Entrepreneurship Breakfast

As prepared

Good morning,

Welcome to the May 2018 Entrepreneurship Breakfast.  Thank you to our partners from the Wirtschaftskammer for hosting us.  It has been an absolute pleasure working with you on this.  We look forward to continuing this cooperation for many years to come.

I want to thank Maximilian Tayenthal for taking the time to speak to us today about his experience as a successful entrepreneur.  In the field of entrepreneurship, role models are very important. Maximilian: We are all looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

This Entrepreneurship Breakfast is bittersweet for me as it will be my last.  Next month I am due to move on to my next assignment in Israel.  It has been one of the many highlights of my three years in Vienna, to spend these mornings with you all, a group of some of the brightest and most engaging people I know in Austria.

As you all know, our new Ambassador, Mr. Trevor Traina, will be arriving in Austria next week.  A highly successful entrepreneur himself, I am sure Ambassador Traina will want to continue this great tradition.  For those of you who do not know, Ambassador Traina is a native of San Francisco and has started several venture-backed companies, including CompareNet and his latest venture, IfOnly.com.  He is well-connected in the entrepreneurship ecosystem of Silicon Valley and will be in a great position to increase connections between American and Austrian entrepreneurs.

Let me review briefly some our successes this year on the entrepreneurship front: On February 16, we hosted FounderTalks at Amerika Haus, bringing high-level Silicon Valley experts in for mentorship opportunities.  On March 5, the U.S. Embassy hosted a send-off reception for this year’s GoSiliconValley program. This is a program run by the Wirtschaftskammer and Aussenwirtschafts Service, which brings Austrian entrepreneurs to California, assists them with placement into local incubators and accelerators, and links them with local venture capital and investment networks.  We also provide information on business and investor visas for the United States.  I am happy to report that this year’s GoSiliconValley program was a rousing success.

Of course, I cannot let a breakfast go by without mentioning Austria to Austin. Last week, we hosted the send-off reception for the participants of our Austria to Austin program.  During their stay in Austin, 34 Austrian entrepreneurs will learn cutting-edge business practices from their American counterparts. But it doesn’t end there.

As we speak, the team from 3DayStartup is in Innsbruck conducting mentorship sessions at MCI.  This is the last stop on our Austria to Austin Roadshow, which also visited Linz and Vienna.  A huge thanks to the WKO offices in each of those cities for their assistance, and in particular to Michael from WKO here in Vienna for helping out with the 3DayStartup program hosted in this very building.

Thank you and enjoy the rest of the morning.