Regions’ Alliances for Interconnected Start-up Ecosystems (RAISE)

an EU funded project implemented by a five-organisations consortium

RAISE fosters start-up growth and scale-up across Europe

The RAISE project is an EU-funded project implemented by a five-organisations consortium led by Startup Europe Regions Network (SERN) along with The European Business Angels Network (EBAN), the European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA), the Foundation FUNDECYT Scientific and Technological Park of Extremadura (FUNDECYT-PCTEX), and International Consortium of Research Staff Associations (ICoRSA).

The main goal of RAISE was to develop a new and sustainable integrated support framework to foster start-up growth and scale-up across Europe in all its dimensions, from initial funding, research support to public incentives and internationalisation. This has resulted in promoting competitive business models, unconventional collaborations and solutions from all in Europe, and contributing to the establishment of a true EU startup ecosystem, not based on a single city or region, but linking all of them together.

RAISE established a joint agenda to build an effective collaboration amongst key innovation ecosystem players at the regional, national, and EU level. All of them play a crucial role in the start-ups’ growth lifecycle through upskilling initiatives, research and innovation (R&I) programmes and policies, capacity building, private investment, or access to public funding.

The RAISE project Steering Group

Comprising 13 high-level professionals and policy experts from various sectors, this group brings together a wealth of experience from Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), Regional Governments, Innovation Centers, Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH), and more. Representing 10 countries, including Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Malta, Lithuania, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, the group is a melting pot of expertise and perspectives and a diverse assembly of thought leaders committed to advancing startup initiatives.

Three main project phases

Creating an interconnected start-up space

One of the first actions was setting up the Open Start-up Forum to connect the stakeholders in a common space for further exchanges and cooperation for the promotion of startups and scaleups in the EU.

RAISE has built the platform to link with local, regional, national, and international stakeholders and programmes.

Design and pilot common actions implementation

This phase designed pilot actions for startup promotion in the EU with a minimum of 20 actions (5 per each axis of the Startup Nations Standard Declaration) for the next 5 years.

RAISE has organised and disseminated pilot actions for future common activities with a representative sample of startups and local/regional ecosystems.

Common action plan implementation and monitoring

This phase has created a Regional Policy Group, composed of senior regional policy makers, to follow up on future activities in the regions.

RAISE has benchmarked startup-friendly regional policies in EU and ESIF supported regional initiatives and programmes and developed an interactive map of startup support initiatives.

RAISE specifically aimed to:

RAISE has been implemented in the period from 1 June 2022 to 31 May 2024.

To link the 63 regions represented under SERN, with the 200+ investors that are EBAN members, the 65 innovation and development agencies in EURADA, the 160,000 researchers worldwide via ICORSA’s member associations and the 350 science and technology parks gathered under IASP represented by F-PCTEX and open the resulting virtual connected space to startups and entrepreneurs from across Europe;

To plan common actions to help startups scale up through privileged links to regional funding instruments, major research actors and with EU Investor communities, such as business angels;

Reach out to other regions, inclusive outside Europe, and contribute to develop startup friendly regional policies and interconnected ecosystems;

Contribute to the overall visibility of the resulting integrated startup support framework through a mix of targeted and high-level communication actions.

Project Consortium

All five organisations implementing the RAISE project are active at the European level spanning the whole spectrum of startup support and growth: access to public funding, business angels, research & innovation.

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