Why do startups never hire commercial graduates

That was the HANDELSKOLLOQUIUM 2020: Austria's most traditional retail congress took place virtually for the first time. Science prize awarded by Austrian trade.

Economics Minister Schramböck, SPAR Board Member Gerhard Drexel and hundreds of digital participants at the 30th edition of the industry highlight.

The 30th trade colloquium took place virtually on Tuesday, December 1st, due to the corona for the first time. Hundreds of digital participants followed the "Virtual Edition" of the annual industry highlight via livestream via the iChair platform from their home office. The recording took place in the historical ambience of the Schönbrunn Palace pharmacy wing.

Decision-makers discussed the future of retail digitally

The program of the most traditional trade congress in the country was more diverse than ever: The who's who of the domestic trade industry discussed with decision-makers from politics, business, science and technology about sustainable location planning, innovative logistics, the payment solutions of the future, the effects of COVID -Crisis on Austrian trade, fair taxation of international eCommerce platforms such as Amazon & Co, the advantages of digital identity, disruptive startups and much more. The event was moderated first-class by PULS 4 News-Anchor Werner Sejka.

Minister of Economic Affairs Margarete Schramböck dedicated her opening speech to digitization and the current eCommerce boom in retail, Mediashop CEO Katharina Schneider In her address she gave an exciting insight into the world of retail startups and NiceShops founders Roland Fink discussed together with Tabea Fian (Vienna University of Technology) and trade association for SME ambassadors Markus Miklautsch (edvART.com) via digital platforms as a success factor.

Julia Stone (Billa), Florian Burgstaller (Shopreme), Georg Müller (THEWAY), Maimuna Mosser (IKEA Austria), Walter Wölfler and Martin Ofner (both CBRE) caused enthusiasm with their project presentations as did the payment podium all around Harald Flatscher (PSA), Christian Rau (Mastercard), Gerald S. Eder (CRIF) and Matthias Stöcher (MySecureID). As part of the traditional startup session under the auspices of Werner Wutscher (NVS) and Roman Schwarzenecker (ACSP) the founders of Alpengummi, Sindbad, Hackabu, Swarm Analytics and blaenk were able to pitch their solutions this year.

Science award of Austrian trade: graduates of WU Vienna, FH Burgenland and FH Salzburg awarded

One of the highlights of the virtual conference was the first presentation of the 7,000 Euro Science Prize of Austrian Commerce for outstanding scientific publications that are highly relevant to the retail industry. The award was chaired by a high-profile 6-member jury Utho Creusen awarded in three categories (dissertation, master's thesis, bachelor thesis).

In the "Dissertation" category Fabian Nindl from WU Vienna for his doctoral thesis "From Ownership to Access - changing customer attitudes in sports retailing". Helena Kurevija (FH Burgenland) was able to secure first place in the "Master's thesis" category for her thesis "The shopping behavior and shopping experience in drugstore retailers". The best "Bachelor thesis" of the year was "The Psychology of Possession - Sharing as a Business Model" by Stephanie Unterberger (FH Salzburg) awarded.

The submission deadline for the Trade Association Science Prize 2021 starts on January 1st, 2021. More about this HERE.

A top-class keynote from SPAR board member Gerhard Drexel on the state of Austrian retail as the grand finale

The highlight and culmination of the 2020 trade colloquium was the keynote from the industry legend Gerhard Drexel, since 2001 Chairman of the Board of SPAR. Born in Dornbirn, he found clear words about politics, thanked all partners along the value chain for the excellent cooperation in times of the Corona crisis and pleaded for a de-discrimination of stationary retail and stricter regulation of global eCommerce marketplaces.

"The suffering of the stationary non-food trade is great and becomes an unintended support program for Amazon & Co. The stationary trade has to compete for customers with heavy armor, the international online retailers, on the other hand, act as free as a bird"so Gerhard Drexel, "All the more important are free associations like the trade association. You are our real representation of interests. Thank you very much for the excellent cooperation. The trade association is the competent mouthpiece of trade and thus society."

The highlights of the keynote by Gerhard Drexel can be heard exclusively HERE.

"The first virtual trade colloquium set new standards. We would like to thank all members, partners, sponsors, all speakers, especially Dr. Gerhard Drexel, as well as the hundreds of participants. They all made this event possible and with theirs digital presence enriches ", said the President of the Trade Association Stephan Mayer-Heinisch and trade association manager Rainer Will finally.

Keynote: Margarete Schramböck

Federal Minister for Digitization and Business Location

Margarete Schramböck studied business administration at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and graduated in 1997 with a doctorate. She then completed an MBA at the University of Lyon. From 1995 she held various management positions for Alcatel, from 2002 as CEO of NextiraOne (IT communications company based in Paris) and from 2014 as CEO of Dimension Data Austria (network and communications technology and IT services). In May 2016 she took over the management of A1 Telekom Austria before she was sworn in as Federal Minister for Science, Research and Economy in December 2017. In January 2020 she was again sworn in as Federal Minister for Digitization and Business Location.

Florian Burgstaller

CEO, shopreme

Florian Burgstaller founded wirecube GmbH together with Florian Becker and Markus Eibel in 2015 after completing his computer science degree at Graz University of Technology. This resulted in the Scan & Go product shopreme, which was spun off into a separate company at the beginning of 2020 together with the partner Umdasch Group Ventures. Florian Burgstaller acts as CEO of shopreme GmbH and is in charge of the ongoing development of the product.

Utho Creusen

Honorary professor, University of Münster

Utho Creusen studied economics, sociology and social psychology at the University of Cologne, where he received his doctorate in 1983. In 1990 he completed his habilitation and in 1998 he was appointed honorary professor at the Westphalian Wilhelms University of Münster. He held numerous teaching positions at renowned universities and served, among other things, as a board member of OBI AG and managing director of Media-Saturn-Holding.

Gerhard Drexel

Chairman of the Management Board, SPAR Österreichische Warenhandels-AG

Dr. Gerhard Drexel has been CEO of SPAR Österreichische Warenhandels-AG since 2001. Born in Dornbirn, he studied at the University of St. Gallen and received his doctorate in social and economic sciences from the University of Innsbruck. His professional career began in the corporate planning department at Coop Switzerland in Basel. From 1983-1989 he worked as a management consultant, project manager and area director at the Management Center St. Gallen. For almost 20 years, Dr. Drexel CEO of SPAR, a 100% private Austrian family company with 82,700 employees.

Gerald S. Eder

Head of Business Development eCommerce, CRIF

In his role, Gerald Eder heads the eCommerce area in the DACH region and is the expert for fraud prevention at CRIF. Before that, he was responsible for public sales at T-Mobile Austria for 7 years at customers such as the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Court of Auditors. During his master's degree in Marketing & Business Management, he already focused on eCommerce and with his extensive industry experience, he is considered a specialist in the telecommunications and eCommerce industry. CRIF is the leading provider of business information and data-based technology.

Tabea Fian

Mobility researcher, Vienna University of Technology

Tabea Fian is a mobility researcher at the Vienna University of Technology. She studied spatial planning and spatial planning at the Vienna University of Technology with a specialization in geoinformatics at the University of Waterloo (Canada). She is currently working as a project manager in Professor Hauger's team, where she is working on the “Glueckfinder” study with the Austrian Trade Association and the University of Vienna. This involves the conception of an online interface between local retailers, logisticians and customers.

Roland Fink

Managing Director, niceshops & Müller Online

After what felt like 1000 mistakes around online ideas, Roland Fink founded his first online shop in 2005 - today he is managing partner of the niceshops group and managing director of Müller Online - the e-commerce subsidiary of Müller drugstores. Roland is considered a leading specialist in the field of e-commerce and performance marketing.

Harald Flatscher

Managing Director, PSA Payment Services Austria GmbH

Harald Flatscher, has more than 17 years of experience in the financial services and IT environment. After studying Applied Computer Science in Salzburg, he started his career at HC Solutions GesmbH. After various positions at PayLife Bank GmbH, he moved to PSA Payment Services Austria GmbH as head of the Business Development department in mid-2012. At the beginning of 2017, Harald Flatscher moved to the management of PSA Payment Services Austria GmbH.


Stephan Mayer-Heinisch

President, trade association
Before founding S. Mayer-Heinisch Consult in 2005, Mayer-Heinisch was head of corporate communications at Leder & Schuh from 2001 to 2005 and managing director of the Leder & Schuh subsidiaries Humanic, Shoe4You, Dominici and Mega Socks from 1985 to 2001. He is also Chairman of the Austrian Council of Shopping Centers and President of the Austrian Trade Association.

Markus Miklautsch

Markus Miklautsch, edvART.com | Style mélange 

Markus Miklautsch has been working in software development and online trading for over 21 years. Most recently, he spoke on the podium at Google about the optimization of product data and at Amazon in Brussels about his challenges in internationalization with his EU brand Stilmelange. In his seminar, he clearly shows how the Amazon marketplace operates and how you can benefit from it - or not.

Maimuna Mosser

Country Business Development Manager, IKEA Austria
Maimuna Mosser began her career in 2001 at derStandard.at, moved to the Media Austria agency group in 2004 and in 2011 as an integrated business director at the Vizeum Austria media agency, which she took over management in 2012. In 2016 she founded her own agency and took over the management of a Bratislava-based start-up. In 2017 she moved to IKEA Austria. As Country Business Development Manager of IKEA Austria, Maimuna Mosser is responsible for the strategic future areas around the expansion, sustainability, transformation and innovation departments of the company as well as the flagship project IKEA Westbahnhof and thus the development of IKEA Austria into an omnichannel retailer of the future.

Georg Müller

Managing Director, THEWAY Development GmbH

After graduating from the Montanuniversität Leoben, Georg Müller joined KNAPP AG and headed the areas of industrial automation, consulting and, since 2013, the fashion business unit, making this an essential pillar of the global success of the KNAPP group. Quasi as a seismograph for the challenges of retail and always on the lookout for new things, he developed the THEWAY - THE REBIRTH OF RETAIL project together with partners, the aim of which is to provide retailers based in the city with a jointly used logistics platform To enable eye level with Amazon, Zalando & Co.

Martin Ofner

Head of Research, CBRE

Martin Ofner has been Head of Research at CBRE Austria since 2016, responsible for real estate market research. The analysis and preparation of current market developments for investors and users from all asset classes in the commercial real estate industry are the focus of his work. Ofner started his career at Johnson Diversey, where he worked as a key account manager from 2005. The study of economic geography at the University of Vienna provides the basis for his interdisciplinary view of various social and economic changes and their influence on the real estate markets.

Katharina Schneider

CEO, MediaShop GmbH

Katharina Schneider has headed the international omni-channel company since 2006 and transformed old fashioned teleshopping into a European omni-channel big player. MediaShop operates in 10 countries and sells specially developed products in over 40 countries worldwide. She has been known as an investor in the Puls4 start-up show "2M Minuten-2Millionen" since 2018. In addition to the numerous investments, she passes on her know-how in marketing, brand development and sales to ambitious start-ups.

Roman Schwarzenecker

Secretary General, ACSP

Born in Baden in 1970, Roman Schwarzenecker graduated from secondary school in his hometown. 1990-96 studies of spatial planning and spatial research at the Institute for Geography at the University of Vienna. He then started his career at the consulting company Lage + Markt, where he was initially responsible for the implementation of the geographic information system before he became a consultant. Since 2002 partner, since 2004 authorized signatory of the company. In 2011, in addition to his professional activity, Schwarzenecker successfully completed his doctoral studies, the subject of his dissertation: The Viennese business streets. Roman Schwarzenecker has also been Secretary General of the Austrian Council of Shopping Places (ACSP) since 2016.

Werner Sejka

News presenter, PULS 4 

Originally coming from the world of sports (active handball player, head of sports at Radio 88.6, SAT.1 ran, Red Bull Media House / ServusTV), Sejka combines the practicality of the information world with a pinch of sporting passion. This special combination also makes Sejka successful on stage. For more than a decade he has designed event moderation in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Well-known business customers trust him here, as do sports associations, ministries, Austrian and European authorities.

Matthias Stöcher

Project manager, MeineSichereID

Matthias Stöcher worked for Lauda Air for six years in the development of new business areas, including three years as head of the Executive Division of Lauda Air (commercial flight company). Since 2000 he has been responsible for marketing and digital marketing at derStandard.at. In 2013 he merged marketing at STANDARD (print with digital) and headed this team for three years. For four years he has been responsible for standard business development (PUR product / GDPR implementation). Since autumn 2018 he has also been the project manager of market-place Austria & MeineSichereID.org and, since this year, General Secretary. in the association for digital trust.

Julia Stone

Director Digital & Innovations, BILLA

Julia Stone has been working in the digital sector for 20 years. In addition to positions at Buongiorno, Telekom Austria and Emakina in Austria, Julia Stone started her international career in 2007 at Digital River. Her experience spans various industries such as consumer electronics, video games and telecommunications, where she headed the digital commerce business at Hutchison in London, among others. Her core competence in eCommerce, operations and digitization of companies brought her to BILLA in 2015, where she set up the Digital & Innovations department. In her role as Director Digital & Innovations, she is responsible for the eCommerce business area in the entire value chain, development of innovations and digitization at BILLA. In addition to the continuous annual growth in sales in the eCommerce business, her successes also include the opening of the first food fulfillment center and first drive-in in Austria, the development of the first Scan & Go service in food retail and the establishment and development of OmniChannel at BILLA.

Rainer Will

Managing director, trade association

Rainer Will has been the managing director of the trade association and publisher of the RETAIL magazine since 2014. He is on the Board of Directors of the European trade association EMOTA. Will has been a startup investor for years, is an advisory board member of the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences and the Swiss Import Promotion Program as well as a member of FIRA and the European Confederation of International Trading Houses Associations (CITHA). He is the initiator of eCommerce teaching, author of the specialist book "The End of Online Shopping" and complainant in the investigation of the federal competition authority against Amazon.

Walter Wölfler

Senior Director, Head of Retail Austria & CEE, CBRE

Walter Wölfler has been with CBRE in Vienna since 2013.He deals with all retail-related services in Austria and the CEE countries (such as: leasing and renting, (re) development, center management, transactions). Mr. Wölfler has many years of experience in the retail and real estate sector and an extensive network of national and international retailers, investors and developers. Among other things, he was a board member at Palmers and Gerngross. Before joining CBRE, he set up and managed the retail property and developments division at Immofinanz Group.

Werner Wutscher

Founder and CEO, New Venture Scouting
Wutscher studied law at the Karl-Franzens University in Graz and at Harvard University. In 2013 he founded the investment boutique New Venture Scouting with the aim of connecting the worlds of established companies and startups. Wutscher is an active business angel and has a stake in eight start-up companies. He is an expert in sustainability, with a focus on retail and green tech. Before that, he worked for 14 years in top management at companies such as Agrana Beteiligungs AG and REWE International AG and in the Austrian federal administration.

Start Up Session powered by ACSP

Michael Bredehorn

CEO & Co-Founder, Swarm Analytics

Michael Bredehorn is CEO and Co-Founder of Swarm Analytics. Since the Tyrolean start-up was founded in 2018, he and his team of developers, mathematicians and economists have been pursuing the vision of making cameras intelligent through AI. With this, Swarm Analytics enables companies to collect real-time information about traffic, parking lots, shopping centers and public transport in an innovative way.

Martin Bressem

CEO & Founder, _blaenk

Martin Bressem is CEO and founder of _blaenk, one of the top 50 PropTech startups in Europe and European innovation award winner for retail. Martin holds a Bachelor of Arts in media management, specializing in brand communication and advertising, as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA). He is a serial entrepreneur and has professional experience on the agency, corporate and investor side. His core competencies lie in the areas of strategy, marketing and corporate development. Martin is awarded as a “Top40unter40” maker and combines his think-big mentality, which he gained in the USA, with German precision.

Sandra Falkner

Founder and managing director of Bergfalke GmbH (Alpengummi)

After studying biology, Sandra Falkner worked in various companies, including the Treeday startup and the green consulting company Plenum. She then completed a dual master's degree at the University of Copenhagen and BOKU in Vienna, where she also met her co-founder, Claudia Bergero. The idea of ​​alpine rubber arose in the course of a joint course. Alpine gum is the first natural chewing gum in the Alps and is characterized by its natural and regional raw materials. She has been the company's managing director since 2019 and is primarily responsible for sales and communication.

Florian Mott

Managing Director, Hackabu

Hackabu is a leading growth marketing consultancy in Vienna. Growth marketing or hacking is a new, agile marketing process from the IT and startup world that quickly identifies and applies effective levers for a sustainable increase in sales. The focus is on various scalable "growth hacks" that are tested for their effectiveness in short periods of time (sprints), are data-based and cost-efficient, and can achieve above-average results in a timely manner. Florian Mott started his career in the advertising agency industry before he held leading marketing positions in Vienna and London for well-known companies such as A1 Telekom Austria or bwin.

Laura Stockert

Head of Business Development, Sindbad Chancesproductions GmbH

After studying international business administration at the University of Vienna, Laura followed her interest in film and worked for the film production company PANTAFLIX AG in Germany for the first few years. After her return, Laura started her Sindbad journey in 2018 as a volunteer mentor and since 2019 as Head of Business Development at Sindbad Chancesproduktions GmbH. In her role, she is responsible for the entire business area at Sindbad with the aim of successfully contributing to greater equality of opportunity and education in the world through social entrepreneurship.