We 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...
We’ve been getting great feedback from our readers over social media. Thanks very much for your thoughts, ideas and insights! Check us out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!To the Editor,Bravo Metropole for presenting both sides of growing up a third culture kid! Even though there are clear advantages to this lifestyle, an identity based on frequent displacement and quick...
With each attempt to strong-arm the media, Turkish President Erdogan only confirms his vulnerabilityTurkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is having a tough time. He thought he had the Europeans over a barrel, thanks to the refugees. But no sooner had he negotiated the Deal of the Decade with German Chancellor Angela Merkel – prying €6 billion out of the...
We need to stop lionizing  start-up businesses simply because we like rooting for the underdog; the Davids over the Goliaths. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t  automatically make you an innovator, a disruptor, a pioneer, a hero, or a pirate. It simply means you’re a business. And while there’s nothing inherently evil about striking out on your own to make a living,...
Austria’s refugee crisis has not only polarized the political landscape,  it has split the country’s ruling party right down the middle As every seasoned police officer knows, fights within families are among the most unpleasant confrontations on the beat.  As tempers escalate, ancient animosities come spilling out, household implements become lethal weapons and the basic social unit – the family...
Melange Funny Man & Virtual Virgin
We met British comedian Patrick Lamb at vrei, a virtual reality lounge in the 7th to talk about comedy, the Viennese and his hood in Hernals“Nope, I’ve never done this before.”Patrick Lamb seemed a bit nervous about venturing into the virtual world, but there was still time. His infectious laugh and deep voice are fatherly, or like a good...
Austrian business innovation
Austria often looks to America’s can-do approach to business, but can it foster its own forward-­leaning ­climate while still preserving its heritage?Anyone who has done business in both Austria and the United States will tell you the same thing. It’s like night and day.This is not to say one is better, or more lucrative. It’s just very different. Some...
Eastern Europe Innovation
Shattering upheavals have left Central and Eastern Europe longing for calm, but a disruptive new generation is looking towards innovationThere has been no shortage of out-of-the-box ideas: A flying car and an energy-self-sufficient mobile home were entries at Vienna’s Pioneers Festival from their neighbors to the east. Recently, a scheme to build the first high-speed air-cushioned “Hyperloop” between Vienna...
Profiles The Unicorn Makers
Startups can’t do it on their own. We met some of the people who give Austrian entrepreneurs the support they need, through technical know-how, state funding, angel investment, or mentoringPhotos: Lennart Horst Birgit Hofreiter Assistant Professor of Informatics & Head of the Informatics Innovation Center (i2c) Start-ups seek a connection to science. Scientists investigate business potential of conducted R&D. Industry seeks connection...
How to... Fund your startup
Navigating your startup safely through Austria’s bureaucracy is tricky. Fortunately, a multitude of subsidies can give you a strong tailwindBureaucracy is a high art in Austria. Imported, no doubt, with the “red tape” that bound court documents in 16th-century Habsburg Spain, and centralized in the 18th under Maria Theresia to hold her far-flung empire together, Austria has long been...
Crystalline Mirror Solutions
In the Austrian success story of gravitational waves, detecting something tiny can be a huge leap forwardOn February 11, 2016, the last of Albert Einstein’s scientific predictions was officially confirmed. Now, a hundred years after the physicist had predicted their existence in his theory of general relativity, researchers found evidence of “gravitational waves” – waves caused by massive cosmic cataclysms...
Austrian Startup
We asked twelve Austrian founders to pick their local hero from the startup ecosystemGiven how recent the startup scene is in Austria, there’s a lot going on. The first  STARTvienna event in 2009 with 40 attendees, became Pioneers Festival that now welcomes 2,500 participants every year.Equally important is the nonprofit ­AustrianStartups, supporting the scene since 2013, hosting a monthly...
How yesterday’s industrial graveyards are turning into today’s hotbeds of innovationAkron and Albany, Dresden and Eindhoven, Oulo and Portland – if you have ever heard of these places, it was probably not in connection with cutting-edge research, industrial prowess and high-tech innovation. But you should have.Antoine van Agtmael and Fred Bakker, an American economist and a Dutch journalist, respectively,...
Vienna Temporary Spaces for Innovation
Abandoned offices and storefronts in Vienna provide affordable temporary space for creative urban innovationWithout human activity a city’s surface beauty is no more than a picturesque movie set. Unfairly considered behind New York or Berlin in innovation and contemporary design, Vienna has found a way to unlock the potential of its ample unused, lofty commercial and residential buildings, repurposing...
The Viennese can be a tad formal at times: strings of titles, hand kissing, fancy dress.  But when you’ve had the Hofburg down the street for some 750 years, it can gradually make an impression. With 16 wings, over 2,600 rooms, the former seat of imperial power and winter residence of the Habsburgs is a city unto itself. With the...
At the Kunsthalle, The Promise of Total Automation imagines the shape of things to comeAn intriguing attempt to parse the possible futures headed our way, The Promise of Total Automation at the Kunsthalle examines the implications of our age of change.  It’s what the curators call “the allure of an automated life” that is renegotiating the terms of what...
Expert Jane Kallir puts Egon Schiele’s works under the microscopeThere’s nothing like a good art forgery scandal to get the blood flowing: beautiful people in elegant settings, big money and big egos, a starving “artist” fooling the experts…. It’s practically irresistible – like the movie How to Steal a Million, where Audrey Hepburn snatches Cellini’s Venus from a Parisian...
Austrian band contests and the next generation in pursuit of the big stageby Benjamin Kubaczek & Cynthia Peck “Competitions are for horses, not artists,” quipped Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. Perhaps. But the world thinks otherwise, and competitions are flourishing – not only in classical music.Band contests have seen an upsurge in recent years. There are 50 in Austria alone, according...
The popular urban happening celebrates a decade on Vienna’s inner-city waterwayOriginally set in motion by Martin Staudinger in 2007, the free festival down by the water started on a simple premise: “We have a beautiful waterway in the city center but don’t use the site around it.” Relatively unused at the time, the Danube Canal has meanwhile transformed into...
This year’s Europop fiesta has the The Good, The Bad, The Bizarre… and The AustraliansBest known as the launch pad of ABBA, the European Broadcasting Union’s annual song contest has been described as an Olympiad for cheesy pop music where extremely partisan voting by member countries is part of the fun.Carrying the microphone for Austria this year is singer...
The Wiener Festwochen bring the bleeding edge in theaterby Michael Bernstein & Dardis McNamee Vienna is a city of theaters – there are 104 active stages for drama, music theater and cabaret currently listed on the city’s website, not counting the opera houses and concert halls. It’s a centuries long love affair, ever since the Jesuits first staged morality plays...
Vienna Independent Shorts celebrates stylish strokes of avant-garde cinemaIn this age of shortened attention spans, when smartphones are streaming video-on-demand, cinema’s short form is making an unexpected comeback. Originally the movie format of carnival sideshows, short films today do what their feature-length cousins can’t: act as an experimental playground where creativity can run wild.Locally, many of the best are...
The Filmmuseum presents the heady days before censorshipTinseltown ran wild for a few short years between  the advent of “talkies” and the implementation of a self-imposed censorship code in 1934. Taking advantage of the new possibilities of dialogue, movies showed realistic criminals getting away clean, promiscuity, substance abuse, and lewd-yet-witty blondes spouting suggestive one-liners, all to titillate a jaded...
Maggie Smith brings Alan Bennett’s touching memoir to lifeDescribing itself as a “mostly true” story (more on that later), The Lady in the Van dramatizes the unlikely relationship between celebrated playwright/screenwriter Alan Bennett (The Madness of King George, The History Boys), played by Alex Jennings, and eccentric bag lady Ms. Sheperd (played by Maggie Smith, reprising her stage role),...
Jodie Foster directs this fairy tale for the Great RecessionUnfolding in real time, Money Monster features George Clooney as Lee Gates, a smug, arrogant TV host of a financial advice show, taken hostage on air by an irate small-time investor wiped out by a bad tip of his. Demanding justice or at least answers from the faceless financiers that...
For indoors and out, Austrian companies have come up with simple solutions for our everyday needs, at home and on the moveWith technology advancing at breakneck speed, consumer electronics are now more ingenious than ever. And Austrian inventors are taking full advantage of the opportunities.  Here are two gadgets conceived locally, filling needs you never knew you had!Portable PowerTrekking...
The prominent Pratersauna nightclub reopens after renovationThe rumor mill was abuzz: Last month, Martin Ho, the Dots Group entrepreneur, sent out invitations titled Heute wie Damals (Today as Before). The announcement offered 500 lucky winners a lifetime free entry to the recently reopened and ever-infamous Pratersauna club, hidden in the Prater woods a stone’s throw from the WU. Shared...
The wacky restaurant Rollercoaster throws your food for a loopThere’s a sudden silence hanging above the train for a few brief moments as passengers prepare for the stomach-churning descent. Plummeting down, gravity expresses itself in full, jolting the tiny cars to and fro, turning spectator’s stomachs as they watch.  The speed increases by the second, the entire carriage shaking as...
The communications graduate ensures that Hidden Kitchen is far from a secretIn the highly competitive world of Viennese lunch cantines, Hidden Kitchen has made a name for itself with its tasty-but-healthy soups, salads and curries. Its culinary master is 28-year-old chef Lisa Rauchbüchl, who completed a Master’s Degree in Communications but chose to teach herself how to cook instead...
Austria’s international wine festival uncorkedImagine throngs of winemakers cramped shoulder to shoulder, vying for the attention of thirsty drinkers (sorry, “tasters”) who jostle for position with wine-stained hands outstretched, glasses hung around necks for safe keeping, ready and willing to sample anything over 10 per cent alcohol. This is the VieVinum, Austria’s biannual blockbuster trade fair for wine growers,...
Once a Cold War no-man’s-land, the Thayatal national park is now a restored oasis of calm and natural beautySitting atop a mossy bluff overlooking the Thaya River near Hardegg, it’s hard to believe the Iron Curtain once ran through here. Gone is the barbed wire that once coiled along the riverbanks. The machine gun platforms and guard towers have...
The U.S. Ambassador to Austria, Alexa Wesner has been supporting the Austrian startup community since she took office in 2013. Her commitment stems from her own experience as a serial entrepreneur. We asked her what she thinks are the most important elements when it comes to developing a successful ecosystem of innovation.  Dear Readers, Innovators courageously engineer better societies, oftentimes at...
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Stories are what make a city great. METROPOLE tells Vienna’s in English. Whether it’s insights about personalities, businesses or ideas, METROPOLE curates them for an international public. Looking to enrich your experience here? METROPOLE recommends events and locations to help make your Vienna story worth the telling.