Austria: Europe’s Crowdfunding Super Star


Austria has a new crowdfunding law, which is a big chance for local SMEs. But also internatinal companies can profit from the new regulation.

Mario Pozzi represents a revolutionary flour. His employer, the Italian family business Varvello 1888, patented a process which combines the taste of white flour with the healthier ingredients of whole wheat flour: Integralbianco. The participants of the second Crowdfunding Symposium in Vienna are excited. Not only because they are fond of the products Pozzi is offering at the Symposium but particularly because he decided for Austria to expand into the German speaking and eastern European market.

The reason for Varvellos decision is Austria’s newest crowdfunding legislation, which makes the country become a convenient location for companies, which want to become successful by involving the crowd. In Varvello’s case, Mario Pozzi wants to obtain 100.000 Euros to 250.000 Euros via the Austrian crowdfunding platform “dasErtragreich” and invest it into the company’s expansion.

Intergralbianco Gerfried Bichler Mario Pozzi
Food Technologist Gerfried Bichler and Mario Pozzi from (c) Integralbianco

Crowdfunding on its way to popularity

Just a few months ago, this would have proven rather difficult. Austria’s former legislation demanded a complete capital market prospect for projects with a capacity of 250.000 Euros or more. This would have eaten up about a fifth of the project’s revenues alone. Now, a simple obligation to inform is sufficient. A reduced form of the prospectus is needed for projects with a volume between 1.5 to five million Euros. Only starting from five million Euros, a full capital market prospect is needed.

“The new legislation makes crowdfunding in Austria suitable for the mass and us a convenient business location”, says Elfriede Sixt, initiator of the Crowdfunding Symposium. This is something not only international companies already understood. “Simon”, for example, is a comparatively affordable photovoltaic installation for end-consumers. On the crowdinvesting platform 1,000×1,000, the project leaders wanted to obtain 1,000 preorders in two month. Their goal was exceeded by almost 90,000 Euros. 

Vienna introduces the Virtual Campus

Especially in the IT-sector crowdfunding projects could become more common in the future. Andrea Geyer-Scholz, initiator of Smart Cities Consulting presented the new Virtual Campus of Vienna during the Symposium. The project, which is singular in Europe, is supposed to connect politics, companies and civil society in the IT-sector and by thus triggering new innovations. crowdfunding could become here an interesting financing- and marketing-tool.

Martin Giesswein explains the Virtual Campus of Vienna (with subtitles):

Crowdfunding has arrived in Austria’s startup sector. SMEs and municipalities, which especially could profit from this new form of financing, are the next ones to jumb on board. Very likely, says initiator Elfriede Sixt. The size of the market is growing rapidly. And because of the new legislation the countrie’s crowdfunding market could become an important factor for Europe.

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