Austria’s startup scene is on the way to new shores. More and more young companies have established themselves so well on the domestic market that they are now ready to head for the international market. They receive active support from the Born Global Academy of ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ) and cooperation partner weGrow International.
This year, 15 companies had the opportunity to gather know-how for the scaling and internationalization of their business models in an eight-week intensive program. This includes the three scale-ups Nuki, cogvis and KECKEX.
The Demo Day on May 31, 2023, as part of des Connect Days der Vienna Up 23, represents the conclusion of the Born Global Academy for the alumni. Here they can present their products and business ideas to investors. Interested business angels and possible partner companies can apply register for the pitching sessions on May 31, 2022, 1:10 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. in the Austrian Chamber of Commerce in Vienna.
Nuki wants to bring its Smart Locks to the USA
Nuki from Graz manufactures smart locks with which doors can be opened and closed via smartphone. The team around CEO Martin Pansy is working with Apple, Google and Amazon to make home automation devices from different providers compatible. In 2022, Nuki wrote record numbers and achieved a sales increase of more than 60 percent compared to the previous year. According to Pansy, Nuki is already the European market leader in the field of smart locks – and now wants to expand further with the Born Global Academy.
“We are very excited to join Born Global Academy. Even if Nuki has already had some successful international launches, we hope to gain further insights from this – a ‘playbook’ for future market expansion, so to speak. We see joining as a great opportunity to adopt different strategies on how to further expand internationally. With increasing numbers, we now want to push the distribution of our products and services beyond the borders of Europe,” explains Nuki CEO Martin Pansy. The scale-up wants to expand primarily to the USA and Canada, but also to Eastern Europe.
cogvis: Nursing AI company dares to expand in Europe
The Viennese company cogvis specifically wants to support the care sector. It offers a smart sensor system operated by artificial intelligence, which is intended to help with fall prevention and detection in care, thereby relieving the nursing staff. The device can monitor rooms and detect when someone falls in them. Residents of nursing homes would no longer have to press alarm buttons, while the nursing staff would also be relieved. So far, the company has only been active in Austria, but is now venturing into new markets. The Born Global Academy gives cogvis a helping hand.
“We are pleased to be able to take part in this exciting program in order to be able to put the finishing touches to our international scaling plans together with the experts from WeGrow. cogvis already has a lot of experience in Austria in the use of 3D sensors in inpatient care. Based on this success, the company will now expand into new markets including Germany, Switzerland, France, the Benelux and Northern Europe, including Sweden. The expansion to these countries will enable us to make our innovative products accessible to new markets and at the same time promote our growth,” says the Viennese start-up.
KECKEX: weed killer expands international presence
The Vorarlberg-based company KECKEX concentrates on gardening, with a particular focus on sustainability. The company has developed a system for environmentally friendly weed removal. This system relies solely on the properties of heated water. A mixture of steam heated up to 130°C ensures that the weeds on the treated surface are controlled in the same way as the root system. The heat triggers a protein shock in the plant, which destroys the cell wall. As a result, the plant can no longer absorb water, causing it to dry out. According to KECKEX, this is the most natural and environmentally friendly form of weed control.
“The innovations and products from KECKEX are a necessary invention because they contribute to the switch to environmentally friendly processes. This applies to municipal as well as agricultural and private areas,” explains Michael Keckeis, Managing Director of KECKEX. His company has already made the leap to Germany and opened a branch there in 2022. By participating in the Born Global Academy, the company wants to further expand its young international presence.
Born Global Academy: How baningo, bsurance and BestMatch master internationalization
The Born Global Academy is being implemented as part of the internationalization offensive go-international, a joint initiative of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Economy and the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. The co-initiator of the Born Global Academy is the startup initiative Start-up-Now of the WKO Startup Services. cooperation partner weGrow International specializes in enabling startups and scaleups to grow quickly and sustainably. With a network of 150+ scaling experts worldwide, weGrow International has already successfully completed over 300 expansion projects.