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SpaceHack: “BureauCrazy” App wins Hackathon in Berlin

In cooperation with Facebook, REDISchool, Techfugees and Silicon Allee, WELCOME organised a hackathon gathering more than 200 programmers, designers, social workers, urban planners, architects and others, with and without refugee status, to come together and develop technology-based solutions to challenges facing refugees on their journey.

As part of the StartupEurope initiative,winners of previous hackathons and a selection of the best participants from WELCOME ecosystems were flown to Berlin to work on creative and sustainable solutions that could be implemented in their home countries upon return, making it a real pan-European initiative.

Photo: Stefan Wieland 2015
The Winners

26 teams came together over the weekend. The three winners were selected based on their concept, relevance and feasibility:

  • “Bureaucrazy” helps those whose native tongue is not German fill out bureaucratic forms. The app translates the forms into the desired language and automatically starts filling in standard specifications such as name, date of birth, address, etc.
  • “Talk to Hadi” is an online psychologist that offers fugitives psychological care via smartphone. As well as offering general advice it also had a telephone service support.
  • “Refstart”, who placed third, is an online market place for women refugees. With this app, women can sell hand-made products while also networking and meeting local residents.

The sponsors have highlighted two additional teams:

Relayr showcased “Wallfarm,” which aims to grow hydroponic produce on the walls of refugee homes and camps. Kontakt.io presented“Ammarify”, which showed how Beacon video monitoring can be used to mentor refugees in their own language.

Video of the winners: https://www.facebook.com/natasha.grujo/videos/10100389176701411/

Spacehack winner “Bureaucrazy” presented on June 9th in front of investors and politicians at the Startup Europe Summit in Berlin. The ReDI school students who were at the conference had their Demo Day and presented their projects and achievements.
More information at http://www.startupeuropesummit.com/hackathon/

Photo: Stefan Wieland 2015




WELCOME is a project under the Startup Europe initiative that aims to build a pan-European tech startup ecosystem. To that end, Welcome links startups from five vibrant EU ecosystems — Berlin, Dublin, Madrid, Milan and Salamanca, to customers, VCs, business angels, corporates, mentors and other startups. The project targets aspiring entrepreneurs as well as early and late stage startups with activities that enable them to grow across borders and access the right combination of finance while helping corporates identify the best talents.

Follow our activities through http://welcomestartup.eu/


Will Europe deliver the next big innovation in the world?

By Francesca Ferrario 



In the last few years, Europe has not been under the spotlight as far as innovation in the world is concerned. Since 2008, the global financial crisis has ripped the attention on the headlines about the Old Continent. This has popularised the opinion that “Europe is dying.” The Continent has been bogged down by unemployment, monetary crisis, political fragmentation, deadlock of social systems, and so on.

As for the startup economy, however, it has been too easily assumed that the trend has followed the same downward line. Only recently, the ‘Europe-is-not-only-Skype-and-Spotify’ view is showing that the scene is way more complex.

The leading impression for quite some time was that the gloomy background of the dot com bubble shortly followed by the financial crisis have restrained investments and spread suspicion about entrepreneurship. This has prevented the creation of networks, co-working spaces, accelerators, and incubators resulting in a vicious circle that halted the establishment of a “startup mentality” and demotivated potential entrepreneurs.

Yet, a conspicuous number of very successful startups (for an exhaustive list check the startuphubs website), have shown that if there is something missing, it definitely was not entrepreneurial motivation. Some have argued that it was precisely this restrictive economic situation that has encouraged creativity and entrepreneurship.

Crisis result for setback?

While it is over optimistic to state that the global economic downturn has boosted European entrepreneurship, it is likewise safe to say that it has not been a complete disaster. This is the case particularly in countries not traditionally known for their entrepreneurial spirit, particularly in south and east Europe.

In an interview in the Wall Street Journal Sindhu Joseph, Chief Executive of Barcelona-based startup CogniCor, argues that “Before the crisis it [Spain] was a very closed world […][??] Spaniards are now more open to the rest of the world, to what other people are doing.” Whereas Marcel Rafart, General Partner of Nauta Capital VC Partners SGECR SA, says that, “One of the many consequences of the […] real-estate bubble and the huge crisis of the Spanish economy is that those banks, insurance companies, and family offices are desperately looking for options in which to invest. It is not that they love venture capital, but at least they are testing it.”

Some argue that in other countries where investments remain very low, restrictions brought about by the financial crisis have encouraged entrepreneurship. For example, despite the great struggle in scaling up, Portugal and Cyprus have seen a rise in the number of startups, the former especially in the science and technology sector.

Overall, it seems that the financial crisis has not represented a significant setback for existing businesses in the early stage. A study by Queensland University of Technology has concluded that immediate tasks — not macroeconomic fluctuations — remained by far their main concerns, chiefly because most of them did not rely on debt funding.

Romania is a good example of how the crisis has not frozen entrepreneurship: despite the financial slowdown, in 2013, its economy has grown faster than most of the other EU members and Bucharest figured in the top 10 European hubs which attracted highest investments in 2014.

Not all about crisis

Beside the crisis, what has defined the current startup scene in Europe has been — quite obviously — a more complex set of factors, starting from the origin of investments.

The capital boost came primarily from across the Atlantic. The US has carried out majority of late rounds and acquisitions in Europe so far. According to a study by Garret Black and Dan Cook, since 2009, US investors have increasingly been interested in European startups, especially in the scaling up process. This trend has reached its peak in 2014 with $4.8 billion of capital invested.

For its part, the European Commission has tried to expand its presence in the entrepreneurial scene of its territory to promote a world class ecosystem. One of the main points in the Entrepreneurship Action Plan 2020 is the implementation of an efficient digital, single market for businesses and consumers.

In 2013, then European Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes invited nine of the most successful entrepreneurs in Europe (Tuenti, Spotify, Rovio, HackFwd, TechCity, Seed Camp, The Next Web, and Atomico) to join the Startup Europe Leaders Club and write a startup manifesto which highlighted the necessary steps to strengthen the ecosystem.

The document includes 22 points which, according to the authors, “can give European businesses the best chance of future success” and whose progresses can be tracked separately for every EU member.

According to the EU-sponsored startuphubs.eu, so far these efforts have created 3.05 million jobs.

More EU, less US?

Things seem to be better now for startups in the European Union (EU). According to a report by Jaime Novoa, the first quarter of 2016 with a total capital investment of $24 billion, 179 total exits, more than half of the startups operate in international markets. Also, European investors in the EU have recently been less shy and compete more with their US counterpart.

Yet, the big question often unwillingly asked is regarding Europe’s inability to produce the next Amazon and Facebook. Expectedly, this has created a big debate and each answer to this query has produced further discussions.

Many underline that the comparison between the two is not because the EU is not a country but a Continent. Its multiplicity of languages, laws, bureaucracies, and cultures has prevented the establishment of a single economy; while movement — especially of a skilled workforce — is still very restricted.

Others argue that the EU is misunderstanding its own situation by focussing excessively on promoting the emergence of startups. They claim that Europe’s lower competitiveness with the US does not derive from the inability to establish new businesses, but rather from their inability to grow beyond certain stages.

Also, there are some who point out that comparing Europe with the US is too restrictive. For decades now, the competition has no longer been within the West, but among players around the world. In this scenario, revenues, funding, and deals are not the main parameters of success, which is rather measured in cultural value creation.

Finally, there is who argues that the US-EU comparison is pointless because the ecosystems are different and behave accordingly. In any case, the quite familiar rumour that Europe is dead is very easy to believe because the economic crisis has unveiled every possible political and economic fragmentation within the EU. But nothing is as simple as it first sounds and even in the Old Continent there is something exciting to expect.

Retrieved from http://yourstory.com/2016/06/europe-big-innovation/


About Your Story

YourStory.com is India’s no.1 media platform for entrepreneurs, dedicated to passionately championing and promoting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India.


Launching European Startup Finder 2.0

About one year ago, StartupEuropeClub launched the Startup Finder to create a transparent and easy way to navigate all things tech in Europe. Now we are launching a major upgrade with a 2.0 version.


What’s new:

  • User login: you can now log in with your Dealroom or LinkedIn credentials and put your own startup on the map. We already have mapped most companies ourselves. So look it up and claim ownership!
  • Faster performance and better user interface: you will notice that the site is much quicker and easier to filter using free text search or drop-down menus.
  • More data: analytics, and more company per data.
  • Companies nearby: every company profile shows you a list of companies nearby.
  • Find important places (workspaces, accelerators, government services).
  • And much more!


How to use the Startup Finder?

  • Make sure your startup is accurately depicted on the database so that others (investors, corporates, potential future hires) can find you.
  • Stay updated on recent funding rounds and trends.
  • Filter companies by industry, business model, size or growth.
  • Navigate companies nearby.
  • For any company, quickly look up: the team, the size, the business, who are their closest peers, investors, recent rounds in that industry, analytics, and more!
  • For any investor, quickly look up: the team, their focus, their portfolio, whoe they co-invest with and more!


Here are a few more use cases for the Startup Map:


  • You have a meeting scheduled: use the map to find where the company is, read up about it and its peers before you meet them, and find out which other companies are in the same area!
  • You are looking for a coworking space, accelerator or another place: use the map and filter by places!
  • You are looking for a cool place to work: browse by industry, funding data, and more!
  • You are an investor and want to see what’s happening in Europe: there are endless possibilities to filter and find what you are looking for.
  • You have an idea for a new venture and want to see if there is someone already doing so.
  • You want to create a startup, and are looking for inspiration or just want to see what’s there.


Where is the data coming from?

We collaborate with dealroom.co, an Amsterdam based startup that is creating an Open Data platform about all things tech. The data is coming from three sources:

  1. Over 8,000 contributors across Europe (founders, VCs, journalists, bloggers)
  2. Machine learning (using computers to find to discover emerging technologies)
  3. Manual curation by a team of analysts

Cisco Top In European Startup Collaboration Thanks To London Activities

By: Freddie Dawson, Forbes contributer

Cisco has been ranked as the top corporate for startup collaboration in Europe, according to a new study.

The 25 best companies were revealed at the Startup Europe Summit in Berlin yesterday. Joining tech company Cisco in the top five were respectively: Rabobank, a banking and financial services company; Unilever , a consumer goods company; Telefonica, a telecommunications firm; and Virgin, another telecommunications firm.

The rankings were compiled by  Startup Europe Partnership, an EC initiative aimed at increasing collaboration between startups and corporations, and Nesta, a UK-based charity focused on innovation.

The decision was made by a panel of expert judges that included:

  • Sherry Coutu, author of The Scale-up Report and an angel investo
  • Alberto Onetti, chairman of Mind the Bridge, an entrepreneurial education organisation
  • Dolf Wittkamper, head of European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Digital’s Accelerator
  • Candace Johnson, an entrepreneur that helped to start a number of businesses including SES , Loral Teleport Europe and Europe Online

The judges initially started with a list of around 70 nominations before whittling it down to the 25 that made the final top ranking. Corporates could be nominated by other companies, startups they worked with or self-nominate but had to meet certain size criteria to qualify, says  Chris Haley, head of startup research at Nesta.

Accepted nominees were then asked to provide detailed information on how they interact with startups as well as scaleups. This included areas such as incubation, investment, procurement and even acquisitions.

“Each company has a flavour in the ways that it works with startups,” says Haley. “People are still experimenting with what works so we didn’t want to establish hard and fast criteria limiting the ranking to one area.”

The creators of the rankings felt it was important to highlight best-practice amongst corporates as not all companies had figured out the best reasons for engaging with startups or the best ways to go about doing so.

“ There are some that engage for frankly superficial reasons,” Haley adds. “There’s a few that want the cool factor while some go on fishing expeditions for ideas or  string a startup along and not treat it well. Some startups fail because they think a deal is around the corner when it isn’t. But the top companies do not do this [and that should be recognised].”

Judges had a certain amount of leeway in defining corporate criteria as well as choosing what areas they wanted to emphasise as most important. Further down the list, the different areas of emphasis led to dissenting opinions on companies.

However, there was general consensus on the top companies – although this may be down to them being strong all-rounders with activities in all areas of startup engagement, Haley adds.

“Cisco, Rabobank, and Unilever have all understood that their future lies in capturing and riding the next wave of innovation and entrepreneurship.  Although each of the ways that these Corporations do this differs, they have all not only put into place plans to secure the future of their companies [by working with startups],” says Candace Johnson, a judge for the rankings.

Cisco in particular came in for praise. “Cisco is really active in the European startup ecosystem at various levels. Not just in acquiring startups, but also in investing and supporting them. On the one hand, beyond direct investments, Cisco is also active as a [limited partner] LP in several European venture capital funds. On the other hand, the program Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence [CEIR] just launched for Europe in London is very well designed to build long term strategic relations between Cisco business units and early stage companies. We expect concrete results out of that in terms both of commercial partnerships and acquisitions,” says  Alberto Onetti, another judge for the rankings.

Cisco was particularly proud of the recognition its CEIR programme received. The idea behind it was to create a continuum of offers and programmes where a startup coming in would be able to immediately talk to the right Cisco executive and business group, says Tom Yoritaka, global managing director of CEIR.

As part of the programme, the company engages with the entire startup eco-system – including policymakers, influencers, outside investors and many others on top of the startups that apply to join, he adds.

The company currently has over 30 strategic engagements with startups as a result of the programme and has acquired two startups – Pawaa, an Indian filing company and ParStream, a German analytics company.

The CEIR programme expanded to Europe with a launch in London on 5 may this year. Startups interested in taking part do not have to be based in London (or in California, the site of the original CEIR branch) but need to be able to base enough there to form an effective partnership, says Yoritaka.

In addition to the CEIR programme, Cisco also maintains an active investment portfolio which now has over 100 companies in 27 countries and valued at $2 billion, he adds.

And at the other end of the spectrum Cisco has various innovation programmes. These include nine community spaces that act as early stage incubators. For example in London Cisco has IDEA London based in Shoreditch, he says.

The company also runs a series of competitions called Cisco Grand Challenges that get startups to submit ideas on solving problems in various areas such as security or the internet of things (IOT).

“There are all just other ways to open up to startups,” Yoritaka adds.

The Startup Europe Partnership and Nesta say they were pleased with the responses they got from corporates nominated to take part. Not all companies submitted information when requested and some did not provide enough detail but there were enough entries for the first year to be judged a success, says Haley.

Further editions of the ranking are still under discussion. Currently the two organisations are looking to secure the funding required to run the list again next year. If they do it will be interesting to see whether anyone can knock Cisco off the top spot.


Startup Europe and Welcome sent 8 startups to attend Pioneers Festival, Vienna.

Startup Europe and Welcome sent 8 startups from 4 countries to attend Pioneers Festival in Vienna, 24th and 25th May 2016.

Each of the 8 startups travelled to Vienna courtesy of the Welcome Project with tickets to Pioneers festival provided through the Pioneers500 initiative. At the festival startups networked with top investors and accelerators from across Europe, met with corporate representatives, like minded founders and journalists with the aim of boosting their businesses.

Speakers at Pioneers includedManoj Bhargavaentrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder and CEO of Living Essentials,Tim Draper, co-founder of VC firm DFJ and Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder. Topics discussed at Pioneers include Business & Productivity, Energy & Utilities, Financial Services, Life Sciences & Agriculture, Lifestyle & Entertainment, Materials & Manufacturing and Mobility & Transportation.

The eight startups are from across the five Welcome ecosystems of Berlin, Dublin, Milan, Madrid and Salamanca.

From Berlin were, LUUV Forward, a hardware startup enabling everyone to take professional, shake-free videos and Vrealtechnologies, a SaaS platform allowing non-expert users to create stunning virtual reality experiences.

The Dublin startups wereTrustHub, a SaaS startup dedicated to making classified and peer-to-peer marketplaces safer and more inclusive for everyone and Parkyourcar, a platform where owners can rent out their parking space and where car drivers  can prepay for a parking space.

Travelling from Milan were Sushijet who have innovated and optimized the delivery to be the fastest food delivery service in Italy and Mangatar, Mangatar, a groundbreaking Italian game company and publisher that leverages the potential of smart publishing.

From Madrid/Salamanca were Artelnics, developing disruptive deep learning software for predictive analytics and Nebusens who have developed n-Core, a powerful hardware and software platform to develop, integrate and deploy easily and quickly, a wide variety of applications over Wireless Sensor Networks.



WELCOME is a project under the Startup Europe initiative that aims to build a pan-European tech startup ecosystem. To that end, Welcome links startups from five vibrant EU ecosystems — Berlin, Dublin, Madrid, Milan and Salamanca, to customers, VCs, business angels, corporates, mentors and other startups. The project targets aspiring entrepreneurs as well as early and late stage startups with activities enabling them to grow across borders and access the right combination of finance while helping corporates identify the best talents.


This competition is part of Welcome’s Europass Programme


About Pioneers

Pioneers is a global relationship builder in tech that provides infrastructures and services to facilitate meaningful business relationships within its juried community. These services inspire, empower and connect the most promising early-stage technology companies with corporations, investors, industry experts, and international media with the goal to increase their rate of economical success and positive impact on society.


Junbi, not an ordinary Box!

Nitro stories: Startups looking for the next episode in their development


In the next days, we would like to introduce you three of the most outstanding companies that participated into Nitro: the Extreme Acceleration Event, that took place for the first time in Utrecht in May 2016. Discover what they do and which reasons move experience entrepreneurs to take part to events such as Nitro.

The first startup of the series is introducing in the market a product who raised the curiosity of all Nitro’s attendants and experts present during the two days. Keep on reading to discover more!


Junbi, not an ordinary Box!


Have you ever wished a magic box?

One of the Nitro’s winner has developed one: Junbi.

Junbi is a box that allows small business, event manager and individuals to solve some of their problems by mean of a simple QR-code scan system. How does it work?

Jumbi pic-2

Junbi is a device that collects information about users’ interactions through its sensors, allowing you to track users’ behaviour, improve engagement and increase revenue.

Sound complicated? It is not. Imagine planning an event with only small resources available: you will need for example to manually check-in all the participants, a task that requires time and employees. Junbi offers you a simple solution to automate the task: each participant gets a QR code that is scanned at the entrance of the event with the Junbi box. Junbi is also able to print you the badge. Besides, Junbi allows you to collect data on the participants and it is an easy and affordable plug & play system.

But it is not just that: the Junbi box supports in fact different services, so you can use it for the registration at events but also as time punch system for small companies, or to generate promotion for small retail business. The only limit is your imagination. Junbi allows in fact to integrate your own system and solution into its box.

Behind Junbi there is a team of experienced and creative Portuguese people, who have already created in the past successful businesses. The CEO DiogoRomão, also co-Founder of Monday.pt and two other companies, strongly believes in its new product: “Junbi was born for a real problem to which there was no real solution, so we built one. Now that Junbi is available it can be used for several scenarios and applications. Imagine it as a fast and affordable way to connect the physical world touchpoints to the cloud. Your imagination is the limit. ”

By participating at Nitro, Diogo wanted to consult with experts of different fields to get valuable insights into product life cycle management, as well as investment and marketing strategies. Why should an experienced entrepreneur attend an event as Nitro? Diogo explains “We had a great experience that helped us to rethink our business and strategy. A really powerful hands-on event with lots of experienced and talented people helping you out, along with other great Startups sharing the same passion for making a difference in the world, can only lead to great results, and it sure did.”

If you want to know more about Junbi visit www.junbi.co or contact Diogo https://www.linkedin.com/in/diogoromao


Also take a look at the Eplus Ecosystem blog and website!


‘Emprende’, de Canal 24 horas, reconocido en los StartUp Europe Awards


El programa de emprendedores de Canal 24 horas ha recibido este martes, en la Dirección General Conect de la Comisión Europea, el reconocimiento como TV Media Partner Oficial para los StartUp Europe Awards (SEA). El director y presentador del programa, Juanma Romero; y el realizador, Luis Oliván, han sido los encargados de recoger el galardón por su labor en apoyo a los emprendedores, que supone el número 22 que recibe ‘Emprende’.

A través de este reconocimiento, el Comité de Selección de los SEA premia a Emprende por su “dilatada trayectoria en apoyo a los emprendedores y a difundir el espíritu emprendedor; por la innovación en su formato dinámico, vivo, rápido y comprensible; y, en definitiva, por contribuir al Plan Europeo de Acción para el Emprendimiento de 2020”.

En la entrega del reconocimiento, Juan Manuel Revuelta, director de la Fundación Finnova, organizadora de los StartUp Europe Awards, ha destacado las buenas prácticas del director y presentador de ‘Emprende’, Juanma Romero; así como de su realizador, Luis Oliván.

Juanma Romero ha subrayado la intención del programa de “apoyar las startups europeas y promover los nuevos empleos relacionados con las tecnologías de la información”. Luis Oliván ha añadido que, “desde ‘Emprende’ se pretende ayudar a los emprendedores que tienen una magnífica idea, pero que no saben cómo trasladarla al mercado”.

Para el jefe de sector de StartUp Europe de la Comisión Europea, Isidro Laso, la labor de RTVE con la emisión de ‘Emprende’ “no sólo es ser una ventana abierta a oportunidades de financiación, así como formación y oportunidades de negocio para los emprendedores, sino también el reconocimiento a su contribución a la recuperación económica”.

StartUp Europe Awards es una iniciativa de la Comisión Europea en colaboración con Finnova, el Comité de las Regiones de la UE, y cuenta con el apoyo del Parlamento Europeo. Estos premios tienen como objetivo crear una alianza de las organizaciones que, a nivel local, provincial, regional y nacional, organizan certámenes de premios para emprendedores, que les conceden visibilidad y contribuyen a la internacionalización de las pymes.

‘Emprende’ y ‘Emprende Digital’

Canal 24 horas emite ‘Emprende’ el jueves a las 16:00 y el sábado a las 07:30 en 24 horas y La 1. ‘Emprende Digital’ se emite los viernes a las 22:00, y los domingos a las 14:30 en versión reducida. Con vocación de servicio público y subtitulado para personas sordas o con deficiencias auditivas, ambos programas aportan su grano de arena a la hora de encontrar nuevas vías de crear empleo a través del desarrollo de nuevos proyectos empresariales. Dirige y presenta Juanma Romero, realiza Luis Oliván y produce Juan Lainez. Desde enero de 2014 han recibido 22 premios, nacionales e internacionales, como reconocimiento a su labor. Los usuarios de Twitter pueden interactuar con el programa a través de su cuenta en esta red social, @emprendeTVE.


10 ways to fix Europe’s broken start-up to scale-up system (by Silicon Republic)

Europe’s start-up to scale-up model is broken. A leading thinktank of investors has come up with a 10-point plan to fix the problem

Throwing money at a wall and seeing if any of it sticks is not the solution to Europe’s start-up to scale-up dilemma and the European Digital Forum has revealed a 10-point plan to fix Europe’s broken ‘funding escalator’.

paper, based on consultation with investors, venture capitalists and experts, including Telefónica’s start-up accelerator Wayra, the European Investment Fund and the European Investment Bank, sets out 10 steps that can be taken.

“What does it take for European companies to move from the ‘start-up’ to ‘scale-up’ phase?” the authors asked.

“Why do so many European firms remain static and what prevents them from becoming global champions and driving the growth and jobs Europe so badly needs?”

The paper was formally launched at Startup Europe Summit 2016 in Berlin at a high-level panel of leading venture capitalists.

The European Digital Forum is a think tank dedicated to empowering tech entrepreneurs and growing Europe’s digital economy. The initiative is led by the Lisbon Council, a European think tank based in Brussels, and Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, in collaboration with the European Commission’s Startup Europe initiative.

Here are the 10 steps recommended to fix the start-up to scale-up dilemma and bring European start-ups on par with their counterparts in Silicon Valley.

1. Create the fund of all funds

The European Union and the European Investment Fund should increase investment alongside EU member states in a large public-private venture capital funds of funds.

2. Make public markets more accessible to high-growth firms

European initial public offering markets need to become significantly more accessible to promising, high-growth firms. Creating dedicated high-growth segments of European stock exchanges, tailored to the needs of these firms, as well as more flexible alternative segments, could have great impact and become part of the solution.

3. Investors need to invest in more venture capital and growth funds

Corporate and institutional investors should channel more finance into venture capital and other growth-based funding. This could be done through greater public-private partnership, using state guarantees to encourage co-financing on key projects from sources as multifarious as pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and social investments. This would require a better national and European incentive structure, including improved information about opportunities.

4. Better promote Europe’s rising start-up stars

The European Commission should improve communication and public awareness of Europe’s rising stars. One good initiative could be a “Future 100 Europe” programme, modelled on the UK’s Future 50. In this programme, European companies would compete to receive funding and mentoring from larger, more established firms.

5. End tax discrimination for equity investment

EU member states should drop punitive front-loaded taxes on equity options – not just because Europe asked them to but because it’s in their interest that they do so. Tax systems should be adjusted to treat the choice between debt and equity more neutrally. Start-ups should be able to use stock-option packages to attract and retain talent.

6. Make the Digital Single Market more tangible

At the European level, the European Commission and EU member states should work jointly to complete the single market and the capital markets union. A good starting point would be improved business insolvency legislation. A harmonised regulatory framework should allow quick bankruptcy, making it easier for those in need to “fail fast” and offering a second chance to many worthy entrepreneurs.

7. Give a stronger role to the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), and to digital start-ups within it

“Regarding EFSI, we believe it could serve as a model in future EU budgets, helping the EU move from a traditional grant-based method of funding projects to a more effective investment-led model, which would ‘crowd in’ funds around well-vetted projects. The EFSI has been a success in that regard, bringing funding into relatively risky areas that might easily have been overlooked,” the report’s authors said.

8. Set up a platform-based information hub and database of promising companies

Set up a platform-based information hub and database of promising companies, integrated with the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH) and the European Investment Project Portal (EIPP). Its core element would be a pan-European database of EU high-growth firms in different sectors, chosen on objective and transparent criteria, allowing cross-company comparison and benchmarking. In particular, the hub would include a list of companies in their pre-IPO phase.

9. Build a broader investment toolkit to promote and stimulate growth-stage investment

Among the options that should be considered is greater use of so-called “asymmetric funds,” which deliver varying returns to different classes of asset holders (widespread on the Israeli tech scene) and alternative finance vehicles, such as crowdfunding.

10. Start-ups should themselves be more vocal

Start-ups should themselves be more vocal, banding together to provide better, more coherent recommendations to policymakers at the national and European level. A good place to begin would be with a “scale-up manifesto”, a hard-hitting set of policy proposals written by leading entrepreneurs. It should look at the concrete problems of scaling small companies and propose concrete solutions for resolving the bottlenecks.


TWIST: Photon achieves its crowdfunding goal in just 5 days!

Photon, the first robot that develops together with your child, making a child’s first steps into the world of technology to be very fun and interesting, managed to achieve its crowdfunding goal on Kickstarter in just 5 days!

This is yet another success story brought to you by Startup Europe and TWIST, who are both very happy to announce that Photon received the entire amount the project pledged for in record time.

Photon pledged for crowdfunding $35,000 on Kickstarter, and in just 5 days, the project managed to raise over $37,500 from 243 backers, meaning that the product will reach the market in 20171

Being such a unique product and offering a very innovative and useful service, Photon won the Microsoft Imagine Cup in 2015, and was part of the Microsoft Imagine Cup Acceleration Program. After winning this outstanding competition, META Zernike Ventures invested in Photon through its Xplorer Fund, the first proof of concept type of fund in Poland. Xplorer Fund (Poland) can finance technology driven projects or startups, and Photon is a perfect example of a successful idea brought to life.



The Microsoft Imagine Cup is a very prestigious event and TWIST and StartUp Europe partnered with DotConnect and Microsoft in order to organize this year’s edition in Warsaw. Through the TWIST project, StartUp Europe manages to support the European startup ecosystem in achieving its goals.


Photon is just one of many success stories developed inside the European startup ecosystem and with its innovative product, children can be easily motivated to learn through a storytelling driven experience.



Join and support Photon’s Kickstarter campaign right here! If you are interested in reading more about Photon, be sure to take a look over their entire project here and here.





StartUp Europe and TWIST support innovative startups all over Europe and if you are interested in learning more about what we do, or if you want to get in touch with our experts, visit startupeuropeclub.eu & www.digitaltwisters.com for more information.


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.

Launching the Startup Europe Map

Within the framework of the startup event of the year, Startup Europe Summit, Startup Europe, a European Commission initiative, is both proud and excited to announce the launch of the Startup Europe Map.

On our mission to network and bring together different key players of the European startup ecosystem, Startup Europe has given birth to the Startup Europe map. One of the map’s main aims is to identify everyone who plays a part in the building of the startup ecosystem. By having a space on the map, it’ll be easier for relevant stakeholders to identify accelerators, incubators, investors, corporations, universities and public administrations involved in the ecosystem. Thus, establishing contact, sharing experiences, finding funding among other European key players will be just a click away. And keep a look-out: Africa and India are on their way too!

Another great purpose of the map is to promote best practices: we aim to do so by making them public thereby facilitating their sharing and replication. The whole map will be divided by sector, which will then be further grouped according to country, support and organizations: by bringing together those who have similar interests we are confident that it will help them find different forms of aid and support.

Last February’s event, Startup Europe Week 2016, was an eye-opener: one of the main obstacles to the creation of a European ecosystem is the lack of knowledge of the support and advice available out there. We spotted many initiatives which are unknown to the greater public, including European Commission ones. This has prompted us to create the map: making the life of startups and entrepreneurs a little easier with the help of already existing initiatives as well as new ones.


Let the world see you! REGISTER NOW! 


Startup Europe Summit. The Policy Conference for Startups and Tech.


The Startup Europe Summit (SES) is a series of events that brings the diverse players of the tech and digital industry under one roof. The event series started in early 2015, with an inaugural summit hosted in Berlin. SES16 addresses the key technological and policy issues that impact the business arena for startups, mature tech companies and the established industry alike. In the build-up to SES16 we are creating local events in Amsterdam, Dublin Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, and Warsaw, to get a local perspective upon the frameworks regulating startups that will be addressed at SES16. During the main event in Berlin, with multiple stages and private meetings, we will produce results and form a joint opinion on the European tech ecosystem. Do join us in our efforts.