Interview with the Wolves pack: The origins and future of Wolves Summit Vienna

Date: 10. 1. 2023
By: Eva Slonkova

Only a few months after the traditional Wolves Summit Wroclaw edition, the Wolves team held their first-ever event abroad in Vienna, Austria. Unlike the flagship summit, Wolves Summit Vienna edition was held as a more intimate international event to allow the attendees to get to know the regions' innovation communities and create new connections. The 2-day event took place in weXelerate, Vienna, and online via Hopin at the end on October 2022.

How does the team reflect on organizing their first event abroad, and what are the future plans for Wolves Summit Vienna? AI Startup Incubator is excited to share with you the latest insights from the Wolves pack in the following interview.

Interview with the Wolves pack: The origins and future of Wolves Summit Vienna
The Wolves team at the end of the event

AISI: What made you choose Vienna as the first destination for holding an event abroad?

Michael Chaffe, CEO at Wolves Summit: "Over the years, the key learnings have been to work closely with key stakeholders worldwide to develop a vibrant tech ecosystem and drive economic growth in Central Eastern Europe."

"For the first time, we brought Wolves Summit to a new city poised to become a leading tech and innovation hub. Home to roughly 50% of Austria's startups, Vienna is a perfect destination to host our first-ever abroad edition of this kind", adds Michael.

Wolves Summit Vienna has also been supported by key regional strategic partners, including Vienna Business Agency (VBA) and invest austria.

Gabriele Tatzberger, Director of Startup Services at VBA: "The Vienna Business Agency has long celebrated its close ties to the CEE region. As part of that strong commitment, we are excited to collaborate with the Wolves Summit in Vienna, which will help build new connections between our tech, talent and innovation ecosystems so they can thrive."

AISI: How did the Wolves Summit Vienna edition differ from your traditional Wroclaw editions?

Monika Dawidowicz, Head of Marketing and Programme at Wolves Summit: "Wolves Summit 2022 in Wrocław in May was designed as a mega-tech festival to converge the worlds of talent, digital, and innovation. During Wolves Summit Vienna, we decided to go with a more exclusive format, limiting the event to 2 days. We let international investors from the DACH region and beyond dip their toes into the CEE startup ecosystem and the CEE-based startups to find the right tools to enter new markets."

AISI: What were some of the biggest highlights of the Vienna edition for you?

Wolves Summit team: "We have received over 2000 applications from startups for the Vienna edition. On top of that, more than 1000 attendees and 300 investors and business representatives joined the event. One of the highlights took place on the stage when our partner PwC launched a Net Zero Future50 report produced in partnership with us, featuring the state of climate tech investment in CEE and 50 innovative startups which can contribute to net zero transition in the region. Moreover, several of our partners, including Vienna Business Agency, Demium, and AI Startup Incubator, awarded the most promising teams with special prizes."

Interview with the Wolves pack: The origins and future of Wolves Summit Vienna
Jury at the Wolves Summit Vienna

AISI: What takeaways from Wolves Summit Vienna are you, as a team, going to bring to your future editions?

Monika Dawidowicz: "Organizing an international event of such format in a foreign country for the first time posed a lot of challenges, especially logistics-wise. Luckily, it turned out that many of our former participants are based in Austria. They supported us with recommendations and introductions to the local suppliers and subcontractors as well as potential partners and clients. One big takeaway from that experience is that it never hurts to reach out to your network and just ask."

AISI: What are your plans for the future? Can we expect the summit to return to Vienna in 2023?

Monika Dawidowicz: "Yes. We are hosting three major events in 2023."

  1. Alpha Wolves in London in March: an exclusive 2-day forum connecting business with capital, aimed at GPs, LPs, and growth-stage companies
  2. Wolves Summit 2023 in May: another big tech festival in Wrocław, Poland
  3. And Wolves Summit Vienna in October

AISI: Would you like to share anything else about the Vienna edition?

Wolves Summit team: "We would like to thank our partners again. The event wouldn't have been possible without them! Let's give a special shoutout to our Cooperation Partner Vienna Business Agency & City of Vienna as well as other big supporters: Meeting Destination Vienna, Global Incubator Network Austria, PwC CEE, InnovX, EIT Manufacturing, Fulfin, Wielka Reklama, JWW, Hiventures, invest austria, AI Startup Incubator, weXelerate, Edworking, and others."

Interview with the Wolves pack: The origins and future of Wolves Summit Vienna
Wolves Summit Vienna networking

Photos by: Marcin Zieliński

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