Jobs and growth from digital SME's
Jobs and economic growth are fueled by innovative European digital industries, especially SMEs. We need to ensure that these SMEs get the support they need. With its strong National Trade Association base, DIGITALEUROPE has the potential to gather initiatives from all around Europe to demonstrate the dynamism of the sector.
Fostering Digital Entrepreneurship in Europe
DIGITALEUROPE, in association with Deloitte Consulting and the European Business and Innovation Centre Network (EBN) kicked off in 2014 an initiative of the European Commission (DG Enterprise and Industry) on “Fostering Digital Entrepreneurship in Europe: raising awareness and the visibility of digital icons and creation of a European Network of eMentors ecosystem”.
Over the next two years, DIGITALEUROPE together with our partners will aim to 1) raise the visibility and media attention on European businesses and entrepreneurs that offer new digital products and services, invent innovative business models and thrive through the intelligent use of novel digital technologies and 2) set up a mentoring ecosystem to help spark, support and expand new business ideas and fuel Digital Entrepreneurship in Europe.
In addition to a pan-European public relations campaign, activities will be organised at a national level through the network of DIGITALEUROPE's National Trade Associations (NTAs). The use of these national organisations will undoubtedly help us find and select success stories and digital icons to feature throughout the campaign. By leveraging the national and local networks of these NTAs, we are able to maximize both the resulting coverage and reach of the countries. Other activities include:
- Identification of a pool of digital icons and local success stories in order to inspire entrepreneurs.
- The launch of an eMentoring ecosystem ‘Euromentors’ that connect mentors and mentees at local and pan European level. See www.euromentors.eu/
An online tool: “10 things to know when selling online in the EU” that gives a structured overview of the most important themes on which an entrepreneur should be informed when starting an online business or expanding business across borders. See link here: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/dem/watify/selling-online?language=en
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New Web platform offering open acceleration service to entrepreneurs accross the EU
DIGITALEUROPE is working with several European partners to develop the first Europe-wide Web platform that collects a wide range of services - known as acceleration services - which are designed to aide entrepreneurs as they start businesses in Europe. OpenAxel was launched in Q1 2014.
Europe is often accused of being less entrepreneurial than other regions of the world - in particular the US. OPENAXEL aims to change that.
The Web platform brings together a wide range of players from the acceleration business and the IT sector. These include experienced entrepreneurs, investors and professional advisers. The platform aims to nurture an open and easily accessible acceleration community at a European level that can provide world class services to European start-ups.
In addition to the Web platform, OPENAXEL seeks out the best entrepreneurial talent in Europe through two startup competitions (one in 2014 and one in 2015) to select the 60 most promising start-ups in Europe (30 in each call).
Nine winners from each contest receive extra support, including world class coaching and mentoring from top level executives from global corporations – including a trip to Silicon Valley in California, where they can come into contact with investors and successful entrepreneurs. The aim is to help the start-ups get the best of Europe’s acceleration service provided by OpenAxel and their products and services to the international markets.
The first contest has ended successfully at South Startup Summit in Madrid in the beginning of October, thus the first winners have already been announced. Thanks to the success of its first contest, OpenAxel is now looking forward to organise its 2nd contest next year, which is expected to attract even more startups, mentors and accelerators. The opening of the call will be announced in the first months of 2015 so innovative startups: be aware!!