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SocialChallenges.eu is looking for entrepreneurs!

We are at a turning point of the call for solutions to the first cohort of social challenges now open online on www.socialchallenges.eu

Launched in December 2016, the Social Challenges Innovation Platform is the brand-new initiative funded by DG GROW and EASME dedicated to Social Innovation. It has been designed to exploit the untapped social innovation potential of European SMEs in addressing complex micro and macro societal challenges affecting European citizens.

30 challenges have been collected across Europe and given visibility on our platform, and we are now looking for entrepreneurial solutions able to meet these needs.

  • #Entrepreneurs
  • #Startups
  • #SMEs

We are looking for you! Apply now!

There is time till the 21st December to propose a solution online and enter the evaluation process that will result in the selection of the most promising and feasible solutions that will receive 30.000€ to develop over a 6-month period a Minimum Viable Product, in collaboration with the challenge owner and local stakeholders.

France, Portugal, Italy, Cyprus, UK, Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Spain – check out the places active on the map!

Health, aging population, environment, food, education, employment, youth, social inclusion, smart cities, mobility, refugees and migration – filter your search by theme and apply for those challenges you think your solution could answer to.

In any case we recommend you to have a look to all the challenges now online; themes are not exhaustive as many challenges address different themes at once, and the geographical scope doesn’t impede entrepreneurs from other countries and regions to apply.

That’s why we have prepared a booklet briefly presenting each challenge. Check it out!

Once you spot the challenge you want to apply for, create your profile and start preparing your pitch. Here is a step by step video-guide showing you how to navigate the platform and upload your pitch (proposal).

SocialChallenges.eu aims to help those with a social challenge to reach out a wide range of potential solution providers, and at the same time to provide European entrepreneurs with a scaling up platform helping you grow your business and your social and environmental impact.

Don’t forget to check our Twitter account and Facebook page: new highlights every day!

 

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Applications open for IoT acceleration programme

IoT Tribe are launching our next equity-free accelerator programme for early-stage IoT start-ups. Are you interested in joining us?

We will be supporting 10 startups in a 12+12 week intensive acceleration programme based out of the North of England where you will power up your product development, market testing and investment readiness with engineers-in-residence, access to a prototyping and testing lab and joining in on supply chain missions to South East Asia.

 

Are you…

  • An early-stage IoT company?
  • With an existing prototype and some evidence of product-market fit?
  • With 2 or more founders?
  • And the ambition to scale?

If so, apply to IoT Tribe North, the equity-free IoT accelerator. We’re offering 10 early-stage IoT start-ups a package worth over £100,000- and yes, its equity free!

 

More information at: http://bit.ly/IoTSupsAI

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Be part of the EU Top 50 ‘Hemicycle Start-up Convention’

Europe’s Top 50 start-ups will be revealed on the 28th of November 2017 at The European Parliament Hemicycle in Brussels, Belgium.

The ‘Hemicycle Startup Convention’ will gather more than 800 young entrepreneurs, investors, corporate representatives and policy makers. The EU Top 50 will present and showcase their ventures in areas such as security, education, transportation, deep technology, energy transition, space exploration, food and agriculture, health care & life sciences, climate change and environment, materials and new production technology, bio-, nano- and neurotech, and digital technologies.

To be part of the EU Top 50 ‘Hemicycle Start-up Convention’ please register by the 17th of November, here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/eu-top-50-hemicycle-start-up-convention-and-eu-top-50-workshops-tickets-39010163449

 

 

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Road Trip to Africa

Following the launch event in Brussels on 6 November, a road trip to South Africa will be the next step to bring Africa and Europe closer. The road trip will take place in both South Africa, 20-22 November, and Nigeria, 23-25 November, and it will ultimately culminate in Abidjan, Ivory Coast for the 5th EU-Africa Summit.

You can read about the trip in detail here below:

  • In South Africa, in addition to the Brenthurst Foundation, we are working with Injini, an educational technology accelerator that will be our primary host and that belongs to a larger initiative called the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi). We are also working with Wesgro, the official trade, tourism and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, and are working directly with Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro and former South African Shadow Minister of Finance, to ensure the event’s success. Finally, Google has opened up its network of African start-up partners to us to access the continent’s best start-ups.

The agenda for the 3 days in Cape Town will be as follows:

  • Monday, 20 November: Arrive in Cape Town and set up event
  • Tuesday, 21 November: Boot Camp for 15 African start-ups. We are asking for start-ups that have either at least $100,000 in annual recurring revenue or at least $100,000 in investment, as a filter to ensure that we are attracting companies with at least a minimum viable product. The Boot Camp will be hosted at Injini.
  • Wednesday, 22 November: An event open to the entire start-up ecosystem, both in person and virtually. The event will be hosted at Workshop 17, a co-working space on the waterfront with views of Table Mountain. A video of the space is available here. The day will consist of 4 blocks and 1 inspirational keynote. Each block will give 15 minutes to an African entrepreneur, 15 minutes to a European entrepreneur, 15 minutes to a moderated panel with both entrepreneurs to highlight commonalities and differences, and then 15 minutes of Q&A. The 4 blocks will be:
    • How to raise capital in Europe and Africa;
    • What investors look for in Europe and Africa;
    • How to work with corporates in Europe and Africa; and
    • How to build a brand and a network in Europe and Africa.

The inspirational keynote will be on “How to create an African Bill Gates” and will be given by a top digital entrepreneur in Southern Africa.

Later that evening, we will host the gala finals to select the best start-up from among the 15 semi-finalists. We are speaking with the Spanish and Dutch Embassies to host the event at their Cape Town consulates. The German Embassy that are keen to support the event, but are remodelling their consulate in Cape Town. We will invite relevant dignitaries from the various European embassies to the gala event.

The winner of the start-up competition will get various prizes, including €76,000 in investment from Wayra and the chance to pitch at St James Palace before HRH, The Duke of York and possibly the Queen of England. Other partners, including Amazon, Google and Facebook, will provide prizes such as €1000 of free Facebook marketing, etc.  If the winning start-up is a preventative health start-up, MSD, the world’s 4th largest pharmaceutical company, may match Wayra’s investment with a €76,000 grant.

  • In Nigeria, our main partner is former President OlesegunObasanjo via his presidential library. In addition to him, we are working with grassroots partners, including our venture partner, EchoVC, a pan-African fund split between Silicon Valley and African markets. They back founders across Africa from seed funding to series A. Eghosa Omoigui, the Managing Partner, is the lead; he has years of experience backing the world’s best start-ups, which he previously did as Director at Intel Capital, the world’s largest corporate VC. Google Nigeria is also supporting.

The agenda for the 3 days in Nigeria will be as follows:

  • Thursday, 23 November: Arrive in Lagos and set up event
  • Friday, 24 November: Boot Camp for 15 African start-ups. As above, we are asking for start-ups that have either at least $100,000 in annual recurring revenue or at least $100,000 in investment. The Boot Camp will be hosted at Leadspace, a local co-working space with 7 locations in Nigeria that has been highlighted on CNN Africa.
  • Saturday, 25 November: An event open to the entire start-up ecosystem, both in person and virtually, will also be hosted at Leadspace. The format will be similar to the Cape Town event: 4 blocks and 1 inspirational keynote. The 4 blocks will again be:
    • How to raise capital in Europe and Africa;
    • What investors look for in Europe and Africa;
    • How to work with corporates in Europe and Africa; and
    • How to build a brand and a network in Europe and Africa.

The inspirational keynote will be on “How to create an African Bill Gates” and will be given by a top digital entrepreneur in Western Africa.

Later that evening, we will host the finals to select the best start-up from among the 15 semifinalists at the Olesegun Obasanjo Presidential Library. President Obasanjo will host the event, and relevant foreign dignitaries will be invited.

As with the Cape Town event, the winner of the start-up competition will get various prizes, including €76,000 in investment from Wayra and the chance to pitch at St James Palace before HRH, The Duke of York and possibly the Queen of England. Other partners, including Amazon, Google and Facebook, will provide prizes such as €1000 of free Facebook marketing, etc. If the winning start-up is a preventative health start-up, MSD, the world’s 4th largest pharmaceutical company, may match Wayra’s investment with a €76,000 grant.

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Startup Europe Comes to Africa (SEC2A) Launch Event 6th November 2017, Brussels

Startup Europe Comes to Africa (“SEC2A”) Launch Event

6thNovember 2017, Brussels

 

WHY?

Africa and Europe are bound together by history and separated by fewer than 14 kilometres. At the first EU-Africa Summit in Cairo in 2000, leaders from both continents agreed to strengthen their partnerships. The public image of Africa, however, tends to highlight Africa’s problems such as civil wars, famine and fleeing migrants, and not its opportunities, such as its ambitious African entrepreneurs.

Startup Europe Comes to Africa aims to change this by introducing grass-roots entrepreneurial efforts and success stories to an international audience. In particular, we aim to add another dimension to the images of Africa by bringing together prestigious African heads of states, entrepreneurs and business leaders on the one hand and European politicians, entrepreneurs and celebrities on the other hand.

Our aim is to connect Africa and Europe through digital trade and not aid. This campaign is just the first step to building a stable, long-term start-up bridge between the two continents.

Would you like to attend the launch event in Brussels? Then click here.

WHO?

Our institutional partners span European and African political leaders, royalty, some of the largest multinational corporates in the world, leading entrepreneurial networks, pan-African venture capital networks, and celebrities. They include:

 

  • The European Commission (EC) is the principal European sponsor, as part of the ‘Digital for Development’ agenda and Startup Europe;
  • President OlusegunObasanjo is the former President of Nigeria, a position he held from 1999 to 2007, and a former Chair of the African Union. He is our primary African sponsor and will host the event in Nigeria in his OlusegunObasanjo Presidential Library;
  • The Brenthurst Foundation is an initiative of South Africa’s Oppenheimer (De Beer) family. They are our primary host in South Africa, though, as described in more detail below, we are also working with the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative and Wesgro (the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape);
  • HRH, the Duke of York’s initiative, Pitch@Palace,will offer winners the opportunity to pitch at Pitch@Palace Global;
  • We are collaborating with the Heart, a European centre for start-up and corporate collaboration. Based in Poland, they have a network of executives and founders that spans over 25 countries;
  • In South Africa, in addition to the Brenthurst Foundation, we are working with Injini, an educational technology accelerator that will be our primary host and that belongs to a larger initiative called the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi). We are also working with Wesgro, the official trade, tourism and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, and are working directly with Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro and former South African Shadow Minister of Finance, to ensure the event’s success. Finally, Google has opened up its network of African start-up partners to us to access the continent’s best start-ups.

 

To see the agenda for the Road Trip you can click here.

 

WHEN?

 The campaign will begin with a launch event in Brussels at the European Commissionon 6 November. As described above, it will be followed by a road trip to South Africa (from 20-22 November) and Nigeria(from 23-25 November) that will ultimately culminate in Abidjan, Ivory Coast for the 5th EU-Africa Summit.

 During the week of 6 November, we will host the official EU launch of Startup Europe Comes to Africa.This will be a high-profile event of approximately 100 VIPs, including relevant journalists. We will work with organisations such as Afrobytes, VC4Africa, Wayra, Orange, Africa House, The Heart and Google for Entrepreneurs to get the word out among African and European entrepreneurs to ensure an audience of grassroots organisers as well as corporates, investors and tech journalists.

WHAT DOES GOOD LOOK LIKE?

  • Positive and significant PR and social media presence across European and African publications;
  • Senior European Commission delegates, such as VP Ansip, leaving with excitement and positivity about the SEC2A initiative and Start-up Europe more generally;
  • ‘Buzz’ amongst European and African entrepreneurial communities; and
  • The sense that this event was a meaningful first stepto forging long-term substantive links between Africa and Europe’s entrepreneurial ecosystems.

INVITEES

  • Senior EC representatives, including Vice President Ansip;
  • Representatives from national governments and embassies;
  • European political and business leaders with links to Africa;
  • A selection of the successful European entrepreneurs who have been selected to attend Abidjan;
  • Representatives from EU corporate sponsors, including Telefónicaand Orange;
  • African and EU Journalists; and
  • Noteworthy members of the EU and African start-up ecosystems.

AGENDA

11:00            Guests arrive. Welcome reception and networking over coffee.

11:30            Introduction by VP Ansip

11:45            Introduction by President Obasanjo

12:00            Introduction to Startup Europe by Isidro Laso

12:45             Introduction to SEC2A by Gary Stewart and Emma Fau

13:30            Lunch and Networking

14:30             Africa – Believe the Hype: Panel discussion of African and EU corporates, investors and start-ups

15:15             Start-up Pitches (5 3-minute pitches from selection of EU start-ups chosen to go to Abidjan) 

16:00             Closing

If you want to attend the event and need to get a ticket, then click here.

 

 

 

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Over 30SEC2U events across Europe from 23 to 26 October

SEC2U is an initiative endorsed by the European Commission (Startup Europe) to create a strong culture of entrepreneurship and innovation within universities across Europe. During the week of 23rd to the 29th of October 2017, over 30 free-to-attend events will bring together universities and the startup ecosystem toform valuable connections andkick-start dialogue between universities and industry. Students and young entrepreneurs will also be able to familiarize themselves with the support available to develop their entrepreneurship skills and grow their businesses.

Universities from 22 countries take part in SEC2U including names like Trinity College Dublin, Polytechnic of Milan and University of Cambridge. Thanks to the coordination from the University of Salamanca and the support of a student/startup project team from Ravensbourne, you can view all participating universities on the SEC2U website: http://startupeuropeuniversities.eu/sec2u-startup-europe-comes-to-the-universities/

With approximately 3000 peopleexpected in attendance, this is a time to showcase the work of universities in the entrepreneurship area, build bridges between university communities and startup ecosystems and facilitate connections!

Take the right step towards your future and don´t miss out on this opportunity. Find out more about SEC2U and the free events near you: http://startupeuropeuniversities.eu/sec2u-events-2017/

See you there!

 

About Startup Europe Comes to the Universities (SEC2U)

Startup Europe Comes to the Universities (SEC2U) is a Europe wide initiative to engage universities (from the Startup Europe University Network and beyond) and enable them to spread an entrepreneurial culture. SEC2U will hold events across Europe during the week of 23rd to 29th of October 2017.

The main objective of the SEC2U events is to showcase the commitment of European universities for entrepreneurship and toconnect universities to the wider startup ecosystem.

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The time Is Now.

Market, Partnership and Investment Opportunities in the USA Await You!

NearUS, the H2020 initiative aiming at building upENRICH – European Network of Research and Innovation Centres and Hubs – in the USA announces the opening of the following calls

  • NearUS Match & Pitch at CES 2018 (January 7-11, 2018)! (click here)
  • NearUS Innovation Tour to San Francisco, Sacramento and Silicon Valley (January 15-19, 2018)! (click here)
  • NearUS Research2Market (R2M) Bootcamp in Boston, with an individualisedprogramme across the USA (March 4-16, 2018) and a pre-departure workshop in Brussels in February 2018!  (click here)
  • NearUS Business2Business (B2B) Bootcamp in Boston, with an individualisedprogramme across the USA (March 4-16, 2018) and a pre-departure workshop in Brussels in February 2018! (click here)

Are you an early stage entrepreneur, early stage Startup founder,researcher, research organization, SME, or cluster looking for market information, market opportunities,partners, investment opportunities and feedback on yourinnovations?

Then you should definitely visit us at https://near-us.eu/opportunities to learn more about the calls

 

Deadline for applications is:

November 12th, 2017 23.59 CET for the NearUS Match & Pitch at CES 2018 and the NearUS Innovation Tour to the West Coast

December 5th, 2017 23.59 CET for the NearUS Bootcamps in Boston

 

 

 

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Startup Ole Accelerator co-organises the CEE Acceleration Summit

Startup Ole Accelerator, along with PwC Poland, Business Link and Hardgamma Ventures is a co-organizer of the CEE Acceleration Summit – the region’s largest event dedicated to entrepreneurship, corporate- and university acceleration. The event will take place in Warsaw on Oct. 26th and will gather the most influential innovation and acceleration ecosystem builders.

 

CEE Startup Ecosystem is one of the most rapidly developing ones, with a room and prospects for countless investment opportunities. Warsaw, as the CEE’s innovation hub, linking the western and central-eastern European cultures and capital, is a modern symbol of successful transformation into the center of innovation.

 

The event will be divided into three paths: Corporate Acceleration, University Acceleration and Social Innovations, so that all the potential target groups will find the crucial information on how to develop businesses to foster innovations within the companies, or how to manage investment portfolio effectively, in a sustainable and responsible manner.

 

Moreover, during the Summit the key representatives of the Public Sector, including the European Commission’s agendas and Polish Development Fund’s representatives will also introduce the accelerators and investors to the support instruments aimed at facilitating startup-related investments and ecosystem building activities.

 

Key representatives of various innovation initiatives from all over Europe will share their knowledge and experience with the CEE’s stakeholders to create bridges between various ecosystems and engage in potential cooperation.

 

To find out more, please visit the event’s website.

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Over 4.5 million people working in 830,000 companies in 20 EU startup hubs.

A new Startup Europe report done for the first time in an innovative way extract company data from 20 cities and has put the spotlight on Europe’s vibrant startup scene. The analysis reveals how local startup ecosystems are connected. While some cities are well connected notably Paris and Brussels, London and Berlin there is a lack of connectivity across other cities.

A newly released interactive map (available at www.startuphubs.eu) zooms in on 20 startup ecosystems in 15 EU countries. It identifies:

  • 830,000 companies are active across 20 startup hubs, together they employ over 4.5 million people and generating over €420 billion in revenue
  • The top 5 cities in terms of revenue generation were London, Berlin, Munich, Rome and Paris.  They have generated over €326 billion of revenue and are employing nearly 3.5 million people
  • Over 4,000 companies that have received funding through venture capital and large angel rounds, usually known as startups, have collectively generated €5 billion of revenue, employing over 34,000 people. These companies have raised €36 billion of investment from European and international investors
  • Over 41,000 “IT software development” and “IT web & information services” businesses which collectively generate €18.4bn revenue, employ 211,785 people and have raised investment of €5.73bn
  • Berlin, London, Paris and Stockholm are the most developed and established startup hubs
  • Growing startup ecosystems are to be found in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dublin, Helsinki, Madrid, Manchester, Munich, Oslo, Rome and Vienna
  • Athens, Brussels, Bucharest, Malmo, Tallinn and Warsaw are emerging startup ecosystems. There are particularly strong connections between companies in Brussels and Paris
  • The interactive map provides the foundation of a solution that will offer European policy-makers, investors and entrepreneurs more accurate data than any other economy in the world. This will be an enduring competitive advantage for European entrepreneurship and an important element of the digital single market.

The report has been published in advance ofStartup Europe Comes to Universities week. This initiative aims to showcase the commitment of European universities to create a strong culture of entrepreneurship and innovation that is spreading in the university community. And as result transferring it to the society by creating startups and spinoffs with high added value, based on knowledge and technological development.

The report, provides new insights into the scale and nature, strengths and weaknesses of, and the relationships between, Europe’s startup ecosystems. It was carried out by Grant Thornton and Trampoline Systems on behalf of the European Commission. You can download the report from the EU publications website.

In addition to the mapping exercise, interviews with over 200 entrepreneurs, investors, accelerators, co-working spaces, government officials, universities, businesses, network groups and startup influencers and shapers have pinpointed some of the barriers and opportunities that exist within these startup ecosystems.  These include:

 

Entrepreneurial culture

290,000 of the businesses mapped are less than five years old, underlining the entrepreneurial culture that is being created across Europe. These young businesses employ 1.1 million people, have a combined revenue of €87 billion and have raised nearly €10 billion in investment. ‘The report identifies a number of ways in which the entrepreneurial culture in Europe is changing and the different initiatives in place to support this, for example, Entrepreneur First is a London-based startup accelerator which assists promising UK and Central European tech graduates and those already working in technology firms to design and run their own startup and has helped establish 75 startups in its first four years.

 

Skills and accessing talent

Cited frequently as the single biggest challenge, or indeed threat, to the individual ecosystems. The headline challenge manifested itself in a number of different ways:

  • The need for more technical and higher-level skills in coding, system architecture and programming.
  • The lack of entrepreneurial skills with European universities seen to be producing well qualified graduates but lacking the core skills necessary to start and run a business.  The result is that while there is a pipeline of good, innovative ideas and propositions for products and services the ability to take these ideas and to commercialise and scale them is often missing.
  • A lack of sales and marketing skills was an issue particular to Nordic ecosystems

 

Venture capital

For a number of stakeholders the presence of a functioning and expanding venture capital market was one of the strongest indicators of an ecosystem’s maturity and strength. Four specific schemes have been cited as good examples that Europe should consider adopting as a whole. These examples were Finland’s Tekes, the UK’s  Enterprise Investment Scheme and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, Germany’s High-Tech Gründerfounds and the French Bpifrance.

 

The Commission will take this analysis and recommendations into account when implementing its Startup and Scaleup initiative outlined in November 2016. In the future the dynamic mapping of Europe’s startup ecosystem will be extended to cover all EU Member States.

 

Connectivity of ecosystems

The project has revealed about how European cities are connected through international subsidiaries and highlighted below is a matrix of the 5 most-connected cities out of the 20, showing Brussels and Paris as the most connected cities.

 Background

Since 2011 The European Commission’s Startup Europe initiative has helped to strengthen the business environment for web and ICT entrepreneurs so that their ideas and business can start and grow. It is part of the Commission’s efforts under the Digital Single Market and Single Market strategies to boost economic growth and create jobs by helping startups. Last year more than 30,000 participants took part in the first Startup Europe Week which reached over 2 million people on social media.

 

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Startup Olé Accelerator hosts SEC2U

Entrepreneurship is increasingly seen as a valuable career choice for recent graduates. Developing your entrepreneurial competencies is now seen as crucial, not only for starting your own business, but for contributing to the success of small companies. Even large corporations are beginning to see the value in entrepreneurial skills for their employees.

There still exists a struggle for students to obtain entrepreneurship skills and experience, with commercialization and knowledge transfer often overlooked. For this reason, we welcome Startup Europe Comes to Universities (SEC2U)!

SEC2U is an initiative endorsed by the European Commission(Startup Europe) to create a strong culture of entrepreneurship and innovation within universities across Europe. This consists of a series of events that bring together students, university staff,entrepreneurs, businessmen and representatives of local governments in order to showcase the available support andform valuable connections in the startup ecosystem. The second edition of SEC2U will take place from the 23rdto the 29thof October and the University of Salamanca/Startup Olé Acceleratorwill be joining the initiative!

During the event that will take place in the Narodowy Stadium, Warsaw as part of the CEE Acceleration Summit on the 26thof October, where Universities will come together with Accelerators, Corporations and Policy Makers to bring up the startup ecosystem in Europe

Startup Olé Accelerator of the University of Salamanca will be supported by other universities across Europe, taking steps towards the internationalization of the CEE region together with over 30 prestigious universities in the SEC2U initiative.

With approximately 3000 people expected in attendance, this is a time to showcase the work of universities in the entrepreneurship area, build bridges between university communities and startup ecosystems and facilitate connections!

Take the right step towards your future and don´t miss out on this opportunity. Find out more about SEC2U and the events near you: http://startupeuropeuniversities.eu/

See you there!

 

About Startup Europe Comes to the Universities (SEC2U)

Startup Europe Comes to the Universities (SEC2U) is a Europe wide initiative to engage universities (from the Startup Europe University Network and beyond) and enable them to spread an entrepreneurial culture. SEC2U will hold events across Europe during the week of 23rd to 29th of October 2017.

The main objective of the SEC2U events is to showcase the commitment of European universities for entrepreneurship and to connect universities to the wider startup ecosystem.

 

The Startup Europe team works with entrepreneurs connecting them with the European ecosystem where talent, investment and learning can be easily captured. We believe Europe’s growth is going to be determined by savvy startups, and we want to support the growth of these startups.

http://www.startupeuropeclub.eu | @startupEU

 

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