LIFE project

The Official Launch of the Startup Europe ‘One Stop Shop’ in Brussels

Last week we officially launched the One Stop Shop in Brussels, the heart of Europe.

The One Stop Shop has been growing with speed over the last few months and it was time to officially launch it into the world with a special event.

In case you didn’t know , the One Stop Shop is a single point for startups to access all the information they need to grow and thrive: find investment and support, attend events, search for open calls, find out about legal rules and connect with other startup players.

startup europe one stop shop

At an event held by Digital Europe, we presented the One Stop Shop, and explained how to use it with an interactive presentation.

This event followed the DIPP (Digital in Practice) format by Digital Europe, which is a type of event that delves into digital best practice and cutting-edge technology.

startup europe one stop shop launch brussels

The interactive presentation involved showing the audience how to easy it is to use the website.

The Power of the One Stop Shop

Over the last two months we have seen over 30,000 visitors, hailing from all over Europe and beyond. This works out at around 500 different visitors a day.

Our main visitor countries at the moment are the USA, Germany and France.

The website offers a powerful platform to allow startup players to connect and grow across Europe.

Discussion and questions

The panelists at the event were:

startup europe one stop shop

Each of the speakers spoke about their experience of the startup world and how they had used the Startup Europe One Stop Shop. For example, Stewart McTavish spoke about how having one single point online saves time for startups when they are looking for key information.

startup europe one stop shop

There were also a series of questions about the functionality of the One Stop Shop, including on the registration process for the Startup Europe Map, and what the One Stop Shop offers female entrepreneurs.

To see more pictures from the event, go to the Digital Europe’s Facebook album.

startup europe one stop shop


LIFE Project: Money, Team, Customers: Exploring the obstacles faced by European startups- Tech.eu

The LIFE project looks at the different challenges for European startups during their development. Some eye-opening data and conclusions down below:

Tech.eu has been breaking down the findings of a white paper published by the LIFE project, a European Commission-sponsored project that examined the challenges and failures of European startups.

The paper catalogues the obstacles and experiences of entrepreneurs. So far we’ve looked at the supposed skills gap in Europe and the common mistakes made by startups in its very early days, such as finding relevant co-founders and identifying a real problem to solve.

In this post, we’re looking at the specific kinds of challenges that startups meet at the four different phases of their journey – Discovery, Validation, Efficiency, and Growth.


Life Project Discovery

The first phase, ‘Discovery’, is where most startups encounter problems (above), perhaps unsurprisingly. Of the startups surveyed, 74% had experienced problems in this phase, mostly in the areas of Team, Money, and Minimal Viable Product (MVP). Other problems included market fit, legal matters, and gaining first clients.

From this data, the LIFE project concluded that – regardless of whether it’s an experienced or first-time entrepreneur – most founders experience problems in this phase.

This led to the creation of the graph below, which drills down further into the data to better represent the kind of problems faced at the ‘Discovery’ stage.

Life Project Discovery

For example, this graph breaks down the 43 problems cited in Team to show that the majority (36) of these matters related to finding talent but collaboration and coordination of employees was a problem too. Similarly, we see a breakdown of data on money problems that shows at ‘Discovery’, these kind of problems pertain more to financial management rather than seeking investment.


In the ‘Validation’ phase, even more startups recorded problems – 90%. Money, Development and distribution of the product and Team were by far the three biggest obstacles.

Life Project Validation

According to the survey, Validation is where most startups quit or decide to pivot. This is reflected in the high number of startups that said they faced issues.

Life Project Validation

The graph above once again breaks down the answers to illustrate the exact kinds of problems startups faced at ‘Validation’. Unlike the previous phase, the split between Money problems is little more even as the pressure to find investment begins. Of the 40 problems cited here, 18 were financial and 22 were investment-related.


Life Project Efficiency

It became very clear at the ‘Efficiency’ stage that the vast majority of startups experienced problems at all stages. The graph below shows another high figure, this time 80%, of startups who says they experienced during this phase.

However, the matter gets a little vague at this stage. To wit, 30 complaints were filed under “Other Issues” while Team and Money comes in second and third. The previous phases had clear explanations of the problems – recruitment, costs, investment – but here that’s not the case. Below we see another breakdown of the rest of the results.

Life Project Efficiency


The ‘Growth’ phase is where many startups hit a level of maturity where money isn’t quite the issue. More often than not, startups have achieved some level of funding by this phase. The problems that emerge here relate to expansion and scaling. Developing a sound strategy for growth and internationalisation proved to a big obstacle. This is illustrated in the graph below.

Life Project Growth

Breaking down the problems in the expansion category, the LIFE project found that most of the problems related to time and resources. Experience, strategy, focus, goals, and contacts accounted for the rest.

Life Project Growth

In conclusion, LIFE found that Money and Team issues are the most recurring challenges for startups, but it’s interesting to note that the priorities change with each phase.

Life Project Conclusion

Article retrieved from: Tech.eu
Image retrieved from: StartupStockPhotos / Pixabay


FACE: Failure, the road to success- true stories and tips from real entrepreneurs


Out of context that number means nothing, and it kind of feels awkward all by itself. When you look at it closely it kind of feels like a 40%, yet it still means nothing out of context. It’s not a happy number or a scary number it just is. If we add context things might change. According to the GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) 39.1% of people who could and would want to startup are held back due to fear of failure. You want more context? It turns out that 39.1% is the highest number globally, even before Africa, Asia or South America. Suddenly that awkward lonely number kind of becomes scary, at least for us at FACE Entrepreneurship it is. It’s the dragon we have to slay.

FACE Entrepreneurships has had a very specific mission, to promote a risk taking attitude amongst young Europeans to overcome fear of failure and boost ICT entrepreneurship.

Since our launch at South Summit 2015 we have held 7 of our own offline events and collaborated in many others. One of the events we participate in is Startup Olé.
On September 8th, at 13.00 we will be there with 4 entrepreneurs and ecosystem players that will in a way be our “knights of the round table” sharing their personal stories on failure and success and hopefully helping us slay thedragon that is the social taboo of “fear of failure”.

What can you expect from our panel? You will hear real entrepreneurs share their struggles on their road to success. They will discuss how they overcame different challenges and the lessons learned. From an young Italian, to an investor and social entrepreneur leading “mujeres Tech” we will be able to share the different points of view and you will be able to get the insight that you need.

Learning by sharing is our game and let’s just say that we have gotten pretty good at it, but every event is a challenge that we overcome with the help of our collaborators and more importantly the attendees.
We hope to see you there on September 8th, at 13.00.
FACE Entrepreneurship, it’s worth it!


LIFE Project: Why startups need to get some basics down at the very beginning- Tech.eu

From the right founders to solving a real problem, the European Commission-sponsored LIFE project details the mistakes startups make in their earliest days.

The infancy of a startup involves a lot of searching. Startups talk a lot about pivoting, changing their mission or product to suit the market ahead of them. What may have seemed like a great idea in theory for a startup can hit a wall very fast in practice. However, despite all the assurances that a company can pivot and change in the future, decisions that its founders make at the very beginning will still have a profound effect on whether the startup actually goes anywhere.

The LIFE (Learning Incrementally from Failed Entrepreneurship) project conducted a survey of European startups on the problems, challenges, and failures they encountered during various stages of their development. LIFE divides this development into four phases – Discovery, Validation, Efficiency, and Growth. It provides a snapshot into the obstacles that entrepreneurs face at different stages.

Earlier we looked at the supposed skills gap in European tech. This time we’re looking at the mistakes startups make in their formative days when it comes to founders and defining one’s mission statement.

The startups surveyed were all able to identify where they went wrong with the benefit of hindsight. However, most interestingly, they were unable to pin down any concrete solutions. They were only able to give some advice on what they would have done differently when founding and launching their startups at the earliest stages.

According to one of the startups surveyed, not having a technical co-founder leaves the company in a bind when it comes to hiring and making decisions on the product development side of things. Often startups are founded by business-minded founders who lack technical input.

BrightArch regaled its challenges with focus across every phase. According to the startup, its biggest problem was not having co-founders with “different areas of responsibility”. This could mean one person focused on raising funds and another working solely on product development.

At the same time, this sort of structure can cause rifts if not addressed early on. Filmgrail from Norway cited problems it had with its “tech guys” having little understanding of the customers’ needs. This rift between the technical and business sides of a startup is not uncommon and can be remedied by better communication.

Nonabox from Spain described how early on it started to move too quickly into new markets and attributes this error to a lack of advisors.

Getting the right founding team in place early on is just one hurdle, according to the white paper, and there are other key decisions to be made in the early phases.

“A solution looking for a problem” is common mantra for a startup that has created a product or service with no real substance and long term potential. A startup’s formative days should be spent identifying a problem to solve rather than developing a solution that’s looking for an audience.

One startup that was surveyed experienced this very problem at its Discovery stage. “The solution that we proposed was well-liked and people saw a lot of potential but it was difficult to identify what the problem really was that we were solving,” stated Origo. The startup added that this ties together with communication issues among founders.

In its chapter on best practices, the LIFE white paper makes a number of recommendations to startups and founders.

Along with having a technical founder, it recommends that startup founders have some prior experience in a startup, which helps in identifying common mistakes and in developing network opportunities. A team of advisors can also help in this regard.

Retrieved from: Tech.eu


LIFE Project: Is there really a talent shortage in Europe? – Tech.eu

The oft-talked about talent shortage in the European tech scene: is it perception or reality? And if the latter, what is exactly the issue – and how can we fix it?

Finding and securing talent is supposedly one of the biggest challenges in the European tech industry, but there are several viewpoints around what exactly the problem is.

When the topic of conversation veers towards the supply of talent, it often focuses on the hiring crunch in Silicon Valley and a possible repeat in Europe, but is that the case?

The LIFE (Learning Incrementally from Failed Entrepreneurship) project, of which Tech.eu is a member, has put together a white paper that chronicles the challenges and failures that European startups face across various stages of their development. The report splits the lifespan of a startup into four different phases – Discovery, Validation, Efficiency, and Growth.

Startups that were interviewed for the report were asked to identify the kinds of problems they have experienced in each of these phases and how, or if, they solved them.

Building a team and hiring was cited by interviewees as a significant problem in each of the four phases.

During the ‘Discovery’ phase, team issues were given as the main problem, namely in getting the right technical founding team. In the ‘Validation’ and ‘Efficiency’ phases, team is no longer the number one problem but still a significant one. During those phases, startups are in the hiring process, building out their staff, and they may now encounter the supposed talent shortage problems so often cited. Finally at the Growth phase, many startups deemed team and hiring as a “substantial problem”, due to the need to scale and internationalise.

Problems with hiring can’t be viewed separately either. LIFE’s white paper goes into detail on money and access to funds. This is a major problem at both the ‘Discovery’ and ‘Validation’ phase, it said, where lack of funds will stymie talent acquisition. This continues to have knock-on effects; respondents said in the early phases that a lack of technical talent has ultimately influenced the development and direction of its product.

One of the startups quizzed for the study, Nonabox from Spain, recalled its challenges with finding talent to build and develop its website, switching between freelancers and an in-house team. The startup mentions not having a technical co-founder or advisor to guide it.

Across the board, however, none of the startups surveyed had any thorough or concrete solutions for the problems they faced. Rather, they could only offer loose advice based on their own experiences.

At the same time, there are opposing arguments to the notion that there are talent shortages across the continent in the same vein as the Valley.

Atomico Ventures, one of Europe’s top VC firms, stands firm in its belief that Europe’s talent supply problem doesn’t compare with Silicon Valley’s. According to a survey it published in November of last year, 57% of respondents (made up of CEOs, founders, and investors) said there is “good or very good availability” of talent in Europe.

Partner Dan Hynes argues that the number of programmers, developers, and engineers isn’t the challenge but rather the way companies engage with prospective talent and how they hire people. According to Hynes, there’s a hiring problem, not a supply problem.

HR managers and internal recruiters are left to wade through professionals by engaging with recruitment agencies or connecting with prospects on LinkedIn. This leaves little personalisation in the job hunt and finding the right fit for the startup’s culture and mission. It’s now recommended that a startup build a recruitment team in the early phases that’s prepared to train their interviewers and commit time to recruiting.

Finally, the LIFE report adds in its summation of the problems facing startups that founders should ideally have some experience in working in a startup rather than going straight into founding one of their own. A glimpse into how an effective hiring process works will help any founder when it comes to doing it themselves. Previous experience gives some vital know-how on the pitfalls facing companies that are looking for talent.

In the coming weeks, we are going to highlight more conclusions from the LIFE white paper, so stay tuned! Also, feel free to share your opinion or your own experiences in the comments below – we’d love to hear your thoughts or stories.

Retrieved from: Tech.eu