departure - business promotion in Vienna
In Fall 2003 departure was established as Austrias first independent business development and service center for companies of the creative industries. Today it is considered a successful example of innovation funding on a competitive basis in Europe. In its function as business promoter departure is a subsidiary of the Vienna Business Agency and part of the department for economic affairs of the City of Vienna. departure funding does not replace any cultural funding or subsidies; and it does not at all shorten the cultural budget of the City of Vienna.
Since the launch of the funding program 312 companies received funding in the amount of 19.8 million euros, and more than 1,400 highly qualified jobs were created or secured. This funding triggers private investments of around 79.3 million euros.
By establishing departure the City of Vienna has realized in time the enormous potential of the citys creative companies, and that they are not only an important lifestyle element, but a significant economic factor. Thanks to Viennas dynamic approach innovation is no longer uniquely associated with technological progress even on the European level, i.e. attention is increasingly put on process innovations which are predominant in many areas of the creative industries.
departure supports the integration of cultural and creative achievements into the citys economy in the sense of economic exploitation of innovative and creative work (and not in the sense of mere profit seeking). Thus departure addresses those creative professionals who consider themselves active participants in business life. With the aim to create an economically sustainable basis for Viennas creative professionals departure offers various funding programs for entrepreneurs and company founders and supports outstanding achievements in the following fields of the creative industries: fashion, music, audio-vision, multimedia, design, publishing, art market and architecture. departure does not provide funding for purely artistically oriented projects.
departure offers a total of four funding programs to increase the number of sustainable company start-ups in the field of the creative industries and to promote expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises: departure classic and departure focus are classic project funding programs addressing both established companies and company founders. Maximum funding amounts to 200,000 euros. Funding is awarded on the basis of evaluations made by an independent jury of experts. Criteria for the decisions of the jury are the degree of innovation and the novelty of the submitted project, the artistically creative content, the economic sustainability and adequacy of project planning as well as synergies for participating companies and for the business location Vienna. Applications for departure classic can be submitted throughout the year. Projects for departure focus can be submitted once a year under a specific call. The funding program departure pioneer has been tailored to the needs of young entrepreneurs and company founders of the creative industries; maximum funding amounts to 25,000 euros. Projects for departure pioneer can be submitted throughout the year?the establishment of the company should not date back longer than 12 months or should take place within the following 6 months.
departure experts aims at supporting growing companies of the creative industries through the cooperation with qualified experts. Funding is granted for specific projects or initiatives which enhance the growth of a company and which sustainably increase its competitiveness. Valuable support is provided by qualified experts. Projects for departure experts can be submitted throughout the year; maximum funding amounts to 20,000 euros. Recommendations for funding under the experts and pioneer programs are made by departure together with external experts.
To support the funding programs departure pioneer and departure experts the departure expert pool was established in order to facilitate the access to consulting services and to promote targeted entrepreneurial knowledge transfer. Entrepreneurs from the fields of business, law, marketing, public relations, advertising etc. have been admitted to the expert pool. Experienced and successful personalities from the fields of fashion, music, audio-vision, multimedia, design, publishing, art market and architecture act as mentors and are thus an important part of the departure expert pool.
In addition to its funding activities departure supports structural improvements within the individual creative scenes. Initiatives like curated by_vienna?which takes place in parallel to the VIENNAFAIR?or various events in the scope of the sound:frame festival, the festival for fashion & photography, the VIENNA ART WEEK or the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK as well as a cooperation program with the MAK focusing on new design strategies contribute to the further strengthening of Vienna as a creative location.