When compared to international heavyweights like Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv, Europe’s scaleup scene falls short. Few of its startups are able to scale, and even fewer fit to acquire unicorn status. Startup Europe Partnership 2.0 finds its roots in the recognition of this gap.
Funded through the Commission’s Horizon 2020 project, SEP’s first iteration was established in January 2014 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, its objective to transform startups to scaleups by linking them with global corporations, investors, and stock exchanges.
In its second phase of funding, SEP 2.0 takes its initial aim to action.
The project is a partnership between 6 European organizations — Mind the Bridge (Italy), European Startup Network (Belgium), Nesta (UK), ELITE (Italy), Startup Olé (Spain), and Scaleup Institute (UK). Together, the members will organize four Scaleup Summits, all with the same intent: facilitating startup-corporate partnerships, increasing international visibility for European scaleups, and fostering exit opportunities (IPOs in particular).
After scouting upwards of 20,000 scaleups, Summits will host 75 each, totalling 300 participating scaleups. This is alongside an undetermined number of corporates and investors. Verticals are pre-determined, with the objective of increasing likelihood of successful business partnerships. For the first go-round, to be held in Milan on March 15 and 16, deep dives are Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and FoodTech.
Still, highly qualified scaleups might prove worthy; in this case, scaleups working in Digital Construction, InsurTech, Connected Cars, and additional alternative industries may be nominated.
On Summit days, corporates and scaleups will engage in qualified, face-to-face business meetings; have access to training activities concerning cultural disparities and how to produce productive partnerships; and generate procurement, development, proof of concept, and other collaborative exercises. Scaleups will connect with new customers, explore and penetrate alternative markets, and increase turnover.
The Summits should prove no less valuable for international investors and corporates, who can improve knowledge concerning investment in the digital sector and subsequently enlarge the investment pool itself. They will, too, obtain additional analysis and understanding of market trends and business models in digital sectors.
Finally, bi-annual meetings will facilitate financing and improve liquidity for European investments in fast-growing ICT startups and scaleups, and, as noted, stimulate financing through stock markets.
Over the two-year project period, expected impact is strong: 800+ scaleups matched with corporate investors, 600+ introduced to IPO opportunities, 250+ with increased international exposure, and 100+ obtaining dedicated IPO preparation via ELITE’s intensive accelerated exit program. SEP 2.0 anticipates €750M+ capital raised via Venture Capital follow-up rounds and IPOs, on top of €20M+ in new revenue via facilitated business deals.
In order to achieve such aims, SEP 2.0 will build on existing platforms with proven effectiveness and reach — e.g. Startup Europe Partnership and European Startup Network. With 24 member countries engaged in ESN’s ecosystem, the organization has access to over 25,000 startups and has built long-standing international relationships that will prove advantageous to the project’s ends.
SEP 2.0 provides these platforms with additional scale, integrating them with innovative activities in collaboration with international stock markets. In order to incorporate diverse and dynamic exercises, SEP 2.0 will blend physical activities with online services.
The project’s first major event kicks off this spring and will run until December 2020, with insights and improvements along the way.
Nominations will be accepted on a rolling basis — incubators, accelerators, and alternative organizations are welcome to provide qualified scaleup names to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About Startup Europe
Started in 2011, Startup Europe has become a reckoned reference in the European startup related field. Our mission is to build a Startup Continent by increasing the connectedness among all players of the European startup ecosystems.
Article written by Emily Bogen, a great intern at ESN.