Don´t miss the Investment Booster @ International Games Week Berlin 2016



Call for Applications now open for European companies in Games and VR content looking for equity investment!

Deadline for submissions is March 20th 2016



VR & Games Investment Booster as part of the 2016 edition of the International Games Week Berlin on April 20th, 2016 (9am – 1pm).

10 early stage companies in video games and VR content will be invited to present their investment opportunity to a panel of 12 to 15 high level international equity investors (business angels, venture capital funds) with track records in the ICT and gaming industry.

The contest is open to console, mobile, social, casual, and online game & VR companies with no restriction on genre, platform, or distribution method. Middle-ware, publishing and distribution companies are also eligible.

shutterstock_99250271 (2)


Time action

09:00 Doors

09:30 Welcome & Keynotes

10:00 Panel: Investment in Games

10:30 Pitching Session #1

11:30 Break

11:40 Pitching Session #2

12:30 Wrap-Up and Feedback

13:00 END



Startup Europe is Connecting the dots: Europe and Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is waiting for the next generation of EU Unicorns
Top 15 scaleups to be selected for the 2016 SEC2SV

 – sec2sv.com -

San Francisco, February 29th 2016 — The time is now. Today Mind the Bridge, in partnership with the European Commission and Startup Europe, announces the opening of the call for the next generation of EU Unicorns to be selected for the second annual SEC2SV (Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley), a weeklong mission that brings together the most promising EU scaleups, corporates, investors, and policy makers in September 2016 in Silicon Valley.

The aim of SEC2SV is to welcome the next class of leading European scaleups, i.e. mature startups ready to take off and exploit the opportunities offered by Silicon Valley and the US market. Interested companies from all over Europe should apply via the f6s scaleup form, open for one and a half months starting from today, after which a committee of leading US and European investors will select only 15 companies admitted to participate in SEC2SV 2016.

Interested scaleups must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:

  • be a European Union-based company
  • have an average annualized growth in employees or turnover greater than 20% per annum over a three-year period (with more than 10 employees at the beginning of the 3 year period)
  • desire to expand to the U.S. market or already have a presence there.
  • be innovative

The selection will be curated with the support of several Silicon Valley-based partner organizations.

In 2015, 14 European companies representing 9 countries were selected to participate in the SEC2SV mission. Cumulatively, these businesses generated more than $60 million in revenue and had over 1,000 employees. Among them were German high-growth companies Shopgate and Entrade, the UK’s Relaeyes and Versarien, Spain’s Job and Talent, Mosaicoon from Italy, France’s TVTY, among many more.

“SEC2SV brought together amazing scaleups and gave a unique glimpse into the near future. I was honored to be part of this group and I can’t wait to see the next!” commented Andrea Anderheggen, founder and CEO of Shopgate (after an exit with Sofort to Klarna) who participated in the 2015 cohort.

“The words of support and gratitude of Andrea and other CEOs have been our best reward” said Marco Marinucci, Mind the Bridge CEOThat’s why we accepted with enthusiasm the opportunity to replicate SEC2SV week this year and possibly to make it even better”.

During SEC2SV 2016, scaleups will have the opportunity to present at European Innovation Day (the opening conference, with 60+ speakers and 800+ attendees) and participate in a tailored program involving mentoring, networking, and meetings with key stakeholders – a dedicated 3-day Scaleup Summit that will involve in-depth roundtables with 30+ Silicon Valley experts on the topics of growth, talent, legal, funding, M&A, policy, and communications. The SEC2SV participants will also be invited to exclusive receptions (EU consulates in San Francisco), and meetings at Silicon Valley institutions (Apple, Airbnb, Andreessen and Horowitz, Silicon Valley Bank, Squire Patton Boggs, to mention some names from 2015 edition).

In 2015, key SEC2SV participants included Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Gunther Oettinger, Draper Fisher Jurvetson Partner Tim Draper,  Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship Julie Hanna, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Chairman Larry Sonsini, UK Chief Technology Officer Liam Maxwell, among others.

About Mind the Bridge
Mind the Bridge is a global organization dedicated to promoting and supporting successful entrepreneurial ecosystems across the world. Through its flagship entrepreneurship education programs, as well as its global matching events, it has facilitated the bridging of the gap from global startup ecosystems to its home in Silicon Valley. In 2014, Mind the Bridge was selected by the European Commission to lead the Startup Europe Partnership, and today the company supports a diverse range of activities spanning three continents.
mindthebridge.com | @mindthebridge

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 “acqui-hiring”. 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.
http://startupeuropepartnership.eu  | @sep_eu


Startup Europe Partnership/Mind the Bridge Foundation
Serena Orizi – PR and Communication

Julianne Funk – Marketing and Communications


Apply for the Startup Europe Cross Border Mentorship Week


The CROSS BORDER MENTORSHIP WEEK is an incredible opportunity for high potential startups coming from the five WELCOME Project´s ecosystems to boost their business, gather advices and suggestions while growing their network.CROSSBORDER

This April, from the 11th to the 15th, WELCOME is offering 16 top early stage startups an amazing opportunity with the best mentors in the field of hardware and traveltech.

Over the course of one intensive week, these startups from 4 countries will gather in Dublin for a 1 week immersion programme. They will be running 2 separate calls this event:

  1. Hardware: All startups operating in the hardware space are welcome to apply: from wearable to 3D Printing, from IoT to digital manufacturing and much more… If your startup mixes hardware & innovation, apply now!
  2. TravelTech: You might be building a social platform that helps users pick a restaurant with their friends, a seat pricing algorithm that increases an airline’s profitability, an augmented reality app that raises a visitor’s enjoyment of a city, a network analysis tool that introduces conference attendees to each other, or any one of a million other innovations. If your startup is in the TravelTech space, apply now!

During the week startups will have the chance to learn from their fellow startups in a logic of cross contamination with talents operating in the same sector from a different environment; work with the key players of the Hardware or Traveltech industry; pitch their project to Irish investors and visit some of the big corporates that have their EU headquarter in Dublin.

The week will be characterized by one to one sessions with the experts of different fields and topics; workshops with renowned speakers; corporates visits; keynotes on general topics and pitching sessions.

WELCOME will be selecting 8 startups through each call to take part in the programme. 4 startups will be selected from each WELCOME ecosystem (Berlin, Dublin, Milan and Madrid/Salamanca) to work together for 1 intensive week designed to grow your network and boost your startup.

An international valuation committee will select winning startups taking into account:

  • Value Proposition: pains and needs solved by the company, market opportunity, technology and competitive advantages.
  • Management Team: Strong founding team with complementary skills. Proved track record and relevant past experiences are considered a plus.
  • Stage: minimum viable product/public beta with first metrics is the ideal stage to attend the mentorship week. Traction showed by first figures will be considered

So don´t miss your chance and apply now!

Participation is free of charge, all costs are covered by the WELCOME Project plus each startup will be reimbursed up to €600 for travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses.

  • Startups: will get access to an exclusive week of hands on mentoring approach and support from recognised experts in the field of interest; furhtermore they will benefit from cross contamination and suggestions from other fellow startups taking part in the activity and from the Dublin vibrant startups and corporations ecosystem
  • Mentors: will benefit from the contact with high potential startups expecially smart founding teams and innovative product/service solutions

Hardware https://www.f6s.com/crossbordermentorshipweek-hardware

TravelTech https://www.f6s.com/crossbordermentorship-traveltech



EBAN partners with Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) to provide the “Missing Link” for startups to corporates!

Barcelona, February 23rd -EBAN announces today, at the Mobile World Congress’ 4YFN event, a partnership with Mind the Bridge, the leader of the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP). Both SEP and EBAN are devoted to supporting the growth of Europe’s most promising companies, recognising the deficit of scale-ups across the continent. In an effort to build a more unified start-up ecosystem in Europe to help new companies transition from start-ups to scale-ups, new corporate members of Startup Europe Partnership will now automatically gain inclusion to EBAN’s e-Xcelerator and vice versa.

SEP is the open innovation platform launched by the European Commission, managed by Mind the Bridge. SEP’s goal is to initiate qualified connections (“matching”) between top European scale-ups and medium and large corporations with the goal of fostering commercial and strategic partnerships. Startup Europe via Mind the Bridge has also established connections with Silicon Valley, facilitating further opportunities for growth for its elite club of startups. In Europe, corporate partners meet startups at exclusive matching events, access SEP’s extensive database, promote their corporate initiatives, and benchmark with other leading companies.

EBAN is the pan-European representative of the early-stage investor community. The EBAN e-Xcelerator gathers Europe’s top accelerators, corporates and business angels at small, sector-specific events where investors and corporates can meet vetted start-ups in the sectors that truly interest them. The e-Xcelerator is a platform for building strategic relationships and offers corporates the chance to co-invest with business angels and other investors. EBAN’s e-Xcelerator thus aims to facilitate and focus the investing process for the benefit of both start-ups and investors alike.

The partnership outlines several areas for closer collaboration, including:

  • The integration of EBAN’s e-Xcelerator program into Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) platform.
  • The opportunity for e-Xcelerator corporate members to join Startup Europe Partnership (SEP).
  • EBAN to host a SEP Matching Event in May during its annual Conference (Porto, May 26-27).
  • EBAN’s continued involvement in SEP Investors Forum, including vetting the most promising start-ups for the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) matching platform.
  • EBAN’s ongoing support of the SEC2SV (Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley), a week of activities that brings together EU startups, corporates and member state representatives under one EU flag to meet with Silicon Valley stakeholders (Sep 26-30).
  • Education support from Mind the Bridge for EBAN companies, sharing knowledge and expertise on innovation, entrepreneurship and the US market.

In comment to the partnership, Alberto Onetti, President of Mind the Bridge and SEP Coordinator expressed: “We don’t need new initiatives to scale-up the European startup ecosystem. We need to put together the ones that are already in place and are working well. We have been working with EBAN for a while and are thrilled to expand our partnership and share with EBAN our expertise in open innovation and bridging start-ups to corporates.”

Candace Johnson, President of EBAN stated: “We are very pleased about partnering with Mind the Bridge and Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) as working together with corporations is a major point of our strategy to provide the “Missing Link” for start-ups to corporates. Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) is by far the best platform to bring startups and corporates together and turn open innovation into reality.”

The necessary cooperation between corporations, start-ups and scale-ups was also addressed at the “Conference on the digital transformation of European industry and enterprises” on February 16th. At this conference European Commissioners Bieńkowska, Moedas, Oettinger, and Vice-President Katainen called for renewed and ambitious efforts for promoting and fostering entrepreneurship, open innovation and investments that will support the digital transition of the European economy based on collaborative innovation. EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bienkowska noted: “All the power of the fourth industrial revolution lies in innovation and collaborative business models”.

The EBAN-SEP partnership means that Europe’s high potential start-ups now have a greater chance of accessing corporations who may be key to helping them leap and achieve sustainable growth. Corporations will also benefit from access to innovative start-ups and scale-ups as well as capitalizing on a broad network of experienced investors and mentors.

Corporates interested to exploit their open innovation strategy through SEP and EBAN should contact EBAN Members of the Board of Directors, Peter E. Braun and Aleksandar Cabrilo (EBAN) or Antonio De Mitri (SEP).

Eban is the pan-European representative for the early stage investor community, gathering 170 member organisations in 59 countries today. Established in 1999 by a group of pioneer angel networks in Europe with the collaboration of the European Commission and EURADA, EBAN represents a sector estimated to invest 7.5 billion euros a years and playing a vital role in Europe’s future, notably in the funding of SMEs. EBAN fuels Europe’s growth through the creation of wealth and jobs.
http://www.eban.org | @eban_org

Mind the Bridge
Mind the Bridge is a global organization dedicated to promoting and supporting successful entrepreneurial ecosystems across the world. Through its flagship entrepreneurship education programs, as well as its global matching events, it has facilitated the bridging of the gap from global startup ecosystems to its home in Silicon Valley. In 2014, Mind the Bridge was selected by the European Commission to lead the Startup Europe Partnership, and today the company supports a diverse range of activities spanning three continents.
mindthebridge.com  | @mindthebridge

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 “acqui-hiring”. 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

For further information:

Peter E. Braun

Aleksandar Cabrilo

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

Julianne Funk – Marketing and Communications
(+44) 07464769066


Startup Europe and ePlus are glad to announce the results of the 2nd Round of Micro-Grants

Startup Europe and ePlus are happy to announce the results of the 2nd Round of Micro-Grants! With over 65 applications received from amazing 22 countries, micro-grants definitely went international!

Our most sincere congratulations go to the 20 winners listed in the table below.

Winners will receive Micro-Grant covering travel and accommodation expenses up to 1.000€ (media production expenses might be reimbursed up to 15% of the total expenses).

The next round of Micro-Grants will be announced in April 2016! Check the ePlus website for news!

 RICA  Germany  Arena 42 – IoT Accelerator
 Heimatgummi  Germany  FablabLisboa / Lisbon, PT
 CODESNA  France  EBAN Congress 2016 / 25-27 May  2016 / Porto, PT
 iiMES Constantin Buzgare.K.  Germany  Innovative City Convention
 Inova DE GmbH  Germany  Medical Devices Meetings
 teamdesk – most agile workplace  ever  France  BA06 Event / 23 Mar. 2016 / Nice, FR
 Climber Hotel  Portugal  EBAN Congress 2016 / 25-27 May  2016 / Porto, PT
 BucketList® / List It Inc.  Finland  Innovative City Convention
 Printelize.com  Poland  EBAN Congress 2016 / 25-27 May  2016 / Porto, PT
 binee – no waste more fun  Germany  Eco Summit
 Plan Penny  Denmark  EBAN Congress 2016 / 25-27 May  2016 / Porto, PT
 KidED.  United Kingdom  EBAN Congress 2016 / 25-27 May  2016 / Porto, PT
 Learninghubz  Portugal  Expo RH in Estoril Portugal
 Bridge Robotics  Portugal  Robobusiness Europe 2016
 S3Transportation LLP  United Kingdom  EBAN Congress 2016 / 25-27 May  2016 / Porto, PT
 MédiaCorp  Portugal  Future Match 2016 (14th – 18th  March) at CeBIT in Hannover
 Avtokino  Bulgaria  MIP TV / 4-7 Apr. 2016 / Cannes, FR
 Dronee  Estonia  Arena 42 – IoT Accelerator
 Artistiya LLC  Ukraine  MIP TV / 4-7 Apr. 2016 / Cannes, FR
 Startup Network  Italy  EBAN Congress 2016 / 25-27 May  2016 / Porto, PT

Startup Europe Acceleration Program, EU-XCEL. 2nd Call 2016

After the success of the 2015 edition of the EU-XCEL Acceleration Program (under the Startup Europe initiative), with more than 600 applicants and 250 participants, we want to invite you to the second edition, which is open until February 27th.

EU-XCEL (euxcel.eu) is a start-up incubation programme funded by the European Commission.

The registration period for the 2nd edition is opened until next February the 27th for young entrepreneurs. Check all details as well as the terms and conditions of participation in EU-XCEL in http://euxcel.eu/whyapply. We will select around 300 young Europeans to create their start-ups with people from other European countries.

The programme includes:

•  A training week in one of the organizing countries (Germany, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Ireland, Poland) with the expenses (flights, hotel, breakfast and lunch) covered by the project.

•  Four months of incubation with the help of our mentors.

•  Access to specialized investors.

•  A final challenge among the best teams participating in the 2016 edition, with prizes for the best start-ups and access to seed capital investors.

Please find further information in our webpage http://euxcel.eu/,

Social networks (https://www.facebook.com/EUXCEL @EUXCEL  https://www.linkedin.com/company/euxcel)

And the following videos:


Startup Europe and Twist will participate as partners at Microsoft Imagine Cup this weekend in Poland


Start Up is often considered as a first step on a road to great business career. Many young entrepreneurs claim that innovative idea and their zeal alone can grant them success. Reality, however, is a lot more complicated, and even though the start-up is an important milestone on a road to fame and profits, there is still lot to be done before embarking on that journey. Most pertinent question here would be: what do I need to do to start my own company? The answer can be found on Business Acceleration Days”, a training organized by DotConnect and Microsoft Poland.

Business Acceleration Days is a two days training for Microsoft Imagine Cup participants who qualified for the next round. It will be carried out by technological and business mentors, who will aid partakers in planning their business and forging their ideas into market success. The main goal of this training is to prepare the teams for the next stage of the contest and to ensure that, they will be scrutinized by four teams of judges. Its second, but equally important aim is to provide young innovators with knowledge and skills required for their further development, both professional and business. The competition is divided into three categories: Games, Innovation and World Citizenship. In its current stage, each of them have thirty teams that fared best so far, summing up for ninety squads total.

The event will be held between 20th and 21st February, in the Microsoft Poland headquarters on AlejeJerozolimskiestreet 196A, Warsaw. The partners include META Zernike Ventures,STARTUP EUROPE-TWIST and Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP).

DotConnect is a company, which mission is to support young talented people from IT and technological industries. As a business accelerator, it helps to fund various interesting projects, as well as providing their creators with knowledge and essential supplies to accomplish them.

We are cooperating with many lead companies to find interesting projects and support them, both financially and by delivering the necessary know-how. Figuratively speaking, running your own company resembles connecting the dots to make an image. By organizing events such as Business Acceleration Days, DotConnect helps the young teams to connect those dots in order to create a business masterpiece out of them.

Says Marcin Franc, founder of DotConnect.

 In case of any questions please contact

Stanisław Stasiewicz

694 424 093

For your convenience we have added the event agenda:

Day 1 20.02.2016

  1. Registration [8:00-9:00]
  2. Introduction (Marcin Franc) [9:00-9:30]
  3. Business modeling (Marcin Franc) [9:30-10:40]
  4. Inspiring and despairing fu**ups (multiple speakers) [11:00-12:40]
  5. TARAN factor (Marcin Franc) [13:20-15:00]
  6. Smart money (Piotr Sławski) [15:20-17:00]
  7. Ask me anything (multiple speakers) [17:20-19:00]
  8. Investment pitches (Record) [20:00-24:00]

Day 2 21.02.2016

  1. Registration [9:00-10:00]
  2. Hands-on evaluations [10:00-16:00]
  3. Investment pitches (Live) [selected teams] [10:00-16:00]
  4. TOP 10 announcement [17:30-18:00]


Why You Need To Shape Your Startup To Scale Up Globally

Today the majority of early and mid-stage startups opt to focus on a single country strategy, rather than starting with a global vision. Indeed often at this stage, startups ignore globalizing their product in order to focus on other priorities, quickly creating a country-specific MVP.

While this strategy lowers a startup’s risk of losing focus, depending on their business model and their potential audience, many startups should think about globalization earlier rather than later. If they don’t, they risk losing important market share and growth opportunities. Facebook and Airbnb discovered this as they grew. Early technology, design and communication choices, influenced by this “global later” vision create serious issues when startups succeed and need to scale-up globally, forcing them to fundamentally rethink and rearrange their setup and architecture. When this happens, the value of the startup could decrease from 10 to 50 percent, due to the necessary operations to scale up the business, which could require up to a full year of re-work and catch-up. Acquirers could even choose not to conclude an acquisition due to this lack of ability to scale globally.

As a matter of fact, many startups and large companies alike, usually rely on a one-off and country-specific product strategy. This strategy might work as long as they focus on just a couple of countries, but once you want to offer your product to the world, you will need to think and work in a completely different way if you want to truly take advantage of the economies of scale, while keeping high velocity, high quality and low cost.

Technology Considerations

Defining and setting up your product globally from a technical perspective is not as hard as it used to be. Unicode and the internationalization support available today in all major programming languages and operating systems allow faster global scaling up. When you start a service or a product, you have to carefully study and determine the most appropriate technical infrastructure and architecture. The time required planning technical infrastructure and architecture for a global versus a country-specific project is almost the same, if done properly. The best way to expedite this phase is to have a clear understanding of the user experience and the user expectations based on the culture.
As an example if your product requires a user to enter their address, your architecture and code must take into consideration that users in different countries expect to see and enter addresses in different formats. In Italy a user would expect to digit in order the name of the road, the number of the building and then the city, while in other countries like the US it would be natural to start with the building number and then the name of the street. Country-specific formats like address, dates, numbers and others can be easily coded appropriately once and allow for global scale whenever the business is ready to move into new countries. Internationalization of your code can no longer be optional given the reach almost any product can have thanks to the World Wide Web. Startups that fail to properly internationalize their product will have to pay the price in terms of smaller market share and longer time to market for every new market they plan to enter.

Design and Content Considerations

Product design together with product content are the ways your users interact with your product, yet design is often overlooked when it comes to scaling up globally. You should design your application or your website to be appropriate for users all over the world. Icons, “call to action” buttons, images, symbols menu items, the very flow of your app should be easy to understand for anyone in any country. The choice of the text that goes in a button can influence your conversion rates. This all sounds obvious and simple, yet many times designers optimize for the user expectations of their own country of origin, neglecting to develop a global design language that is suitable for a wider global audience.

Communication Considerations

How you PR and advertise your product might be the easiest part, but not the simplest. You have to define all the aspects of your product communication strategy so that anyone can understand what you mean. Many times products fail or can’t sell in a country because of sub-optimal content or images that sometimes even have a negative connotation in a specific country. You have to consider this before branding your product, and evaluate the weight that a country could have on your overall business when you’ll plan to scale up. Most startups and products today chose to “communicate” in English by default, given its status as today’s global lingua franca, and then offer other languages as needed in each country.

Money Comes from Abroad

In today’s fast growing market, startups have no choice: they need to start thinking of scaling-up globally from the very beginning in order to either secure a more lucrative investment, exit or to win global market share faster than the competition. Just look at today’s largest and most successful companies and it easy to see how on average more than 70% of their revenues comes from global markets.

TWIST DIGITAL is the H2020 action, under the Startup Europe umbrella, that provides Transregional Web Innovative Services for Thriving Digital and Mobile to web entrepreneurs aiming at scaling up and competing in the global market around 4 interconnected web entrepreneurship startup ecosystems and hubs (Rome, Lille, Stockholm and Warsaw).
Startup Europe aims to strengthen the business environment for web and ICT entrepreneurs so that their ideas and business can start and grow in the EU. Startup Europe contributes to the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan.
Startup Europe’s objectives are:
  • to reinforce the links between people, business and associations who build and scale up the startup ecosystem (e.g. the Web Investors Forum, the Accelerator Assembly, the Crowdfunding Network) 
  • to inspire entrepreneurs and provide role models (e.g. the Leaders Club and their Startup Manifesto, the Startup Europe Roadshow)
  • to celebrate new and innovative startups (with Tech All Stars and Europioneers), help them to expand their business (Startup Europe Partnership, ACE Acceleration Programme), and give them access to funding under Horizon 2020.

Big Brother in the Bathroom: AMA with Intel’s VP of IoT


Startup Scaleup kicks off their AMAs with Philip Moynagh, VP of Intel’s IoT Group

At the start of December, we launched our first Ask Me Anything (AMA) session with Intel’s VP of IoT, Philip Moynagh.

With our focus on IoT and thanks to our partners at the Ryan Academy, we were delighted to have the Vice-President of Intel’s Internet of Things group, Philip Moynagh who views IoT as the merging of the physical world with the digital economy that is set to make the internet as we know it look like an opening act.

Philip set the scene by providing some examples of how IoT is solving real-life problems that range from optimising the collection of rubbish, preventing rhino poaching and even monitoring behaviour at urinals in airports (apparently this is more important than you think).

To create sustainable solutions with impact, you must know the problem inside out, understand the market, speak your customers’ language.

We had a full hour of Q&A with Philip. Here is a small selection of the questions posed by our start-ups and Philip’s answers to them.

Q1: We recently came across your IoT developer zone, can you tell us whether this is this giving you any insights into how the market is developing?

Medium and large companies are more open than we think. Any large company is stupid to think that they can engage IoT on their own. At Intel, everyone is acutely aware that there are far more smart people outside Intel than inside, there are 7.3 billion people in the world, and you have to figure out where the next new and exciting thing is coming from.

I go to a lot of maker events, in local universities here, and there is no better way to meet people. All medium and large companies if they are interested in being in and staying in the tech business need to have a clue and watch really closely multiple vectors of which this is an important one,  watching the maker market, what is interesting, what the developers are making, it is developers that are the people that make the difference, bringing together different pieces from the software, hardware and business.

Q2: How seriously do you think privacy issues will limit IoT growth especially if there are serious loopholes discovered in consumer-facing tech?

This has a left and a right-hand edge to it. From the left, we know how to do security. There is not a single one of us that hasn’t done a credit card transactions with our numbers flying around the internet. We move billions of euro around the world and you’ll see https so you know it is a secure connection. This is a bit too flippant but look, we know how to do security don’t get too obsessed about it.

However on the right-hand edge, unfortunately there are way too many stories of loopholes arising from the fact that the most common password in the world is 123456 through to poorly architected or just not architected at all for security. There are lots of smart people out there who will spend their evenings learning how to hack and you are as strong as your weakest link. From an Intel perspectives we have spent 7.5 billion dollars on McAfee for exactly this reason and the attack vectors are fascinating, just to see the number and the inventiveness.

The architecture isn’t as good as it should be, and we’re designing too many different things.  It’s like driving into a city and changing all the traffic lights and too many are poorly done but through consortia [the issues are beginning to be resolved].

Q3: Many IoT objects are using devices like Arduino, Rasberry Pi, etc., because the users don’t need knowledge in hardware development. Is Intel providing solutions with similar characteristics?

I’m a big fan of both of those and many more, the more people that are facilitated to develop solutions and the more tools there are out there, the better.

I see the IoT very like the PC, it’s a standard architecture, there are rules that you need to follow in order to build a thing called a personal computer and if you do not follow those rules it will fall over and it will not run the stuff that people want to run on it. Following those rules, it’s such a generic and broad architecture that I can buy a thing that has been built to PC standards for 200 euro and I can buy one for 20,000 euro, the architecture is the same, the purpose and the types of components are the same. We haven’t hit that level of clarity [yet] on the Internet of Things, there are way too many custom solutions designed specifically for that vineyard or that lawn, if you exquisitely deign your solution for that lawn then when you bump into an opportunity in the sports arena, a vineyard or whatever, you can’t adapt it and you are redoing your development costs.

 So find building blocks, standardised building blocks that are as secure, or are as manageable or can facilitate as much scale as you need for the markets that you are targeting  

The straight answer is that they are fantastic tools and we are big fans of them, our versions are Galileo and Edison and there are a bunch more coming. We donate a lot of the stuff we build to universities and events and they are relatively cheap to buy. It is useful to be on the same architecture if you want to move up to atoms and then cores but for now what we are interested in are the folks who have experimented on that scale: how do you become an easy on man for those folks to provide scalable, secure, manageable, analytics-capable solutions? How do you scale them in a manner that the thing can be re-purposed with multiple apps or that the apps can address multiple things? That’s not the way IoT planet-wide is currently constructed and one of the two reasons we are not scaling is the absence of those standards.

Q4: What solutions are available for wireless communication between two small devices over a short distance? WiFi is not a good option as it uses too much power.

From an Intel perspective we are agnostic, of course we would love if that everyone used one wireless or wired means of communication but of course that is not the reality of how it all operates. There are plenty of open architecture venues with light protocols out there to try.

If you want to send a large piece of your information then the protocol around it in WiFi is going to cost you thousands of bytes in burden. If you’re only sending a byte that is intolerable, so you need to find the right protocol that is the most cost-effective/burden-effective way of doing it. There are hundreds of bytes protocols and tens of bytes now in place like LWM2M that if you put into a search engine you would get.

Personally I have a bit of a bias towards a 6LoWPAN environment, we have customers who have solved the specific type of problem with Bluetooth LE, with 6LoWPAN and there are customers that do it with WiFi, it is ugly and you need to put a lot of resources in but at least it works.

When you get that really perfect 3m solution working on BTLE or a lightweight M2M protocol, the minute you have a customer that wants the solution on a 30m scale you then have a problem, so just think about your target market.

It certainly is an exciting time for IoT as the momentum builds with everyone from the Indian government to large enterprises getting behind solutions, but start-ups need to stay aware of the business challenges the ‘thing’ creates for business models in IoT compared to screen internet. Thanks Philip for sharing your experience and insights.


What does it take to become a successful entrepreneur? Interview with Compedia founder Shai Newman

By Thomas Ohr

We recently had the chance to interview Shai Newman, a successful entrepreneur from Tel Aviv who co-founded Compedia.

Founded in 1988, Compedia is a global leader in the development of interactive educational systems, content and technology. The Israel-based company specialized in creating engagement through gamification, re-inventing the way people interact with educational and professional content. Compedia’s internationally awarded products have already taught millions of people, in 50 countries, speaking 35 languages.

Shai Newman is also on the advisory board of MY-WAY, a project supported by the European Commission helping to improve the collaboration and efforts of web entrepreneurship initiatives from across Europe.

How did your entrepreneurial journey start and how did you become successful?

In 1988, I was a young student toward the end of my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Mathematics with significant programing experience. I had three opportunities to choose from. The first was to continue studying towards a PhD. The second alternative was to become a partner of a well-known business man and develop, with his financing, an advanced system for building “time tables” for allocating air crew stuff to flights. My third option was to start my own company together with friends using our own limited financing. What would you choose?

I took the third option and started my own company, Compedia, deciding to take control of my destiny in a balanced partnership with friends who were at the same position like me. Although it was very challenging, I am happy with the choices I made.

Today, 27 years later, I’m still with the same partners. About 100 employees are working with us in developing next generation simulated environments, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technologies. We are developing advanced platforms and systems for corporate training/simulations and education. We are successful and having a lot of fun and freedom.

Being on the MY-WAY advisory board gives me the opportunity to convey the lessons I have learned to young adults considering to become entrepreneurs.

What lessons did you learn regarding entrepreneurship?

One of the first lessons I have learned was to talk right to the point and in not too many words… so I have compiled a short list of important qualities, for you, a young entrepreneur to consider.

Focused & persistent but not fixed: Although you must be open minded and from time to time recalculate your route, you have to be very careful not to spend too much time in “recalculating”. Once you select your route for the next time frame you have set – be focused and persistent.

Willing to take risks: I’m not familiar with a great success that was not involved with risk taking. Once you find something that it is really worth to risk for, just go for it.

Great executioner: Eventually, for things to work you have to execute. Translate the vision into goals and the goals to action items. Then make them happen – together with your team. You won’t achieve your goals just by yourself.

Great salesperson and presenter: Your target is to sell! To customers, to investors, to your employees and even to your family and friends. You will need the support of all the above and more in order to succeed.

Smart: Planning, problem solving and almost any decision you’ll take is about selecting between alternatives. In many cases you will have to think hard. Being smart is essential.

Involved with the relevant ecosystems: Get to know your ecosystem. Meet your potential customers and present them your solution once you are ready. They will usually know better than you what they really need.

Last but not least – Enjoy! Enjoy what you do, it is hard to succeed in something you don’t really like. You will need a lot of intrinsic motivation.

Startups often have to adapt their initial business model in order to become successful. The vision might stay the same, but a pivot can lead to a completely new business model. Was your first product at Compedia already a success? How did your business model change over time?

Our initial product was a moderate success. It was just enough to gain some resources and market presence and lead to the next stage. During the years we have done many changes, either in products, market or channels.  It is a must. Your ecosystem is changing and you must adapt in order to survive.

In the unlikely event that Compedia would have to shut down its operations and you would have to start all over again: What kind of a company whould you build today an why?

First of all, in the long term, it is not unlikely. Any company can shut down from many reasons. There is also the possibility we will sell the company. Anyway, it is something I m thinking about… I think i would do it again, initiate a new R&D company that will focus on a technology and markets i believe in and with people I trust and appreciate.

What is your experience with Tel Aviv as a location to start an international technology company?

Tel Aviv is great in so many ways. It has a large pool of talents almost in any technology, it is vibrant, well financed, very open minded and communicative people. They will even tell you when you are wrong… It is considered by many as 2nd only to the silicon valley. It is also a great place to live in with all the benefits of a big city plus the good weather and great night life. This also helps to keep the young talent around…