• Startup Night 2024

European Retail Startup Night 2024

When? Thursday, October 24, 2024, from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Where? JO&JOE | IKEA Westbahnhof Vienna, Europaplatz 1/6, 1150 Vienna

Attention merchants, investors, startups, and scaleups! The Retail Association (Handelsverband) and Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws) are seeking the most exciting retail ideas from across Europe.

In collaboration with REWE Group, EY, invest.austria, Austrian Startups, Young & Urban by SPAR, The Female Factor, IKEA, and our long-standing media partner Trending Topics, we are pleased to invite you to the sixth edition of the "European Retail Startup Night" in Vienna. This evening event will highlight particularly sustainable Austrian and European startups with a focus on retail. Food, near-food, or non-food, all categories are welcome.

The objective? To connect innovative retail startups with domestic retail companies and to promote forward-looking innovations and technologies in retail.

In an era where technologies and markets are evolving faster than companies can adapt, continuous engagement with customers and future tech trends is essential for survival. The European Retail Startup Night provides a platform for direct exchange in the heart of Europe, specifically targeting startups, merchants, technology providers, and investors.

The sixth European Retail Startup Night will showcase Austrian and European startups and scaleups, as well as omnichannel best practices with a sustainability focus. Promising cooperation models with young companies for retailers will also be discussed.

Prior to the event, a distinguished jury will select 8 startups to pitch live on stage on October 24, 2024, at JO&JOE in IKEA Westbahnhof Vienna before the judges.

Registration (b2match)

You can find all further information about the event on the b2match platform, where you can register and apply as a startup for the pitch.

go to platform


Florian Haas

Head of startup, EY Austria

Florian Haas is the head of the startup ecosystem at EY Austria and, together with his team, supports founders and young companies in growing sustainably and finding the right partners in order to successfully turn big ideas into big companies. He is the founder and responsible program director for the EY Scale-up Award in Austria, which brings the best scale-ups of today and tomorrow onto the stage. Florian is a speaker and Angel Investor focusing on sustainability and tech.

Ben Ruschin

Managing Partner, Big Cheese Ventures

Ben Ruschin is Managing Partner of Big Cheese Ventures, a company that supports startups with corporate & business development. Ben is co-founder of WeAreDevelopers, an HR tech scaleup and host of the world's largest developer event (>15k developers), which he continues to support as a major shareholder. He also co-founded the HR tech startup Apprentigo, which focuses on up-skilling apprentices and young professionals. Ben is the lead investor in Notarity and mytalents.ai – his portfolio comprises >20 startups, including Consalio & Halm (DE) as well as the Y-Combinator startups Salvy (Brazil) & Hockeystack (USA).  Ben supports his startups with hands-on sales expertise and a global network of decision-makers. He invests via Founders of Europe, Big Cheese Capital and his private family office. Ben is a Forbes 30 Under 30 list-maker and holds a variety of private & public sector board seats. He is married to the opera singer Hila Fahima, they have one son.

Rainer Will

Managing Director, Handelsverband

Since 2014, Rainer Will has been Managing Director of the Austrian Retail Association (Handelsverband) and publisher of the magazine "retail". Among other achievements, he negotiated an industry-wide agreement in the food sector for fair dealings with agriculture and won a competition lawsuit against Amazon to create a fair marketplace for small retailers. Rainer Will is member of the Board of Directors of the European Retail Association eCommerce Europe and is an advisor to the "Tafel Österreich". Prior to this, Will was an advisor at the Finance, Innovation and Technology department of the Austrian Ministry of Economy after serving five years in strategic and operational functions within the Austrian Economic Service (aws). Moreover, Will worked in the private sector for many years, e.g. at the Institute for International Research (IIR) and at Bene AG. Will studied business administration at WU Vienna and the London School of Economics (LSE). He is the author of the books “The End of Online Shopping” and “How Real Are You? Manifesto of Digitalization.” In 2021 and 2022, he was named Crisis Manager of the Year by the Opinion Leaders Network.

Location & Directions

Venue: JO&JOE | IKEA Westbahnhof Vienna, Europaplatz 1/6, 1150 Vienna

Getting There:

  • By Public Transport: The venue is conveniently located at the Westbahnhof train station, accessible via various public transport options including the U3 and U6 subway lines, as well as numerous bus and tram lines.
  • By Car: Parking is available at the IKEA Westbahnhof parking facility. For GPS navigation, use the address Europaplatz 1/6, 1150 Vienna.
  • By Bike: Bike parking facilities are available at the venue.

For further details and assistance, please refer to the JO&JOE website.

Exhibitor and Partnership Opportunities

You have the opportunity to participate as a cooperation partner at all our events.

Partnership Catalogue 2024