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weXelerate: Viennese startup hub opens in September with 52 fledgling companies from 14 countries

weXelerate sitzt im Nouvel Tower am Wiener Donaukanal. © weXelerate/Michael Beck
weXelerate sitzt im Nouvel Tower am Wiener Donaukanal. © weXelerate/Michael Beck

Exactly 52 startups hailing from 14 countries form the first batch of selected companies to move in to the new startup hub of weXelerate. Of those, 23 are Austrian startups, while a total of 29 come from all around the world, concretely from Germany (9), the United Kingdom (5), the Czech Republic (4), Poland (2), as well as one each from Canada, France, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and the United States. weXelerate CEO Hassen Kirmaci stated that they had received more than 1,000 application from 72 countries.

A strong focus of many of the selected startups lies on artificial intelligence in the banking and insurance sector (see graphic). Companies dealing with big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) also feature prominently.

© weXelerate

Raiffeisen Informatik as new partner

Startups were deliberately picked from the sectors vertical media, banking, insurance, industry 4.0, energy and infrastructure; this, because they need to match the needs and perspectives of the large businesses backing weXelerate as senior partners, whose employees will work side by side with the budding entrepreneurs at the hub on the Wiener Donaukanal. The 100-day accelerator program is free for the startups – once they have been selected – but big firms pay a yearly contribution of €250,000 to be part of the project. That is also the underlying idea of weXelerate: Corporations can outsource the whole screening and nurturing process of startups to the hub instead of painstakingly building up their own accelerator programs in-house.

The newest partner of weXelerate is Raiffeisen Informatik, joining existing partner companies Acredia, Andritz, Kurier, OeKB, ORF, Österreichische Sportwetten, Palfinger, Österreichische Post, Raiffeisen Landesbank NÖ-Wien, T-Mobile, Uniqa, Volksbank, Wien Energie and Wüstenrot. “A couple of work-intensive weeks lie ahead of us until we can finally welcome the young companies in our house,” said weXelerate CEO Kirmaci. More ‘prominent’ corporations are scheduled to be presented in autumn. Raiffeisen Informatik officially joins in September, a big opening party will take place on November 17.

The leading team behind weXelerate are Hassen Kirmaci, Thomas Polak (Uniqa), Markus Wagner (i5invest), Eveline Steinberg-Kern (Blue Minds Group) and Dominik Greiner (Camouflage Ventures). Mentors in the program are founders like Daniel Strieder (Cashpresso), Moritz Plassnig (Codeship), Klaus Schremser (Gentics, Wikidocs), Stefan Ponsold (SunnyBag) or Arnim Wahls (firstbird).

City of Vienna allocates €277,000

weXelerate has also secured financial backing of the City of Vienna, which supports the project through the Vienna Business Agency with €277,000 (incl. prize money and boni). Here we listed all startup establishments that were promised subsidies from the City of Vienna.

  • weXelerate (€277,026)
  • Talen Garden Vienna (€146,247)
  • Elevate, the Chatbot Accelerator by The Ventury (€249,565)
  • Patent & Founder Factory (€327,160)
© Stadt Wien

The 23 Austrian startups in the program

Among the 23 Austrian startups selected for the program are the following young companies:

In January, the second batch of selected startups will move in to the weXelerate hub. The application period starts in October.

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