October 15, 2021

Entrepreneurs From Austria Pitch Their Startup in Silicon Valley

While startup formation has increased since the coronavirus pandemic gripped the world, my interactions with founders was confined to video chats over the past 17 months. Communicating online is sufficient when gathering information about a new venture including its product or service, business model, and management team, but there is no replacement of gathering in a room to engage in a meaningful face-to-face conversation. It was therefore a pleasure to attend an event in Sunnyvale, Calif on Sept. 28th, 2021 that featured six startups based in Austria. Each company is listed below followed by the description they provided for the event program:
  1. Druckster is a free on-demand printing platform for university students, powered by a highly targeted employer branding algorithm. We print the right internships and job offers directly into the students’ study material, to connect them with the best career opportunities earlier than ever before.
  2. goUrban offers the globally leading operating system for shared transportation empowering fleet operators to design the mobility of tomorrow. We are driving the transition from ownership to a demand based service, by supporting all transportation use cases within cities. This enables fleet operators to create one shared fleet being available for B2B fleets, personal use and last-mile logistic companies.
  3. Kern Tec has developed several technologies to turn fruit pits from apricot, plum and cherry into new ingredients for the food, beverage and cosmetic industry. These raw materials have been a side product in the fruit industry and are now getting processed into delicious, upcycled food oils, protein powders and dairy alternatives. Over the last years Kern Tec has been able to build a production facility in Austria, process over 1.000 tons and gain +50 B2B customers.
  4. Naboto is an AI powered software that helps (medical) service providers to optimize and automate their scheduling processes (e.g. by predicting individual no-shows). This leads to increased revenue, better quality of care and higher patient satisfaction.
  5. TeamClimate is a climate subscription which helps users to measure, reduce and offset unavoidable CO2 emissions.
  6. Trees was founded by two brothers in Austria in 2019 to explore cannabinoids and help improve people's lives. They are bootstrapped and had their first big success in German teleshopping. The founders think tailored cannabinoid products are the future and should be in the arsenal of every athlete, especially when it comes to gamers. That is why we developed our brand-new CBD e-sports products.

Each presenter did a good job presenting their company's product and business model. However, I found Luca Fichtinger's presentation about Kern Tec particularly insightful. Mr. Fichtinger, Kern Tec's co-founder, explained how his company processes apricot, plum and cherry pits into natural oils, protein powders, and shell granulate. He said that "after the careful cleaning of the fruit pits, the oils are gently cold-pressed at a maximum temperature of 40 degrees Celsius. Guaranteed without additives such as aromas, flavor enhancers, preservatives or artificial colorings." In addition to baking, Kern Tec's products may be used for other applications including cosmetics and industrial products. The oils were made available for sampling at the event.

As co-founder of TeamClimate, Karim Abdel Baky explained that his company built a tool to calculate an individual's carbon footprint, and to offset their emissions and reduce the footprint to zero. According to Mr. Baky, "A subscription through TeamClimate funds three projects that makes you a climate-neutral human." Importantly, these projects are certified by independent parties.

Photo of Entrepreneurs from Austria:
Silicon Valley Forum
This event, which was hosted by the Silicon Valley Forum, was a culmination of a trip the Austrian entrepreneurs made to the Bay Area to meet with serial entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, startup attorneys and advisors, and marketing experts. I am looking forward to sharing future experiences of attending in-person events.

Have you resumed attending in-person events? If so, please share your experiences in the comments.

Aaron Rose is a board member, corporate advisor, and co-founder of great companies. He also serves as the editor of GT Perspectives, an online forum focused on turning perspective into opportunity.

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