Creative Industries at Vienna UP’21: Where Art Meets Business

The creative industries are a leverage for the whole economy, making Austria’s creatives a competitive force on a global scale. At the innovation festival, Vienna UP'21, the sector and the people in it are front and center

  • At Vienna UP’21, an impressive international lineup will meet at the intersection of high-tech innovation and creative future-oriented solutions
  • The Creative Days Vienna gather creative minds from around the world for two days of digital events on May 5 and 6, 2021
  • The focus this year is on the topics of Future Communities, Future Spaces, Future Experiences, Future Production

Creatives don’t always mesh with the high-stakes world of business. Surely, the term “struggling artist” hasn’t become a cliché without reason. Perhaps, in Vienna, we draw this parallel due to the deep-rooted image of famous artists like Mozart and Schiele meeting their end in grim circumstances. Today, digitalization has given way to many new creative industries that are challenging artists to redefine their roles and add some entrepreneurship and even creative leadership to their portfolios.

A Country of Creative Industries

Vienna UP’21 Creative Industries
Every fifth company in Vienna is part of the creative industry sector

According to the latest report from Kreativwirtschaft Austria (KAT) every tenth business in Austria is a part of the creative industries. 157,000 people work in the creative industries boast nearly 44,000 Businesses, which currently employ. The industry has been steadily growing in the last couple of years, reaching a revenue of €22.3 billion Euros in 2017, which is an increase of 22.5% compared to 2008. 

Around 40% of Austria’s creative industries are located in Vienna. Every fifth company in the capital is a part of the industry, a much higher number than the country’s overall average of 11 percent. The biggest sectors of the field are software and gaming as well as marketing. These are dispersed throughout the country, with each state having its own specialty. Tirol and Vorarlberg have an abundancy of architectural firms, the marketing scene is predominantly stationed in Salzburg and Vienna has unsurprisingly the largest performing arts market in the country. 

Vienna to the Rescue

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on entire parts of life, most notably tourism, the cultural sector, and the creative industries. Kreativwirtschaft Austria (KAT) recorded an 80% decline in demand across all creative industries due to COVID-19 measures. To combat the long-term effects of the pandemic, the Vienna Business Agency is offering incentive programs aimed explicitly at small businesses and the innovation sector. Self-employed people can apply for the EPU (Ein-Personen-Unternehmen) grant, that will provide up to €7,000 to chosen business. Another incentive is the Innovate4Vienna 2021 which aims to stimulate innovation by providing subsidies for new projects and ideas. In addition to these incentives, members of the creative industry can also take part in the Creatives for Vienna which awards the best implementation of a concept with a 7,000 Euro grant.   

All the grants mentioned are listed below:

OPB – One Person Businesses:
Support for OPBs intending to make changes to the company’s strategic direction.

Innovate4Vienna 2021:
Funding for innovative projects aimed at overcoming the medium to long-term effects of the coronavirus crisis.

Creatives for Vienna:
€7,000 for the implementation of concept with a focus on “Future Communities”

From Idea to Market

Vienna UP’21 Creative Industries
Burgeoning creative entrepreneurs can develop vital skills at the new Creative Entrepreneurship Coaching Hours by AustrianStartups

Even at the most opportune moment, starting a business is challenging, even more so if the person involved doesn’t have proper tools and education in the field. The non-profit think tank AustrianStartups is working to provide exactly that with their new Creative Entrepreneurship Coaching Hours. The project is a way to show young people the path to self-employment and company founding, said AustrianStartups board member Katharina Unger who spearheads the initiative and is herself a design school graduate who founded the food tech startups Livin Farms. “Creatives finish their education with a product or a well-formed idea but are lacking the knowledge required to monetize their vision,” Unger explained. 

The first event was organized in collaboration with die Angewandte (The University of Applied Arts Vienna) and attracted 30 participants who had the opportunity to learn everything from marketing their products to managing self-employment. According to Unger, Vienna is a bit behind on integrating the creative sector into the market when compared to other European capitals like London or Berlin.   

The process of founding a company is still very much in line with the rest of the Austrian burocracy. It currently takes an average of 21 days to register a business in Austria which is significantly longer compared to Germany’s 8 and UK’s 4.5-day average, based on the World Bank’s Doing Business report.

A Future of Creativity

Festivals like the Vienna UP’21 aim to spotlight innovative ideas from the creative industries and focus on questions surrounding the impact of current technological and social developments on creative work and the opportunities and challenges these developments bring with them. Inspired tech talents will share the stage and screen with graphic designers, architects and innovative performing artists at this international mega-event, curated by the Vienna Business Agency. 

Vienna UP’21 aims to connect startups, investors and talents across different industries at numerous events aimed at offering insight into the world of startups and developing business tools. In fact, the organizers have even dedicated two days specifically to the creative industries. 

The creative industries have undoubtedly carved out a niche for themselves in the present-day business world, and, as it is befitting for an innovative group, they’re already turning their sights to the future. These innovators are using spaces like Vienna UP’21 for sharing knowledge and looking at ways of adapting their skills and talent in an everchanging marketplace. 

Join Vienna’s Creative Industries at Vienna UP’21

Vienna UP’21 Creative Industries
Dive into Vienna’s vibrant startup scene at Vienna UP’21

Long gone are the days when the business world was beige and monochromatic – Vienna’s startup scene has become a multicolored playground with a plethora of fascinating ideas. Join them at Vienna UP’21 and register now at the Vienna UP’21 b2match account to set up meetings and add events to your agenda, and make sure not to miss these creative industry targeted events below.

Creative Days

Creative minds will gather at this year’s Creative Days on May 5 and 6 to break new ground in architecture, design, film, gaming, fashion, music and visual arts. Peruse the international lineup of experts and subscribe to the Vienna Business Agency’s Culture and Technology Podcast to get excited and gather inspiration in anticipation of the two-day event.

Creative Days – Day 1
May 5 2021, 09:00-18:00

Creative Days – Day 2
May 6 2021, 09:00-18:00

Wired Innovate

On May 7, Wired UK is bringing their expertise in future science, technology and culture to Vienna with Wired Innovate, an event that will do a deep dive into sustainability and the future of sectors like fashion, technology and food. Join them for an illuminating broadcast, including a panel discussion with the Vienna Business Agency. Check out the program and book your ticket now!

This article is part of a cooperation with the Vienna Business Agency

Bogdan Brkić
Originally from southern Serbia, he moved to Vienna in 2013 to study German Philology. He is an aspiring journalist whose passions include history, music and French pastries.

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