The Program


08.30 - 09.00
Registration online

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09.00 - 09.15
Welcome & Opening

Patrick Sagmeister, Deputy Director General, ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber

Overview of the Program
Manfred F. Berger, Partner & Founder of ICONIC Consulting / Neusicht Think Tank

09.15 - 09.30
Engines of growth for Central and Eastern Europe – Market-creating innovations, agile organizations and motivated people

Arnold Schuh, Director, Competence Center for Emerging Markets & CEE, WU Vienna

09.30 - 10.45
Session 1

Market-creating innovations
Moderation: Arnold Schuh

Innovation plays a central role in the upgrading of CEE economies and for future prosperity. Structural changes in demand patterns due to the pandemic, the accelerated adoption of digitalization in all areas of society and sustainability initiatives on a national, EU and global level create new markets for entrepreneurial companies. CEE is well prepared to capture these growth opportunities as it is home of many innovative firms, a large ICT talent pool, vibrant digital ecosystems and highly motivated entrepreneurs.

TWISTO - How buy now pay later disrupts traditional lending models
Pavel Prucek, Head of Product, Twisto, Prague

Lászlo György Dellei, CEO, Kerubiel, Budapest

Robert Agnič, CEO, Plastika Skaza, Velenje

Discussion / Q&A
Panelists and Representatives of ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA:

  • Maria Derler, Deputy Commercial Counsellor/AC Prague
  • Konstantin Bekos, Commercial Counsellor/AC Warsaw.
  • Moderator: Arnold Schuh
10.45 - 11.15
Coffee break
11.15 - 12.30
Session 2

Lack of skilled staff hinders the expansion of existing operations and the growth of new businesses – it is the main barrier to private investment in CEE. The right skills are needed for the digitalization of organizations and the new economy. Traditional education and training systems are often not capable of producing the sought after qualifications, leading to mismatches between supply and demand. In addition, young job candidates have become more demanding – they are looking for companies with an engaging workplace culture, flexible work schemes and a compelling mission.

CODECOOL - We bridge the tech talent gap in Europe
Sigrid Hantusch-Taferner, Country Manager Austria, Codecool Austria

VIAR – Digital transformation with video work instructions
Blaž Zafošnik, Co-Founder, Viar, Celje

Cultural Transformation – The future key to top performance
Gaby Deussen, Vice President Financial, Henkel Eastern Europe, Vienna – How to match startups and talents
Maria Baumgartner, Founder, Speedinvest Heroes, Vienna

Panelists and Representatives of ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA:

  • Wilhelm Nest, Commercial Counsellor/AC Ljubljana
  • Jürgen Schreder, Commercial Counsellor/AC Budapest.
  • Moderator: Manfred F. Berger
12.30 - 13.15
Session 3

Bringing innovations, people and learning together
Moderation: Manfred F. Berger & Arnold Schuh

CEE countries are still lagging behind their Western EU counterparts in their innovation performance due to underfunding, weak cooperation between key actors and brain/innovation drain. Knowledge, talent and (risk) capital are drivers of innovation. To succeed this new growth model needs a better interaction between education, research and innovation, between private and public actors. Entrepreneurial companies play a central role in this translation process of knowledge into products, services and processes. Teaming up with multinational companies has gained in popularity among startups in recent years.


  • Rudolf Dömötör, Director, Entrepreneurship Center, WU Vienna
  • Andreas Nemeth, CEO & Managing Partner, UNIQA Ventures, Vienna
  • Günther Tengel, Managing Partner & Owner, Amrop Jenewein, Vienna