Our world is more connected than ever and mobility is increasingly taken for granted in all aspects and phases of our lives. However, we don’t know much about what role mobility plays for entrepreneurs. In order to find out more about entrepreneurs who left Austria to start their business abroad we cooperated with the Austrian Chamber of Commerce and authored a study examinig the specific circumstances and reasons for entrepreneurs to move abroad.
We identified 233 Austrian founders abroad and interviewed 78 to learn more about their specific reasons and what they appreciate about the location for their business. The most important factors for an attractive location were
* Proximity to market: being close to customers, but also being close to latest developments in the sector, thought leaders and innovators
* Entrepreneurship Ecosystem: service agencies, co-working spaces, incubators, events – all these things matter to increase the likelihood of getting in touch with the right people
* Talent: access to skilled employees is a crucial element for startup success
* Image of the location: how stakeholders perceive the location matters because it sends messages about competency and potential
We discovered that mainly businesses within the knowledge intensive services sector (ICT, Web, Consulting, Creative industries, etc.) move abroad and their destinations are not limited to popular startup hubs, but everywhere in the world, especially European countries. The concrete reasons depended a lot of the specific sector, but they reflect the factors stated above, with another emphasis on opportunities to raise funds.
Austria needs to catch up when it comes to supporting private investors to get involved with startups and creating an efficient regulatory framework for founders. There are numerous concrete suggestions and international examples to learn from in order to build an entrepreneurship friendly ecosystem.
The full text of the study is available upon request.