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Entrepreneur

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

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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Financial technology startups are invited to apply for the Rietumu Fintech Challenge 2017!

On April 26, Riga will host the biggest competition in the Baltics for startups developing financial technologies (FinTech). Rietumu Banka established the competition two years ago, and it is currently the largest event in the region. Thanks to the initiative of Rietumu Banka,many startups are now motivated to develop and improve the FinTech environment. The main prize on offer in the Rietumu Fintech Challenge 2017 is EUR 5,000. Register* until April 7 here.

Last year, 25 startups applied to take part in Rietumu Fintech Challenge 2016. The winner of the main prize was Nordigen, a startup from Latvia – a tool helping lenders to automatize the data analysis of borrowers’ bank printouts.

According to Roberts Bernāns, Development Director of Nordigen, “The Rietumu Fintech Challenge is a valuable event, because FinTech culture in Latvia is very active. It is good that big companies are providing support for such initiatives. Especially so, when the support comes from Rietumu Banka which also helps startups to function using the platform it provides. In preparing for the competition last year, we had a defined technology, but we lacked a clear understanding of its applicability. However, the presence of many mentors from the banks and other large financial enterprises gave us the chance to understand whether our service was useful and appropriate for them. Moreover, the large number of foreign experts involved helped us to understand whether our service was viable beyond the borders of Latvia. Our success in this competition is our quality mark and a reference we often use in order to increase the credibility of our brand.”

This year, the involvement of more participants from all the Baltic States, Scandinavia and Russia is expected. As previously, the jury will assess the submitted applications. After all applications, have been reviewed, the strongest startups will be selected for the final. The finalists will have the opportunity to spend a full day working with FinTech industry experts and mentors. These experts will share their advice and experience to encourage the teams to formulate their future vision of their product and business in general as precisely as possible, as well as to prepare the startups for the presentation to investors at the end of the day.

The Rietumu Fintech Challenge 2017 is organised by the Latvian Startup association StartinLV in collaboration with Rietumu Banka.  Both parties signed the collaboration agreement at the beginning of 2017. Previously, Rietumu Banka has actively supported different initiatives of startups, for instance, participating in FinTech Club – the series of closed events specially organised for startups working in financial technologies.

Jevgēnijs Djugajevs, Board Member of Rietumu Banka explains that, “Launching a successful FinTech project is complicated. The need to deal with real money and reveal private financial information means that user requirements in regard to new solutions are often high. While it is possible to create something unique, the company should not only be thinking about launching a product; it also has to ensure the product’s reliability and security. It is important to comply with regulations and to avoid bankruptcy. Sometimes companies launch an unfinished project expecting to deal with emerging problems on the go. In our field, this is almost impossible. Therefore, the Rietumu FinTech Challenge has a professional jury that can guide entrepreneurs in the right direction, help them find solutions to problems, and last but not least, to identify the leader amongst the crowd.”

Jekaterina Novicka Chairperson of the Board of Latvian Startup Association says, “We are truly glad that through the Rietumu Fintech Challenge, we can showcase Latvia as a platform able to attract financial technology industry teams from all over the region. It is also a unique opportunity for Latvian FinTech startups to learn, establish contacts and further cooperate with internationally recognized experts. The Rietumu Fintech Challenge is a fantastic chance to understand and exploit the advantages offered by banks.”

Rietumu Fintech Challenge 2017 welcomes applications from startups that already have working product or its prototype.  The product must be appropriate for use in the FinTech field. From all the applications, the jury will select the strongest startups, which will then be invited to take part in the all-day mentoring session and compete for the main prize. Register* until April 7 here: https://www.f6s.com/rietumufintechchallenge2017/apply

*In order to register for the Rietumu FinTech Challenge 2017, it is necessary to create a startup profile using the free platform http://f6s.com. Afterwards, you can fill in the questionnaire and to register for the competition. If you have any questions regarding registration, please do not hesitate to contact the project manager Aļona Beļinska by e-mail: alona@startin.lv

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Startups in Madrid: pitch & exhibit at Startup Olé!

Do you want the opportunity to gain more visibility for your startup at Startup Olé?

Madrid Startup House Foundation is giving a select group of startups from Madrid the opportunity to take part in the Pitching Competition in front of prominent investors and corporates at Startup Olé, as well as the opportunity to be part of the stand for Madrid Startup House to exhibit your startup.

Madrid Startup House Foundation is a pilot initiative which began through Startup Europe. It aims to be a one stop shop where entrepreneurs and startups can find everything they need to startup in Madrid, Spain. It is a neutral space which aims to connect all players of the ecosystem, and facilitate Madrid, and Spain’s, ability to adapt to the Digital Single Market.

Madrid Startup House will be at Startup Olé for both days of the event in Salamanca, on 26th and 27th April, to present the Madrid ecosystem and explain more about the initiative.

If you would like to go with Madrid Startup House, it’s very easy, just follow these steps:

1. Present your startup during the Pitching Competition

Fill out the Google form before 14th April


Selection criteria:
Your startup must be in the phase of “Scale up”
Knowledge of English
Availability to travel to Salamanca between 26th and 27th April

2. Retweet to have your stand at Startup Olé

Follow MSH on twitter
RT the post for this competition
Tag Madrid Startup House in the new post, using the hashtag #QuieroEstarEnStartupOle


Selection criteria:
Follow these steps before 14 April
Availability to travel to Salamanca for 26th and 27th April
Knowledge of English

Winners will be announced on 21 April. Good luck! 🚀

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EU-Startups conference

The EU-Startups Conference is an annual event which showcases a selection of Europe’s hottest startups and wich set out to connect and inspire the best entrepreneurs and investors from across Europe.

There will be fireside chats with internationally successful founders like Jesper Buch (Just Eat founder / angel investor) and Peter Vesterbacka (Rovio, Angry Birds, Slush, Lightneer), interesting speeches, an “Investors on Stage” session and great networking opportunities.

In addition there will be an exciting pitch competition with 15 exciting startups from all across Europe. The pitch competition will be judged by a team of well known investors and winning startup team will receive a prize package worth more than €11,000.

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