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.
- 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!
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.
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.
Matchmaking @Uprise Festival, Dublin
Nine top early stage startups taking part in the Startup Europe and Welcome EU Roadshow will travel to Dublin to attend Uprise Festival on Thursday 20th October.
To read more about this, visit our blog:
Startup Europe and Welcome Roadshow Companies to attend Uprise Festival, Dublin
UPRISE is the largest startup festival in Europe. We focus on growth and visibility for Startup Talent. Connect with universities, companies and the public in our one day festival. In over 1 year we have brought 15,000 visitors to talk, connect and invest in young vibrant companies from our base in Amsterdam. Now in October 2016 we base from Dublin bringing Europe to this great city.
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.
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.
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.