07 October 2015

Today “to become a startupper” is an aspiration among a growing number of talents, in particular within the younger generations. In the last years vital startup ecosystems have been growing in almost every European country. But they remain sort of disconnected and fragmented. More needs to be done to leap forward in the direction of a single European ecosystem.

Neena Gill MEP on startups and digital entrepreneurship in Europe

EIF’s breakfast debate ‘Startups and digital entrepreneurship in Europe’ aimed at taking stock of the data around the startup ecosystem in Europe, from both the public and private perspectives. Prominent speakers shared their experiences, their views and ideas on the way forward.

Neena Gill, MEP and EIF Steering Committee Member, chaired this debate. In her opening remarks she mentioned cited European Commission initiatives Startup Europe and Capital Markets Union, aiming to help startups flourish in Europe. She also noted that when it comes to startups there is a need for the culture to change in Europe. “It’s ok to fail” Ms Gill reassured.

Isidro Laso-Ballesteros, Head of Startup Europe Sector at DG CONNECTpresented this European Commission’s initiative. Isidro elaborated on challenges and obstacles that entrepreneurs and startups face in Europe today: over regulation, venture investments, opportunity to fail, exit strategy for investors. He also took the opportunity to present:

  • Europe's startup ecosystem mapping project – an ambitious and unique project provides a unparalleled insight focusing initially on 10 hubs – Berlin, Bucharest, Brussels, Helsinki, London, Madrid, Manchester, Munich, Paris, Stockholm – with a further 10 hubs to be mapped this year.
  • EU Network of startup-friendly regions

Julian David, CEO of TechUK, focused on the scale-up opportunities for startups in Europe. He noted that DSM is very important to make startups more successful in Europe and the following 8 principles should be at the heart of the DSM:

  • embrace change
  • embrace the global nature of the digital revolution 
  • focus on making it easier, not harder, for companies to innovate 
  • commit to making the world simpler, not more complicated, for people and businesses 
  • leave room for innovation to overcome obstacles 
  • be rigorous in using the right tools for the job 
  • remain wary of unintended consequences 
  • seek to move at pace through rapid succession of practical and pragmatic small steps forward.

Gianpiero Lotito, CEO of FacilityLive, called for a European consumer platform as a tool to help the startups in Europe.

Jorin Aardoom, 25 year old co-founder and CEO of Syneratio, a European startup presented their way to success from the creation of the startup in 2012 to today.


Highlights from Twitter:

#Europe should embrace change. Europe has to go global. Make it easy & simple for #startups. @techukceo @techuk at the @eifonline debate

— EIF (@EIFonline) September 16, 2015

#startups in EU need more private money, not public money @isidrolaso @EIFonline breakfast debate @DigitalAgendaEU @StartUpEU

— Alessandro Bogliolo (@neutralaccess) September 16, 2015


Thanks @NeenaGmep for a great event this morning on start-ups and digital entrepreneurship with @techUKCEO @EIFonline #digitaloptimism

— Catherine Stihler (@C_Stihler_MEP) September 16, 2015

Startups go to the U.S. to find a 400M market, while we have a 500M market in the EU. Or we should... #DSM @EIFonline @techUK @SecTechUK

— Maria Rosa Gibellini (@mariarosagib) September 16, 2015


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