Europe-wide study confirms: Knowledge and creativity as top economic drivers in the state capital Startups and creative minds are conquering the international scene from Linz.

In the comparative study "Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor", the European Commission objectively compared 168 cities of all sizes in Europe. In the three categories "Cultural Dynamics", "Creative Industries" and "General Conditions", Linz performed so well that the provincial capital was ranked in the top 5 of European cultural and creative cities overall, taking second place among cultural and creative cities under 250,000 inhabitants. As far as "creative and knowledge-intensive jobs" are concerned, Linz even takes the top position in the study among cities with less than 250,000 inhabitants.

City Councilor Doris Lang-Mayerhofer is delighted with the results: "Linz is now also considered a top location for the creative industries throughout Europe. The Creative Region sees itself as an interface between creative people from the arts and culture scene and the business world. Because only with new ideas and new ways of thinking can lateral thinkers and free thinkers work today on the products and services of tomorrow."

Patrick Bartos, Managing Director of CREATIVE REGION Linz & Upper Austria, wants to contribute to taking Upper Austria's potential even further beyond its borders: "Upper Austria's startups and creatives can definitely keep up with the international competition. That's why it's important to us that they can present themselves in the course of the biggest festivals and trade fairs worldwide."

Florian Lettner (fretello) receives the Golden Ticket of the Startup Exchange Program from Jürgen Rattenberger (Global Incubator Network) at DLD Tel Aviv //


In order to provide Upper Austria's creative minds with the best possible support in this regard, CREATIVE REGION delivers a wide range of offerings for different industries: Renowned furniture and design fairs in Milan and Paris are just as much a part of the program as the world's most important startup events, such as SXSW in Austin/Texas and, most recently, the DLD Festival in Tel Aviv. From September 4-7, 2017, CREATIVE REGION together with Außenwirtschaft Österreich enabled two Upper Austrian startups to present themselves to an international audience at an Austrian Showcase. Also included was a trade show booth and participation in a two-day hackathon.

Fretello and myAlfred successfully applied for this tender. They received support in the form of trade show coaching and travel and marketing expenses. Gregor Pichler, COO & Co-Founder of my-Alfred, is excited about the output: "A strong performance at an international festival is a great reference for us as a young startup. DLD Tel Aviv allowed us to make more contacts in a highly innovative market; including Facebook, Google and Amazon. High-tech companies from Israel are also interesting cooperation partners for the further future."

The app myAlfred finds time for events, todos and the like as a digital butler thanks to artificial intelligence. Away from the calendar, additional external information is also taken into account to find the best possible time. The USP of myAlfred is that imprecise time information, such as "I want to go running next week in the evening" is enough to find a perfect date. For example, when scheduling outdoor sporting events, attention is paid to optimal weather.

Co-founder Gregor Pichler sees the Linz location as a clear advantage, as the "hands-on mentality" of the Upper Austrians also has a positive effect on the local startup scene.  So it's no surprise that version 2.0 will be launched at the end of September: In addition to the app (Android & iOS), myAlfred will soon also be available as an Amazon Alexa Skill, which will allow appointments to be created exclusively by means of voice communication.

The Fretello team also benefited from their trip to Tel Aviv: "Thanks to our award at the Hackathon, we are now part of a two-week startup exchange program between Austria and Israel," says Florian Lettner, CEO & Co-Founder. The app defines itself as a personal guitar teacher for your pocket. An individual training plan is created via smartphone, which continuously adapts to progress. For further development, international appearances are enormously important in order to get into conversation with possible investors, competitors, but also partners. For the guitar app, for example, great musicians such as Magnus Karlsson and Herman Li have been recruited, and talks are underway with stars such as Jeff Loomis.

Another highlight of the last trips was the contact with Fender, one of the most important guitar manufacturers on the market: "One month later, the CTO invited us to come to the headquarters in L.A.," says Lettner.  In the future, a cooperation with Fender regarding business development will be strived for. Fretellos Office in Linz also presents itself internationally: the eleven-strong team has roots in Austria, Spain, Germany and Turkey. The decision to settle in the creative city of Linz proved to be correct and forward-looking; educational institutions such as the FH Hagenberg or JKU not only facilitate the search for employees but also cooperation in the scientific field.

The positive startup mentality in Linz has become much more noticeable, he says, both due to the large increase in startups and the proximity to incubators and the CREATIVE REGION.

Here you can find the link to the study "Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor":

Important facts about Linz at a glance:

Together with Paris (F), Eindhoven (NL), Copenhagen (DK) and Amsterdam (NL), Linz is one of the top 5 cultural and creative cities in Europe. ("Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor" p.24)
Linz is No.2 of the cultural and creative cities in Europe in the class of cities under 250,000 inhabitants ("Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor" p.59)
Linz is No.1 in its class of cities under 250,000 inhabitants in the category "Creative and knowledge-intensive jobs" ("Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor" p.69)Linz is -relatively seen- the cultural and creative city  No1 in Austria and was ranked before Vienna and Graz. ("Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor" p.77)

Both startups are happy to answer questions:

Gregor Pichler, COO & Co- Founder
+43 677 623 820 92

Florian Lettner, CEO & Co-Founder
+43 699 11659596

CREATIVE REGION Linz & Upper Austria GmbH, based in the Tabakfabrik Linz, is funded in equal parts by the City of Linz and the Province of Upper Austria. Its mission is to provide the best possible support for creative professionals and to position the region as a creative industries location. CREATIVE REGION is a hub with and for people and communities in the creative industries.

Contact person for queries:
Verena Kroupa, Press and Public Relations
M: +43 664 88302998