Andreas Tschas is the CEO and co-founder of STARTeurope, an Austrian company that aims to engage and trigger entrepreneurial spirit and action.
Janina Benz: What inspired you to launch STARTeurope?
Andreas Tschas: I am deeply convinced that entrepreneurship, and investing in sustainable technologies and our youth, is the only way out of today’s economic crisis. For this reason I wanted to fill a critical niche in Europe’s business ecosystem. We are more than a launching pad for potential founders and the hub of the Austrian startup scene — we also represent the interests and concerns of startups, and find solutions and alternatives within a political and economic environment.
JB: What do you like best about working with startups?
AT: It is the excitement of unrealized potential coming to fruition. It’s the feeling we are not only contributing to their individual successes, but we are also playing a role in igniting positive influences on our global community — be it in terms of health, energy, communication or transportation. It is also rewarding to feel we are contributing to enhancing people’s lives and their families by the employment opportunities derived by a startup’s success. This is what fuels our insatiable passion to expand our focus and energies across Europe and beyond.
JB: How is the Vienna startup scene different from other countries’?
AT: The scene in Austria is still quite young; the differences have yet to emerge. Having said that, being situated in the heart of Europe and the gateway to the east makes Vienna a future powerhouse for startups to conduct business and thrive. One of our ongoing missions is to connect the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region to western Europe in order to access larger resources of capital.
It is also important to note the governmental support to help it scale. The Austrian government is making some positive inroads and their support is highly welcomed. There is still a long way to go for reforms, but they are making positive steps.
JB: Which European country do you think is a “rising star” in terms of a startup scene with high potential?
AT: I would say Estonia—they are already providing 6-year-old kids with an education in coding. This kind of attitude and direction will have a very positive affect on their future. More countries should take a note out of their playbook.
JB: What is the most difficult problem entrepreneurs face when founding a business?
AT: My top three would be: forming the right team around a brilliant idea, creating a sound business model, and maintaining an unwavering passion in every facet connected to what you are doing. If you can achieve this, support and success will follow.