Commissioner Mariya Gabriel endorses the Western Balkan policy recommendations
It was only on 15 November 2018 at Startup Europe Summit in Sofia, Bulgaria, that the Founding Members of the Startup Europe Central and Eastern Europe Network (SECEEN) and the Startup Europe Western Balkans Network (SEWBN) publicly signed a Joint Declaration aimed at reinforcing the tech entrepreneurship ecosystems of their regions. Four months later, the Founding Members of the Startup Europe Western Balkans Network (Seavus Educational and Development Center – North Macedonia; Serbia Start Up- Serbia; Oficina- Albania; Innovation Centre Kosovo- Kosovo*; Digitalizuj.me- Montenegro; SPARK poslovni park d.o.o- Bosnia and Herzegovina) are proud to present the first joint effort from the Network– the Policy Recommendations reflecting the main challenges the Western Balkan countries need to tackle in order to thrive and be further connected to the European entrepreneurial ecosystem.
In her opening speech in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, at the Startup Europe Summit 2019, Mariya Gabriel highlighted the perfect timing for the Startup Europe Central and Eastern Europe Network and Startup Europe Western Balkans Network to be established, which is why she supported their launch back in November.
“[The Networks] focus on existing barriers for growth in the region and this Summit, now in Romania, is crucial because they will present publicly a set of concrete and actionable recommendations for European leaders and policymakers” – Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society
The Commissioner strongly believes that the policy recommendations are just the beginning of a long journey and everyone’s support is needed for the winds of change to blow strong. Throughout her speech, she pushed for active participation from all startups coming from Central and Eastern Europe and, in particular, the Western Balkan region and stressed that the opportunities provided by the Digital Agenda for Western Balkans should be seized. This is the only way for a truly Digital Single Market to be created.
Soon afterwards, Mariya Gabriel was handed over the policy recommendations by Europa Media Group, the Hungarian founding member and the leader of the two Networks, about which she said:
“This set of policy recommendations will facilitate the development of the Networks and contribute to the economic progress of their regions.”
Mariya Gabriel’s endorsement is already providing the boost that Western Balkan voices need in order to be heard by ecosystem players across Europe, thereby allowing everyone to benefit from a more equal and leveraged European startup ecosystem.
Concerning the policy recommendations for the Western Balkans
The policy recommendations, which are the very first joint endeavour of the Startup Europe Western Balkans Network, aim to facilitate the internationalisation of the Western Balkan countries and promote them in macroeconomic environments, as well as building bridges across the participating markets and cultures. In the long-run, the Western Balkan countries have a huge potential to become new hot spots attracting startups and innovators from all over Europe. However, common structural challenges must be addressed first through target measures. Some of the strategies that could be highlighted include building new collaboration mechanisms and support the existing ones, nurturing soft-landing opportunities and enhancing coordination both at national and regional levels.
For more information pertaining to the work of the Startup Europe Central and Eastern Europe Network and the Startup Europe Western Balkans Network, please contact Krisztina Toth at email@example.com.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
MY-GATEWAY project wants 22 CEE and Western Balkan startups to attend Startup Europe Summit!
In total twenty-two startups, twelve from Central and Eastern Europe and ten from the Western Balkans, will be selected to attend this year’s edition of ‘The European Startup Event’. A committee comprised of leading startup support organizations from the CEE and Western Balkan countries will select the startups through specific criteria.
Selected startups will be given the possibility to meet high-profile people such as Prime Ministers and European Commission policymakers to discuss European entrepreneurship and new opportunities. The one-day Summit will be filled with workshops on how to access venture capital, business angel funding, EU funding and panel talks on how to scale-up. Travel and accommodation expenses of one representative per selected startup selected will be reimbursed by the European Commission.
Take a look at the Summit’s agenda here.
Would you like to apply? Click here.
‘We need to create programs and policies to connect ecosystems, founders and startups at European level.’
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, and also key-note speaker at the Summit, said at her speech on Masters of Digital.
‘This is with a view to accelerate growth, cooperation and diversity.’
In order to be considered for the application process and be eventually selected to attend Startup Europe Summit, startups need to have a high growth potential, a prototype or viable business plan and a unique business idea.
What is Startup Europe Summit?
Startup Europe Summit is a European Commission event which aims to bring together startup founders and policy makers. More than 400 people will attend this year’s Bulgarian edition to learn about new funding opportunities, meet entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders and benefit from the possibility of closing a business deal.
Check out the agenda here.
What is MY-GATEWAY?
MY-GATEWAY is an initiative of Startup Europe that aims to strengthen the capacities of high-tech start-ups and innovative SMEs in the CEE region to become better connected, gain higher market exposure, and have improved streamlined access to funding opportunities and talents.
Road Trip to Africa – Nigeria
- 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.
Startup Europe Comes to Africa (SEC2A) Launch Event 6th November 2017, Brussels
Startup Europe Comes to Africa (“SEC2A”) Launch Event
6thNovember 2017, Brussels
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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)
If you want to attend the event and need to get a ticket, then click here.
Launch Startup Europe News
Startup Europe News GLOBAL LAUNCH
Online News Website & Networking Events
Simultaneous launch in 28 countries
OPENING OF SEN SOIRÉE Innovative event network
Exhibition of European Startups through Artistic photography
Launching the Startup Europe Map
Within the framework of the startup event of the year, Startup Europe Summit, Startup Europe, a European Commission initiative, is both proud and excited to announce the launch of the Startup Europe Map.
On our mission to network and bring together different key players of the European startup ecosystem, Startup Europe has given birth to the Startup Europe map. One of the map’s main aims is to identify everyone who plays a part in the building of the startup ecosystem. By having a space on the map, it’ll be easier for relevant stakeholders to identify accelerators, incubators, investors, corporations, universities and public administrations involved in the ecosystem. Thus, establishing contact, sharing experiences, finding funding among other European key players will be just a click away. And keep a look-out: Africa and India are on their way too!
Another great purpose of the map is to promote best practices: we aim to do so by making them public thereby facilitating their sharing and replication. The whole map will be divided by sector, which will then be further grouped according to country, support and organizations: by bringing together those who have similar interests we are confident that it will help them find different forms of aid and support.
Last February’s event, Startup Europe Week 2016, was an eye-opener: one of the main obstacles to the creation of a European ecosystem is the lack of knowledge of the support and advice available out there. We spotted many initiatives which are unknown to the greater public, including European Commission ones. This has prompted us to create the map: making the life of startups and entrepreneurs a little easier with the help of already existing initiatives as well as new ones.
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Startup Europe Summit. The Policy Conference for Startups and Tech.
WHAT IS THE STARTUP EUROPE SUMMIT?
The Startup Europe Summit (SES) is a series of events that brings the diverse players of the tech and digital industry under one roof. The event series started in early 2015, with an inaugural summit hosted in Berlin. SES16 addresses the key technological and policy issues that impact the business arena for startups, mature tech companies and the established industry alike. In the build-up to SES16 we are creating local events in Amsterdam, Dublin Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, and Warsaw, to get a local perspective upon the frameworks regulating startups that will be addressed at SES16. During the main event in Berlin, with multiple stages and private meetings, we will produce results and form a joint opinion on the European tech ecosystem. Do join us in our efforts.