Portugal’s Startup Ecosystem is now a force to be reckoned with!

SEP releases first research into the Portuguese ICT Scaleups and Exits ecosystem, published with the support of Microsoft Portugal and Ativar Portugal Startups.

 • Despite its relatively recent history, 40 scaleups (startups with >$1M funding raised since foundation and at least one funding round in the last 5-year period) have been identified by SEP in Portugal. They have cumulatively raised over $166M from venture capital since inception, with an average of $4.2M each. 24 other companies have been able to secure funding in the range of $0.5-$1M.

• The greatest number of Portuguese scaleups (42% of the total) are located in Lisbon and account for about 60% of the total money made available to Portuguese scaleups. 28% are based in Porto. The remaining are scattered all over Portugal.

• From the “exits” side, 9 M&As have been reported in the last five years, about ten times less than the average of the other five countries previously analyzed by SEP (UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain). They all exited internationally. In the same period, no Portuguese ICT company went public (IPO).

• The vast majority (90%) of Portuguese scaleups are small scaleups and fall into the $1M-$10M category of capital raised (they collected 44% of the total amount of capital raised). Over half of the total capital made available to Portuguese scaleups has been raised by the mid-scaleup segment ($10-$50M). 4 companies secured 56% of the overall capital raised. No scalers (i.e., scaleups able to raise over $100M raised) nor Unicorns (companies valued over $1B) have yet been spotted in Portugal. However it’s worth noting that one European unicorn has Portuguese blood in its veins: Farfetch, is a UK company founded in 2008 by the Portuguese entrepreneur Josè Neves.

• Several Dual Companies (headquartered abroad but maintaining a strong operational presence in Portugal) have been detected and continue to invest a large part of the capital raised in their home country. The most notable are Feedzai, Talkdesk, Veniam, Unbabel and Musikki.

• Rising from the late-2000s financial crisis, Portugal is rapidly emerging on the European startup map. Although it can’t yet be compared with other leading countries previously analyzed by SEP (UK, Germany, France), it does however share some of the same similarities. – download the comprehensive Report

Lisboa, November 27th 2015. — Startup Europe Partnership (SEP), in collaboration with CrESIT, today published its new Monitor focused on the Portuguese ICT scaleup ecosystem. This Monitor has been produced with the support of Microsoft Portugal and Ativar Portugal Startups and will be showcased later in the day at the UP Awards, an event that will bring together the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country.

The study shows that Portugal is rising from the late-2000s financial crisis and rapidly emerging on the European startup map, with a very vibrant entrepreneurial community able to produce tangible results, despite its relatively young history. Although it can’t yet be compared with the leading countries previously analyzed by SEP (UK, Germany, France), Portugal does share many of the same similarities – and a smaller gap – with Spain and, particularly, Italy.

“We were in Lisbon in June for our SEP Matching Event and we found a very vibrant entrepreneurial community, and it’s therefore no surprise that the Web Summit will be held there from 2016 – commented Alberto Onetti, Coordinator of SEP – The good news is that this young ecosystem has already been able to produce tangible results. It’s growing fast and if the numbers are weighted to factor in GDP, the ability of Portugal to create scaleups is really quite remarkable.”

SEP identified and analyzed 40 scaleups (startups that raised over $1 million) that broke the early-stage level and cumulatively raised over $166M from Venture Capital, with an average of $4.2M each.

“Supporting today’s startups is investing in the Portugal of tomorrow – Caroline Phillips, Director of Developer Experience & Entrepreneurship at Microsoft Portugal commented – and this research confirms what we have known for some time, namely that Portuguese Scaleups are transforming into truly world class companies and stimulating new economic growth and innovation.”

To properly assess the Portuguese data, we need to factor in the relative newness of the Portuguese startup ecosystem: 65% of the Portuguese scaleups had a funding round in the last two years (the majority of which was raised this year) and 75% were founded after 2010 (and 48% after 2012). In addition, Portugal is a relatively small sized economy compared to the other countries analyzed (Portuguese GDP is $230B, 16 times lower than Germany, about 12 times lower than the UK and France, 9 times lower than Italy and 6 lower than Spain).

Other Key Findings

In addition, 24 other startups were able to secure funding in the range of $0.5-$1M and are scaleup candidates for the immediate future. A comparison with other countries shows to be appropriate at this stage:

> Raising capitals: mid-scaleups leading, 4 scaleups secured 56% of total, no Scalers
In this respect the Portuguese scaleup landscape looks very similar to that of Italy – and to a lesser extent to Spain – with a large dominance of small scaleups. The vast majority of Portuguese companies (90%) that have actively raised funds in the recent years fall into the $1M-$10M category of capital raised and account for 44% of the total amount. 8% fall into the $20-50M range and collected 48%, 2% fall into the $10-20M range and raised 8% of the total capital. As a consequence, over 50% of the total capital made available to Portuguese scaleups has been raised by the mid-scaleup segment ($10-$50M). No scalers (i.e. $100M raised) have yet been spotted in Portugal.

> Exits: 9 M&A, no IPOs
It is not unexpected that Portugal currently lags behind in terms of exits. The SEP Monitor identified 9 M&As, with an average of two transactions per year in the last four years (3, 1, 2 and 3 acquisitions respectively in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015). This number is about ten times smaller than the five-country EU average (75), and still far from the other two Mediterranean countries (Italy has 30 exits, while Spain recorded 39 exits). No Portuguese ICT company has gone public in the last five-year period.

> Exits: all abroad
All Portuguese scaleups exited internationally. The large majority of the deals (66%) were completed by U.S. buyers, while 22% of the acquisitions were by companies from other EU countries (Spain and UK), and none by a Portuguese company. One acquisition was from a South African company (Naspers). This data suggests that the Portuguese startup ecosystem is internationally well connected, while the domestic corporate market is not yet exploiting the opportunity of investing into startups.

> Hubs: Lisbon and Porto are leading
The greatest number of Portuguese scaleups (17, 42% of the total) are located in Lisbon. And in Lisbon it looks easier to get access to venture capital: the companies based in the capital city raised about 60% of the total money made available to Portuguese scaleups. 11 scaleups (28%) are based in Porto. This makes it the second scaleup hub in Portugal. The remaining scaleups (12) are scattered all over Portugal, with a larger concentration in the north and specifically in the area surrounding Porto and Braga.

> Areas: Software Solutions, Business Analytics and Health are leading the market
Software Solutions, Business Analytics and Health respectively account for 17% and 13% of all the scaleups mapped in Portugal. Education, Enterprise Services, Hospitality and Mobile equally attract 8% of the identified companies. Other areas such as Cleantech, Digital Media and Fashion are attracting more scaleups (5% each).

> Dual Model
As reported in other European countries such as France and Italy, the SEP Monitor detected a number of Dual Companies (domestic-born and grown-abroad), i.e. Portuguese startups that relocated their headquarters – and with that part of their value chain – abroad, while maintaining a strong operational and technological presence in the country of origin. Feedzai and Talkdesk, for instance, moved their headquarters to the US where they raised post-seed capital from US investors. Other interesting dual model examples include Veniam (initially founded in Porto in 2012, the company is now based in Mountain View with engineering labs in Portugal), Unbabel (founded in 2013 in Lisbon, Unbabel is now headquartered in San Francisco, while maintaining engineering in Portugal) and Musikki (launched in 2011, Aveiro-based, is now headquartered in London with operations in Porto).

> No Unicorns yet
No Unicorns have yet been spotted in Portugal, despite one European unicorn having Portuguese blood in its veins. Farfetch was founded in 2008 by the Portuguese entrepreneur Josè Neves. The company’s headquarters are in London, but most of its technology operations are in Porto where it has more than 1,000 employees. Farfetch raised $195M in five rounds.

 About Startup Europe Partnership

Established by the European Commission in January 2014 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, SEP is the first pan-European platform dedicated to transforming European startups into scaleups by linking them with global corporations. By participating in the SEP program, global companies can help this process via business partnerships and strategic and venture corporate investments, providing them with access to the best technologies and talents through procurement of services or products, corporate acquisition or “acquihiring”. SEP is led by Mind the Bridge Foundation, a global organization based in Europe and United States, with the support of Nesta (the UK’s innovation foundation), Factory (an acceleration program and campus for tech companies of any stage, originating from Berlin), and Bisite Accelerator (Madrid/Salamanca). SEP is a Startup Europe initiative. Partners include Telefónica, Orange, BBVA (Founding), and Telecom Italia, Unipol Group, Microsoft and Enel (SEP Corporate Member), with the institutional support of the European Investment Fund/ European Investment Bank Group, London Stock Exchange Group, Cambridge University, IE Business School and Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society.

For more info: http://startupeuropepartnership.eu | @sep_eu

About SEP Monitor

The SEP Monitor is based on the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) mapping & scouting database that focuses on scaleups. SEP categorizes ICT companies based on capital raised as follows:

Startup: <$1M funding raised (since foundation) and at least one funding event in the last five-year period.

Scaleup: >$1M funding raised (since foundation) and at least one funding event in the last five-year period.

Scaler: >$100M funding raised (since foundation) and at least one funding event in the last five-year period.

SEP considers Exits to be liquidity events that occurred in the last five-year period: For companies that exited via M&A, the valuation is the amount that the company got acquired for, while for companies that went public, the exit valuation is that on the day of the IPO.

SEP Sources of information include the SEP database, portfolios of VC companies, corporate venture units, business angels, accelerators and active seed and early stage funds, crowdfunding platforms, tech competitions, and other relevant channels. Research is ongoing and results reported in the SEP Monitor are preliminary and cannot be considered as final. SEP welcomes research from everyone in the European startup ecosystem by providing data and indicating cases of scaleup companies and exits to be monitored. SEP Monitor is published by SEP in collaboration with CrESIT. Other SEP Monitors are available for download at: http://startupeuropepartnership.eu/mapping

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

About Ativar Portugal Startups

Ativar Portugal Startups is a local initiative led by Microsoft designed to help Portuguese startups build successful, world class businesses in partnership with the best of the best from the startup ecosystem including accelerators, incubators, government agencies, venture capitalists and other national companies. For further information, visit https://startups.ativarportugal.pt/

For further information:

Startup Europe Partnership/Mind the Bridge Foundation
Serena Orizi – PR and Communications
(+39) 3204205558


Microsoft Portugal
Margarida Henriques / Marta Pereira
/ or 96 209 33 68 / 93 484 74 86


Startup Europe project WeHubs presented during EBN Annual conference


 WeHubs, one of the 14 Startup Europe projects was presented during the first day of the EBN Annual Conference in Brussels. EBN, an important player, that has become a reference point in Europe on innovation, spin-off, incubation, SMEs, regional economic development, and entrepreneurship acknowledged the importance to support the women web entrepreneurship by opening the first session of the congress with WeHubs.

Géraldine Quetin, from InterInnov Paris, the first speaker of the panel, was honoured to introduce this initiative that aims to create the First European Network of Women Web Entrepreneurs Hubs by supporting favourable and inspiring environment for women Web Entrepreneurs in Europe.


She enthusiastically presented the main recommendations for business support organisations and women web entrepreneurs and she described how WeHubs envisages the creation of network by introducing 6 local hubs. At the end she stressed the added value of being a part of this community and she invited all interested players to join.

WeHubs project is a 2-year project financed by EC DG Connect. After the first stage that was dedicated to a mapping exercise the second stage of creation of network was officially launched during the Congress. Business support organisations present during the congress were encouraged to express their interests for future collaboration. To be able to take notes of interest coming from EBN network, Startup Europe WeHubs stand was installed in the exhibition area with a volunteer to reply to any possible requests. 7 partners of the consortium led by EBN are happy to announce that the WeHubs stand was one of the busiest stand during the conference.


For more information contact  or


Let´s cooperate with our partner Nesta

Nesta wants to understand the motivations and barriers relating to collaboration between startups and large corporates.

That´s why we need your collaboration by completing this survey!

Building on our Winning Together report, we are particularly interested in figuring out how to improve procurement procedures (corporates buying products and services from startups), strategic investments and acquisition/acqui-hires. We aim to summarise our findings in a new report which Nesta will publish at the end of 2015. Please note that your responses will be kept anonymous; only aggregate data will be published.

This survey will take less than 5 minutes to complete.

The deadline for completing this survey is November 30th, 2015.


Startup Europe Week: become a local organiser in your region!

Startup Europe’s next big event is Startup Europe Week, a bottom up movement that aims to set up a meetup in every single region of Europe to inform startups about the available support and resources both at local and EU level.

To make Startup Europe Week (SEW) a reality, we need your involvement.

Our goal is to bring together as many regions as possible. To help us on this venture, SEW has the valuable support from Startup Europe and the EU Committee of the Regions. Our goal with Startup Europe Week is to bring together entrepreneurs and regions, closing a gap that is very unique in Europe – the importance of local / regional support in new business creation. To make this a reality we need local champions able to mobilise the most relevant actors of their local ecosystem. We want startups to be informed and able to tap all the resources available.

A typical meetup within SEW will be:

  • Focused on the regional/local level: giving information on what local or ecosystem players can do for entrepreneurs locally;
  • Based on a hands-on approach: the format and the information presented should be as pragmatic as possible;
  • A great occasion to network and obtain information local entrepreneurs cannot get from browsing online.

As a Startup Europe Week local Leader, you will reap benefits, such as:

  • High-level exposure and publicity with both local authorities and the European Commission team;
  • Official endorsement for your meetup by the Startup Europe and the European Commission team;
  • Working along the Startup Europe initiative and utilising this well-known label for your promotional activities;
  • Your profile will be featured at the Startup Europe Week official website and all social channels.

Moreover, the European Commission and the EU Committee of the Regions will fully support your endeavours, for example by providing you with all marketing and dissemination materials, as well as with an easier access to local authorities.

Currently, we have more than 30 regions involved, such as Paris, Milan and Tallin. Check the map on the official website: team up with the organisers in your city or region; or, if this is not covered yet, you may be the next SEW local Leader!

Help us support startups all over Europe.

If you want to become the SEW organiser of your region, please apply to the official website.

We hope to welcome you aboard this exciting initiative and remain available for any further information.



Startup Europe brings startups to Slush

Slush took place at the Exhibition and Convention Centre of Helsinki (Messukeskus) on 11th and 12th of November and Startup Europe was represented in this important event by the WELCOME Project.

Captura de pantalla 2015-11-24 a la(s) 17.46.07WELCOME´s startups ready to enjoy Slush

Slush is nowadays the largest startup event in the Nordics and the second largest in Europe with an attendance of over 15,000 people. This includes 1,700 startups and 800 investors both local and international. The philosophy behind Slush remains to help the next generation of great, world-conquering companies forward.

60 high profile international speakers were spread across 4 stages including Niklas Zennstrom, co-founder of Skype and Atomico; Niklas Ostberg, CEO & co-founder of Delivery Hero and Jyrki Katainen, Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness in European Commission, among many others.

5 WELCOME startups from 4 WELCOME ecosystems attended Slush, through the Europass activity, which funds startups to attend 2 major European startup events:

The startups were given access to the wide range of supports that Slush has in place for them. Each of the startups was offered a place at a “Startup Day” which took place the day before the conference and consisted of talks, workshops and networking opportunities for the startups.

Captura de pantalla 2015-11-24 a la(s) 17.48.13OPSH taking part in a Slush session

WELCOME startups were also given access to the Slush platform which allowed them to make contact with the over 800 investors present at Slush and arrange meetings with them. All of our startups made great use of this platform and arranged many valuable meetings through this.

WELCOME has also linked up with e-Estonia. The Estonian government’s business promotion agency and WELCOME startups were invited to attend a mentoring session with Sten Tamkivi, CEO and co-founder of Teleport as well as early executive of Skype. Sten provided WELCOME startups with some invaluable insights into running an international startup, including tips on fundraising and managing a team across several countries.

Captura de pantalla 2015-11-24 a la(s) 17.49.45OPSH meeting Sten Tamkiyi

This is what our startups had to say:

Lenard F. Krawinkel, CEO, Zoobe It is the first big conference, where it was actually possible to have one to one meetings in a kind of concentrated way. […] I thought it was highly productive and well organised. Thank you very much!”

Grace McGinn, co-founder OPSH We thought Slush was a brilliant start-up event to attend. We found it extremely manageable and focused. We met a number of investors we had planned to meet in advance, and also had follow-on meetings with 2 investors who we met at the welcoming party event. In terms of the partners, we noticed that the start-up stands tended to be 5/6 years in business, and we identified 2 partners for platform technologies and retail analytics who we are following up with now. We found the structure of the event to be extremely focused, and it was very beneficial to us for investor contacts, and partner contacts, which is what we are currently seeking. A note also to Slush making the event extremely Scandinavian cool ;)”

About the WELCOME project

WELCOME is a project under Startup Europe initiative that aims to contribute to building a pan-European tech startup ecosystem. To that end, WELCOME lays bridges for startups from five vibrant EU startup ecosystems —Berlin, Dublin, Milan, Madrid and Salamanca— by connecting them with leading organisations committed to supporting tech entrepreneurship.

The project targets early and late stage startups with activities enabling them to grow across borders and access the right combination of finance while helping them to find the best talent.

Learn more about us and take part in our activities through www.WELCOMEstartup.eu & @welcomestartup on Twitter.


Startup Europe at Web Summit 2015

Web Summit 2015 took place at the RDS in Dublin, Ireland from 3-5 November and Startup Europe was there representing the European Commission thanks to the WELCOME Project.

Captura de pantalla 2015-11-24 a las 17.35.07WELCOME’s stand was the meeting point for startups and investors

In the last 5 years this event has grown from a small one, with 400 attendees, to the biggest startup event in Europe with over 22,000 attendees from 110 countries. An amalgamation of 21 different summits with over 1000 speakers, Web Summit has become one of the “must attend” events in the European tech scene.

This event was ideal for the 9 WELCOME startups to attend as it was large enough for them to meet plenty of people including some very big names in the tech world, such as the President of Pixar, the Co-Founder of Instagram, among others.

The presence of the WELCOME stand as well as the complementary events organized by local ecosystem partner, DCU Ryan Academy ensured that WELCOME startups had a distinct advantage over their counterparts at Web Summit.

3 startups from 3 WELCOME ecosystems attended Web Summit as part of the Europass activity:

This was supplemented by the attendance of 6 startups from the WELCOME´s EU Roadshow activity:

The WELCOME startups’ first event in Dublin was a pub crawl hosted by DCU Ryan Academy as part of the Web Summit “Night Summit” on the eve of Web Summit (2nd Nov). “Group 56” was comprised of 30 general Web Summit attendees plus some of the WELCOME startups and partner staff, who then joined the launch event with all the other attendees. It was a good first networking opportunity for the startups and provided a chance for the WELCOME group to get to know each other.

Captura de pantalla 2015-11-24 a las 17.36.56WELCOME startups were key to Night Summit’s group 56 success


The following morning (3rd Nov) the group met at the WELCOME stand at Web Summit. This stand was located in the main exhibition space at Web Summit, right beside the Google stand. The stand formed a meeting point for the startups over the 3 days. Many of the startups used the stand as a meeting point for investors and partners that they met at the event.

After a full day at Web Summit, the WELCOME startups and partners attended a reception at the offices of Irelandia Investments, a partner of the DCU Ryan Academy located in Dublin’s Silicon Docks area – at the centre of Dublin’s tech scene. The event was hosted by Declan Ryan and was attended by several local investors, key figures from the Dublin startup community and corporates such as Google, the CEO of Hot Hotels, among others.


Captura de pantalla 2015-11-24 a las 17.38.13WELCOME stand during the investor matchmaking event


An investor matchmaking event was held for startups attending Web Summit as well as WELCOME startups at Web Summit on Wednesday morning (4th Nov) and the booth became a hot spot thanks to a qualified matchmaking event between investors and startups, which involved:

  • 10+ top, international investors and corporate partners
  • 12+ selected top startups from 4 different EU countries

The vibrant business atmosphere attracted many Web Summit attendees to the booth, looking to discover what was going on and how to take part in the WELCOME project and the Startup Europe initiative. Investors praised the organization of the event, especially the quality and internationality of the deal flow. For startups, the matchmaking event represented a unique opportunity since they had meetings with key investors such as Giannia Mattera from Growing Capital and David Bowles from Delta Partners. Startups also met with corporates including Mastercard and PCH International.

The final event in the Web Summit schedule was Flounders, an event held every year on the final evening of Web Summit designed to embrace failure in the startup ecosystem.

WELCOME startups such as Standard Access and Miito got noticed by relevant investors, such as Francesco Lato, Widening Ventures “Two startups attracted my interest, both in the hardware industry. One is Irish, and starting from New York their team will revolutionize how guests will access their rooms in hotels and potentially all kinds of accommodation, from Airbnb to commercial buildings. The other one is German, still a hardware company yet simpler. They recently completed a very successful campaign on Kickstarter”


Captura de pantalla 2015-11-24 a las 17.39.27




About the WELCOME project

WELCOME is a project under Startup Europe initiative that aims to contribute to building a pan-European tech startup ecosystem. To that end, WELCOME lays bridges for startups from five vibrant EU startup ecosystems —Berlin, Dublin, Milan, Madrid and Salamanca— by connecting them with leading organisations committed to supporting tech entrepreneurship.

The project targets early and late stage startups with activities enabling them to grow across borders and access the right combination of finance while helping them to find the best talent.

Learn more about us and take part in our activities through www.WELCOMEstartup.eu & @welcomestartup on Twitter.



Startup Europe and ELITE are partners to support the scale-up of Europe’s future champions

Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) announces today a partnership with ELITE, London Stock Exchange Group’s innovative business support programme. The agreement was signed the past 10th of November in occasion of the last SEP Matching Event held in Helsinki.

“LSEG-London Stock Exchange Group with ELITE have done a phenomenal job in guiding many companies on the way they can scale-up – Alberto Onetti, President of Mind the Bridge and SEP Coordinator, commented – For these companies, access to the SEP open innovation platform could further boost their capacity to grow and innovate.”

Both SEP and ELITE are leading platforms devoted to supporting the growth of Europe’s most promising companies.

SEP is the open innovation platform launched by the European Commission managed by Mind the Bridge. Its goal is to initiate qualified connections (“matching”) between top European scale-ups and medium and large corporations in order to foster commercial and strategic partnerships.

ELITE offers businesses a full programme to help them grow, including education training and direct contact with Europe’s financial and advisory community, through a unique online portal. Management teams are guided on how best to fast-track their development and capital raising processes, how to access the most suitable funding for their needs, whether private equity, venture capital or the bond or equity markets, and given advice on building their profile and reach.

“We are delighted to be partnering with SEP, allowing us to enhance our ELITE offering and support more of Europe’s business as they scale up – Luca Peyrano, Director of ELITE, London Stock Exchange Group, added – Together, we will provide ELITE companies with new resources, new relationships and additional ways to access opportunities.”

The partnership outlines several areas for closer collaboration, including:

  • Informing SEP and ELITE members about the opportunities available to participants on each programme;
  • Exploring cross participation opportunities for companies on both programmes, in order to maximize synergies;
  • Education support from Mind the Bridge for ELITE companies, sharing knowledge and expertise on innovation, entrepreneurship and the US market.

About Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) 

Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) is a Startup Europe initiative that provides an integrated pan-European open innovation platform to help the best startups emerge from these local ecosystems to scale-up by connecting top European Startups to large corporates. The Startup Europe Partnership program is led by Mind the Bridge Foundation together with Nesta, Factory Berlin and Bisite.

 About Mind the Bridge Foundation

Mind the Bridge is an educational institution that runs programs to support all actors in entrepreneurial ecosystems. Mind the Bridge has its headquarter in San Francisco (CA) and offices also in Italy, and London (UK) where it hosts programs for Startups (Startup School), bootcamps for Investors  (Angel Investors program) and programs for managers and corporations (Executive programs). Mind the Bridge has also been chosen by the European Commission to drive “Startup Europe Partnership (SEP)”, the pan-European open innovation platform to connect startups to large corporates. It is also the host of Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley, an intense week of activities in Silicon Valley for top EU scaleups, corporates and policy makers.


Startup Europe Partnership/Mind the Bridge Foundation
Serena Orizi – PR and Communications
(+39) 3204205558


European Commission announced the winners of the 2015 Europioneers Awards

 Transferwise, Nextome and Clue rewarded as European Web Entrepreneurs of The Year 


Helsinki, November 12, 2015- The European Commission, Deloitte, LEWIS PR and the European Young Innovators Forum have rewarded the winners of the 2015 Web Entrepreneur of The Year Awards. is part of initiative and celebrates the success of web initiatives in the European Union for the third consecutive year.

This year’s winners are:

  • Web Entrepreneur of the Year:  Taavet Hinrikus, Kristo Käärmann – Transferwise (Estonia)
  • Young Web Entrepreneur of the Year: Domenico Colucci – Nextome (Italy)
  • Female Web Entrepreneur of the Year:  Ida Tin – Clue (Germany)

Jyrki Katainen, Vice President of the European Commission, and Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions and Vice-Chairman of the Open Innovation Strategy and Policy Group, presented the awards. The winners were announced during Slush Conference in Helsinki where the European web entrepreneur community was represented by 15000 participants, including 1700 startups, 800 investors, and 650 representatives of media.

About the winners

Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus are the founders of TransferWise, an Estonian developed and UK-based peer-to-peer money transfer service with headquarters in London and offices in Tallinn and New York. More than €3 billion has been transferred through TransferWise.
Winning this award is a great achievement by the whole TransferWise team. We’re only at the beginning of our mission of making the world of finance a little fairer. Our goal is to bring low-cost, fast and fair international money transfers to everyone who needs to send money abroad, said TransferWise Executive Founder Kristo Käärmann.
Domenico Colucci founded Nextome, the most innovative indoor positioning and navigation system. Thanks to Nextome it will be finally possible to locate your own position in enclosed spaces and to know where you are in real time.
I am very excited to receive this precious award and become the “Young Web Enterpreneur” of the year. Thanks to the jury of Europioneers and European Commission for appreciating us and the potential of Nextome. Thanks also to all my colleagues for sharing with me this goal today, declared Nextome Founder Domenico Colucci.
Ida Tin developed Clue, a digital fertility tool that lets users (and their partners) track their menstrual cycle by entering data about their period, sex drive, mood, fluid and pain. The more input the application receives, the more accurate Clue becomes in predicting your cycle.
It’s an honour to be recognized for this Europioneers Award, especially considering the talent, innovation and skill of the other nominees. I’m proud to be working with an exceptional team, who has helped to grow Clue into a truly global digital health platform, with over 2 million users tracking their cycles each month. I firmly believe that it is essential for female entrepreneurs to empower each other to take their space in the industry, said Clue Founder Ida Tin.


It´s great seeing all these successful companies and entrepreneurs coming out of Europe. Europioneers is an excellent way to put the spotlight on all these great entrepreneurs and innovators starting and scaling up in Europe. We need to celebrate their success and make  them role models for the future generations. The digital economy has a huge growth potential  in the EU and this is why we are supporting startups and entrepreneurs with our Investment  Plan for Europe, declared Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness.


Europe needs a whole new mindset change towards innovation, experimenting and rapid prototyping. With this we can give the economy the fresh start it needs to boost jobs and growth. We must foster and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of discovery that has always been the recipe for European success. The Digital Single Market is one of the key tools for bridging the distances in Europe and a bottom up movement is needed to secure its operation. It is through insightful entrepreneurs, like the ones we have awarded today and before, that we can showcase the added value and encourage others to join, stated Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions.

The selection of the winners depended on the public voting and jury input. The 2015 jury includes Carlos Espinal from Seedcamp, Carlos Silva from Seedrs& Beta-I, Jan Reichelt from Mendeley‎, Simone Brummelhuis from The Next Women and Robin Wauters from Tech.eu.

The 2015 winners followed the footsteps of last year’s winners, Peter Arvai, CEO and Co-Founder of Prezi, Guillermo Garcia, founder of Alumn-e, Javier de la Torre, CEO and Co-founder at Carto DB, and Sylvia Klein, Founder and Managing Director at paij.

About Europioneers

Europioneers is organized by the European Commission as part of the Startup Europe initiative, in partnership with Deloitte, LEWIS PR and the European Young Innovators Forum. The objective of the competition is to identify and recognise successful European web initiatives, to promote the role web entrepreneurs play in European society, and to encourage and inspire potential entrepreneurs. In 2015 over 600 nominations were received, voted on by over 100.000 members of start-up communities. For more information, see www.europionieers.eu. To contact the project team please email


Startup Europe at Noah Conference

Next November 12th and 13th London will host the annual NOAH Conference, a gathering for internet industry leaders and Startup Europe will be represented by its leader, Isidro Laso.

The NOAH Conference provides a platform for leaders of the digital economy to meet and interact. The target audience spans from entrepreneurs, investors, corporate executives, networkers to leading industry journalists.

Isidro will be on the main stage talking about how startups can connect with other players and how they can discover resources available across Europe, he will also show how it´s being the European startups scene performing so far and describing the reasons of it, but even more important he will share some advises to improve the entire ecosystem.

So don´t miss this opportunity to know Startup Europe and get connected with a big European network.

About Startup Europe

Startup Europe is a European Commission initiative that aims to strengthen the business environment for web and ICT entrepreneurs so that their ideas and business can start and grow in the EU.

Uniting European startup ecosystems is its value proposition. Some of its concrete activities are:

  • Connecting startup ecosystems throughout Europe.
  • Bridging the gap between investors, corporates and startups.
  • Creating a bottom-up movement across Europe.
  • Giving voice to startups to influence new policies (capital markets union, digital single market).
  • Celebrating entrepreneurship.

More information at startupeuropeclub.eu @StartUpEU


Startup Europe and Startups.be invite you to participate in the First FinTech Village call for startups

Startups.be is partnering with FinTech Village, a European-wide accelerator program focusing on financial solutions! Their first call for startups is now open.

4 Challenges

  • Innovative Online or Mobile Solutions
  • Simple, Easy and Secure Banking
  • Personalized Customer Relationships Management and Customer Empowerment
  • Efficient Processes

What are they looking for?

  • A complete team (enough for the first product roadmap)
  • Clear vision and focus
  • Early stage plan for Minimum Viable Product
  • Some tangible components of a functional prototype (e.g. analytical engine without front-end or process flow)


Why apply?

  • Support from world-class experts & mentors
  • Access to infrastructure (incl. API, hosting solutions, user identity management, and many more)
  • Leverage the global networks of Deloitte, SWIFT/Innotribe and IBM, as well as the full network of the ING Group
  • Take advantage of the Eggsplore fintech ecosystem with many concurrent workshops and events

Interested startups can apply through the FinTech Village website: https://www.ing.be/en/retail/fintech-village