Valentina Olariu

OECD’s Global Blockchain Policy Forum – calling all blockchain startups!

On 12-13 September 2019, the OECD will host the Global Blockchain Policy Forum in Paris.


Following the inaugural edition of the Forum in 2018 which was attended by more than 1000 people, the second edition of the Global Blockchain Policy Forum will convene senior decision-makers from the public and private sectors, academics and other stakeholders to discuss policy in view of building an effective policy environment for blockchain innovation and adoption.


In 2019, for the first time, the Forum will also include a Govtech Start-up Showcase.


OECD is looking for 8 startups to participate at the Govtech Start-up Showcase.


Each startup will have 25 minutes to present its ideas on the stage (15 min of presentation followed by a 10 min Q&A session from the audience). Startups will have 15 minutes to present their initiative or business application using blockchain or other distributed ledger technologies at the service of public or government services.


The presentation should show practical use cases of the technology. Sessions are intended to be dynamic and engaging.


If you want to recommend a startup developing a blockchain application for public services, please write us an e-mail at  CNECT-STARTUP-EUROPE@ec.europa.eu until 25 July 2019 EOB.


EU Regions Hackathon

Do you have fresh ideas and have the capacity to make them a reality? Do you possess solid knowledge about IT development and open data? Can you deliver web or mobile solutions with an impact throughout the entire European Union?

·         26 July: deadline for applications (register your idea)
·         31 July: announcement of finalists
·         30 September: deadline for finalists to submit the web or mobile ideas they have developed

·         10 October: winner announcement

·         The five finalists will attend the #EURegionsWeekin Brussels (~7.000 participants) in October

·         The winner will get a ticket for the next #WebSummit in Lisbon (~70.000 participants) in November


Anyone on Earth capable to develop innovative ideas and make them a reality


Get closer to citizens


·         Condition: you should combine at least one domain (events, projects, funding, …) from the INFOREGIO website with at least one dataset from the ESIF Open Data PortalEuropean Data PortalEU Open Data PortalEurostat websiteEuropa portalCopernicus websiteGalileo websiteInteroperability solutions websiteBuilding blocks Page or any other dataset [DVM1] (open or not).

·         Goal: engage with EU citizens through new insight, business model or business concept based on open data

·         The result should be a new, original mobile or web application, visualisation or demonstration of applying data science by linking datasets, in order to generate new insights and engagement. The result should address a need or problem of free choice and prove its relevance in context.

·         For more information check our page

Applications for Deep Tech Global Challenge are open!

The application to the 6th Hello Tomorrow Deep Tech Global Challenge is now officially open.
The annual Global Challenge is a science-startup competition specifically designed for the needs of early-stage deep tech startups.
Participating startups can gain access to equity-free funding (up to €100K prize money), global visibility and connections with key players in the global deep tech ecosystem.

All selected top deep tech startups (around 500 startups) are invited to both the Investor Day and Global Summit in Paris in March 2020. They will get the chance to meet with:

·         400 C-level from industry leaders such as Bosch, IBM, LG, Honda, Servier, GSK, L’Oréal, Bayer, Vinci, DSM, etc.
·         150 VCs such as NEA, Atomico, IdInvest, Balderton, Draper Esprit, etc.
·         50 CVCs such as Airbus, Evonik, Total, Samsung, Merck, Solvay, etc.
·         international media such as BBC, Fast Company, Le Monde, etc.

·         fellow entrepreneurs (500+ deep tech startups).

You can find all the information you need about the Challenge and the application form here.

11 startups wanted to join MY-GATEWAY at Slush

Is your incredibly innovative startup based in Slovenia, Romania or Czech Republic and is not intimidated by events as big as Slush?

Then we might just be looking for you.

Perhaps attending Slush has previously crossed your mind, but travelling to Helsinki, finding accommodation and paying for a ticket, which cannot exactly be considered as cheap, has discouraged you a little bit from satisfying this achievable dream of yours.

Nonetheless, you understand Slush full potential: 2,000 investors scouting for the next unicorn, 700 journalists seeking incredible stories and thousands of changemakers like you all together in one limited space do encourage you to think that something good is bound to happen.

And you’re almost there: you convinced yourself you have to be there yet a gentle extra push would be well-received. And this is where MY-GATEWAY jumps in. This EU-funded project wants to bring Slush closer to you by rewarding your passion with an Attendee ticket. Unfortunately, neither accommodation nor travel to Helsinki will be covered.

Slush can be daunting, it’s immense and if you don’t have clear objectives it’s easy to lose sight of what it is that you came for (please take a look at those tips on how to hack Slush). Having attended other events similar to Slush in size, the growth stage of your startup and whether you have taken part in other leading startup events will be two of the most important selection criteria. However, MY-GATEWAY team will hold your hand and help you out making the most of the world’s leading startup event. As a matter of fact, in order to be even more present in your Slush (ad)venture, MY-GATEWAY team will invite you to join activities and side events specifically organised for you to fully harness this experience. More information on these events will be shared with you closer to the date.

What do you have to do to take part in the ‘Come to Slush with MY-GATEWAY’ competition?

In order to be eligible for this competition you have to comply with the following criteria and requests:

  • Your startup headquarters need to be located in Central and Eastern Europe, but priority will be given to MY-GATEWAY target countries: Romania, Czech Republic or Slovenia.
  • Your startup should be at least in late seed stage to make the most of the event.
  • Fill out this Google Form.
  • Share this open call on your social media channels (you can paste the link in the Google Form) so we can reach as many startups as possible.
  • Share some love with MY-GATEWAY social media by giving us a ‘like’!

IMPORTANT: neither accommodation, nor travel expenses are covered.

Make sure you fill out the form by 31 July 11:00pm CEST. Main key players of the Romanian, Czech and Slovenian startup ecosystem will have the final word on who’ll win this competition.

Winners will be disclosed on 6 August on MY-GATEWAY website.


Startup Europe initiative which aims to strengthen the capacities of high-tech startups and innovative SMEs in the Central and Eastern European region, to become better connected, gain higher market exposure and have improved streamlined access to funding opportunities and talent.

For further information please get in touch with Francesca at francesca@huginandmunin.es


Launch of the Digital Innovation and Scale-up Initiative

46% of startups incubated in the Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe (CESEE) region raise financing from investors outside of Europe and move their base, most often leaving to the US and China. This highlights the substantial investment gap faced by digital innovations, a major bottleneck for startups, and the digital economy, in reaching full potential.

To address this investment gap in CESEE’s digital economy the European Commission (EC) together with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Investment Fund (EIF), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the World Bank (WB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) launched the Digital Innovation and Scale-up Initiative (DISC) during the Digital Assembly on June 14, 2019. Under the leadership of the Romanian EU Presidency the DISC initiative was launched at an investment round table with high level representatives of the Government of Croatia, Finland, Germany and Romania.

The initiative will develop a regional investment facility that specifically targets digital innovations and the scale-up of digital startups in the CESEE region.

DISC will focus on providing support to strategic future-oriented digital innovations and deep technology that are capital intensive, risky by nature and require longer-term financing (patient capital). In particular, the initiative will focus on the early stage and the scale-up of innovative startups and deep tech SMEs in the Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe (CESEE) region. Specifically, it was agreed that DISC will explore potential funding structures and support mechanisms to leverage resources from the EU, international financial institutions, National Promotional Banks and the private sector in support of highly innovative startups and SMEs with higher risk profiles in the CESEE region.

What are DISC’s main objectives?

  • to develop a regional joint initiative supported by the EC, the EIB Group, the EBRD and the World Bank Group to leverage funding and competencies
  • to enhance financing and the access to advisory services for early stage and scale-up of innovative, high-risk deep tech startups with high growth potential;
  • to provide advisory support, connect innovators with investors, and enhance the visibility of digital champions though and Investment Support Program;
  • to offer technical assistance to public agencies to strengthen their capacity to design, develop and implement digital innovation programs;
  • to strengthen strategic investments in the enabling environment for digital innovations;
  • to connect digital innovation ecosystems across the region

What is the unique value of the DISC initiative?

  • Higher expected impact through collaboration between EC, the World Bank/IFC, EIB/EIF and EBRD;
  • Pooling of funding through joint investment facility;
  • Dedicated investment and technical assistant program specifically for CESEE region;
  • Targeted to support deep tech and disruptive technologies with high-growth potential;
  • Focus on the early stage and scale-up of highly innovative digital startups;
  • Comprehensive approach (investments, technical assistance and enabling environment);
  • Financial and technical assistance support for both public and private sector.


Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe (CESEE) are at a critical point in their economic development. Since the early 2000s, CESEE countries have been the fastest growing countries in Europe and the region consistently ranks globally at very high levels in terms of educational achievements in math, science and technology. Recently, their convergence towards EU-15 countries has however slowed down due to the limitations of the existing economic model that has been predominately driven by the inflow of foreign direct investment with relatively low adoption rates for innovation.

The rapid rise of digital innovations and deep technologies, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain provide unprecedented opportunities for the leapfrogging of CESEEs economies and can become a major engine for long-term economic growth. They are critical for fostering innovation, competitiveness, promoting sustainable economic development and addressing societal challenges.

Innovation can come from all corners of the world, and the CESEE region holds huge, but often underutilized potential for digital innovations. In fact, the success by UiPath, Prezi, Taxify and Avast are a few examples that demonstrate that innovation, creativity and grit can emerge and overcome the great odds, of challenging and less developed digital ecosystems in the region. Make no mistake, successful startups are not a monopoly product from established tech hubs such as Paris, Berlin or London.

At the same time, there are important barriers that are currently holding back digital entrepreneurs from reaching their full potential. First, there is a substantial investment gap for the scale-up of highly innovative deep tech companies and startups. Often, these companies are considered too risky for investors, however they hold the highest growth potential and thus require more targeted financing tools and attention. As such, beyond financing, there is also a need for technical assistance programs, which increase synergies and knowledge transfer, while strengthening the institutional capacity of public agencies to design, develop and implement digital innovation programs. Finally, there is a need to boost investment and enhance the enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship, with a focus on cross border digital infrastructure and digital skills projects.


Open Call to be part of the Boards for the new Horizon Europe Missions

Open Call for members of Startup Ecosystems to be part of the Boards for the new Horizon Europe Missions. Each Mission will have a budget of 1€ Billion. We have not got candidates from the startup ecosystems. We need YOU!!
Missions are a key novelty of Horizon Europe – the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation 2021-2027 (proposed budget €100bn). Missions will consist of portfolios of research and innovation projects at all Technology Readiness Levels, with a clear goal that matters for EU citizens. Mission contents still have to be defined, but examples could be: “A plastic-free ocean by 2030” or “100 carbon-neutral EU cities by 2030”. (see also https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/bold-science-meet-big-challenges-independent-report-calls-mission-oriented-eu-research-and-innovation-2018-feb-22_en).
At the moment, the EU political process has defined five Mission Areas:
1) Cancer;
2) Adaptation to climate change, including societal transformation; 
3) Healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters;
4) Climate-neutral and smart cities;
5) Soil health and food.
Mission boards will advise the European Commission how to define and implement each Mission area. Mission board members will have complementary profiles, covering a wide range of scientific and non-scientific profiles, such as: research and innovation/academia; communication; public health; health policy; healthcare; SMEs; industry; non-governmental organisations; charities; philanthropy; foundations; citizen associations; young and/or experienced innovators; and investors, to mention a few.
The application process is straightforward:
1) Go to the Call for applications for the selection of members of the commission expert groups at this link: http://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regexpert/index.cfm?do=calls.calls_for_app
2) Read the Call document (pdf), which explains more about missions and mission boards.
3) Send a CV, cover letter (any format), Annex I, II and III to RTD-HORIZON-EUROPE-MISSION-BOARDS@ec.europa.eu
4) It is possible to apply for more than one mission area, which will increase the chances to be selected (although, an individual can be member of one board only). In that case, we need the applicant to send us Annex II and Annex III for each mission area, as separate documents in the same email.
5) For any question, you can email RTD-HORIZON-EUROPE-MISSION-BOARDS@ec.europa.eu
The deadline for submission has been extended to June 16,2019 – 12:00Brussels time

EIT Digital Challenge 2019

The EIT Digital Challenge takes place for the 6th consecutive year and is again looking for the most innovative European digital tech startups to help them grow internationally by connecting them to potential customers and/or investors. Startups in growth stage (scaleups) can apply in five categories: Digital Tech, Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Wellbeing, and Digital Finance. The winners will gain international growth support totaling €750,000 in cash and in-kind.
What’s in it for me? 
25 companies will be invited to an exclusive event in Brussels to pitch in front of expert juries. The two best companies per category will gain 12 months support to scale up their business. The growth support is provided by the EIT Digital Accelerator team (no equity taken, no physical presence needed). On top of that, the first prize winner in each category receives a cash prize of €50,000 (no strings attached).
And last but not least: finalists and winners will a gain a lot of international visibility!
Who can apply?
Growth stage startups (scaleups) based in Europe (incl. associated H2020 countries), with a min. annual revenue of €300.000 or min. €2 million in equity investment, that are max 10 years old. Applications are open for the following categories: Digital Tech, Digital Industry, Digital Cities, Digital Wellbeing, and Digital Finance
How can I apply? 
You will find the online application form here: https://eitdigitalchallenge.submittable.com/submit (please register and then fill out the form)
When is the submission deadline?
The submission phase ends on 14 June 2019 (23:59:59)
Any questions?
Please contact the EIT Digital Challenge team at challenge@eitdigital.eu

‘European Data Incubator’ is looking for experts in entrepreneurship/big data to become Startup Evaluators

The project ‘European Data Incubator’ (also funded under H2020) is looking for experts in entrepreneurship/big data, to become Startup Evaluators, from the end of June 2019.

You would be part of choosing the top 50 big data startups to take part in the next 8-month round of incubation.

What’s in it for you?

  • Play a key role in the selection of the brightest big data startups in Europe
  • Be reimbursed for your time and work in the evaluation process
  • Connect with up-and-coming figures in the big data community

Meet last year’s startups to get a better idea of the kind of innovative companies taking part in the European Data Incubator: https://edincubator.eu/startups-2018 

Apply by Wednesday, 29 May at 12 noon (CEST): Go to the F6S application form

Less than ten applications will be finally selected, ensuring an equal gender balance.


SEN SOIR.EE 1960: Crypto Art Gallery showcasing EU emerging artists and EU startups at the Cibeles Post Office Madrid

  • SEN SOIR.EE features a blend of classic and futuristic artwork, bringing closer business people and emerging artists through a series of 12 experiences from different European cities covering topics such as environment, energy, medicine, robotics and many more.
  • The exhibition is free of charge and open to all artists, entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, students and academics who are looking to experience a unique, new concept where creativity, artistic talent and technology are intertwined as the details behind each picture can be accessed through a QR-code and a radio-frequency identification chip (RFID) available from the 4 to the 29 of April at the Cibeles Post Office (Correos).

Madrid, 4-29 April. As a result of the search for convergence between the culture of entrepreneurship and artistic education, the fourth edition of SEN SOIR.EE 1960, a revolutionary and innovative photographic exhibition that opened on Thursday, April 4 arrived at the Cibeles Post Office. On this occasion, the exhibition has the collaboration of CorreosLabs, Startup Europe and Startup Europe News (SEN) and Nefercity System.

While blockchain technology and art might appear to be as opposite as the yin and yang of Taoist philosophy, they have found the way to travel upon the same path. Together they are taking in a diverse series of locations and landscapes on a truly global scale. SEN SOIR.EE features a blend of “classic” and “futuristic” artwork, which brings ‘’business people and emerging artists’’ together at an exclusive evening event.

SEN SOIR.EE brings a sample of 12 experiences from different European cities covering topics such as environment, energy, medicine, robotics and many more. The details of the project and the story behind the picture can be accessed through a QR-code and a radio-frequency identification chip (RFID).

“This is a disruptive innovation combining technology and creativity, where art and business meet millennials. A different way for startups and emerging artist to gain visibility in this new global and competitive business world.” – Isidro Laso, European Commission.

“There are things that seem incompatible until they are combined. This is how SEN SOIRÉE is presented, as the bridge of the encounter between startups and art.” – Imedi Hassissen, Creative Director – SEN SOIR.EE

The exhibition is free of charge and open to all artists, entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, students and academics who are looking to experience a unique, new concept where creativity, artistic talent and technology are intertwined.

10 months traveling exhibition

The first edition of SEN SOIR.EE 1960 took place in Brussels in September 2017 during a memorable event in honour of the 60th anniversary of the European Union. After visiting Barcelona, the exhibition arrived in Madrid for the first time in June 2018. Hosted at the headquarters of the Representation of the European Commission it was visited for more than 2,500 people. In Madrid, the collection continued its tour through the city, being exhibited in the Science Park of the Carlos III University. As the last stop in the city, SEN SOIR.EE 1960 will be exhibited at the Cibeles Post Office (Correos) until the end of April.

Media Contact

Imedi Hassissen
Founder & Chairman
SEN SOIRÉE – Startup Europe News SOIRÉE
Phone: +34 667720375
Website: startupeuropenews.eu /www.soir.ee
Email: imedi@startupeuropenews.com

About Sen SOIR.EE Mission

WWW.SOIR.EE aims to encourage more people to discover and engage with European cultural heritage and to reinforce a sense of belonging to a common European space. Through its unique concept and its technology, SEN SOIRÉE allows emerging artists to move away from the traditional concept of the art gallery as static only exhibition space, in favour of a more complete alternative based on cryptography and travelling exhibitions, which offers access to a more diverse and active audience.

It is a great event for artists and business entrepreneurs where they can learn and share experiences, in a cultural and relaxed setting. Both are often facing similar challenges from the creation to the materialization of their creative ideas.

About StartUp Europe News Media Alliance

Startup Europe News (SEN) aims to be  a catalyst of trustful content from all stakeholders at EU level—SMEs, startups, nonprofit organizations and public authorities.

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