For the interview series Meet the Mieters I was warmly welcomed by Herwig, Henry and Patrick in the office of i5invest. Read on to find out what these three gentlemen have revealed about their work at i5invest, innovation and ongoing projects.
weX: Nice to meet you all. What services does i5invest offer its clients?
Herwig: i5invest helps companies develop further and grow internationally based on long-term partnerships. We usually work with companies of the size from 30 to 200 people, which address the European and US market with scalable business models. Our team consists of 40 employees scattered all across Europe and the US. Our main office is the one here in the hub. Our corporate language is English as people come from around 12 different nationalities, Austrians are the minority.
Henry: Our business is organized in verticals. We have 3 or 4 projects per vertical. I am responsible for projects in the area of cybersecurity and health tech.
Patrick: I oversee collaboration and productivity in an enterprise application context with SaaS business models.
Herwig: In Berlin we have verticals focussing on industrial tech, robotics and AI. So to sum up, we are actively working in different kinds of fields.
Henry: We are also developing projects outside the DACH region. So far we have clients in the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, CZ and Hungary, just to name a few.
Herwig: We are agnostic in terms of company age and size. Historically we have been mostly working with founder owned or managed companies, but receive increasing interest from VCs and their portfolio companies.
weX: You mentioned before that you work with mid-sized companies, not so much startup companies. In what way does it make sense for you to have your office in a startup hub?
Herwig: The startups of today are the scale up companies of tomorrow and therefore potential clients. There are also VCs we work together with on a regular basis. And it is a cool building (laughs).
Patrick: I would say that you learn a lot. There is a good network in the hub. We are linked to startups as we give presentations and workshop as part of the trainings in the batches. In batch 3 we held a workshop together with SpeedInvest focussing on how startups can do better fundraising. We also prepare them for their work with bigger companies and potential investors. We are part of the mentoring program. With some mentees our work continues even when the batch ended.
Henry: Startups from batch 1 are slowly becoming interesting for us now as they have reached a critical size.
Patrick: Funny comment on the side: i5invest is a client of Domonda. They were startups from batch 1.
Henry: The hub is great, it puts Vienna in a central spot in terms of innovation and modern technology.
weX: Talking about innovation. What is your opinion on it? Are we as a hub innovative?
Herwig: Innovation is often just a buzz-word and regularly only attributed to startups and young companies. But as far as I am concerned innovation can happen anywhere and anytime. There are some companies that have been in business for a very long time. They always come up or have to come up with new innovative and creative ideas to stay in business. You can’t judge a company’s innovative potential without looking under its hood.
Patrick: We constantly invent ourselves anew. We need to do that for best working together with our partners. We need to put ourselves in their mindset.
Henry: Innovation for me means to stay agile, young in your mind and creative. There are a lot of companies that have great, innovative products. But you need to create traction for these products. Otherwise they will be sitting on the shelves of shops and no one will buy them as people don’t understand what they are for. I love working with companies that have these amazingly cool products. It is fun to put them into the limelight.
Herwig: As for your second question, I would say, yes, the weXelerate hub is the place where innovation is happening. There are many different players in this building, all of which are working on cool projects and ideas.
Henry: I agree. As mentioned above, the hub is unique within Austria and puts Vienna in a central spot. Customers coming to the hub expect a modern and innovative place of work.