RAISE Project Co-Creation Sessions and Experience Exchange to Foster Startup Growth

RAISE Project Co-Creation Sessions and Experience Exchange to Foster Startup Growth 1024 764 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

The RAISE project, in its mission to enhance collaboration and exchange among associations towards supporting scale-ups, organised two co-creation workshops, designed to share insights and develop practical solutions to enhance business models and partnerships within the European startup ecosystem. These workshops aimed to lay the groundwork for an interconnected startup space, fostering innovation and cooperation within the European Union.

By harnessing the collective expertise and insights of stakeholders, RAISE seeks to create a cohesive framework for supporting startups and scale-ups across Europe. These co-creation workshops serve as crucial platforms for fostering dialogue, driving innovation, and shaping the future of the European startup ecosystem.

Overview of the Sessions

RAISE organised two key meetings to facilitate the exchange of experiences:

  1. 1st Co-Creation Workshop: Held virtually on December 7, 2022, with the participation of RAISE partners.
  2. 2nd Hybrid Open Event: Conducted on January 23, 2023, in Brussels, combining in-person and virtual attendance.

Raise project presentation

These sessions aimed to gather valuable insights and establish a unified approach to inform the public and targeted audiences about the project’s findings.

First Co-Creation Workshop

The initial workshop, attended by representatives from RAISE’s partner organisations, focused on exploring opportunities for collaboration with other projects funded in 2021. Attendees delved into potential interactions with projects such as Interconnected Innovation Ecosystems, Aerospace Districts, and more, identifying avenues for mutual benefit and knowledge sharing.

Moreover, participants received insights into the European innovation landscape, including updates on the New European Innovation Agenda and relevant tools and platforms provided by EISMEA. Key discussions revolved around accessing private funding, strengthening connections with investors, and leveraging existing partnerships for future initiatives.

Second Co-Creation Workshop

Building on the momentum of the first workshop, RAISE hosted its second co-creation session, centred on the New European Innovation Agenda and its implications for startups and scale-ups. Held in a hybrid format, the event brought together over 50 stakeholders from various levels – regional, national, and EU – encompassing policymakers, investment professionals, and program managers.

The workshop aimed to address the fragmented nature of startup support services at the EU level, fostering dialogue on initiatives to streamline support mechanisms and promote collaboration. Discussions revolved around the potential of the Innovation Agenda to drive startup growth, identify opportunities for cross-sectoral collaboration, and address challenges hindering entrepreneurial success.

The RAISE Project

The RAISE Project brings together networks and national and regional agencies across the EU to create a sustainable, integrated support framework for startups. By addressing various aspects such as initial funding, research support, public incentives, and internationalization, RAISE promotes competitive business models and innovative collaborations. The project aims to build a cohesive EU startup ecosystem, linking different regions into a unified framework.


RAISE adopted a methodology to capture the goals, participants, interactions, and conclusions from the sessions. This included minutes from the events, satisfaction surveys, and interviews with participants. These insights informed the project’s findings and recommendations.

Target Audience

The sessions targeted a broad audience:

Primary Audiences:

  • Public Sector: Officials managing local ecosystems and regional policies.
  • Business Sector: Private supporters designing services for startup accelerators and promoting investment funds.
  • Investor Communities: Investors interested in new developments in EC programs and initiatives.

Secondary Audiences:

  • Policymakers, researchers, industry associations, business associations, and interest groups.
  • Media outlets covering business and innovation topics.

Description of the Co-Creation Workshops

First Co-Creation Workshop

The first workshop, held virtually on December 7, 2022, involved representatives from five RAISE project partners, including the Startup Europe Regions Network, the European Business Angels Network, Fundecyt-PCTEX, the European Association of Development Agencies, and the International Consortium of Research Staff Associations.

Participants discussed opportunities for interaction with 12 other projects funded by the same call in 2021. They received updates on the European Innovation Agenda and relevant tools and platforms, such as the EISMEA Communication toolkit and the Horizon Results Platform. Key discussions focused on:

  • Access to private funding and connections with investors.
  • Linkages between the business and research communities.
  • Access to information on public initiatives and programs at the EU and regional levels.

The conclusions from these debates helped curate the list of speakers and invitations for the second workshop.

Second Co-Creation Workshop

The second workshop, titled “The New European Innovation Agenda, Start-ups, and its Scale-up,” took place on January 23, 2023, from 09:30 to 14:30 in a hybrid format. The Startup Europe Regions Network headquarters in Brussels hosted the in-person session.

This event aimed to address the lack of integration between various support services and action plans at the EU level, which creates gaps in startup support. The focus was on the New European Innovation Agenda and its implications for organizations supporting scale-ups. Over 50 stakeholders, including regional, national, and EU-level policymakers, R&I programmers, capacity-building managers, private investors, and public funding representatives, participated in person and online.


  • Anto Recio Cuesta (FUNDECYT-PCTEX Project Manager) provided an overview of the RAISE project.
  • Jekaterina Novikova (DG RTD) and Viorel Peca (European Innovation Council) discussed the New European Innovation Agenda.
  • Stéphane Ruiz-Coupeau (Agency of Innovation and Development of Andalusia), Miroslav Macan (Zagorje Development Agency), Greta Camilleri (Malta Enterprise), Lorenzo Valeriani (Meta Group), and José Vilar Gonzálbez (IVACE) shared strategies on supporting the scale-up of startups.
  • Cristina Gallardo Rey (FUNDECYT-PCTEX) led a networking session on funding opportunities in the European Innovation Ecosystem 2023-2024 Work Programme.

Malta Enterprise model of support presentation


1. Anto Recio Cuesta

Role: Social Innovation Manager, FUNDECYT-PCTEX 

Contribution: As the project manager for FUNDECYT-PCTEX, Anto Recio Cuesta kicked off the second co-creation workshop with welcome remarks and an overview of the RAISE project. His extensive experience in international collaborative development projects and innovative business financing provided valuable insights. Anto’s responsibilities included designing the methodological framework for training and incubation processes, and he facilitated the “train the trainers” sessions, ensuring a comprehensive and holistic project execution.

2. Jekaterina Novikova

Role: Innovation Policy Coordinator, DG RTD, European Commission 

Contribution: Jekaterina Novikova, an experienced EU official and innovation policy coordinator, presented the New European Innovation Agenda. Her background in implementing FP-7 and Horizon 2020 research projects and her research on the US innovation ecosystem provided a rich perspective on how to facilitate the transition of research results to the market. Jekaterina’s expertise in European Affairs and her experience as a Chartered Accountant added depth to her presentation.

3. Viorel Peca

Role: Head of Unit, Transition and Business Acceleration Services, European Innovation Council

Contribution:Viorel Peca led discussions on the New European Innovation Agenda and its implications for startups. With a mission to bring EIC-supported innovations to market, Viorel’s extensive background in managing various innovation units within the European Commission offered practical insights into accelerating business growth and technological advancements. His experience spanned roles from R&D at Alcatel to leadership positions in DG Connect.

4. Stéphane Ruiz-Coupeau

Role: Technical Advisor, Agency of Innovation and Development of Andalusia 

Contribution: Stéphane Ruiz-Coupeau shared strategies for supporting the scale-up of startups, drawing from his extensive experience in international management and finance. Co-leading Enterprise Europe Network activities in Andalusia and participating in thematic groups on scale-ups and access to finance, Stéphane provided practical advice and insights. His role in supporting potential scale-ups in the region highlighted effective approaches to fostering business growth.

5. Miroslav Macan

Role: Representative, Zagorje Development Agency 

Contribution: Miroslav Macan brought valuable experience in managing public and private investment projects and strategic planning at the regional policy level in Croatia. His work in bringing entrepreneurial investment to Krapina Zagorje County and supporting EU-funded projects provided a real-world perspective on the challenges and opportunities in regional development.

6. Greta Camilleri

Role: Research & Policy Coordinator, Malta Enterprise 

Contribution: Greta Camilleri discussed Malta Enterprise’s approach to supporting startup scale-ups, highlighting successful programs like the Malta Enterprise Startup Residence program and the Maltese Startup Finance Scheme. Her role in coordinating research initiatives and translating them into policy and practice offered attendees a practical example of effective startup support.

7. Lorenzo Valeriani

Role: Advisor and Coach, Meta Group 

Contribution: Lorenzo Valeriani shared his expertise in venture capital financial instruments and entrepreneurial support. As a project manager for InvestHorizon 2, Lorenzo’s insights into fundraising and internationalization processes were particularly valuable. His focus on innovation ecosystems and knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship provided actionable strategies for supporting startup growth.

8. José Vilar Gonzálbez

Role: Head of EU Programmes Service, IVACE 

Contribution: José Vilar Gonzálbez highlighted the importance of European projects in supporting startup and scale-up initiatives. With extensive experience in financial management and European project coordination, José provided insights into managing loan portfolios, funding schemes for SMEs, and the Horizon Europe Monitoring Commission. His practical advice on leveraging EU programs for business growth was well-received by the participants.

Results of the Workshops

After the second workshop, an evaluation questionnaire was distributed to gather feedback on the organization, speakers, and content. The overall satisfaction was high, with particular praise for the presentations by the EU Commission and regional experiences. However, there were suggestions for improving the space available for the main session, as the attendance exceeded expectations.

The Malta Enterprise Startup Residence program and the Maltese Startup Finance Scheme were highlighted as notable initiatives with potential for replication in other regions. The networking session allowed participants to explore potential collaborations and deepen their understanding of each other’s work.

The topic “HORIZON-EIE-2024-CONNECT-01-03: Startup Europe” was highlighted as a priority for future collaborations. Participants were encouraged to continue their discussions through the Open Startup Forum of the RAISE Project.

The Insight

The co-creation workshops successfully facilitated discussions and knowledge exchange, setting the stage for a more integrated and supportive startup ecosystem in Europe. The insights gathered will guide future initiatives and collaborations, contributing to the growth and internationalization of European startups. The RAISE Project remains committed to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship across the continent.

Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Our Privacy Policy can be read here.

Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking code.
Click to enable/disable Google Fonts.
Click to enable/disable Google Maps.
Click to enable/disable video embeds.
Our website uses cookies, mainly from 3rd party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.