UNICORNS' FORUM

The Unicorn Forum, led by Dpixel within the Welcome Startup Europe project, is an informal group of relevant European company founders that aims to stimulate discussion about policy making on entrepreneurship and innovation in Europe. The Unicorns are founders of those companies that have built over 500 million Euros in value, such as Skype, BlaBlaCar, Rocket Internet, Rovio, SoundCloud and Zalando.

These entrepreneurs represent a powerful source of insight for policy makers, of suggestions and inspiration for startups and prospective entrepreneurs. Our objective with the Welcome project is to engage Unicorns’ founders in the Forum activities connecting them with the EU Commission and the innovation ecosystem to stimulate discussion on policies.

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VP Andrus Ansip and the Unicorn companies’ representatives (Berlin, February 2015)

The first activity of the Unicorn Forum took place on February 13th 2015 in Berlin during the Startup Europe Summit, and it has been a closed-door meeting between the European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip, the Startup Europe team and the key representative of some of the most successful European companies.

VP Ansip, in charge of the digital single market, met with 15 Unicorns companies’ representativefor a brainstorming session to gather suggestions and advices to structure the DSM agenda.

Research, innovation and entrepreneurship are key elements for relaunching the European Economy” – VP Andrus Ansip states – “a single startup market would create a stronger ecosystem for innovation in Europe that could overcome our fragmentation and transform a problema in a solution: leveraging on our main strength, our diversity“.

Below is a list of people who were in attendance:

–          Linda Griffin, Senior Director – King (UK)

–          Renato Soru, CEO and Chairman – Tiscali (Italy)

–          Fabio Cannavale, Chairman at Bravofly Rumbo Group (Swiss)

–          Franco Petrucci, Founder and Chief Technology Officer – Decisyon (USA)

–          Mariele Giliberti, Co-founder – Decisyon (USA)

–          Kolja Hebenstreit, Board Member/Co-founder – Delivery Hero (Germany)

–          Bodo von Braunmuhl, Spokesman – Delivery Hero (Germany)

–          Georg Schardt, Deputy CEO of SOFORT AG and Deputy International Sales at Klarna Group (Sweeden)

–          Frederic Mazzella, Founder and CEO – BlaBlaCar (France)

–          Ignacio Perez Dolset, Co-founder – ZED (Spain)

–          Thomas C. Hoegh, CEO Arts Alliance Productions – LOVEFILM International Limited (UK)

–          Adam Somlai-Fischer, Principal Artist & Co-founder – Prezi (Hungary)

–          Moriz Krok, General Manager – TransferWise (UK)

–          Stefano Mosconi, CTO and founder – jolla (Finland)

–          Mathias Dopfner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer – Axel Spinger (Germany)

–          Declan Ryan, Managing Partner – Ryanair/Irelandia Aviation (Ireland)

Participants’ expressed issues and struggles that they face everyday and proposed some suggestions and possible solutions, the main being:

  • Creation of common employment contracts to facilitate European hiring for start up
  • Creation of a single digital identity for each European citizen and a single digital signature
  • Institution of common regulations for all the services operating in the sharing economy
  • Design a data system based on trust, with a social ranking on a transactional base, so that is possible to create a digital identity that could be more meaningful than personal details
  • Provision of support to European companies in entering in new markets
  • Open the infrastructures (payments, telecoms) for open innovation

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Starting from the issues emerged from the SES15 meeting and the suggestions proposed and noticing the struggles European startups founders face when operating cross borders, the Unicorn Forum together with Founders Forum launched a call for a Single Startup Market.

Backed by more than 30 among the most relevant entrepreneurs in Europe such as the foundes of Zoopla, Farfetch, Zalando, Transferwise, Ventee-Prive, Wonga and many others, the Unicorn Forum is asking the European commission to create a single legal framework for qualified startups with standard rules across countries within the European Community. A single legal framework will bring agility and easier cross contamination for European startups, making the overall innovation ecosystem stronger, bigger and more attractive for investors.

The Single Startup Market call was launched on 16th June 2016 at Founders Forum in London and it was publicly open for every single entrepreneur to sign it at: http://www.singlestartupmarket.eu/

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