Renée Wagner (née Castillo) is currently best known for her work as Special Advisor to the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the OSCE Chairmanship in 2017 as well as working for the Federal Chancellery of Austria during EU Council Presidency in 2018, and now as the Director of Plug and Play Tech Center Austria.
Renée is a Californian who moved from LA to Graz at the age of 9 and is an inviting combination of both American and Austrian culture with a strong background in aviation which lends her analysis, work and solutions a particular succession unique to her.
Her career in aviation got started straight out of school in 2004 due to her strong wanderlust. She worked her way through the circuit of low cost carriers (Fly Niki) up to private jets (JetAlliance) quite quickly, becoming a Safety Manager for private jets and working as Team Leader at the Moscow station by the young age of 23.
Years later Renée reinvented her career to something “on the ground” so she could start her family, which now consists of a husband and 2 children. Through her many side jobs and quite frankly hobby, of helping out her network in a pinch and putting together strategies and events, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs became aware of her innovative work, quick thinking and problem solving capabilities. She was asked to advise them during the Chairmanship of the OSCE Ministerial Council in 2017. It was there that she initially got pulled into the scene of startups and engaged young entrepreneurs and their solutions as a cost efficient means to bring innovation to an otherwise very traditional setting with Ambassadors and Ministers of 57 member States from all over the world. This opportunity gave startups the chance to showcase themselves to an otherwise difficult to reach audience. Later she was asked to do the same for Austria during EU Council Presidency 2018. Being one of the few to also bring the capability she learned working in the private sector of executing projects beyond forecasted expectations and well within allotted budgets her reputation exceeded her and Plug and Play Tech Center Silicon Valley became aware and headhunted her for the position and title she holds now. She is currently building their EU office for Travel & Hospitality and Smart Cities at the AirportCity in Vienna, generating new local corporate partnerships providing those corporations with the best of the breed in global startup solutions, but also helping well chosen local EU & CEE based startups access investors and business opportunities, so they may scale on a global level with some of the already existing +300 corporate partners and +180 vc partners.