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Roadshow 2016: what we learned in our second year!

With the activity Roadshow 2016, for the 2nd year, Welcome Project  gave to ten top early stage startups from across Europe the extraordinary opportunity to travel in four different startup ecosystems, to meet investors and corporates, to exchange their experiences with other startups, living precious experiences for helping their project to grow up in the international contest and… have a lot of fun!

The Roadshow activity had been designed to support the selected startups, to build a connection network with local investors, corporates, startups and media, to find prospective partners and clients and to raise funds.

The whole program foresaw 4 stops in the 4 ecosystems of Madrid-Salamanca, Milan, Berlin and Dublin, and it was reserved to 10 top startups coming from these ecosystems. The same program was carried on in 2015.

The first stop was in Milan, 11-13th May, where the guys had a special spot at Seeds & Chips to pitch and meet local investors, whereas the second trip was to Berlin, on June 9th-10th, where the teams attended the Startup Europe Summit 2016, met international accelerators, corporates and other startups, and participated to workshops  and panels.

After these two stops where startups enjoyed special moments and had the opportunity to acquire useful contacts, the summer was even more extraordinary for the ten teams, as they travelled  to San Francisco for a three-week immersive program (August 29th – September 16th) at the Mind The Bridge Startup School. For many of them it was the first time they faced the Silicon Valley and they were very excited to discover the stimulating ecosystem and contest that It offers to startups.

Finally, as back to Europe, the ten startups participated to other two stops and attended to two great European innovation events:  in Madrid on October 5th-7th for South Summit and in Dublin on 19th-21st in occasion of Startup Grind and Uprise Festival.

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South Summit!
Meetings with Google at Uprise festival!
Meetings with Google at Uprise festival!

The Roadshow 2016 was defined by the guys as a great experience for networking and connecting with different people and ecosystems; particularly they appreciated the possibility to present their startups and to acquire feedbacks about their startups from Investors, corporates, media, and to find strong motivation for their future. Good luck guys!

What they said:

 

What did you like most about the Roadshow?

 

The Roadshow was a great experience for SwiftComply. It was great to visit with the other startup ecosystems and learn from the experiences of other businesses and share our own experiences.

 

The opportunity to meet different ecosystems, entrepreneurs and potential partners from different cities

 

Networking, meeting people related with startups. It was a unique experience for learning many useful things for doing business. Also the international part its great.

 

San Francisco, far ahead. The phrase is disneyland for startups.

 

What was most helpful part of the Roadshow to help your startup/idea?

 

Collecting feedbacks from different markets to improve the product, and meet potential partners to promote it abroad

 

Understanding other ecosystems outside Spain. It open your eyes to your possibilities

 

Meeting with so many startups from all over Europe gave us great insights into the available talent all across Europe. It has definitely opened up avenues for us to develop cross border collaborations and new market opportunities.

 

Reality feedback, experts of the startup ecosystem gave me a clear view of my projects.

 

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5 Things We Learned from WELCOME Project Matchmakings

This is a post written by Mind the Bridge, one of Welcome’s partners. 

It’s been a great ride, the WELCOME project has almost finished. Still, we feel this is just the beginning.

Last month, we flew to Berlin and Dublin for the final stops of Welcome Project’s “matchmaking train”: two years of travelling around Europe to organize 8 light matchmaking sessions between top startups, investors, corporates and accelerators.

Without further ado, let us share some insights from this great experience.

1. Looking for funds? Cross some borders

We couldn’t have organized over 300 meetings in 2 years without thinking “cross border”. The EU is a huge market, with over 700 million people getting more and more connected. All the startups we met have always been keen to find opportunities all over Europe, especially for funding.
Welcome Matchmakings have been a small – yet fortunate- step in the right direction: more than half of our investors and corporates showed specific interest to connect and invest in startups from other EU countries. This effort is surely paying off: our startups collectively raised over €11M, and this is just the beginning.

Entrepreneurs, take note!

2. Keeping it lean always works

During these 2 years, we joined several large tech and startup events, setting up our matchmakings there. We had pitching sessions, matchmaking rooms, networking arenas, 1:1 meetings in Audi limos and buzz-electric booths packed with top investors. More than 90 startups, 50 investors and 30 corporates joined our sessions, set up during large tech events that inspired thousands of people.
It would have been literally impossible to achieve this, adapting to several, very different tech events in 4 EU top hubs without working lean, listening to everyone’s feedback to tailor the experience each time.

Yes, “going lean” still works.

3. From diversity comes strength

One of the things we loved the most about this journey has been the opportunity to connect with people from all over Europe and the world. We met “happiness managers”, “node.js ninjas” and “candy makers” and a legion of brilliant developers, CEOs of all ages and amazing female entrepreneurs. Just…wow.
Our startups connected with more than 160 of these international partners, and 75% of them got follow-ups.

Walls? No, thanks.

4. Connecting EU hubs is crucial

Plant a tomato in Norway, and we’re safe to say it’s not going to grow glowing red and juicy as if you planted it in Spain or Italy. We learned a lot by hosting an average of 40 1:1 meetings per event, each time with around 12 international startups breaking more and more barriers. We saw creativity and hardware companies thrive in Berlin, brilliant foodtech ones in Milan, drones flying over Salamanca and cleantech startups painting the Irish landscape even greener.
Where were they coming from? That’s right, from all over Europe and beyond.

5. Let’s do it together!

Last but not least, this highlight is also a “thank you” note. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the fundamental support from all our Welcome partners, especially the amazing folks at Betahaus, Bisite Accelerator, dPixel and Ryan Academy.
Want to connect with their local ecosystems? The bridge is open!

And that is all, folks. Looking forward to the next journey!
Stay in touch, more to come.

See Mind the Bridge’s original post here: 5 Things We Learned from WELCOME Project Matchmakings

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Welcome project at Web Summit!

This week Welcome project was at Web Summit, Europe’s largest technology summit, in Lisbon, Portugal. Not only did Welcome project join all the other Startup Europe projects at the Startup Europe stand, but Welcome’s partners DPIXEL and Factory met with Commissioner Ansip to discuss the idea of a Single Startup Market. 

Have you ever heard of Web Summit? Web Summit has become “Europe’s largest and most important technology marketplace”, a crossroads where over 50,000 of the world’s most disruptive technological innovators meet in one place.

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This event brought together CEOs, cultural icons, key global leaders from the EU and national governments, startups, investors, leading academics and the world’s most iconic companies, all in one single place: Lisbon. And the choice of location is no coincidence, Lisbon is known for its young but booming entrepreneurial tech scene that continues to grow year on year.

The Welcome team joined the Startup Europe stand in Pavillion 3, next to the summit’s second biggest stage and open networking areas. In addition to Welcome, the other Startup Europe projects were also at the stand: MY-WAY, Twist, Startup Scaleup and ePlus!

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Here Welcome spoke to many entrepreneurs and startups about our activities, events and open calls, for example the Welcome team handed out red tshirts and flyers for the event Startup Olé which will happen in Salamanca, on 26th and 27th April (see picture below!).

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With more than 20 stages and workshop areas, there were numerous talks and discussions to listen to, just check out the pictures below.

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It is worth mentioning that many of the speakers at these talks were key public EU figures who spoke about pan-european digital initiatives related to Startup Europe and Welcome project. For example, you might have caught these figures at the stages:

  • José Manuel Barroso (President of the EU from 2004-2014)
  • Carlos Moedas (European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, European Union)
  • Ann Mettler (‎Head of European Political Strategy Centre, European Commission)
  • Andrus Ansip (Vice-President, Digital Single Market, European Commission), and
  • Marta Nagy-Rothengass (Head of Data Policy and Innovation Unit, DG CONNECT , European Commission
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José Manuel Barroso (President of the EU from 2004-2014)

At one of these sessions, Commissioner Ansip pointed out the benefits that the Digital Single Market is already bringing to everyone across the European Union,and stressed that digital is a driver for growth.

For this reason, the Startup Europe stand served as a meeting point for partners of Welcome, DPIXEL and Factory, among others, to discuss the concept of a Single Startup Market with Commissioner Ansip.

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Gianluca Dettori, founder of the Unicorn Forum who launched the single startup market initiative, and Simon Shafaer, Founder of Factory Berlin and CEO of Startup Portugal, spoke with Ansip about the concept of a Single Startup Market.

We are working on a white paper for a real implementation, starting from a couple of states agreeing on sharing a special regime for startups and opening that to member states willing to join” stated Gianluca.

During these months many other startup founders have joined the initiative and the EU Commission is keen to explore this opportunity that would dramatically reduce fragmentation within European borders for startups.

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Overall, it was a great opportunity to tell you about Welcome events, activities and programmes, and meet so many of you in person!

We look forward to seeing you next year!

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