Vice-President of the Commission Ansip and President of the Committee of Regions Markkula at launch of new Startup Europe Network
It was in an informal atmosphere quite appropriate to the topic, that Vice-President of the European Commission Andreas Ansip and President of the European Committee of Regions Markku Markkula participated together in the launch of a new network intended to aggregate and leverage regional support to startups, in an event held in the latter institution in Brussels on the past 1st October.
Designated ‘Startup Europe Comes to the Regions’ and organized by INOVA+ as coordinator of one of the pillar projects of the Startup Europe Initiative, the event gathered nearly 100 participants from over 25 regions already engaged in support to new ventures at local level, and interested to discuss how to join efforts in order to scale-up this support to European level. With speakers from several policy areas of the European Commission, including ICT, Growth, Research and Regional Policies, as well as from the regions and startup communities, the event addressed the issues of the funding gap felt by startups in Europe and the fragmented support policies across Europe and proposed one major step towards a solution. This is the new ‘Startup Europe Regions Network (SERN)’ which will be built around a group of founding regions and is expected to act as catalyst to further action and support at European level for the global growth of startups. The network, that will be backed by a permanent secretariat to be based in Brussels, will interact with the European Commission, the Committee or Regions and other concerned organizations such as the European Investment Bank, as well as with investors and entrepreneurs, to propose and implement measures that complement and scale-up the existent regional support, and allow to bring regional startup champions into the EU and global arena.