Open Austria Initiative as “door opener” to Silicon Valley

Foreign Ministry and Austrian Economic Chamber open joint office in California to support Austrian companies and pave their way for success in Silicon Valley Last night (30 June 2016), Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and Vice President of the Austrian Economic Chamber Jürgen Roth launched the common ‘Open Austria Initiative'.

This joint initiative by the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs and the Austrian Economic Chamber (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, WKÖ) seeks to pave the way to success in California’s Silicon Valley for Austrian science and companies – start-ups and established enterprises alike. Based in their joint office in San Francisco, one expert each from the Foreign Ministry and from AUSSENWIRTSCHAFT AUSTRIA (the Economic Chamber’s foreign trade section) will promote active exchange between the global innovation centre Silicon Valley and Austria.

"Nowhere else in the world is there such a culture of innovation, a readiness to take risks as well as such conviction that entrepreneurship and the realisation of ideas can change the world”, Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz stated when he visited Silicon Valley together with Austrian start-up entrepreneurs last April. The opening of a local Austrian presence is one of the results of this trip. "By launching the 'Open Austria Initiative' we seek to support Austrian start-ups in gaining a foothold in the largest innovation area in the world and to contribute towards establishing sustainable networks for companies and scientific institutions", Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz stressed.

Apart from promoting Austrian business and industry, the initiative also aims to provide enhanced support for existing networks of Austrians in the valley and to enable closer scientific contacts.

“With its research institutions, venture capital companies and business accelerators, Silicon Valley is the Mecca of the start-up scene. Under the ‘Go Silicon Valley’ technology offensive, launched in the context of our ‘go international’ internationalisation offensive, we have since 2010 sought to act as bridge builders to Silicon Valley for qualified Austrian start-ups. Under the ‘Open Austria’ initiative we are now further expanding the range of services provided to Austrian companies“, the Vice-President of the Austrian Economic Chamber Jürgen Roth