Introducing our Austria to Austin 5.0 Exchange Participants!

Austria to Austin exchange participants use the exchange experience to build companies, pursue non-traditional career paths, and make an impact in their local ecosystem. When selecting the final participants for the exchange each year, we consistently look for curious students with high character, proven work ethic, and an eagerness to learn from failure and success. With the most competitive applicant pool to date, we vetted university students through an intensive interview process consisting of written applications, video interviews, and a final panel interview with the US Embassy Vienna. The candidates that emerged as the final participants are all Austrian university students, who aspire to create impact in their respective fields through entrepreneurship.

3 Day Startup and the US Embassy Vienna are proud to introduce the 20 participants selected for the Austria to Austin 5.0 Exchange!

Marwen Khannoussi

Marwen Khannoussi

At the age of 19 Marwen Khannoussi started his first self founded company in the beverage industry. Since, Marwen has created several international export businesses and crafted marketing campaigns for the brand REALMIX. Furthermore, Marwen is passionate about political science and wants to leverage this passion to better understand the global working structure.

Ricco Nourzad

Ricco Nourzad

Ricco holds a master’s degree in medical informatics from the Vienna University of Technology. In 2014, he founded his first startup Laufliga and sold it two years later. For the last three years Ricco worked as management consultant and acted as a conference speaker to improve the employee experience within companies worldwide. Since September he is on educational leave to follow his passion to found his next startup in the area of youth football player scouting.

Nicole Skombar

Nicole Skombar

Besides running her own small business, Nicole specializes in management, entrepreneurship, and innovation at Vienna’s University of Economics. Nicole has a huge creative passion when it comes to making new ideas happen, painting, photography, writing, and designing. The passion she has for making her vision come through is all-encompassing and that is what motivates and excites her to get her startup off the ground.

Georg Weber

Georg Weber

Georg is an entrepreneurship enthusiast, with educational backgrounds in business administration and computer science. Apart from that, he is eager to foster a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in Austria. He does this, among others, by helping startups receive funding through his job; bringing the VC community of Vienna closer together through his meetups and by helping his 13-year-old brother start small service businesses.

Roland Purin

Roland Purin

Roland is an Entrepreneurship & Tourism Master student at the Management Center Innsbruck. During his studies, he gained both theoretical and practical experiences in various fields and industries. He voluntarily worked for two UN-projects where he got in contact with social-entrepreneurship and community-based tourism. He believes that gaining a holistic and diverse entrepreneurial mindset is vital for the upcoming challenges we face as a society.

Magdalena Stefl

Magdalena Stefl

Magdalena studies Innovation and Technology Management at the UAS Technikum in Vienna. As a naturally open-minded and engaged person, she has experience in various fields, such as Project Management, Data Privacy, and Entrepreneurship.  Magdalena is a volunteer firefighter and has always been passionate about helping and being active in her community.

Maria Himmelbauer

Maria Himmelbauer

Maria studies Strategy, Innovation & Management Control at WU and International Business at Queen’s University in Canada. Maria has academic and professional experience in 6 countries and various industries. Maria is passionate about innovation, new technologies, and intercultural communication and strives to have a positive impact on society and the environment with her career.

Belinda Spörk

Belinda Spörk

Belinda has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management and is now studying Business Administration and Economic Psychology. She loves traveling and international experiences like her au-pair year in France and her exchange semester in Melbourne to immerse herself into other cultures. She is a very curious person and an HR enthusiast who loves to encourage positive workplace dynamics and wants to bring some of Austin’s start-up culture and entrepreneurial spirit to Vienna.

Pascal Keck

Pascal Keck

Pascal studies Entrepreneurship & Finance at WU, as well as Artificial Intelligence at JKU. At the age of 16, he started his own vegan ice cream business and has been eagerly pursuing entrepreneurship since.  As an Investment Analyst Intern at primeCROWD, he consistently seeks entrepreneurial insight so that he is ready for the next venture.

Nevin Abdel Rahman

Nevin Abdel Rahman

Nevin has finished her BA degree in Transcultural Communication at the University of Graz and is currently enrolled in a Master’s program in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Vienna. Apart from having work experience in interpreting, she was project manager of “Empower Austria”, an AIESEC-led cross-cultural project in which international students are recruited to participate in internship programs provided by local startups. Through this experience, she discovered her interest in international entrepreneurship.

Julia Kolb

Julia Kolb

Julia studies International Business Administration with Entrepreneurship & Innovation as a major at the Vienna University of Business and Economics. She spent half a year in Asia where her passion for social entrepreneurship was sparked. Julia is excited to develop, share and exchange innovative ideas in an entrepreneurial environment in Austin, TX.

Lisa	Pflegpeter

Lisa Pflegpeter

Lisa studies Entrepreneurship at the University of Applied Sciences Vienna. She is an absolute startup enthusiast, which is also why she started her first business in an incubator program after working at a startup as an intern.

Max Schollum

Max Schollum

Max is completing his master’s in entrepreneurship at Esade Barcelona. After Max secured over 50m fundraising for a healthcare startup in Berlin, he founded a nonprofit dedicated to introducing entrepreneurship to kids of all backgrounds. He has experience in leadership as an infantry platoon commander, and studied finance as his undergrad.

Schila Labitsch

Schila Labitsch

Schila studies Economics and Political Science at the University of Vienna. As a scholarship recipient she has recently studied abroad at the University of Chicago, where she has been involved in the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a top-ranked business accelerator, working on a team developing the software for a Smart Mirror. She has work experience within the private and public sectors and enjoys fencing in her free time.

Niklas Baumgartner

Niklas Baumgartner

Niklas is a passionate sailor and motorboat enthusiast. When he was sailing with his family back in 2016 the foundational idea of “Seasy-Making Sea Life Easy” was created out of a personal problem. As CEO of an early-stage startup, he likes to speak at different events about the lack of digitization and sustainability in the industry.

Valentin	Perkonigg

Valentin Perkonigg

Valentin is a startup and entrepreneurship enthusiast with a vast insight into the newest technologies. Besides that, he is a passionate ballroom dancer and dances in the winter season. Valentin loves to build and create with technology and excels at scaling efficiently.

Ernesto	Abila

Ernesto Abila

Ernesto studies Biotechnology for his master’s degree at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, where he is focusing on bioinformatics, fundamental physical concepts and medical and environmental biotech. During his work at Apeiron Biologics, he gained experience in immune-oncology, specializing in cellular therapies to treat cancer. His recent participation in a startup camp in Denmark reinforced his passion for entrepreneurship, as he strives to push future-oriented projects beyond the state of the art.

Barbara	Prodinger

Barbara Prodinger

Barbara is a master’s student in “Innovation and Management in Tourism“ at the University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg. Seven years of experience in the tourism industry and formal education triggered her entrepreneurial enthusiasm. Her ultimate goal is to be an active contributor to tomorrow’s tourism industry, increasing a hotel’s customer retention through her current Startup.

Laurin Akantisz

Laurin Akantisz

Laurin is doing his master’s degree in architecture at TU Wien. Additionally, he is in the current batch of “Extended Studies on Innovation” at TU Wien Innovation Incubation Center (i²c). When not at university, he enjoys backpacking and experiencing new adventures. Driven by curiosity and purpose, he hopes that his accomplishments will have a great impact on the lives of others.

Lisa	Eisenberger

Lisa Eisenberger

Lisa Eisenberger studies sociology at the University of Vienna and is currently working as a Product Marketing Manager at Dolphin Technologies. Before that, she was assistant to NEOS party chief Beate Meinl-Reisinger. Besides work and studies, she volunteers as head of the university section of Junge Wirtschaft Wien of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce. An entrepreneurship enthusiast, she sees her future in starting a start-up that has a positive impact on our society, and she is particularly engrossed in the fields of Big Data and Behavioral Economics. In private life, Lisa enjoys long walks with her dog, Star Wars and video games.