Vice-President Ansip speaks about Europe's startup ecosystem
Ladies and gentlemen
Thank you for inviting me to the launch of this mapping project, which I am sure will give a significant boost to Europe's startup community.
Dynamic mapping will give a unique insight into emerging startup ecosystems, providing detailed information and regular updates of their basic characteristics.
The initial focus will be on 10 major European hubs: Berlin, Brussels, Bucharest, Helsinki, London, Madrid, Manchester, Munich, Paris and Stockholm. There will be another 10 hubs mapped this year.
Some of this information has never been put together or analysed in such a way before. The new mapping tool will show the geographic distribution of startups together with their financial data, for example.
Perhaps more importantly, it will provide service and customer-related data, along with the factors which led to the venture's set-up and success – or failure.
Startups themselves should find the mapping useful as they seek to link together in networks, join ecosystems across Europe and find partners and investors.
It will also help us – policymakers and regulators – to know exactly how to help, in the best and most appropriate ways that startups really need.
They are, after all, vital to Europe's economy and job market.
Nobody creates more jobs than startups and other young companies; they provide around 50% of all jobs created.
As I have said before, I think startups could be given an easier beginning and helped more to bridge the gap from lab to market – to scale up and expand beyond national borders.
This is why we have the Startup Europe programme, of which this mapping tool will be a new and important part.
I believe in the policy approach that the programme takes: do not interfere with business decisions; rather; give support to better connecting startup communities to join up forces, ideas, talent and funding. All this across Europe, linking younger and smaller communities up with larger and more established ones. Dynamic EU innovation 'hubs of hubs', of a sort.
As a whole, the programme aims to strengthen the business environment for web and ICT entrepreneurs and make it easier for their ideas and business to start and grow.
This is also a main objective of our project to build a Digital Single Market for Europe, which is designed to support startups to the fullest possible extent.
We are already working on how to simplify and modernise the EU's rules for online and digital cross-border purchases, for example.
Doing this will help e-commerce startups because it will become easier for them to comply with laws across the EU.
In turn, that means they will be able to expand across national borders more quickly and offer their services to more customers.
We are also working to explore ways to attract more venture capital as part of the Single Market Strategy and the Capital Markets Union, which focuses on improving access to financing for all businesses across Europe and investment projects – startups in particular.
The mapping tool being launched today will be another instrument that can help Europe's startups and help to build the foundation for our digital future.
I wish you all a great day of startup link-up – here in Brussels, and in the other nine participating cities. More cities will join in, I am sure.
Andrus Ansip, 24 September 2015
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