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Entrepreneur

Vilnius Blockchain Week: Startup Lighthouse & Soft-Landing gather blockchain startups and ecosystem builders in Lithuania

Vilnius Blockchain Week is over – what a blast! Two Startup Europe projects brought it to life: Soft-Landing and Startup Lighthouse!

The initiative brought around 40 participants to deep-dive into the city’s startup ecosystem with the main focus on understanding what part blockchain plays in it and build connections with blockchain leaders in Lithuania. (more…)

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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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Road Trip to Africa – Nigeria

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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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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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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ePlus Investment Forum

ePlus project, a project of Startup Europe, will be holding their Investment Forum event at EBAN Malaga 2017

The investment forum will take place on 7th June but all selected entrepreneurs will get a free pass to attend the EBAN Annual Congress on 8th and 9th June.

The EBAN Annual Congress is one of Europe’s largest and most international business angel events held annually by EBAN in cooperation with its best members. After 17 successful editions of the event, the last of which in Eindhoven 2015 and Porto 2016, this year’s edition of the event is coming to Malaga on the 7-9 of June 2017 and will be hosted by the City of Malaga and Promalaga at the grand Palacio de ferias y congresos de Malaga.

The EBAN Annual Congress 2017 will be a spring of new ideas and trends, bringing together the world’s most eminent business angels, entrepreneurs and opinion makers, and enabling networking and dealmaking with experts in the field. We are expecting more than 500 participants from the early stage investing market as well as 100 startups from all over Europe and beyond.

Interested? Apply here before 1st April!
Selection results will be announced by Friday 14th April 2017.

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Tetuan Valley Startup School- Demo Day

Tetuan Valley is back with the 16th edition of its Startup School program in Madrid.

In 6 weeks we help you kickstart your tech project with help from mentors and expert entrepreneurs. Once a week you will have talks on different topics, workshops and pitch practice.

The program includes a hackathon too!

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Tetuan Valley Startup School

Tetuan Valley is back with the 16th edition of its Startup School program in Madrid.

In 6 weeks we help you kickstart your tech project with help from mentors and expert entrepreneurs. Once a week you will have talks on different topics, workshops and pitch practice.

The program includes a hackathon too!

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Tetuan Valley Startup School- Hackathon

Tetuan Valley is back with the 16th edition of its Startup School program in Madrid.

In 6 weeks we help you kickstart your tech project with help from mentors and expert entrepreneurs. Once a week you will have talks on different topics, workshops and pitch practice.

The program includes a hackathon too!

CONTINUE READING