Startup Europe Summit

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 krisztina.toth@startupeurope.network.



* 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.

Pitching contest at Startup Europe Summit

We’re looking for 25 companies that have raised already seed or series A funding to join us at  Startup Europe Summit, 21st-22nd March.

What we offer to the applicants with seed funding:

  • Exhibition possibility
  • Travel (economy) and accomodation (2-3 nights) costs will be covered for one representative from your country to Cluj-Napoca.

What we offer for the Series A companies:

  • Possibility to pitch in front of an expert jury. The selected entries will have about 10 minutes to pitch, followed by a Q&A session. All pitching participants will be rewarded with access to top investors – something that can really mark a milestone in your entrepreneurial life! The companies the jury members represent are: AXON, Early Game Ventures, Index and Atomico. More details will follow.
  • Travel (economy) and accomodation (2-3 nights) costs will be covered for one representative from your country to Cluj-Napoca.

How to apply?

  • We welcome applications from Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia and Croatia.
  • all verticals are accepted
  • send your pitch deck to contest@mygatewayproject.eu
  • in the body of the email, tell us:
    • why you’d like us to attend,
    • what your expectations are,
    • your vertical,
    • contact details of the person who would be attending the event (name, surname, position, email, telephone);
  • Subject: SES19

Apply by 4th March


What is Startup Europe Summit? 

Startup Europe Summit is an event that brings together the leading players in technology entrepreneurship and innovation. This year, the summit will take place in Cluj-Napoca, Romania in light of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. At the Summit you will be able to join thematic workshops, network with venture capitalists, engage with policy makers and learn how to grow your business abroad.

Startup Europe Summit draft agenda.



Secure Your Place at The Startup Europe Summit 2018

The fourth edition of the Startup Europe Summit takes place on 15 November, in Sofia, with 400 key actors from the European startup “ecosystem”. The event will bring together some of the best European startups with investors, media and policy makers. Aside of interesting speakers, who will be analysing key technological and policy trends for European startups, the event provides a great opportunity to mingle with people building the European startup ecosystems, identify new funding opportunities and get a feel of what is happening in the startup world, notably from Central Eastern Europe and Western Balkans regions.

Keynote speakers this year include Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, Simon Schaefer, Founder & CEO of Factory, President of Startup Portugal and Angel Investor in Europe and Anja Monrad, Senior Vice President & General Manager at Dell EMC and chair of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board. The meeting will also be attended by Boyko Borissov(tbc), Prime Minister of Bulgaria, as well as Yordanka Fandakova (tbc), Mayor of Sofia. You can consult the programme here.

This year’s Startup Europe Summit will be linked to the Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans, launched earlier this year by the European Commission. The aim of this initiative is to support the transition of the region and bring the benefits of the digital transformation to its citizens, by helping modernise public administrations, strengthen cybersecurity, increase connectivity, and improve the business climate.

The region has major assets with its large pool of talented people with strong ICT skills, dynamically growing start-up community and its rapidly improving infrastructure, connectivity and proximity to large markets. The digital transformation is also crucial for the growth of this Region – it can help transform local economies and societies while creating high-quality jobs.

The conference would also be an opportunity to be briefed by experts from the European Commission on the progress in establishing a Digital Single Market policies and what we are doing to support the growth of startups and young innovative companies and to help to SMEs to help take advantage of the digital transformation.



Startup Europe Summit – Post Event

For two days hundreds of policy-makers, founders, venture capitalists and key startup stakeholders converged on Berlin to inspire each other and create frameworks for real change in innovation policy. Thank you to everyone who attended!


After the success of the first edition of Welcome Roadshows for early stage startups, that last year saw six high potential companies travel across Europe broadening their network and raising funds cross border, WELCOME consortium is engaged in offering even a better experience to the 10 amazing startups selected for 2016.

Their second stop was in Berlin on June 9th and 10th where they attended the Startup Europe Summit 2016, a two-day conference focused on technology and policy-making.

At the event startups had the opportunity to represent their projects with a booth and to take part of the “Startups Games” a pitch competition organized within SES, they enter the pitching battle with almost other 20 startups. Our WELCOME Roadshow startups fought with honor round after round till the final battle where 3 of them out of a total 6 got the opportunity to pitch on the main stage of the event. The final was pretty intense but WELCOME startup still managed to position themselves 2° and 3° with SwiftComply and Girl Crew.

They will soon leave for the Silicon Valley to attend two-week startup school and come back to Europe stronger for next to trips to Madrid and Dublin.

Coming from the five WELCOME HQs these are the 10 selected startups participating to the EU Roadshow tour and Silicon Valley startup school:

  • Aria Wearables (Milan) an active thermal shoe sole that heats and cools down the feet
  • Cloudroom (Madrid) a cloud based learning platform that brings MOOC into the corporate world
  • GirlCrew (Dublin) a global community for women
  • Link.Fish (Berlin) a bookmark manager that allows people to work with the information behind URLs
  • Replex (Berlin) a service for IT teams that enables them collecting critical information on all infrastructure assets both physical and virtual
  • Replit (Madrid) a social discussion platform based on short videos
  • Solo (Milan) a virtual POS that lets merchants accept credit and debit card payments
  • SwiftComply (Dublin)a platform solution for Fat, Oil and Grease compliance in the food service industry
  • TourSnapp (Berlin)a service that applies the concept of Smart cities to cultural tourism
  • Up to Seven(Madrid) a social network that enables foodies to share recipes and suggestions


Stay Tuned!

SESpics1Winners: Pamela Newenham of GirlCrew, Luuv’s Tim Kirchner and Michael O’Dwyer of SwiftComply at the Startup Europe Summit in Berlin. Photograph: Ralf Rühmeier


Startup Europe Nations

Startup Europe Nations Council of Policymakers @ Startup Europe Summit 2016


On the 9th of June, Startup Europe brought together policymakers from across Europe to share their work, their achievements and the lessons learned during Startup Europe Summit 2016. A summary of the main highlights:

pt Manifesto



  • Poland highlighted the importance of developing good conditions for startups in urban centres (as Warsaw) by listening and providing to the needs of the community (as Startup Poland), complementing private initiative, not competing.

st PL

  • Estonia, recognising the value of Skype’s founders reinvesting in their country, develops startup supportive policy by encouraging high level political dialogue between startups and government. Recent work has been aimed at solving the existing lack of talent, easing the capital market, developing simple e-government and e-residency solutions, handling geoblocking, among other topics.


  • Belgium, through the support of Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Digital Agenda & Startups.be, has made impressive progress in policy work supporting workshop: tax incentives for startup hiring and investment, public procurement initiatives such as “buy from startups”, framework for sharing economy workers, among other advances.



  • The major lesson learned is that there are great things happening in Europe that should be shared further. For increasing the dialogue a Slack group was established, join here: https://goo.gl/4cCk5Q Startup Europe wants to help policymakers working on themes related to startups (e.g.: Digital Single Market) and promote what works. Reach out to Startup Europe so we can make your achievements more visible and push towards a more startup-friendly Europe!


Contact details:

Matevz Gantar: matevzgantar@usal.es


Startup Europe Summit 2016

Founders, Policy Makers and Tech Giants Convene in Berlin to Support Innovation in Europe:

To learn more about the Startup Europe Summit please email contact@startupeuropesummit.com

Key Points

● Startup Europe Summit 2016 will be held June 9-10 in Berlin. This is the second edition of Europe’s foremost technology policy conference for startups. Tickets are free for startups via www.startupeuropesummit.com

● Key influencers such as Travis Kalanick, Neelie Kroes, Commissioner Oettinger, Commissioner Moedas and President Markkula are joining European entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and international tech giants for a discussion on the European innovation economy.

● Startup Europe, Factory and Uber partner to announce the best ideas from Uber’s pan-European UberPITCH initiative on June 9th at the Summit.

● Facebook supports SpaceHack, the SES16 Hackathon looking for tech-solutions to make living conditions better for Refugees. Winners will present on Main Stage at the Summit.

● The German Marshall Fund and Factory partner to launch their whitepaper draft on policy challenges for entrepreneurs at the local and European level, based on fieldwork from a 5 city roadshow across Europe.

● Commissioner Moedas to join on June 10th for the launch of the Portuguese Startup Manifesto

Our schedule is now available for download via startupeuropesummit.com.

Berlin, Germany, 4 June 2016 ​- On June 9-10, 2016 the European tech community is gathering to meet key decision makers from the European Commission and other international governments to discuss the challenges and successes of technology and policy in Europe. The Startup Europe Summit (SES) looks to create a dialogue about local trends, economic developments, and hear from entrepreneurs and investors in order to support policy makers to develop a regulatory environment that can support the growth of startups and young innovative companies.

The first edition of the Summit in early 2015 brought Commissioner Ansip and Commissioner Oettinger to Berlin in their first 100 days in office, and this year’s SES will again host Commissioner Oettinger as well as Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science, Innovation. Additionally key influencers such as President Markkula of the Committee of Regions and Rudy Giuliani will join alongside Europe’s top entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and international tech giants, to discuss what European regulators should prioritize to encourage its innovation economy to flourish.

“We are excited to bring these two different worlds together. Startups and tech companies, the driving force behind today’s economy, have a quiet voice in Brussels. We built this event to allow our friends and colleagues to speak out.”​​said Simon Schaefer, Founder of Factory.

June 9-10 will host two full days packed with content focusing on the latest startup and policy trends in Europe. Key highlights of this year’s program include the kickoff of the conference on June 9th, with a Fireside Chat with Commissioner Gunther Oettinger followed by a special announcement from Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, revealing the best ideas from the tech company’s pan-European UberPITCH initiative.

With the unique mix of policy makers, entrepreneurs and international tech companies joining, conversations on stage will be matched with closed-door sessions – all boiling down what the Summit’s audience believes the Commission should prioritize in order to make business easier for startups in Europe.

With support from a wide range of sponsors and supporters, the Startup Europe Summit is able to provide tickets free of cost for startups for this year’s event. 800 guests will be joining the conversation in Berlin, adding to the strong voice of key founders and venture capitalists already speaking across the two days.

For more information please visit www.startupeuropesummit.com

The SES16 Press Kit can be found here.


What is the Startup Europe Summit?

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 create local events in Amsterdam, Dublin Lisbon, Madrid, Milan and Warsaw, to get a local perspective on the 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 of the European tech ecosystem.

For more information visit www.startupeuropesummit.com or #SES16


What is Factory?

Factory is building a network of spaces to support entrepreneurs and foster innovation. The concept uniquely combines the potential of digital innovation with the advantages of real estate. We bring together best-in-class startups with international tech companies and local heroes, creating the ideal platform for organic growth, collaboration and serendipity to occur in one place. Factory initiated in Berlin and is now building homes for startup communities around the world.

For more information visit www.factory.co or twitter.com/factory


What is Startup Europe?

Startup Europe is the European Commission action plan to strengthen the business environment for web and ICT entrepreneurs in Europe and contributing to innovation, growth and jobs. Startup Europe activities aim at encouraging entrepreneurship and improving framework conditions for tech startups in Europe.

For more information visit www.startupeurope.eu or twitter.com/startupeu


StartUp Europe Awards will be at the StartUp Europe Summit on the 9th and 10th June

Juan Manuel Revuelta, the General Director for Finnova, the foundation for the innovation based in Brussels, will present the StartUp Europe Awards in the StartUp Europe Summit to be held on the 9th and 10th June in Berlin.

This is an initiative promoted by the European Commission and implemented by the Foundation Finnova.  The main aim of StartUp Europe Awards is to recognise the effort made by the start-ups across Europe in eight different areas: Environment, Social, ICTs, Energy, Tourism, Cities, Water and Creative industries, as well as to reward the start-up awards organisers around the EU, by creating the StartUp Europe Awards Alliance, in which all the start-ups awards organisers will be included. For the moment, Zinc Shower is the first Spanish startup awards organiser joining the StartUp Europe Awards Alliance, and the Bank of Ireland StartUp Awards is the first British Member joining the Alliance. The latter has counted on Seán Kelly, MEP for Ireland as ambassador for the Bank of Ireland StartUp Awards in representation of the StartUp Europe Awards (video).

During our visit to Berlin, Finnova is also planning to meet some entrepreneurs located in Berlin, and Germany in general, to explain them the different ways to gain EU funding for their projects and also to offer them our help through the EU training platform and Startup Europe Accelerator, two programmes offered by the Foundation Finnova, the European Foundation for the innovation, and funded by the Spanish Ministry to increase entrepreneurship activity rate.