TAKING STARTUPS AROUND EUROPE

WELCOME is a project about bringing startups to new ecosystems, to broaden their horizons and opportunities. This means that WELCOME is responsible for organising relevant activities for startups that attract a critical mass of investors, corporates and potential partners. Quite often, this is a chicken-and-egg problem: startups only apply if a lot of investors are attending and investors only express interest if they see a lot of good startups participating.

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RYAN and DPIXEL, organising the flagship EU Roadshow and Europass activities, quickly realised that pooling both their winning startups into a WELCOME portfolio was a more efficient way to approach event organisers and other stakeholders. Ticket prices were more easily negotiated, invite-only activities got more accessible, etc. And even more importantly: all participants appreciated it, as the quality of facilitation stayed the same and a wider network was leveraged in favor of the startups.

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As the project advanced, more synergies were exploited: the Cross Border Mentorship Week was designed to take 2 batches of complementary verticals at the same time, to benefit from pooled costs and higher level speakers. Matchmaking, Roadshow and Europass happening simultaneously at events across Europe became common practice.

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CONNECTING CONTINENTS

WELCOME brought its partners to pool their expertise many times across the duration of the project. These collaborations led to the creation of synergies as partners learned how to complement themselves for the common purpose: supporting startups across Europe.

In this example, we’ll be looking at two partners who saw the advantages of working together beyond the project due to the good results obtained these last two years.

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BISA has been developing the ecosystem in Salamanca, focusing on its expertise in coordinating and organising events. MTB organises “added-value” matchmaking activities inserted in larger events. BISA had the ambition to include professional matchmaking services within its emerging Startup Olé larger event. Noticing that MTB’s matchmaking were adaptable to any kind of venue,always attracting international investors and high levels of serendipity, BISA proposed that MTB take charge of the matchmaking for the event.

The results speak for themselves, with both startups and investors praising the organisation and dynamics of the activity: 75% of meetings leading to follow-up, and more than half investors and corporates ready to work with international partners. Way to go cross-border!

Looking at the future after WELCOME, BISA and MTB are actively exploring continuing the collaboration, leveraged by the Startup Europe network, to deliver high impact and international reach to events with an European scope.

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