Digital in Practice Programme

European start-ups in the aftermath of COVID-19

05 Jun 2020
8:30-10:00 CET

Europe’s start-up fabric was taking shape at last: in 2019, Germany and France attracted $7b and $5.2b in venture capital respectively, according to Dealroom, far behind the UK though ($13.2b). This was before the massive disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic wiped revenues out of a number of start-ups while putting venture capital investors on edge.

To be fair, governments have dashed to the rescue of their tech start-ups:

  • France launched a €4b liquidity plan, a mix of short-term refinancing, investment into already-planned funding rounds and early payment of some tax credits;
  • Germany has earmarked €2b to this effect, to be followed by a longer-term fund of €10b for bigger start-ups;
  • Though the British government has put an emergency loan into place to support smaller businesses, it may not apply to start-ups: seven industry lobby groups have therefore called for a “runway fund” that would allocate loans convertible into equity stakes at a company’s next financing round.

Incidentally, many start-ups are taking cues from the crisis and pivoting to healthcare: Hexigone (originally in chemical manufacturing), Archangel Imaging (originally in large-scale monitoring of remote areas), to name but a couple.

In light of the above considerations, we thought it was time to take stock of the impact of the pandemic on European start-up ecosystems.

The following experts have agreed to help figure out how it might look like in the fallout of COVID-19:

    • Peteris Zilgalvis, Head of Unit, Digital Innovation and Blockchain, Digital Single Market Directorate, DG CONNECT & Co-Chair, FinTech Task Force, European Commission
    • Isidro Laso, Deputy Head of Innovation Ecosystems at European Innovation Council
    • Leonard Bukenya, Partner at Aim for the Moon
    • Fabrice Moizan, General Manager & VP Sales US, EMEAI and Pacific at Graphcore
    • Benedikt Blomeyer, Director, EU Policy, Allied for Startups
    • Jacopo Losso, Director of Secretariat at EBAN
    • George Windsor, Head of Insights at Tech Nation

    Moderated by Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director General, DIGITALEUROPE.


  • 08:30-08:45

    Setting the scene by the Moderator

  • 08:45-09:40

    Views of our experts

  • 09:40-10:00

    Q&A session and closing words

We hope that you will be able to contribute your thoughts and experience to this highly interactive, truly informal debate.

The debate will be held under the Chatham House rule.

For more information on our Digital in Practice Programme (DiPP) click here.

For more information or any questions please contact:
Regina Zawisza
Senior Manager for Member Relations
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