European Young Innovators Forum @ European Business Summit 2014: Europe for StartUps, vision 2020

European Young Innovators Forum logo

Written by Kumardev Chatterjee, Founder & President of European Young Innovators Forum

Kumardev Chatterjee

Kumardev Chatterjee, Founder & President of European Young Innovators Forum

Across the globe, there is increasing consensus that now is great time to be an entrepreneur and create a StartUp. Certainly, there are various factors that are fuelling StartUp growth today. Three of the primary factors are less investment in R&D and Innovation from big companies creating a space for innovation and disruption from outside, plunging tech and operational infrastructure costs of starting a business and increasing amounts of risk capital and support  available to help StartUps in those crucial first 18 months.

The picture on-the-ground out of Europe however, though slowly changing, still has much room for growth. In spite of more than 20 years of research and innovation funding, when it comes to global top ten lists, Europe usually merits just around two major StartUp hubs (London, Berlin) and two billion dollar StartUps (Spotify, Zalando). That is how it has been, for a few years now. In contrast, China, a much later entrant into the StartUp scene in general, and with much less history of innovation funding and market access in particular, already boasts nearly similar figures (Beijing and Shanghai, Xiaomi and Jingdong).  

Europe then, clearly has some bridges to cross in creating and sustaining globally competitive innovation ecosystems that routinely generate disruptively innovative companies. Meanwhile with the ascent of China and India in this area, and the continuing pole position of the US, changing the game is getting harder by the year.    

How can we significantly improve European StartUp activity and what does it mean for Europe?

My vision is a Europe that works for StartUps and Entrepreneurs through the full stage of the innovation lifecycle, from ideas to market take-up, powered by the talents, energy, enthusiasm, and innovations of young Europeans and supported by the necessary regulatory frameworks, access to finance and markets and environment for innovation ecosystems.

Europe for StartUps 2020 overarching goals should to create and sustain a vibrant StartUp economy in Europe that generates:

10000 new StartUps a year

2000 new seed stage funded StartUps a year

1000 growth stage funded StartUps a year

4 StartUps a year in Global top ten lists

3 StartUp every two years on average with Billion Dollar exits

250,000 new StartUp jobs per year 

2.5% of the job market covered by StartUp jobs

9.5% of total European GDP from StartUp activity (including exits)

The engagement, employment, volume, momentum and economic weight generated by the appropriate implementation of this vision will not only serve to firmly place Europe in the new and emerging world economic order but also, most importantly, rejuvenate the European narrative of collective peace, sustainable growth and lasting prosperity.

How can we implement a Europe for StartUps? 

Clearly, creating and sustaining a culture of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is crucial to achieving this vision. It is recognised that there are significant barriers to such a culture in Europe today. The main issues include limited market access due to a fragmented legal and regulatory landscape, sustained access to finance and support across all stage of the cycle and lack of skills to name a few. However, the fundamental issue holding back Europe, is the low-risk attitude of both citizens and industry and financial institutions towards innovation, i.e. a fundamental aversion to risk-taking that is proving counter-productive for development of an innovative and entrepreneurial economy. 

There needs to be a sustained two-pronged approach to overcome these issues and achieve this vision:

Fundamentally, we need a significant, ongoing promoting of an entrepreneurial, risk-taking culture for youth. We must change the mindsets of young people, encouraging their participation in the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem. The focus should be to move them from their comfort zone to embrace the opportunities and challenges of innovation and entrepreneurship through StartUp formations, jobs and engagement in the innovation ecosystem.

This can be achieved by raising awareness on innovation and entrepreneurship amongst youth so they consider it as a serious alternative to traditional careers and embrace risk-taking. Equally important is increasing access for young innovators to skills training and mentors, finances and other resources to help them develop their early-stage ideas.

Simultaneously,  European governments, businesses, society and individuals need to support and reward such risk-taking by creating and sustaining an ecosystem for entrepreneurs that helps StartUps.

The European Parliament and Commission in particular, need to create and have adopted an unified regulatory framework tailored to the needs and conditions of StartUps, that supports the creation of new StartUps from early-stage ideas and their growth, market penetration and scaling-up. 

A Call to Action for a Europe for StartUps 2020

2014 will be a watershed year for innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe. The newly “pro-innovation” Europe is launching an extensive pan-European awareness and engagement campaign to promote entrepreneurship. The European Young Innovators Forum will be an integral partner of this initiative, with its large community of young innovators across Europe. Furthermore, the new EU Innovation programme Horizon 2020, with 80 billion EUR in funding over  the next 7 years, will serve to bolster a more entrepreneurial Europe. Particularly noteworthy is the approximately 2.8 billion EUR dedicated to funding innovative SMEs. 

EYIF will be at the heart of this mindset change in Europe. We will be conducting multiple activities and events across Europe where we will engage with more than 1500 young entrepreneurs and innovators, and mentor over 700 of them. For this, we will partner with the European Commission, European Parliament, US Department of State and strategic corporate partners to drive change through youth empowerment. The ICT Roadshow, the InnoTour USA, the Innovation Convention, the European Youth Event, the InnoApps competition, events at our Regional Innovation Hubs, and of course the 3rd annual Young Innovators Unconvention, will be EYIF’s cornerstone activities for 2014 to drive the development of an entrepreneurial culture. 

We call upon all minded individuals, businesses and governments to take action jointly with us to implement this vision for Europe starting now in 2014.

About the Author

Kumardev Chatterjee is the Founder and President of the European Young Innovators Forum (EYIF http://www.eyif.eu). He leads the management of EYIF’s broad community of young innovators, entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs.He represents EYIF on various Expert Groups and Stakeholder Committees of the European Commission in the areas of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and ICT, in particular, web-entrepreneurship (DG Connect) and Digital Entrepreneurship (DG Enterprise and Industry). He holds a MSc. in Computer Science, from University College London (UCL), as a British Chevening Science Scholar.  Kumardev is a European Commission recognised, independent Expert and has been both published and quoted by the world’s leading media and institutions including the New York Times, the World Economic Forum, the European Commission and Microsoft.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU job-search aid worth €9.9 million for 1,858 former Air France workers

Children are so hungry in one British town they are eating from bins

EU tourism industry expects a new record year in 2014

UN chief extends condolences to families of China landslide casualties

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

99 per cent of intravenous drug users lack access to health, ‘social services with dignity’ says UNAIDS chief

3 ways firms can master the digital challenges of the 4IR

Hunger, displacement and disease: 4.3 million people remain in dire need of aid in Chad

Ensure that widows are ‘not left out or left behind’, UN chief urges on International Day

Myanmar: Conflict resolution at ‘total standstill’, military commanders must answer for crimes against humanity

European Commissioner for Youth wants young people to be at heart of policy making

How to outsmart bias when you’re recruiting

Five ways to increase trust in e-commerce

Reforms in the Western Balkans and Turkey: annual assessments and recommendations

Electronic or conventional cigarettes – which is safer?

Online radio and news broadcasts: Parliament and Council reach deal

New Syria fighting represents ‘giant powder keg’, warns aid veteran, as he leaves UN stage

A bad marriage can be as unhealthy as smoking and drinking

Tsipras doesn’t seem to have learned his “almost Grexit” lesson and Greece faces again financial and political dead end

Posting of workers: final vote on equal pay and working conditions

Why do overwhelming proportions of EU’s youth feel excluded?

Violence against women a ‘mark of shame’ on our societies, says UN chief on World Day

Commission calls on Leaders to pave the way for an agreement on a modern, balanced and fair EU budget for the future

Cyprus banks under scrutiny

Russia and the EU ‘trade’ natural gas supplies and commercial concessions in and out of Ukraine

A Sting Exclusive: “The competitiveness of Europe depends on a digital single market”, EPP President Joseph Daul highlights live from European Business Summit 2015

EU and African leaders to jointly tackle the migration crisis across the Mediterranean

Investors have a role in securing our shared digital future

Why do US presidential elections last so long? And 4 other things you need to know

‘We will not give up on looking for peace for South Sudan’: UN deputy chief

Around 260,000 children in DR Congo’s Kasai region suffering severe acute malnutrition

Parliament wants to suspend EU accession negotiations with Turkey

18th EU Eco-Innovation Forum in Barcelona shows the way for Europe’s new Environmental policy

Are the G20 leaders ready to curb corporate tax-avoidance?

Eurozone: Even good statistics mean deeper recession

Civil protection: Parliament strengthens EU disaster response capability

‘Critical moment’ for sustainable development, UN chief tells major financing forum

Is the English language too powerful?

Viktor Orbán, Hungarian Prime Minister, at a 2015 event in Brussels, Berlaymont. (Copyright: European Union , 2015; Source: EC - Audiovisual Service; Photo: Lieven Creemers)

Hungary and Ireland build front to say no to EU tax harmonisation plan

SoftLayer, an IBM company, @ TheNextWeb 2014: Masters of Failure and Change

Does Draghi have another ace up his sleeve given his Quantitative Easing failure?

Soil pollution ‘jeopardizing’ life on Earth, UN agency warns on World Day

North-east Nigeria displacement crisis continues amid ‘increased sophistication’ of attackers, warns UN

3 ways to fight stress at work

Most people on the internet live in this country

‘Climate change is the battle of my life’, UN chief tells students living on the frontline in Fiji

Humanitarian aid: €7 million for disaster preparedness in Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region

As many as 330,000 displaced by heavy fighting in south-west Syria – UN agency

Is Haiti better prepared for disasters, nine years on from the 2010 earthquake?

Climate change and health: an everyday solution

This is our chance to completely redefine the meaning of work

Visiting North Korea, UN relief chief spotlights funding shortfall to meet humanitarian needs

The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union will impact young people’s future the most

JADE Testimonial #2: Jacques @ Process mapping

The Czech economy is thriving but boosting skills and productivity and transitioning to a low-carbon productive model is vital to sustainable and inclusive growth

African cities will double in population by 2050. Here are 4 ways to make sure they thrive

Peacekeeping chief highlights challenges facing UN Police

We are on the edge of a new ‘cyber’ space age. This is how we make it a success

How will the NATO-EU competition evolve in the post Brexit era?

IMF: Sorry Greece, Ireland, Portugal we were wrong!

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s