Austrian Funding for Games

By Philipp Schäfer
and Michael Benda

We have spent the past few weeks with the big effort on governmental funding. We already received a certain Viennese funding called departure pioneer between 2013 and 2015, which helped us through the founding phase and beyond. However, most public money comes with at least a tiny catch: You do not get to decide freely about the fund’s dedication. This unfortunately means that you have to specify well-documented records of your expenses during the applicable period. But apart from this bureaucratic hassle this was entirely worth the effort, which is one reason we are applying for different funding again.

Apart from the fact that everything is easier the second time, the departure program underwent several (quite positive) changes since we applied last time. Apparently they changed the name from “departure” to “creative”, the maximal funding amount has been raised and the conditions have been adjusted to the actual needs of a start-up in the creative industry. Here’s a short list about the main features:



Vienna Business Agency

Financial support of start-up businesses in the creative industry.

Funding rate
70% (that means 70% of expenses will be covered by the funding, 30% have to be covered by yourself)

Maximal funding amount
€ 50.000 (that means that € 35.000 are covered by the agency, while € 15.000 have to be covered from different funds)

Bonus to the funding amount
€ 5000 if the project is largely led by a woman

Eligible costs
Internal and external personnel costs (including the company founders with a maximum hourly wage of € 40), consulting fees, initial equipment that is required in the specific industry. Note: The funding does NOT cover running expenses such as the monthly rent or yearly tax consultancies.

Next submission deadline
will be announced soon


  • On submission, it’s important that you bring proof that you can cover 30% of the funding amount you apply for, since only 70% will be provided.
  • Keep a rough record of all your team members’ tasks during the funding period (Including yourself!) This will make filling out the final time schedules that have to be supplied a lot quicker.
  • Once you are eligible for the funding, you will receive regular invitations to diverse events and dinners. Make use of them to meet interesting people of the Viennese creative industry. Who knows, maybe the next big cooperation is just waiting for you at the snacks table.
  • On submission you have to hand in a document listing all the required items and expected expenses. The more detailed and reasonable this list is, the better. However, this list may be adapted as soon as you are approved for the funding. The funding period may cover two whole years – and a lot can change in that time.
  • As mentioned at the start, the final statement can take up lot of time. This is something no one from any creative business will be fond of. However, at the end of the day you will have to dig through all your expenses when making your tax declaration. So find a sunny spot with fresh air, make yourself a cup of tea and promptly the excel sheet won’t be as grim as before.

For more information on the specific funding and on other offers by the Viennese Business Agency visit: creative_pioneer
Before you pitch your hopes too high: Nearly every funding has hit the deadline for this year already, but there is always a year after this one!

Last but not least, here are some Austrian fundings from our funding list we keep track of:
> aws impulse XS
> aws impulse XL
> Vienna Business Agency – creative_to market
> Vienna Business Agency – creative_project
> WKO Export-Scheck für Dienstleister

Happy bureaucracy times