EIT Manufacturing and AVCO join forces to boost investments in manufacturing start-ups

EIT Manufacturing East and the Austrian Private Equity and Venture Capital Organization (AVCO) signed an agreement in November 2022 to collaborate.

Both organisations want to promote investments in industry start-ups and scale-ups in the investor community. They would also like to encourage open innovation and investment activities among manufacturing corporations, with a special focus on Austria and the CEE region.

AVCO represents the interests of private equity in Austria. It was founded as an association in 2001 and has become a central part of the venture capital and private equity ecosystem in Austria and the CEE region. AVCO's more than 115 members – including venture capital/private equity funds, banks, associations, service providers, companies, and individuals – are committed to creating optimal framework conditions for an efficient, growing, and sustainable capital market. Its activities create a space for a high-value exchange among Austrian and CEE investors on the latest trends and opportunities for investment.

EIT Manufacturing East, located in Vienna, Austria, has a vast network of Industry 4.0 and 5.0 start-ups and scale-ups. It provides tech insights from within the European manufacturing sector.

We are very happy to join forces with EIT Manufacturing and bring our investors’ community closer to the innovation potential of the manufacturing sector. The direct dialogue between private equity and venture capital investors and industrials is the precondition to the retention of the local innovation capabilities, the emergence of local industrial champions, and ultimately the sustainability and vitality of the local economy.

Arnaud Béasse, Managing Director, AVCO

Jasmina Popovska, Senior Business Creation Manager at EIT Manufacturing, sees AVCO as a strategic partner to strengthen collaboration with other Austrian investors, especially corporate VCs investing in and supporting industry start-ups and scale-ups.

Since 2021, we have engaged with more than 500 industry start-ups and scale-ups and we actively supported more than 100 of them with access to new market, services, and introductions to our corporate network. We have also invested in 12 start-ups and scale-ups and they receive support in business development and internationalisation. Through AVCO’s network, we plan to ramp up our co-investment activities in the coming three years, as the manufacturing sector needs new solutions and partners to address pressing challenges caused by the global crises and to become more resilient and sustainable.

Jasmina Popovska, Senior Business Creation Manager at EIT Manufacturing

The collaboration between AVCO and EIT Manufacturing East started successfully with invest austria, the flagship event for angel investing, venture capital, and private equity. It connects the entire private funding lifecycle and promotes investments in innovative companies in the DACH, CEE, and beyond. invest austria is organized by AVCO and the Austrian Angel Investors Association (AAIA) and attracts more than 700 participants each year. In the 2022 edition of the event, Jasmina Popovska hosted a panel discussion on “Turning industrial innovation and hidden champions into corporate successes”.

But this is only the beginning. The new partners plan to create impact for manufacturing start-ups and scale-ups as well as investors by bringing their respective networks together. Industrial start-ups face many challenges when it comes to finding investors. Players in the investor community are often unwilling to take the higher risks related to industrial start-ups, especially if their solution consists of hardware elements. The first activities for 2023 are already in the planning phase and both organisations are looking forward to a successful and active collaboration.