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[Herald Interview] Vienna seeks to attract Korean start-ups

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Published : 2014-06-11 20:30
Updated : 2014-06-17 16:10

The vice mayor of Vienna, Austria, said the city plans to support creative Korean start-ups seeking to set up businesses in the capital.

“We now have a few Korean start-ups in Vienna, but I hope to see more promising Korean companies in the city,” said Vienna’s Vice Mayor Renate Brauner in an interview with the Korea Herald in Seoul.

“Seoul and Vienna have many things in common. Both cities have a combination of tradition and modernity, and a rich cultural heritage, which is a good base for innovation and creativity.” 
Renate Brauner, vice mayor of Vienna. Malte E. Kollenberg

She added that Vienna is known for its music and culture, but it is also an economic hub in Europe.

Vienna now has around 5,700 tech companies which generate 20 billion euros ($27 billion) in annual sales. The city is also providing support for young entrepreneurs to encourage more start-ups.

Recently, it has been aiming to attract foreign companies to make the city more global.

An international team at the city-backed Vienna Business Agency supports foreign start-ups with business consulting in 15 languages, administration, recruiting and funding of up to 500,000 euros.

The vice mayor’s visit to Seoul is part of the city’s efforts to make Vienna more international.

Vienna also hosted a start-up competition in Seoul in which five teams, which had won preliminary rounds among 50 teams, gave presentations about their business ideas. Two final teams were selected.

“The winners will have an opportunity to participate in the Pioneers Festival, Europe’s largest start-up festival in Austria, which will take place in October,” said the vice mayor.

The festival, which draws 3,500 start-up participants every year, aims to become global by attracting more candidates from outside Europe.

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)

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