Startup Europe is the European Union’s attempt at laying the foundation for a Digital Single Market. Administered through the European Commission, the idea is to provide startups, investors and accelerators with a means to connect to the various startup ecosystems across Europe, as well as enhance opportunities to connect to other markets across the world.
Startup Europe works primarily through a variety of specific initiatives, such Startup Scaleup and Soft-Landing, intended to remove barriers to scaling and interconnecting the local startup ecosystems across Europe and beyond. Many of the initiatives are a response to the Startup Manifesto, released in 2013 in cooperation with a host of technology founders, such as Daniel Ek from Spotify, Niklas Zennström from Atomica, Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten at The Next Web, and several others. The Manifesto contains 22 action points to help startups thrive in Europe, and is increasingly being adapted at the country level.
Startup Europe is still a long way from the “One Stop Shop” for startups it’s hoping to create. Where Startup Europe tends to excel is in the background and links to EU funding and legislation. It highlights the funding opportunities supported by the EU for startups and SMEs. And the regulatory section details everything from the rules around defective products to environmental laws. The information on the local ecosystems, however, can be limited and, in some cases, such as with the Startup Hubs Europe map, outdated. Regardless, it’s a useful start to get an overall picture of the size of the European startup ecosystem, its funding opportunities and regulations, and a source for building pan-European networks.
Featured Images: Startup Europe