Austria is keen to create more links between entrepreneurs in their country and here in Kerala. (Inset: Hans-Joerg Hoertnagl). Photo: Courtesy Pixabay.
Austria is setting its sights on deepening ties between investors and startups in Kerala with an active presence at the Global Huddle that kicks off in Trivandrum this week, says the Trade Commissioner and Commercial Counsellor of the country.
In an exclusive interview with TikTalk Newsletter, Hans-Joerg Hoertnagl also revealed that during his visit, he aims to extend invitations to firms and investors from Kerala for a two-day webinar later this month.
The webinar is being organized by Austria, with the specific goal of fostering collaboration with India-based startups and investors.
The picturesque allure of Austria, reminiscent of the 70s Bollywood movies, coupled with a significant presence of Indian workers, particularly from Kerala, in the Austrian healthcare sector, has led to a noticeable uptick in relations between India and the central European country.
This surge in ties is now translating into increased cooperation and collaboration opportunities, especially within the startup ecosystem.
Hoertnagl emphasized that Austria’s focus during the Global Huddle 2023 is to connect Kerala’s startups with Austrian investors and partners.
“The Austrian Embassy’s Commercial Section aims to identify collaboration opportunities in key sectors such as artificial intelligence, fintech, healthcare, and sustainability.”
Austria's commitment to fostering collaboration is underscored by its historical cooperation with India in the technological sphere, exemplified by the launch of Austria's first two communication satellites by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), based in Kerala's capital.
Earlier this year, Kerala further strengthened these ties with a delegation of startups touring Austria, facilitated by Kerala Startup Mission and Advantage Austria, the country’s official trade promotion organisation. Hoertnagl sees events like the Global Huddle as a golden opportunity for Austrian and Indian startups to connect, fostering partnerships and attracting potential investors.
Austria’s strategic focus areas for collaboration with India, especially Kerala, include:
Artificial Intelligence: Collaborating with Indian startups to develop innovative AI-powered products and services.
Fintech: Partnering with Indian startups to create new financial products and services for both the European and Indian markets.
Healthcare: Exploring collaborations with Indian startups to develop cutting-edge medical devices and treatments.
Sustainability: Leveraging Austria’s leadership in sustainability to collaborate with Indian startups on products and services addressing climate change.
The Austrian diplomat expressed enthusiasm for the potential of events like the Global Huddle 2023 in promoting collaboration, raising awareness of the Austrian startup ecosystem among Indian startups and investors, and attracting talented Indian entrepreneurs to Austria.
Hoertnagl says he hopes IT startups and professionals from Kerala will join the IT Job Days 3.0, a virtual event on November 22-23 connecting international IT talents with leading Austrian companies.
The Austrian diplomat says interactions like the webinar and conclaves like the Global Huddle 2023 have a pivotal role in increasing ties between countries.
“We are excited to participate in the Global Huddle 2023 and to work with our partners in Kerala to make it a success.”