Carinthia, a Startup Hotspot

The Alpe-Adria region is an important driver for the Carinthian startup ecosystem and the Carinthian economy. Recently, Carinthia launched the startup platform StartNet, which unites the diverse startup ecosystem in Carinthia and serves as a contact point for potential founders from Austria and abroad.

A perfect place to start a company

Located in the very heart of Europe, Carinthia is a great place to found a company where start-ups benefit not only from stable legal framework conditions but also from a business-friendly legal, social and tax system and an excellent range of funding opportunities as well as great supportive environment providing startups with precious support from the idea development to market growth. 

With a well-deserved reputation as a high-tech hub, Carinthia has already provided many young start-ups with a springboard to international success. The region also boasts a network of ambitious public agencies and institutions who work hard at providing advice and support for anyone wishing to found a company or invest in Carinthia.

Also, founders find Carinthia a great place to start a company. We’ve talked with Ines Ganner, founder and CEO of Carinthian startup NeedNect Solutions GmbH, a web based platform for hotels to get to know their guests’ needs and wishes, even before they arrive at the hotel.

She is very satisfied with the received support: »The “build! Gründerzentrum GmbH” helped us a lot regarding funding and education with their various programs, which match the different startup stages. Whenever we had a question, somebody was there to help- or get help from the right people (e.g. regarding national grants). And the KWF supported NeedNect Solutions with different funding programs and it enabled us to increase the number of employees.” 

Ines Ganner, founder and CEO of NeedNect Solutions GmbH

Easy to connect with the right people

Thanks to the great supportive environment it is easy to connect with the right organizations and the right people that help startups on every step and therefore shorten time to connect. Ines Ganner said: “In Carinthia network is crucial to be successful. build! helped us to meet the right people in different authorities and consultancies. Moreover, we had the pleasure to benefit from senior mentors (ASEP) within two programs, which helped us during different startup stages with their vast expertise in different fields. But I have also learned, that you have to build your own community and get to know the right people who may help you overcoming different challenges.”

Foto by Johannes Puch

A great place to work and to live

Carinthia is a great place to live, and even better if you can work from Carinthia as well. It has a lot of benefits, stunning lakes, amazing mountains, great cuisine and most important: friendly and helpful people.

And with this agrees also Ines Ganner: “In general Carinthia is a great place to work, because different offers for a healthy work-live balance are all just a stones’ throw away. Employees may work at a beautiful setting during the day, and in the afternoon may benefit from one of many breathtaking lakes. Whenever employees enter the next stage of their life, for example founding a family, Carinthia is also the perfect environment for kids and offers many great schools. Furthermore, compared to other regions, Carinthia is cheaper, for example when renting a building.”

Network of ambitious organisations supporting startups

Let’s find out some of these organisations that are working hard at providing advice and support for anyone wishing to found a company or invest in Carinthia.

StartNet Carinthia

StartNet Carinthia is the start-up platform in Carinthia that helps you to start a business. It is a joint project of organizations that are rooted in the field of founding in Carinthia:

  • The AMS Carinthia
  • The BABEG – the Carinthian Business Settlement and Investment Company
  • The build! Gründerzentrum Kärntner – the Innkubator for start-ups in Carinthia, where the project is located
  • The University of Applied Sciences Carinthia
  • The Industrial Association of Carinthia
  • The KWF – Carinthian Economic Development Fund
  • The Lakeside Science & Technology Park
  • The University of Klagenfurt
  • Wirtschaftskammer Kärnten

BABEG | Invest in Carinthia

The Carinthian business scene is not only innovative, creative and open-minded, it also focuses on technology oriented areas such as microelectronics, information technology, mechanical engineering and the plastics and wood industries. And offers excellent conditions for all those planning to start a business, especially in the field of technology.

BABEG is a great springboard to the German speaking markets. It provides support to innovative foreign companies and helps by setting up and growing their businesses in Carinthia. Cooperation with R&D institutions and integration of investors in local value chains is their daily business. They inform and connect – beyond borders.


As a startup centre build! offers support to entrepreneurs in the process of setting up their own businesses. As an incubator, they are a centre of competence, especially for the following kinds of projects:

  • Technology-oriented, knowledge-based and scalable projects with a focus on IoT business innovations
  • Scale-up projects of young businesses (within the first five years of their existence – Young Entrepreneurs Group)
  • Project development of regionally relevant fields of opportunity with high potential for technology-oriented and knowledge-based startups, with the goal of value creation in the region.

They offer to startups following services:

  • Access to the full range of national and regional funding programmes,
  • Networking with high-value partners, experts and mentors,
  • Coaches with experience and specific know-how for startups,
  • Modern infrastructure: offices & co-working spaces,
  • build! Academy – workshops with invited experts,
  • Digital services and technical equipment.

ABA – Austrian Business Agency

Do you aim to locate your company in Austria? Set up a research campus? Search for highly qualified international skilled workers? Or perhaps shoot a new James Bond film? You are right on target with the team at the Austrian Business Agency (ABA). They will ensure that your project in Austria gets off to a successful start! – Free of charge!


KWF stands for future-oriented business promotion and economic development. In addition to improving the financing structure of Carinthian companies, one key area is the stimulation of research and innovation. The KWF acts in the sense of development active. The mission is to generate and create more innovative companies, to ensure the technology transfer from research institutions and universities to innovative companies and to establish an entrepreneurial culture to have more people who have the competences and the habit to found a company.


From idea to prototype: Welcome to the multifunctional hotspot for innovative minds!
MAKERSPACE Carinthia is a successful mix of workshop and workspace on 1500 square meters. In the workshop, you’ll find more than 50 machines for working with fabric, wood, metal and plastic – including high-performance equipment such as a waterjet cutting system or an industrial 3D printer. They’ve also set up comprehensively equipped electronics workstations for their members. In addition to this, there is also the Workspace with co-working workstations, kitchen, meeting room and dedicated office containers.

Silicon Alps Cluster

The Silicon Alps Electronic Cluster connects Start-ups with leading industry players from
the Austrian electronics and microelectronics sector, drives the growth of their solutions,
makes their innovations visible and enables them to appear at industry relevant events and fairs.

SIC – The Software Internet Cluster

The Software Internet Cluster acts as a central contact point in the South of Austria when it comes to connecting to the ICT industry. It is a strong network consisting of many diverse software and IT companies – from fresh startups to globally successful companies – in the region.

WKO Gründerservice

The Austrian Trade Commission is the first port off call to connect businesses in and all over the world with the Austrian ecosystem. They are looking forward to get in touch with innovative startups at PODIM to create a great future togehter.

Startup Carinthia

Startup Carinthia is a network of startups and alumni startups from the region pursuing a common goal: to bring all the players from the Carinthian startup-ecosystem and the alps adriatic region together.

Their principle is „startups help startups“. They aim to support new startups, provide connection to key players and stakeholders in the scene, share their know-how with the community and contribute towards further developing the startup ecosystem.

Related Posts