Until recently Vienna hasn’t generally been known in Europe as a startup hub, but this week has blown that perception out of the water. What appears to be going on is the clear emergence of Vienna as kind of bridge between Eastern and Central Europe on the one hand and the gravitational pull of London and Berlin’s startup ecosystems in Western Europe. The evidence was clear this week, as over 500 people and 50 startups packed into an 18th century ballroom for five days in the combined conference and startup competition billed as Startup Week Europe. There are plenty of pretenders to that nom du clure, but Vienna has proved an awesome hub for the region and the event is sure to take its place in the panoply of European tech conferences now emerging – and appropriately, a minute’s silence was held today in honour of Steve Jobs. The eventual winner of the startups competition was Mysugr, a startup which appears to have captured the zeitgeist of mobile, health and social gaming.
This Vienna-based startup is developing a mobile health app addresses the roughly 350m people worldwide suffer from diabetes. It’s their view that the prime factor for a successful diabetes therapy is behavioural change and plans to apply games, friends and data to the problem.
In a process which filtered down 500 entrants (yes, this just goes to show the explosion of startups coming out of the region) to 50 and to a final 10, the other two finalists in the competition were Mykoob, a social school network designed specifically for primary schools that automates the management of grades and attendance. It’s killer feature is an analysis of a kid’s performance in school where parents can compare their child’s grades with others. Oh yes.
Also a runner up was ￼￼PocketGuide, a City Guide GPS application that guides the user through a city with audio cues, so that they don’t have to fiddle with their phones. Users can create photos, videos and audio notes and the app then creates an impressive 3D video that they can share. Users can try PocketGuide for free but then have to pay for additional content.
Other startups of note included ￼￼DoubleRecall, designed to make viewing ads “fun” and therefore sticky (well, we’ll see). Loftville is a member-only real-estate marketplace where top market renters find the best apartments in cities. Salespod is a sales and productivity app. Saveup is for spontaneous purchasing of cds, dvds, video games by snapping pictures. Puntalo is a mobile phone tracking startup. QuoteRoller is quite a slick looking app for something normally kinda boring: RFPs. Nice execution though. Piano Media is a paid-content aggregator aimed at old world publishers like newspapers.