2021 was an unprecedented record year for startups – and Austria is far from having reached its zenith. The record sum of 1.23 billion euros flowed into Austrian start-ups, almost five times the previous year’s record of 234 million euros. By the way, this is a Europe-wide trend.
Just at the right time, well-known heads from the local startup scene have joined forces and founded their own investor for startups in the initial phase with “Founders of Europe”. In Austria, it acts as a contact point for company founders and usually invests six-figure sums in promising start-ups. But “Founders of Europe” offers even more.
The entrepreneurs behind the investment consortium “Founders of Europe” not only pool their financial resources in European technology start-ups. Her portfolio startups – the first investment will be announced in January – also benefit from her extensive network.
The initiative was launched by Benjamin Ruschin last year to provide start-ups in the initial phase with an international network of investors, talents and customers and direct access to venture capital. “We invest across industries in scalable, European startups. We not only provide our financial capital, but also our know-how and network,” emphasizes “Founders of Europe”.
Startups used to have to advertise to attract investors. That has now changed, says Benjamin Ruschin: “Today, investors pitch in order to be allowed to invest in startups”. This is also the reason for the investment consortium. “Due to the oversupply of financial investments, especially in the early stages, startup founders can more or less choose their investors.” They are supported here with exclusive know-how.
“Founders of Europe positions itself as an exciting investor who wants to offer start-ups much more than just financial resources,” says Thomas Urbanek, one of the founders, describing the strategic background of the investment consortium.
Benjamin Ruschin (Co-Founder WeAreDevelopers & CEO Code Capital Holding) and Thomas Urbanek (Co-Founder TAURUS Sicherheitstechnik) are the Managing Partners of the new investment consortium. You support the portfolio founders as mentors in the development phase and in the development of sales structures.
Peter Steinberger (ex-founder PSPDFKit), who announced a 100 million euro investment in his startup PSPDFKit at the end of 2021, supports above all with his product expertise. Larissa Kravitz (Founder Investorella) contributes her finance and investing knowledge. Kambis Kohansal Vajargah (Head of Startup Services of the WKÖ) supports with his many years of startup experience and his network. The Olav founder Christina Neworal (Co-Founder Olav) brings her knowledge in the areas of strategy, positioning, marketing and sales to the startups. And Ari Kravitz – he is considered one of the leading cybersecurity experts in Europe – supports the portfolio startups with his security expertise.