the tech groups LG and Samsung, the agenda included the signing of an agreement with D.CAMP - a renowned non-profit organization supporting start-ups - and a pitch competition of the Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

"The aim of the cooperation with D.CAMP is to support innovative start-ups from South Korea and Austria mutually with incubation programmes and thus generate an exchange of know-how," Managing Director Henrietta Egerth (FFG) and Managing Director Bernhard Sagmeister (aws) explained.

Especially in South Korea the interest in Austrian start-ups is high. As part of the goSeoul initiative launched by GIN Austria, eight companies have made the leap to Asia this year. This is to be continued.

However, the exchange will also be intensified for South Korean startups. For example, Economics Minister Schramböck will award a "Golden Ticket" for participation in the goAustria Spring 2019 programme at the pitch competition.

The startup will be selected by a top-class jury consisting of representatives from Advantage Austria Seoul, an important and excellent local cooperation partner, GIN Austria and the KOTRA organisers.

Partnership agreements strengthen cooperation in Shanghai

With its expansion into China, Austria is facing an important step towards increasing its innovation potential: "The exchange of ideas and cooperation with Chinese pioneers have a positive influence on innovation growth in Austria. The establishment of new cooperation opportunities for the start-up landscape thus not only contributes to economic growth, but also stimulates the innovation scene," Schramböck said.

To strengthen cooperation, a partnership agreement was also concluded in Shanghai with Chinaccelerator, one of the most successful start-up accelerators on the ground.

The agreement is intended to support innovative start-ups and investors on both sides: "This initiative will give Austrian start-ups easier access to China and enable them to establish themselves more quickly in the ecosystem," emphasise Henrietta Egerth and Bernhard Sagmeister.

They, too, point to the success of the programme for startups, investors and accelerators jointly supported by FFG and aws: "GIN Austria has been successfully networking Austria with hotspots in Asia for several years now. By extending the programme and extending it to a new target region, new opportunities for cooperation will be created in a targeted manner."

Austrian companies in the city of Suzhou, a major city located in southeastern Jiangsu Province of East China, about 100 km northwest of Shanghai, with a population of 4.33 million, were also visited from Shanghai. The visit is intended to help these companies with China's bureaucracy.

GIN Austria was initiated in 2015 by the Austrian Federal Government and funded by the Austrian National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development under the leadership of the Austria Wirtschaftsservice Gesellschaft (aws) and the Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft (FFG).

The objective of the GIN Austria initiative is to network the three target groups startups, incubators and investors in the target areas of Israel, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and China in order to promote Austria's innovation potential.

Startups are supported in their internationalisation with tailor-made programmes (goAustria for international startups, goAsia for Austrian startups).

For investors, the GIN Austria programme offers co-investment opportunities as well as pitching and matchmaking events in Austria and Asia.

In addition, GIN Austria networks Austrian start-ups individually with investors and companies in the GIN target countries.

More than 50 Austrian start-ups have used the GIN Austria programme to date and have thus established themselves in Asia, while at the same time around 70 international start-ups have been involved.