Maggie ChildsWe were fighting an uphill battle. No one was being paid and there was a constant state of upbeat panic. When we founded Metropole, it seemed like the cards were stacked against us.

But we were going to show everyone we could do it; everyone who didn’t believe a tiny media company had any chance of survival. We started out at a co-working space with  startups and freelancers as neighbors.

Like us, their aim was to make a difference and leave their mark on  Vienna, Europe, or the world at large.

We defined and redefined our reason for being: Providing an independent voice and curating Vienna, in English. Whenever we caught ourselves doubting our chances, we fought our way back to the goal. It took guts and I’m proud of the team for having them.

It is a worthy goal, and had nothing to do with the pitch decks and numbers we would rework countless times for investors and grant applications. Founding a company can seem like so many laborious tiny steps that amount to nothing… until one of them does.

This month, we’ve compiled some facinating stats and numbers on innovation and looked at what American and Austrian approaches to innovation mean for founders and businesses. We’ve also spoken to 12 entrepreneurs, who told us about their startup heroes: The people who are helping the innovators and dreamers make their ideas a reality. We’ve spoken to our innovative neighbors in CEE, who are renowned worldwide for tech companies, with wares both hard and soft.

Startups would be nothing without facilitators, who explain their role in the ecosystem in our Profile section. If you’re looking for public support or funding for your startup, we’ve compiled a simple “How To” to get you going.

For science we’ve looked at Vienna’s groundbreaking research on gravitational waves. We’ve reviewed The Smartest Places on Earth on rustbelt regions becoming “brainbelts” of innovation. Finally we’ve given the last word on fostering innovation to U.S. Ambassador Alexa Wesner, herself a serial entrepreneur.

As always, we’ve selected Vienna’s May offerings to give you the best, most interesting and talked-about events of the month. Don’t miss our reviews and previews of exhibitions, concerts and other performances.

So, you innovators, we know you have what it takes. Just remember, when you start working on your product or idea, you still need to leave your desk. There’s so much insight and inspiration in the people and world around you. So whatever you do,

don’t be a stranger,