STARTUP EUROPE – TWIST – Time sure flies when you’re always innovating!
Wow! Has it been 2 years already? When you work with innovative technologies and when you’re constantly surrounded by creative minds, time goes by in a heartbeat. It’s those people who can’t think about anything else except finding the next best thing which will change our lives for the better that make technology, our economy and the whole world go round and round.
STARTUP EUROPE and TWIST have been at the forefront of technological innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe for the past 2 years and we loved every bit of the process!
With over 72 meetups, 3 bootcamps on life science, cybersecurity and key enabling technologies, 27 e-pitches with investors and with more than 2.500 participants to our initiatives and events, TWIST has managed to bring together the key players on the European startup scene.
Partnering with Microsoft, Adecco, Meet In Italy for Life Science, Tech-Tour, International Cybersecurity Forum, CISCO, Android and PSA, we have managed to bring our startups in contact with the most valuable resources available today. Experience mentors and experts from different industries have met up with our startups and entrepreneurs in our joint efforts to boost Europe’s startup ecosystem into achieving amazing results.
After 2 incredible years of working with some of the most talented startups and entrepreneurs in Europe and worldwide, we can easily say that the future of technological innovation is close. Real close. It’s here!
Startup Scaleup – Startup Europe’s IoT Accelerator
A 6-month acceleration programme, launched in 2015 aimed to find European startups developing cutting-edge IoT innovation. During the past two years, programme ran 2 batches in 4 European locations simultaneously and supported 133 startups. “We have achieved and exceeded expected number of companies, that we wanted to support. This is what happens, when there is so much IoT potential in Europe”, – said Andres Iborra, Startup Scaleup project coordinator.
Both batches started with a IoT’ers week simultaneous in the four different hubs of Startup Scaleup programme: Vilnius – Lithuania, Zoetermeer – the Netherlands, Dublin – Ireland and Cartagena – Spain. Andres Iborra continues – “Because of a great variety in the expertise of Startup Scaleup partners, we managed to offer very high quality support in the technical field of IoT, business management and fundraising.”
Each 6-month journey finished with a Demo Day, where the top startups of each batch were selected to pitch and demonstrate their products at a major event. In May 2016, top 12 startups from the first batch presented their products during the Connected Conference, in Paris. From the second batch, the top 16 were selected to demonstrate their products on November 2016, during Internet of Thing World Europe in Dublin.
From both batches, comprised of 133 companies, more than €10M were raised. “We are very happy to witness rapid growth of our incubated startups and help them raise funds. We are also very happy with the variety of available capital for innovative IoTstartups. Our companies raised money from the government, angels and VC’s simultaneously.” – said Andres Iborra.
He continues – “The funded part of the project is about to end, however having seen such tremendous success and a market opportunity we are looking forward to transform this initiative into a sustainable programme that can further support IoT companies Europe-wide”.
Startup Scaleup in numbers:
About the Startup-Scaleup Project
Startup Scaleup is the 6 month IoT accelerator of Startup Europe powered by the European Commission which is combining physical and virtual acceleration, and looking for talented startups aspiring to take their business to the next level and expanding to international markets.
Startup Scaleup is building a European ecosystem connecting the players of four consolidated entrepreneurial hubs (Cartagena, Dublin, Vilnius and Zoetermeer) in order to provide a greater range and quality services to ambitious entrepreneurs who want to launch and grow companies focused on the Internet of Things (IoT).
Startup Scaleup is run by the Universidad Politecnica de Cartagena, Crosspring LABs, Open Coffee Club Lithuania, the Ryan Academy, F6S and BluSpecs.
About Startup Europe
Startup Europe is a European Commission initiative that aims to strengthen the business environment for web and ICT entrepreneurs so that their ideas and business can start and grow in the EU.
Uniting European startup ecosystems is its value proposition. Some of its concrete activities are:
- Connecting startup ecosystems throughout Europe.
- Bridging the gap between investors, corporates and startups.
- Creating a bottom-up movement across Europe.
- Giving voice to startups to influence new policies (capital markets union, digital single market).
- Celebrating entrepreneurship.
More information at:
Startup Europe Partnership, 3 years later.
Startup Europe Partnership: Highlights
Established by the European Commission in January 2014 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) is the first pan-European platform dedicated to transforming European startups into scaleups by linking them with global corporates.
SEP is led by Mind the Bridge, an organization based in Italy and United States, with the support of Nesta (the UK’s innovation foundation), Factory (an acceleration program and campus for tech companies of any stage, originating from Berlin), and Bisite Accelerator (Madrid/Salamanca).
In the past two years a lot has been done by SEP to promote startup-corporate collaboration in Europe and support the scale-up of the European ecosystem. Let’s see how.
- Matching: 18 Matching Events organized with 593 private 1:1 pre-arranged and qualified meetings between startups and corporates. Of them, 328 (64%) are cross-border, meaning involving corporates and startups of different nationalities. 12 deals closed, €2.5M+ of new business generated, €450M+ ofnew capital raised post matching, 2 exits and 1 active acquisition.
- Startup Scouting and Filtering: 898 startups from 18 different countries presented to 43corporates.
- Mapping: 16 SEP Monitors published presenting data about scaleups and exits in Europe and showcasing the most fast growing startups from various ecosystems
- Meet-ups: 2Startup Europe Summit (SES)pan-Europeanconferences organized in Berlin and 2 European Innovation Day (EID) international conferences organized in Mountain View. 4 EU Commissioners, 100+ speakers, 900+ peopleattending.
- Sharing: startup-corporate collaboration reports has been view 7,000+ times and 4,500+ copies has been handed out.
- Best practices: published 2 Nesta reports, Winning Together and Scaling Together, used by Virgin Startups, ABInBev, Sky and many other corporations to inspire their innovation strategy and collaborate effectively with startups.
- 25 Corporate Startups Stars: launched the European ranking of top ‘startup-friendly’ corporates. Check out the winners’ list here.
- Over 100 investors joined SEP Investors Forum: 1 meet-up in Brussels and 2 in Berlin to stimulate the conversationbetween European and international Investors with the European Commission and the European Investment Fund. Among the outcomes, 1 policy report published collecting the main recommendations.
- Connecting Europe to the U.S.: organized 2 editions of Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley (SEC2SV), exposing 28 scaleups in the Bay Area.
- 1250+ media outcomes, including The Financial Times, USA Today, Forbes, El País.
Great concrete results. Though, the best part is still ahead of us.
Startup Europe Hall of Fame
Startup Europe is going to create a new section on the Startup Europe One Stop Shop: the Hall of Fame.
The startups which will join the Hall of Fame will be selected amongst the ones who are filling in the Google Form with their testimonies.
Having taken part in one or more of the Startup Europe projects, the growth speed and the scalability will be the selection criteria.
So, if you’ve taken part in any of the Startup Europe activities fill out this form!
You might be one of the startups to be in the Hall of Fame!
Selected startups will be announced during the ‘Startup Europe After 2 Years’ event in Brussels on 2nd February 2017.
2 years of WELCOME – and now the project is drawing to a close
This was an intense journey across Europe, bringing startups to meet new ecosystems, organising and taking part in the biggest tech events in the continent and so much more.
One way to look at the 2 years past is to look at our numbers (click for high resolution!):
Looking back, it felt we were everywhere at the same time!
We were in more than 18 of the most important startup events around Europe, either through one-shot activities like Europass programme (Pioneers Vienna, IoT World Dublin, Slush Helsinki, Tech Open Air Berlin, etc) or with our two batches of the Roadshow that visited WELCOME’s ecosystems: Madrid, Salamanca, Berlin, Milan and Dublin (South Summit, Web Summit, Uprise Festival, Seeds & Chips, …).
We’re very proud to have gathered such an impressive group of startups – check them out at our competition winners page and ask for our pitchdeck!
We were organising not only activities for startups, but for accelerators, universities, policy makers and all other ecosystem builders. Throughout these 2 years we also carried out initiatives such Accelerator Assembly, Startup Europe Comes to Universities, and Startup Europe Nations.
Now that the project is over, we look at what’s next in the horizon: new projects, new initiatives! Stay connected with the Startup Europe initiative to be part of this future!
WeHubs is the first European network for women web entrepreneurs!
WeHubs is the first European network for women web entrepreneurs powered by StartUp Europe Initiative! After 2 successful years, WeHubs project is coming to an end.
But, not the end of our community!
These 2 years we managed to reach:
More than 500 Women Entrepreneurs
More than 400Business Support Organisations
More than 30Women Associations + their local networks
8success stories + all those from the community
And our network keeps on growing each day. With 12nodes around Europe and 7 more in the making right now, WeHubs is THE European Community of digital female entrepreneurship supporters across Europe and beyond.
Come and join our network today and help us promote female entrepreneurship in Europe!
This is just the beginning of a new era for women web entrepreneurship!
We are happy to inform you that WeHubs has been extended to seven new Hubs. WeHubs network will continue with its online community dedicated to female entrepreneurship and we’ll keep on sharing useful insights about our e-mentoring. You can check online our latest materials including the WeHubs scorecard to assess your services.
A new year, a new start!
Wish you a successful and glorious new year!
EUROPEAN DIGITAL FORUM
The European Digital Forum is the think tank arm of the Startup Europe initiative. Fully independent, it combines first-rate research with cutting-edge collaborative tools and a high-powered community of startups, scale ups, policymakers and digital aficionados in a powerful cocktail that defines the cutting edge of Europe’s digital agenda. In just over two years, it has produced seven publications, two annual editions of the European Digital City Index and engaged more than 2000 citizens, policymakers, startup leaders and think tankers in its high-level debates. Find out more at www.europeandigitalforum.eu.
The EDFx project is structured around six specific objectives:
Objective 1: The promotion of tech/web entrepreneurship by organising and hosting events and serving as venues for tech entrepreneurs, other businesses and policymakers. These are both stand-alone occasions and sessions within the programmes of major tech/web conferences. The EDF aims to add the all-important aspect of public policy to the discussions and to facilitate cross-fertilisation between the EDF community and that of the leading tech forum, leading to greater synergy, impact and reach. The EDFx project successfully hosted six high-level summits:
- Two breakout sessions at the Startup Europe Summit in Berlin, February 2015
- The 2015 European Digital Forum in Brussels, keynoted by European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip, June 2015
- The European Startup Forum at ICT 2015, opened by European Commission Günther Oettinger, in Lisbon, October 2015
- The European Scale-up Day at CeBIT, keynoted by European Commission Günther Oettinger, March 2016
- The Scale Up Manifesto session at the Digital Assembly in Bratislava, September 2016
- The 2016 European Digital Forum in Brussels, keynoted by European Commissioner Carlos Moedas, November 2016
Objective 2: Conducting innovative policy-oriented research. The EDFx produced two annual editions of the European Digital City Index to allow stakeholders to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the startup ecosystems in different cities, as well as the cities’ digital readiness.
- The European Digital City Index (EDCi) describes how well different European cities support digital entrepreneurship.For startups and scale-ups, it provides information about the strengths and weaknesses of local ecosystems, allowing them to plan accordingly and consider where they may need to devote more resources.
- For policy makers aiming to encourage digital entrepreneurship in their own city, the Index helps to identify existing and promising hubs of activity, in order to learn from their practices. Additionally, it allows benchmarking of performance against other European hubs, and helps identify which policy areas to prioritise.
Objective 3: Spreading the best practices of policies stimulating web entrepreneurship by creating the best practices repository. This objective stems from the Startup Manifesto (action 21) that reads, “to provide a resource where local and national governments can share the best ‘hacks’ they found to achieve immediate impact.” EDFx aims to collect and analyse examples of policy initiatives across the globe aimed at facilitating web/tech entrepreneurship and supporting better innovation ecosystems.
- While national policy is vital, we must remember that entrepreneurs are also affected by their local environment. Sub-national bodies like chambers of commerce, cluster managers, councils and local regulators – as well as universities and big business – can all influence entrepreneurs’ decisions and affect the framework within which startups thrive or die.The idea bank is therefore intended specifically to help local policymakers and influencers create better conditions for entrepreneurship at the regional or city level. Intended as a ‘bank of ideas’, it draws together examples from all over the world of policies and initiatives that support startups, especially digital startups, in an effort to provide inspiration and options to European policymakers.
- Policies are grouped together under the 10 themes used in the European Digital City Index (EDCi) – which this guide is intended to complement – together with an 11th, cross-cutting theme relating to the process of policymaking. It concludes with some tools to assist in choosing, developing and implementing these policies.
Objective 4: Building and maintaining a vibrant network of leading-edge thinkers, inspirational entrepreneurs, digital startups, thought leaders, captains of industry, policymakers and other stakeholders. The diversity of this community and high professionalism of its members is its key assets, enabling cross-fertilisation of expertise and designing new solutions and models to drive Europe’s digital economy forward.
- The EDFx project has engaged more than 2000 citizens, policymakers, startup leaders and think tankers.
Objective 5: An active and professional dissemination and communication campaign will help inform a wide array of stakeholders, including tech entrepreneurs, policymakers and other interested and relevant parties.
- The EDFx project energised and engaged the groups typically associated with tech/web entrepreneurship – founders, investors, corporate leaders and policymakers with a digital portfolio, tech press – but also reached to other groups, typically not associated with web/tech entrepreneurship: mainstream policymakers, economists, and non-tech media.
- Up to 2,000 people and organisations follow the European Digital Forum on Twitter.
Objective 6: EDFx is to be constructively and pro-actively involved in policy dialogue, contributing its expertise in on-going discussions.
- It provided policy support and monitoring in the field of web/tech entrepreneurs and elevated the voice of tech entrepreneurs in policy debates. In particular, it monitored the progress of the Startup Manifesto by using an innovative, one-of-its-kind visualisation tool – the Startup Manifesto Policy Tracker. This tool provided an easy-to-understand overview of how far each EU member state is implementing the different actions put forward. This has the potential to inform a wider group of people, but it also has the likely effect of initiating a healthy competition between EU member states to improve their relative ranking.
- This monitoring and analysis was presented in The 2016 Startup Nation Scoreboard.
- In September 2016, the European Digital Forum launched the Scale Up Europe Manifesto. In 2016, European Commissioner Günther Oettinger spoke passionately to a group of leading startups at CeBIT, the global event for digital business, in Hannover, Germany. “Tell me what I need to do to help startups to scale up in Europe and together we will do it.” he said, his eyes visibly bright as he tossed out the challenge. The result is The Scale Up Manifesto, a 49-point roadmap which draws from the unique insights of dozens of leading European startup associations and successful entrepreneurs. The measures are divided into six headings: 1) complete the single market, 2) mobilise capital, 3) activate talent, 4) power innovation, 5) broaden education and 6) monitor, measure and evaluate.
ePlus Ecosystem – a retrospective
ePlus connects three local ecosystems (Lisbon, Nice/Côte D’Azur, Baden-Württemberg) to prepare European businesses and potential entrepreneurs for the changing global digital market, equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to offer new products and services by digital means, to compete, thrive, and to create new jobs. This is achieved via a unique combination of talents, tools and services of a European scale, in all key elements: team, concept, technology and capital.
In this past 2 years, ePlus has been offering tailored serviced to startups, including mentoring, meet-up with relevant investors, training, networking or funding support for attending relevant events.
Ultimately it is about supporting web entrepreneurs go global. Through a combination of the partnership own experience with external experts, a successful experience is offered to startups helping them reach higher.
HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2017
ePlus work will continue to offer its services until June 2017 to support the startup ecosystem:
Nitro acceleration programme:tailored and high level training for startups this time taking place in Lisbon during May! Applications will be available soon.
Micro-grants: financial support for startups to participate in events that are useful for their growth strategy. Final round is now open – http://epluseurope.eu/blog-entry/open-call-announcement-mg-round-4
eMentoring: an on-going process to match mentors with startups – join-in now – http://epluseurope.eu/basic-page/ementoring
eTalent:want to grow your business through direct knowledge transfer from a researcher? Join this on-going service http://epluseurope.eu/basic-page/etalent
Project DIGISTART – An overview
The project DIGISTART is supporting European-Wide digital ecosystems through a set of coordinated activities targeting Lisbon and Malmo. It also harnesses the capabilities of the F6S for providing online support to startups. The Lisbon Ecosystem is supported by UNIDEMI and BETA-i. UNIDEMI, A research centre at the Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologies, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, initiated activities to provide greater access to the innovation ecosystem for students. That includes early stage mentorship, awareness creation, launching of the Startup Forum, a formal Entrepreneurship Course and an online MOOC. During the project, some research work has been done that can provide greater insights on how Innovation Ecosystems have benefitted Startups. Moreover, DIGISTART collaborated with other European funded project (eg. MY-WAY, Scaleup, LIFE, Welcome) to enable individuals/university students and startups to connect as well as support and benefit from the dynamic circulation of European ecosystems for web entrepreneurs.
One of the primary objectives of DIGISTART project has been bring a culture of Entrepreneurship into the University. Entrepreneurial activity within the University is being seen as a key indicator of the University’s Ranking. A dynamic and vibrant entrepreneurial culture creates students that are confident to face the new economy which is based on niche, nimble and agile startups. DIGISTART helped students to identify their excitement and provide them some kind of coaching support which help them look clearly at the bigger picture.
DIGISTART collaborated in organizingtwiceFCT entrepreneurship courses with 1000 students, at Universidade Nova de Lisboa. The course was designed to train aspiring students from all backgrounds. It has now become an annual event. This course was designed to help students evaluate the business skills and commitment necessary to successfully operate an entrepreneurial venture and review the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship. Students learned about themselves, their decisions, and their goals to determine how entrepreneurship can play a role in their lives.
Secondly,a course lasting a full academic semester with 3 ECTS was conducted twice by UNIDEMI called Digital Business Ecosystems. It covered in depth understanding of how the Internet is transforming business rules,companies and collaborative networks, understanding digital business models, understanding how to develop digital business and Internet-based Startups, and finally understandinghow to finance and manage a digital business.
The project organized many interesting workshops and training sessions. Bringing Entrepreneurship Culture to the Universities was a successful example of international workshop organized at October 2015 at Universidade Nova de Lisboa.This workshop was designed to get together a set of speakers with a wide range of experiences to discuss best practices, challenge solutions and bring in inspirational examples on how to nurture entrepreneurship culture at universities. Across the world, Universities are turning to the challenge of not only providing high quality education for tomorrow’s workforce, research and development to enhance knowledge, but also imparting the entrepreneurship skills vital for the empowering students to create their own startups. The workshop was targeted primarily to researchers, educators, university professors, and students.
DIGISTART and MY-WAY joined efforts to create We Start Lisbon, the European conference for students and young web entrepreneur held at October 2016 at Universidade Nova de Lisboa. n exciting and quite interactive event which set out to inspire and teach students regarding entrepreneurship.
Overall, during the project 5 courses were conducted and more than 2000 students benefited from the courses. 8 training sessions happened. 2 conferences and 3 workshops were organized. Many networking activities, meet-ups, business development sessions happened. Around 140 startups were mentored and facilitated during the project activities. 5 Master theses completed and 2 scientific papers already published.
Learning Incrementally from Failed Entrepreneurship
The LIFE project is about learning step by step from failure in entrepreneurship. It also aims at collaborative action to bring entrepreneurship forward. Cultural diversity is one of Europe’s strongest assets, yet it also creates obstacles for entrepreneurs to scale at European level. Distributed markets, language barriers and fragmented policy still impede access to markets, talents, finance, facilities and networks in Europe.
The project aimed to map out programs and important players in each of the partnering areas. The consortium identified, shared and discussed best practices. Virtual and real discussions with entrepreneurs helped draw conclusions and provide recommendations.
Best practices and lessons learned built a collaborative learning exercise. It consisted of over 160 interviews with startup founders who failed along the way. The main attraction of the project was the Failing Forward conference organised in Brussels. Failing Forward provided a day of inspirational keynotes, workshops, power meetings and networking opportunities to the participants.
Local spin-off events in the partner regions raised awareness that failure was and would be an inherent part of ventures and innovation. Smaller #failingfwd events shared success stories built on incremental learning, and opened the existing startup support programs to web entrepreneurs from all over Europe.
In-depth interviews (VCs, business angels, community builders) completed the initial insights from startup founders. Recommendations from the findings helped increase the level of services provided by the partners. It also facilitated a better approach to help to spot potential risks at an early stage. The partners compiled a list of recommendations for the best format for #failingfwd events as well.
Acceptance of failure is incremental towards a paradigm shift in Europe. LIFE project succeeded shaping the failure subject into a critical yet rational discourse. Widespread stigmatisation of those who entered the bumpy road to success starts to tarnish. Instead, rising like a phoenix attitude should become an integral part of European education. Eliminating the stigma will trigger a broader societal effect. It can lead to significant policy changes, for instance easing bankruptcy legislation. Our hope is that LIFE project played a role in igniting an incremental change in the European entrepreneurial culture.