2 years of WELCOME – and now the project is drawing to a close

2 years of WELCOME – and now the project is drawing to a close. It went by too fast!

This was an intense journey across Europe, bringing startups to meet new ecosystems, organising and taking part in the biggest tech events in the continent and so much more.

Look at the 2 years past through our final review presentations and through our numbers (click for high resolution!):


Most importantly, 90% of selected startups now feel part of a Pan-European ecosystem – through qualified introductions across the continent they know the key players personally – and are thus part of the wider picture.

More concretely, Startup Europe’s main benefits were helping 80% startups expand to new markets and discover new partners and 50% actively scale up.

The services provided (soft landing, matchmaking, travel support, workshops, etc.) were valued at over 1000€ by half of the respondents, who were able to enjoy them for free thanks to the networks of local players enabled by Startup Europe.


See more insights in the full document here

Looking back, it felt we were everywhere at the same time!

We were in more than 18 of the most important startup events around Europe, either through one-shot activities like Europass programme (Pioneers Vienna, IoT World Dublin, Slush Helsinki, Tech Open Air Berlin, etc) or with our two batches of the Roadshow that visited WELCOME’s ecosystems: Madrid, Salamanca, Berlin, Milan and Dublin (South Summit, Web Summit, Uprise Festival, Seeds & Chips, …). 

We’re very proud to have gathered such an impressive group of startups – check them out at our competition winners page and ask for our pitchdeck!

We were organising not only activities for startups, but for accelerators, universities, policy makers and all other ecosystem builders. Throughout these 2 years we also carried out initiatives such Accelerator Assembly, Startup Europe Comes to Universities, and Startup Europe Nations.

What did we learn through WELCOME?
  • Organising cross-border activities is hard and time consuming – it needs to be a win-win relationship for everyone – when you get that angle right, the magic happens.
  • WELCOME organised lots of small activities (workshops, matchmaking, roadshow, etc.) – they had the greatest impact when clustered around bigger events (Startup Europe Summit, Slush, Startup Ole, South Summit, etc.).
  • When bringing startups to events, what they value the most is the qualified networking, the extra activities, preferably invite-only, that we can get for them. That’s what makes the experience uniquely WELCOME.
  • Networks oriented to specific themes (accelerators, universities, etc) are highly valued – but also need a lot of animation and content – preferably coupled with other activities. However, the main result from all network meetings is always the networking, so that is the best focus to have.
  • In fact, WELCOME really showed that the human aspect is the most important factor to all activities organised, connecting people – not the prizes obtained in hackathons and competitions. (for more details, check out the matchmaking learnings here: http://welcomestartup.eu/5-things-we-learned-from-welcome-project-matchmakings/)

Now that the project is over, we look at what’s next in the horizon: new projects, new initiatives! Stay connected with the Startup Europe initiative to be part of this future!



Startup Europe comes to Slush

Slush is Europe’s leading startup event with over 15,000 attendees. Slush has grown from a 300-person assembly to a world-renowned event, now spreading globally. The philosophy behind Slush has remained the same: to help the next generation of great, world-conquering companies forward.

Slush takes places on Nov 30th – Dec 1st, 2016 in Helsinki (Finland).

Speakers include:

  • Dave McClure – Founder Partner at 500 Startups
  • Steve Jurvetson – Partner at DFJ
  • Danae Ringelmann – Co-founder of Indiegogo
  • NiklasZennstrom – Co-founder of Skype &Atomico
  • Nicolas Cary – Co-founder of Blockchain

Investors at Slush include:

  • 500 startups
  • KPCB
  • Accel Partners
  • Sapphire Ventures
  • Greenoaks Capital
  • Mosaic Ventures
  • …and many more


As part of Welcome’s Europass Programme, the best early stage IoT startups from Berlin, Dublin, Milan, Madrid and Salamanca will be travelling to SLUSH for 3 nights courtesy of the Welcome project and Startup Europe with 2 day tickets to the conference.


Slush is all about startups – we help the next generation of world conquering founders forward. Europe’s leading startup and technology event, and expanding in Asia, brings together founders and tech talent to meet with top-tier international investors, executives, and media.

Held during the darkest time of the year in Helsinki, Finland, Slush has always been characterized by a unique energy and enthusiasm. At the very core of Slush is to facilitate founder and investor meetings and to build a world-wide startup community.

Slush is a student-driven non-profit movement originally founded to change attitudes towards entrepreneurship. In 2015, Slush was organized in Tokyo and Beijing for the first time. In 2016, Slush is spreading to Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore.


Startup Europe and Welcome Roadshow Companies to attend Uprise Festival, Dublin

Startup Europe and Welcome Roadshow Companies to attend Uprise Festival, Dublin

Nine top early stage startups taking part in the Startup Europe and Welcome EU Roadshow will travel to Dublin this week to attend Uprise Festival on Thursday 20th October.

These companies will travel to Dublin for 2 days to meet with investors, corporates, potential partners and experience all that Dublin’s unique startup ecosystem has to offer.

These startups are part of Welcome’s  EU Roadshow, where selected startups attend various events across Europe and spend 3 weeks in Silicon Valley.

The Roadshow startups attending Uprise are finishing their programme in Dublin after visiting to Silicon Valley, Berlin & Milan earlier in the year and South Summit in Madrid earlier this month.



The startups are:

  • Aria Wearables (Milan) an active thermal shoe sole that heats and cools down the feet
  • GirlCrew (Dublin) a global community for women
  • Link.Fish (Berlin) a bookmark manager that allows people to work with the information behind URLs
  • Replex (Berlin) a service for IT teams that enables them collecting critical information on all infrastructure assets both physical and virtual
  • Replit (Madrid) a social discussion platform based on short videos
  • Solo (Milan) a virtual POS that lets merchants accept credit and debit card payments
  • SwiftComply (Dublin)a platform solution for Fat, Oil and Grease compliance in the food service industry
  • TourSnapp (Berlin)a service that applies the concept of Smart cities to cultural tourism
  • Up to Seven(Madrid) a social network that enables foodies to share recipes and suggestions

These 9 startups will begin their trip at Startup Grind, a popular fixture in the Dublin startup calendar taking place in Dublin’s historic City Hall the evening before Uprise Festival. Startup Grind is run by Google for Entrepreneurs and the main speaker for this edition is Sean Blanchfield, founder of the very successful startup Pagefair.

The journey continues next morning at Uprise which takes place in the RDS in Dublin, the same venue as Web Summit. Startups will attend workshops about various aspects of their businesses and network with local and international startups, corporates and investors.

Aria Wearables has been selected as one of only 12 startups pitching at Uprise for the chance to win prizes sponsored by f6s and SendGrid and the title of “Conqueror of the Pitch Battle”.

Local partners DCU Ryan Academy have organised a networking event after the Uprise Festival to finish the EU Roadshow startups’ trip to Dublin.



WELCOME is a project under the Startup Europe initiative that aims to build a pan-European tech startup ecosystem. To that end, Welcome links startups from five vibrant EU ecosystems — Berlin, Dublin, Madrid, Milan and Salamanca, to customers, VCs, business angels, corporates, mentors and other startups. The project targets aspiring entrepreneurs as well as early and late stage startups with activities enabling them to grow across borders and access the right combination of finance while helping corporates identify the best talents.


This competition is part of Welcome’s Europass Programme


South Summit – Very busy days indeed!

South Summit ended on Friday 7th October, but it’s almost as if we were still there! We’ll need a few more days to really soak in all we’ve learnt and experienced during those, very intense, 3 days. 12.000+ attendees from over 100 countries were present at the event, and I’m positive our startups met quite a few of them!

Both our Roadshow and Europass startups had meetings scheduled during those very intense 3 days, but let me start from the day they landed in Madrid on Tuesday 4th of October.


On that same evening, Tetuan Valley, one of our partners, organized a dinner for the selected startups, and, as we all know, food, especially if served with a glass of cold beer –over 35 °C that week in Madrid, just saying!– makes socializing easier than usual.

Day 1:

The following day, October 5th, South Summit officially started. Startups from both the Europass and the Roadshow programme spent the whole day attending talks, workshops and, of course, networking!
The Roadshow teams got to meet the representatives of two international VCs: Nauta Capital and Balderton Capital; and the head of the startup program of Orange France. Over four hours were spent talking to investors and corporates at this meet up that WELCOME organized for them.

Just after lunch, all the Europass startups checked in at our meeting point: the Startup Europe Booth. It was great to feel such enthusiasm, and to hear many stories of just a few hours at the event! This time was also used for networking between the teams and sharing success stories, tips and tricks on how to master the conference. As you can imagine, we could not miss the opportunity to take a group photo before getting lost in the event again.


Day 2:

On Thursday the founders attended a PR workshop on how to prepare your startup for a PR campaign and how to make the best out of it. The workshop was facilitated by Olivia Czetwertynski, PR Consultant and founder of Becomewide. According to startups, this was one of the star events of the programme. In addition, throughout the three days Olivia held 1-to-1 sessions with the Roadshow startups on how to tackle specific PR issues for their startups.

The rest of the day was left for networking at South Summit, which proved to be a great event to make contacts, meet other entrepreneurs and learn lots from others.

To be more precise, startups were involved in over 60 meetings with investors, corporate and potential partners! We’re already following up with them to see if something decisive has been discussed during the event. Bear with us and you’ll find out!


What they said:

“South Summit helped us to expand our vision. Nice event, nice people, good opportunity. We enjoyed Summit” Lorenzo Ricciardi, Karmahouse

“It was a great well done organised event” Caio Bulgarelli, Sprintfire

 “South Summit has been interesting, mainly related to some insights and lessons learned through the Fintech space and the Dave McClure keynote…Lucia, Silvia and all the team members were really amazing and supportive. We do really appreciate their work and their kind help” Daniele Galifa, Goalshouter




Take a look at our pre-event blog post to check out our Roadshow and Europass startups.