Immi(grant) (entre)Preneurs "The Role of Immigrant Entrepreneurs in the Austrian Start-Up Scene"

Starting your own business may seem like a daunting task under any circumstance, especially in a heavily regulated market such as Austria. Add to that the natural challenges of being an immigrant and you may feel that your business idea has little chance of becoming a reality. This is exactly what foreign origin entrepreneurs discussed. On occasion of the „Gründen in Wien-Tags“ on June 12, Webster Vienna invited the following five panelists to Immi(grant) (Entre)Preneurs-Business Breakfast. All of them made it big in Austria and they shared their stories how they managed to navigate their business idea through the jungle of information and regulation and how to use cultural differences to one’s advantage.

  • Mi-Ja Chun (South Korea), Founder of Akakiko,
  • Damian Izdebski (Poland), Co-founder of DiTech & Techbold,
  • Jennifer Rose (Hungary and Hongkong), Head of Marketing, PR & Franchising Jones Fashion,
  • Kambis Kohansal (Iran), Co-founder of Whatchado,
  • Stefano Cantini (Italy), Managing Director of Karba Pack

Read their best quotes to get the core message- Where there is a will, there is a way!

“There is a huge difference in the entrepreneurial mindset of Austrians and Americans. If your company fails in Austria you go from hero to zero very fast.” – Damian Izdebski

“It’s mostly about the entrepreneurial spirit. Everyone just needs to decide for themselves ‘Do I REALLY want to be an entrepreneur or not?’ And then it does not matter if you are from Nigeria, Italy, the U.S. or Austria.” – Stefano Cantini

“I think the mindset of the Austrian society has to change. There is enough money, enough investors, it’s all about developing a more entrepreneurial mindset.” – Kambis Kohansal

In her closing remarks the US Ambassdor to Austria, HE Alexa Wesner encouraged young entrepreneurs to live their dream and not  to get demoralized by small draw-backs:

“Having a great idea is easy. Taking this idea to the market is extremely hard. In short it takes the right mindset to be a successful entrepreneur, the willingness to take risks and to be flexible. America is a land of immigrants with many immigrant entrepreneurs. They are doing extremely well. The most successful entrepreneurial cities are immigrant cities. I think Vienna has a lot to offer as a hub for successful entrepreneurs.”