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Technology conference of superlatives – strong participation of Austria

The Web Summit, one of the world’s largest technology conferences, was once again held this year in Lisbon, luring some 70,000 participants from more than 160 nations. 3,000 young companies presented themselves there, including more than 200 from Austria. They used the event to carry out fundraising, generate sales leads and exchange views with other company founders and investors. ABA was also on site and highlighted Austria’s merits as an outstanding business location, especially for startups and scaleups, and also held its own masterclass entitled “Experience XR from Austria”.

This year Austria was strongly represented in Lisbon, with a total of 300 domestic companies and 500 participants, making it the largest Austrian delegation ever in the history of the Web Summit. The exhibition booth operated jointly by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Vienna Business Agency and ABA served as the central contact point for many Austrian participants. Austria not only positioned itself as an attractive business location for companies but also as a country with an outstanding quality of life and exciting job opportunities for international skilled workers.   

The central theme of this year’s Web Summit was the significance of artificial intelligence and its wide range of applications. The focus was on the almost unlimited possibilities of this technology. Andrew McAfee, Deputy Director of the “Center for Digital Business” at the MIT Sloan School of Management, discussed the fact that AI could end up being a solution to many problems and that innovation should not be regulated. However, there were also speakers such as Meredith Whitaker, President of the Signal Foundation, who warned of the dangers that could arise from the misuse of AI. She emphasized the necessity of protecting people’s privacy and critically scrutinizing the utopian promises of large technology companies.   

Masterclass “Experience XR from Austria” 

An event in Lisbon sponsored by ABA and the Vienna Business Agency was dedicated to the topic of extended reality (XR). The panel discussion held in front of a room filled to the very last seat featured three entrepreneurs representing successful startups in Austria i.e., Ben James, Founder of Atlas Design, Sergiu Ardelean, CEO, Co-Founder Artivive and Ioana Carp, Brand Strategist SQUARS who all introduced their companies and explained why they selected the Austrian business location to establish their firms. 

An ABA webinar which was just as well attended was entitled “Austria, small country with huge opportunities”. It focused on the advantages of the job market and life in Austria. The team of WORK in AUSTRIA – the first contact point for skilled workers who would like to work in Austria as well as for companies searching for suitable qualified personnel – held a large number of personal discussions about career opportunities in Austria and also presented its free range of services.  

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