19 Jul 2016

DIGITALEUROPE’s views on Commission ‘Start-up Initiative’

DIGITALEUROPE’s views on Commission ‘Start-up Initiative’

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

DIGITALEUROPE as the voice of Europe’s digital technology industry expresses its willingness to work closely with the EU Institutions and policymakers to provide valuable knowledge on improving the environment for start-ups in Europe. The European Commission took an important first step in October 2015 through the launch of its ‘Single Market Strategy’ to form one of the policy building blocks to boost jobs and growth in Europe. We welcome the added emphasis placed on European start-ups and fast growing firms through a dedicated ‘start-up initiative’. As the European Commission continues to consider future actions, DIGITALEUROPE believes any future activities within the field of start-ups should focus on the following:

1. Support universities and research institutes – During the “stand-up” phase the most important objective of public sector institutions should be to support universities and research institutes (including students and researchers).

2. Entrepreneurship in education – Member State education systems must introduce entrepreneurship education in all levels of formal education (from primary and secondary school to vocational education and university).  Cross country collaboration & migration reforms – Encourage cross-country collaboration as a foundation for building connections amongst individuals while following the example set by Member States such as Lithuania, which recently initiated migration reforms to give foreign entrepreneurs visas.

3. Access to finance – Promote greater availability of finance through venture capital and creation of angel/investor ‘clubs’ to foster joint investments.

4. Predicable and stable legal framework – Consider the impact of potential policy changes on start-ups as well as other businesses in the digital economy as action to address one issue may cause negative unforeseen consequences for start-ups.

5. Entrepreneurial hubs – Work to build ‘entrepreneurial hubs’ focusing on specific topics/areas (e.g. Stockholm – Design).

6. Information sharing – Pool information so that investors can identify the best performing companies and provide individual support to companies with high-growth potential.

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