Meet Startup @TW

Meet Global Startup-Austria Highlights

In early July, the Austrian Commercial Office in Taipei has teamed up with Meet Startup Gathering to organize the “Meet Global Startup-Austria.”

In line with previous events from Meet, the happening aimed to provide a channel for exchange between Taiwanese and Austrian startups, as well as investors. It also reflects the growing involvement of Austrian startups in the global tech game.

The show was opened by BNext Media’s CEO Katie Chen, who warmly welcomed all attendees and the Austrian guests in particular. Subsequently, Stefano La Croce, deputy director of the Austrian Commercial Office in Taipei, addressed the audience and urged them to consider Vienna as a new startup hub.

Stefano La Croce: Austria a paradise for young entrepreneurs

Caption: Stefano La Croce, Deputy Director of Austrian Commercial Office in Taipei.

Although Austria in the public imagination still mainly figures as a romantic tourist destination, its tech industry contributes almost twice as much to the national GDP as the tourism sector.

According to Stefano La Croce, Vienna in particular has managed to attract many startups through its extensive infrastructure and comfortable living environment. Both Runtastic and Shpock are examples of startups that invigorate the city with their innovate spirit.

Austria connects with Taiwan

Besides networking and exchanging ideas, eight Austrian and three Taiwanese startups presented their solutions at Meet Global Startup-Austria. Here we will introduce three outstanding teams from Austria.

The first company, and incidentally the first to pitch their product, is Chatbot Agency. The startup develops chatbots for communication software that are powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. One of the first applications for their solution is an e-commerce chatbot through which users can reach customer service at any time.

Additionally, the young company has also approached East Asian messaging apps Line and WeChat.

Caption:Dr. Barbara Ondrisek, Chatbot Agency’s CEO and co-founder.

As Dr. Barbara Ondrisek, Chatbot Agency’s CEO and co-founder, explains, “WeChat is the second-largest communication App after Facebook with an extremely large user base. What’s more, we have also observed that WeChat and LINE have very loyal users, which is something we value.”

The second startup, TableConnect, proves that the functions of a table can far exceed your imagination.

Their innovative Multi-touch table design is essentially a large touchscreen that can be used widely in hotels and restaurants, who can provide innovative luxury to their customers. For instance, users can read the daily news or magazine articles on the table during their breakfast or afternoon tea.

For now, the Multi-touch table is available in 55 inch and 32 inch versions. TableConnect’s CEO Johann Rath expressed their interest in extending their business to East Asia. Taiwan in particular figures centrally due to the island nation’s great reputation in manufacturing.

The third startup presented here is Powunity, which uses GPS technology to provide travelers with easy access to their stuff.

The company’s founder Stefan Sinnergger explains their product through his love for skiing. An avid alpinist himself, Sinnergger used to be afraid of losing his expensive sport equipment. Thanks to Powunity’s “NeverLose,” GPS figures as the antidote for lost equipment.

The small device comes equipped with GPS and can link up with your smart devices to help you find your stuff. Initially designed for skiing equipment, the startup is now producing NeverLose devices for bikes as well.

Following the positive reception in Europe, Powunity is ready to broaden their scope and expand into East Asia. Currently, they are actively searching for Asian partners with excellent expertise in manufacturing.

Hoping to team up with local companies, Powunity believes that such cooperation could be a “win-win situation” for both sides.

Feliciana Hsu
English journalist and PR for Global Affairs

Feliciana gained her MSc of Media Power and Public Affairs from Royal Holloway, University of London.

After graduating from London, she started her career of being journalist at Business Next Media and Meet Startup @TW Website, and specializes in interviewing about innovation and technology.

Within her career, she has interviewed various experts in their field, including Fleur Pellerin, former French Minister of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Sir Christopher Pissarides, Nobel Prize Laureate in Economic in 2010.