EU

Where Can You Get Support for Your Startup in the EU?
Where Can You Get Support for Your Startup in the EU? 1024 489 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

So, you’ve got this incredible idea, a vision that could change the game, disrupt the market, and make a real impact. But, let’s face it, turning that dream into a reality takes more than just passion and drive—it takes cold hard cash. Fear not, fellow entrepreneur, because the European Union (EU) is teeming with opportunities to fuel your startup journey.

First up, let’s talk about the big guns: public funding. Yep, you heard it right—governments and EU bodies are eager to back innovative ventures like yours. From grants to loans, there’s a treasure trove of financial support waiting to be tapped into. The European Commission’s Horizon Europe program, for instance, is a goldmine for startups in fields like research, innovation, and sustainability. And don’t sleep on national schemes either—many countries offer their own incentives to kickstart budding businesses.

But hey, if you’re not keen on dancing to the tune of public funding, fret not. The private sector has your back too. Venture capitalists (VCs) and angel investors are prowling the startup scene, hungry for the next big thing. Pitch your idea, dazzle them with your brilliance, and boom—you could land yourself a juicy investment deal. Plus, don’t overlook crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, where the power lies in the hands of the people. Who knows, your project could capture the hearts (and wallets) of thousands of backers worldwide.

Now, let’s talk about the unsung heroes of startup financing: accelerators and incubators. These powerhouse programs offer more than just moolah—they provide mentorship, networking opportunities, and invaluable guidance to help your startup spread its wings and soar. Whether you’re a tech whiz, a social innovator, or a green pioneer, there’s bound to be an accelerator or incubator tailored to your needs.

And hey, if you’re feeling adventurous, why not dip your toes into the world of grants and competitions? Organizations like the European Innovation Council (EIC) offer funding opportunities and competitions galore, giving startups a chance to shine on the global stage. Who knows, you could walk away with a hefty cash prize and a truckload of street cred.

But wait, there’s more! Don’t forget about good old-fashioned bootstrapping. Yep, rolling up your sleeves, tightening your belt, and funding your startup with blood, sweat, and tears. It might not be the easiest route, but hey, nothing worth having ever comes easy, right?

So there you have it, fellow dreamer and doer—when it comes to funding your startup in the EU, the sky’s the limit. From public grants to private investments, accelerators to bootstrapping, the funding landscape is yours for the taking. So go forth, chase your dreams, and remember: where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Photo via Vestbee

Does Location Truly Shape Your Startup’s Success in Europe?
Does Location Truly Shape Your Startup’s Success in Europe? 599 449 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

Ever pondered whether the address of your startup really dictates its destiny in Europe’s bustling entrepreneurial landscape? The age-old debate persists: does it truly matter where you set up shop?

Picture this: you’re at the crossroads of your entrepreneurial journey, contemplating whether to launch your brilliant idea in the heart of a tech-savvy metropolis like London or Berlin, or opt for the quieter charm of a budding startup hub in Lisbon or Tallinn. The decision feels monumental, laden with questions of access to talent, funding opportunities, regulatory ease, and, let’s not forget, that elusive but essential ingredient – the vibrant startup ecosystem.

Many argue that establishing roots in renowned tech hubs offers unparalleled advantages. The allure of rubbing shoulders with industry titans, networking at trendy co-working spaces, and tapping into a pool of top-tier talent can indeed be enticing. After all, who wouldn’t want to be in the thick of it all, where innovation pulses through the city’s veins?

However, don’t underestimate the underdog – the emerging startup scenes scattered across Europe like hidden gems waiting to be discovered. These lesser-known locales boast their own unique charm and perks. Think lower operational costs, government incentives, and a tight-knit community where collaboration reigns supreme. From the quaint cobblestone streets of Prague to the sun-kissed beaches of Barcelona, these cities offer a refreshing alternative to the hustle and bustle of their more established counterparts.

Yet, as enticing as the notion of launching your startup in a quaint European city may be, it’s not without its challenges. Limited access to funding, a smaller talent pool, and potential regulatory hurdles can pose significant obstacles along the way. But for the bold and the adventurous, these hurdles are simply part of the exhilarating journey of building something from the ground up.

So, does it really matter where you start your startup in Europe? The answer, as it turns out, is as nuanced as the vibrant tapestry of Europe itself. While location undoubtedly plays a role in shaping the trajectory of your startup, it’s ultimately your vision, determination, and ability to seize opportunities that will define your success.

In the end, whether you choose to plant your entrepreneurial roots in the buzzing streets of London or the cozy cafes of Krakow, remember this: it’s not just about where you start – it’s about the journey you embark on and the impact you make along the way. So, choose wisely, embrace the adventure, and let the entrepreneurial spirit guide you on your quest for greatness.

Photo via Concept3D

The Startup Story: Importance of Representation
The Startup Story: Importance of Representation 1024 546 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

In the bustling landscape of entrepreneurship, where dreams are forged into reality and innovations spark revolutions, one crucial element often overlooked is representation. Behind every successful startup lies a narrative woven with diverse voices, perspectives, and experiences. In this blog, let’s embark on a journey to unravel the significance of startup representation and why it matters now more than ever.

The Power of Diversity

Imagine a room filled with individuals from different walks of life, each bringing their unique set of skills, backgrounds, and insights to the table. This diversity isn’t just a buzzword; it’s the lifeblood of innovation. Startups thrive when they embrace diversity in all its forms – be it gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or cultural background.

Diverse teams bring forth a myriad of perspectives, challenging the status quo and fostering creativity. They’re better equipped to identify untapped market opportunities, understand the needs of a global audience, and develop products and services that resonate with diverse communities. Moreover, diverse representation isn’t just about ticking boxes; it’s about creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued, heard, and empowered to contribute their best.

Breaking Stereotypes

Startup culture has long been associated with a certain archetype – the young, white, male entrepreneur working out of a garage, fueled by caffeine and ambition. However, the reality is far more nuanced. Startups come in all shapes and sizes, and so do their founders.

By showcasing a diverse array of founders and their stories, we challenge these stereotypes and pave the way for a more inclusive narrative. Whether it’s highlighting women-led startups breaking glass ceilings, minority founders disrupting industries, or entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities overcoming barriers, each story adds a layer of richness to the startup ecosystem.

Driving Social Impact

Representation isn’t just about optics; it’s about driving real change and making a difference in the world. Startups have the power to address pressing social issues, from healthcare disparities and environmental sustainability to economic inequality and access to education. By amplifying the voices of founders who are tackling these challenges head-on, we inspire others to join the movement and create meaningful impact.

Moreover, diverse representation in entrepreneurship can serve as a catalyst for broader societal change. When individuals from marginalized communities see themselves reflected in successful founders, it sends a powerful message – that they too belong in the world of entrepreneurship, and their ideas are worthy of pursuit.

Embracing the Journey

In the ever-evolving landscape of startups, the journey is as important as the destination. Each founder brings their own set of triumphs, setbacks, and lessons learned along the way. By embracing diverse representations of the startup experience, we celebrate the resilience, tenacity, and ingenuity that define entrepreneurship in all its forms.

So, as we navigate the dynamic world of startups, let’s remember the importance of representation. Let’s champion diversity, challenge stereotypes, and harness the power of entrepreneurship to drive positive change. Because in the tapestry of startup stories, every voice matters, and every perspective has the potential to shape the future.

Photo via Design Inc.

How to Master Your Pitch
How to Master Your Pitch 612 479 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

Are you ready to take your startup to new heights? If so, then you’ve likely heard the buzz about pitching to investors. But before you dive in, let’s make sure you’re equipped with the right tools to ace your presentation.

In a recent session, Nora mentioned that three of you have expressed interest in pitching today. So, before we jump into the interactive part of the session, let’s quickly revise what pitching entails. If you’re one of the eager participants ready to test your pitch, please let us know in the chat!

Pitching isn’t just about delivering a spiel or meeting a quota. It’s about painting a vivid picture of your business opportunity in the minds of potential investors. Think of it as a short, compelling narrative that sparks interest and leaves them wanting more.

So, what exactly is a pitch, and why is it important? A pitch is a brief presentation that aims to convince investors that your business opportunity is worth their attention and, potentially, their investment. It’s not about raising money on the spot but rather attracting interest and paving the way for future discussions.

Now, let’s dive into the key elements of a winning pitch:

  1. Solid Proposition: Your pitch should focus on presenting a business opportunity, not just a product or technology. Avoid getting bogged down in technical details and instead highlight the value proposition for investors.
  2. Entrepreneurial Attitude: Investors want to see passion and drive in the entrepreneurs they back. Avoid sounding like a researcher presenting a paper and instead adopt an entrepreneurial mindset that exudes confidence and conviction.
  3. Team Showcase: The strength of your team is often a critical factor in investors’ decisions. Highlight the expertise, experience, and synergy within your core team to reassure investors that you have what it takes to execute your business plan.
  4. Clear Call to Action: Don’t leave investors guessing about your intentions. Clearly articulate your funding needs and what you’re looking for from potential investors. Whether it’s one million or three million, be specific about your financial requirements.

Remember, pitching is just one piece of the puzzle in the fundraising journey. Alongside your pitch, be prepared with supporting documents like an executive summary and a detailed business plan to provide investors with a comprehensive view of your startup’s potential.

In conclusion, mastering the art of pitching requires a blend of storytelling, persuasion, and strategic thinking. By crafting a compelling narrative, showcasing your team’s strengths, and clearly articulating your funding needs, you’ll be well on your way to capturing the attention of investors and propelling your startup forward. So, roll up your sleeves, polish your pitch, and get ready to make a lasting impression!

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Lorenzo Valeriani

Leading these coaching sessions is Lorenzo Valeriani, a Senior Project Manager and startups coach at META Group. With over 25 years of experience, META Group has played a crucial role in driving knowledge from idea to market. Lorenzo Valeriani brings a wealth of expertise, having been involved in coaching researchers, entrepreneurs, and investing in promising opportunities.

META Group: A Catalyst for Innovation

META Group, built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, operates across three key areas:

META Investment:

  • Investing in high-growth startups across Europe.

META Academy:

  • Nurturing and guiding young people, entrepreneurs, and scientists in transforming ideas into high-growth startups.

META Advisory:

  • Providing policy advice on stimulating innovation and startups to a diverse range of clients, including individual cities and the European Commission.

With a unique edge in all stages of the entrepreneurial life cycle, META Group stands as a driving force in fostering innovation, supporting startups, and shaping policies at local, national, and international levels. This integrated support framework is poised to significantly impact the startup landscape in Europe, providing the necessary tools for success and growth.

Photo via iStock

Approaching Risk Capital Investors
Approaching Risk Capital Investors 1024 576 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

in reality, startups often raise funds when they’re in dire need of capital to fuel growth and expansion. So, when is the right time to seek funding?

It largely depends on your startup’s stage of development and specific needs. Here’s a general overview:

  1. Pre-Seed Stage: At this early stage, you might be self-funding your venture or seeking investments from friends and family. You’re typically focusing on validating your idea, conducting market research, and building a minimum viable product (MVP). Seeking angel investors or participating in startup accelerators could be appropriate at this stage.
  2. Seed Stage: Once you’ve validated your idea and built a prototype or MVP, you might seek seed funding to further develop your product, conduct market testing, and scale your team. Seed funding can come from angel investors, venture capital firms, or crowdfunding platforms.
  3. Early-Stage/Startup Stage: At this point, your startup is gaining traction, acquiring initial customers, and generating some revenue. You may seek Series A funding to fuel rapid growth, expand your market reach, and scale operations. Series A funding is typically provided by venture capital firms.
  4. Growth Stage: In this stage, your startup has proven its business model, achieved significant market traction, and is experiencing rapid revenue growth. You might seek Series B, C, or later-stage funding to further scale operations, enter new markets, or acquire competitors. These rounds are usually led by venture capital firms specializing in growth-stage investments.
  5. Mature Stage: If your startup has reached maturity, achieved profitability, and established a strong market position, you might consider alternative forms of financing such as debt financing, strategic partnerships, or even an initial public offering (IPO) to fuel further expansion or provide liquidity to early investors.

It’s essential to assess your startup’s funding needs, runway, and growth potential before deciding to seek investment. Remember, fundraising is a time-consuming process that requires careful planning, preparation, and networking. Always consider the trade-offs between dilution, control, and access to resources when raising capital for your startup.


ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Lorenzo Valeriani

Leading these coaching sessions is Lorenzo Valeriani, a Senior Project Manager and startups coach at META Group. With over 25 years of experience, META Group has played a crucial role in driving knowledge from idea to market. Lorenzo Valeriani brings a wealth of expertise, having been involved in coaching researchers, entrepreneurs, and investing in promising opportunities.

META Group: A Catalyst for Innovation

META Group, built by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, operates across three key areas:

META Investment:

  • Investing in high-growth startups across Europe.

META Academy:

  • Nurturing and guiding young people, entrepreneurs, and scientists in transforming ideas into high-growth startups.

META Advisory:

  • Providing policy advice on stimulating innovation and startups to a diverse range of clients, including individual cities and the European Commission.

With a unique edge in all stages of the entrepreneurial life cycle, META Group stands as a driving force in fostering innovation, supporting startups, and shaping policies at local, national, and international levels. This integrated support framework is poised to significantly impact the startup landscape in Europe, providing the necessary tools for success and growth.

Photo via Eurada Youtube Channel

The Essence of Market Research
The Essence of Market Research 1024 451 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

In the dynamic landscape of product development, market research stands as a guiding light, leading businesses from concept to reality. Join me on an exploration to demystify market research, uncovering its profound impact on the intricate dance between marketing and product development.

Beyond the Numbers: The Heart of Market Research Market research isn’t just about collecting data—it’s a deep dive into consumer behaviors, trends, and potential pitfalls. It serves as the bridge connecting innovative ideas with real-world demands, shaping the trajectory of product development.

A Symbiotic Relationship: Marketing and Product Development In the realm of product development, marketing and market research intertwine seamlessly. Marketing relies on market research insights to craft effective strategies, while product development aligns with these strategies to meet market needs. It’s a harmonious dance between innovation and consumer demand.

The Essence of Market Research: Understanding Market Dynamics At the core of market research lies the acquisition of data and a deep understanding of market dynamics. It’s about decoding consumer preferences, anticipating trends, and shaping strategies to meet future demands. Market research is the compass guiding businesses through the ever-changing landscape of the market.

The Product Success Triangle: A Holistic Approach to Development Success in product development hinges on a multifaceted approach encapsulated by the Product Success Triangle. This framework revolves around customer-centricity, data prowess, and strategic business acumen, driving startups toward sustainable growth.

Customer-Centric Core: The Path to Insightful Development Understanding the customer is paramount in product development. By delving into consumer preferences and pain points, businesses gain invaluable insights that inform every aspect of product development.

Data Prowess: Turning Numbers into Strategies Data is the currency of the modern era, and startups have the advantage of agility in harnessing its power. By interpreting data-driven insights, startups can adapt swiftly, turning information into tangible product enhancements.

Strategic Business Acumen: Guiding Development with Informed Strategies Strategic decision-making is crucial in navigating the complexities of the market. By aligning product development with market demands, startups minimize risks and maximize market penetration, ensuring every move is calculated for success.

Market Research: Unlocking Consumer Behavior Market research serves as the compass guiding startups through the labyrinth of consumer behavior. By decoding the layers of consumer preferences, startups can refine their ideas into viable products that resonate with their target audience.

Validation Through Interaction: From Ideas to Products Direct interaction with the market is essential for validating ideas and ensuring alignment with consumer needs. Startups iterate based on real-time feedback, fostering the evolution of ideas into products that seamlessly integrate with market expectations.

Accelerating Product-Market Fit: Bridging Innovation and Demand Market research accelerates startups toward achieving product-market fit by aligning development with validated market needs. This ensures that every innovation resonates with the pulse of the market, fostering a symbiotic relationship between product evolution and consumer requirements.

Data-Powered Guidance: Navigating Complexity with Precision In the data-driven era, market research coupled with robust analytics provides startups with actionable insights. This data-powered guidance steers startups away from pitfalls and toward strategic decisions rooted in market realities.

Shaping Strategies: Infusing Growth with Market Intelligence Armed with insights from market research, startups craft strategies that resonate with their audience. Every facet of a startup’s strategy can be infused with market intelligence, maximizing impact and fostering growth in alignment with market dynamics.

About the Speaker

Alexandra Potter-Hnativ, MBA is a talented Venture Builder & Go-To-Market Advisory.

Alexandra Potter-Hnativ, MBA

Alexandra’s professional journey began in a marketing communication agency, where she developed her skills and discovered a passion for understanding market dynamics and consumer behaviour. This early experience set the stage for her subsequent career at the intersection of marketing and technology.

A significant chapter in Alexandra’s career unfolded during her time at Solvay, a Belgian Chemical Company. Assigned to explore the role of specialty polymers in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, she delved into market research, sparking her interest in leveraging data for informed decision-making.

The journey continued as Alexandra moved to AB InBev, a major player in the global beer industry. Managing a substantial budget for market research, she gained a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities of procuring and utilising market data in a large consumer-centric company. Her career trajectory showcases a practical and results-driven approach to navigating the complexities of marketing and technology.

Innovation in Education
Innovation in Education 800 600 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

In a world where connectivity and collaboration are increasingly vital, technology emerges as a powerful force in transforming education. Peter Oraya’s inspiring examples illuminate the profound impact technology has in bridging gaps and democratizing learning opportunities globally.

Breaking Barriers with Technology

Oraya’s narrative vividly portrays how technology acts as a bridge, transcending geographical boundaries to connect learners worldwide. Through virtual learning environments, students can access educational resources and engage in collaborative learning experiences seamlessly. This exemplifies technology’s ability to break down traditional barriers and make education accessible to all.

Virtual Learning: A Game-Changer

The case study provided by Oraya underscores the transformative role of virtual learning environments. Enabled by technology, these platforms foster interactive and dynamic educational experiences, empowering students to engage in collaborative learning despite physical distances. It’s a testament to technology’s capacity to revolutionize traditional educational paradigms.

AI: Personalizing Education

Delving into the realm of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Oraya illustrates how AI-driven personalized learning paths are reshaping education. By analyzing individual learning patterns, AI tailors educational content to meet the unique needs of each student. This adaptive approach ensures that learners receive targeted support, maximizing their learning potential.

Embracing Global Connectivity

Oraya highlights the importance of global connectivity in education, showcasing how technology enables students from diverse backgrounds to collaborate and share perspectives. This globalized approach enriches the learning experience, fostering cultural exchange and mutual understanding among learners worldwide.

Overcoming Challenges

Through tangible examples, Oraya sheds light on the limitations of traditional educational models, particularly in terms of accessibility. Technology-driven innovations emerge as solutions to these challenges, bridging gaps and providing education to a broader audience, thus addressing issues of equity and inclusivity.

Empowering Through Equality

A central theme in Oraya’s narrative is the concept of technology as an equalizer in education. By leveling the playing field, technology ensures that all individuals, regardless of geographical or resource-related constraints, have access to quality education and opportunities for collaboration and growth.

In conclusion, Oraya’s compelling examples serve as a rallying cry for embracing technology as a catalyst for change in education. As we harness its transformative power, we pave the way for a more inclusive, connected, and empowering learning experience for all.

Peter Oraya

Peter Oraya has extensive experience in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Storytelling, Big Data, Neural Networks, Blockchain, and Nanotechnology. As the Founder and CEO of Oxford Aptitude, he leads with a profound commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technologies to revolutionise various industries.

In the domain of AI and Machine Learning, Peter’s expertise extends to data-driven decision-making, where he favours the responsible and ethical use of technology.


An AI specialist, brought a wealth of knowledge to the discussion, particularly in the realm of artificial intelligence in education. With a focus on data-driven talent matching for personalised learning paths, Peter envisions the transformative role of AI. He highlights the importance of AI as a supportive tool rather than a replacement for traditional teaching methods. Peter delves into the potential of AI to guide students, encourage critical thinking, and revolutionise the education sector.

Photo via CIO

Collaborations Between Students and Employers
Collaborations Between Students and Employers 720 400 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

In a recent conversation buzzing with enthusiasm and innovative ideas, practical experiments took center stage in the realm of talent matching. Specifically, the discussion revolved around fostering collaborations between students and employers, aiming to blur the boundaries between academia and the professional sphere while tapping into the potential of remote work to forge meaningful connections.

Student-Employer Collaborations: The heart of the conversation pulsated with real-world applications as students delved into remote engagements with employers and entrepreneurs. The mission? To unearth the unique skills nestled within students and seamlessly align them with the demands of employers. Beyond merely offering work experience, this collaboration sought to unravel the efficacy of remote work in yielding tangible results.

Case Study: Among the anecdotes shared, one shone brightly—students actively collaborating with Sylvia, a dynamic entrepreneur, on remote projects. The results? Nothing short of impressive, with some students not only delivering stellar outcomes but also securing coveted positions within Sylvia’s enterprise post-graduation. This case study served as a beacon, illuminating the practical feasibility of remote collaboration between budding talents and forward-thinking employers.

Expanding Horizons: Buoyed by the success stories, the experiments expanded their wings, eager to embrace more entrepreneurs and organizations into the fold. The overarching goal? To underscore the symbiotic relationship between students and employers, with both parties reaping the fruits of collaboration. Enter the “contamination lab,” a term emblematic of the experimental nature of these collaborations and the vibrant mix of stakeholders involved.

Embracing Hybridity: Amidst the whirlwind of ideas, one notion stood out—the hybrid work model’s undeniable efficiency. Here, Sylvia championed a harmonious blend of remote and in-person collaboration, recognizing the time-saving prowess and eco-friendly allure of online work. The vision? To achieve a “gray” hybrid effect, seamlessly weaving together the strengths of both remote and in-person work for optimal productivity and innovation.

About the Speakers

Silvia Bernardini

Sylvia Bernardini is an Innovation Project Specialist known for her proficiency in developing complex projects across various domains. From associative initiatives to social and business projects, Sylvia collaborates within synergistic networks, emphasising shared values and meaningful productivity. With experience spanning metal mechanics, textiles, fashion, retail, food and beverage, and culture, she is motivated by the prospect of creating concrete and sustainable products and services.

Sylvia is dedicated to driving digital efficiency while always recognizing the importance of human guidance in technological processes. Whether influenced by her background in the metalworking industry or fueled by a genuine passion for science fiction, she approaches challenges with a perspective aimed at improvement and innovation. Sylvia’s distinctive trait is her ability to view things from different angles, seeking opportunities to enhance and share experiences with individuals eager to learn.

Massimiliano Ruzzedu

Massimiliano Ruzzeddu is a tenured researcher in sociology at the University Niccolò Cusano in Rome. His research interests cover a wide range, including social theory, epistemology, innovation studies, and globalization studies. His work delves into topics such as the use of Complexity Theories in sociological scholarship, cultural aspects of innovation, and changes in identity within the globalization process.

Some of his recent works include contributions to publications like “Women and Science: Models of Participation” in Advances in Gender and Cultural Research in Business and Economics (2019) and chapters like ‘The Complexity of Identity Building’ and ‘Hypothesis for a Sociology of Ignorance in the XXI century’ in Explaining Social Processes (2020). He has also explored the theme of ascribed identities in the global era with a complex approach in a publication titled “Ascribed Identities in the Global Era: A Complex Approach” in Contemporary Social Science (2021).

In addition to his research contributions, Massimiliano Ruzzeddu has been actively involved in teaching, conducting both academic and training-oriented courses for diverse audiences in terms of age and cultural backgrounds. He holds the position of co-editor in chief of the World Complexity Science Academy Journal and is a member of the managing board of both the World Complexity Science Academy (WCSA) and the Centre of European Research in Sustainable Innovation (CREIS).

Peter Oraya

Peter Oraya has extensive experience in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Storytelling, Big Data, Neural Networks, Blockchain, and Nanotechnology. As the Founder and CEO of Oxford Aptitude, he leads with a profound commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technologies to revolutionise various industries.

In the domain of AI and Machine Learning, Peter’s expertise extends to data-driven decision-making, where he favours the responsible and ethical use of technology.


An AI specialist, brought a wealth of knowledge to the discussion, particularly in the realm of artificial intelligence in education. With a focus on data-driven talent matching for personalised learning paths, Peter envisions the transformative role of AI. He highlights the importance of AI as a supportive tool rather than a replacement for traditional teaching methods. Peter delves into the potential of AI to guide students, encourage critical thinking, and revolutionise the education sector.

Photo via Medium

Applying the Marketing Funnel for Success
Applying the Marketing Funnel for Success 1024 467 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

Hey there, fellow entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts! Today, let’s dive into the exciting world of startup success strategies. One particularly potent approach, as emphasized by our knowledgeable speaker, involves harnessing the power of the marketing funnel. Buckle up as we embark on this comprehensive guide tailored specifically for startups like yours:

1. Spreading the Word

Picture yourself as the face of your startup brand. Start by drumming up awareness within your industry and target audience. Engage consistently with your audience across various platforms to keep the buzz alive.

2. Making Them Think

Forge meaningful connections with your audience by actively participating in conversations and networking events. It’s all about fostering consideration among potential clients, partners, and investors.

3. Sealing the Deal

Earn your audience’s trust through compelling content and genuine interactions. Highlight success stories and testimonials to showcase your startup’s credibility. Plus, don’t forget to sprinkle in some personal branding to add that special touch.

4. Keeping Them Coming Back

Stay on your audience’s radar by maintaining a steady stream of valuable content. Keep them hooked with exclusive insights and offers to cultivate loyalty over time.

5. Mastering LinkedIn

Optimize your LinkedIn profile to reflect your startup’s vision and your personal journey. Share content strategically to maximize visibility and leverage the platform for networking opportunities.

6. Thinking Globally

Embrace remote work dynamics to explore new markets and expand your startup’s reach internationally. Utilize technology and language to break into global markets effectively.

7. Research and Relationship-Building

Before reaching out, do your homework. Personalize your outreach efforts by finding common ground and initiating genuine conversations.

8. Tapping into Institutional Support

Take advantage of resources offered by relevant institutions to fuel your startup’s growth. From market insights to valuable contacts, institutional support can be a game-changer.

9. Learning from the Pros

Study successful startups that have aced the marketing funnel game. Take notes on their strategies for content, international expansion, and networking.

Remember, applying the marketing funnel isn’t a one-and-done deal. It’s an ongoing journey that requires dedication and strategic finesse. By focusing on building awareness, fostering consideration, sealing the deal, and nurturing loyalty, you’ll be well on your way to startup stardom. So, gear up, embrace personal branding, stay consistent with your content, and network like a pro. Here’s to your startup’s success! 🚀

About the Speakers and Mentors

Adriana Bankston

Adriana Bankston is a former bench scientist turned science policy expert, with a wealth of experience in research and academic policy changes within university settings. Her career was dedicated to showcasing research discoveries on a broader scale. Notably, Adriana also led a non-profit organisation and held various entrepreneurial roles, connecting with professionals worldwide.

Adriana Bankston

Adriana’s role as a senior fellow in science policy with the Federation of American Scientists showcased her expertise in policy entrepreneurship. Her work at this non-profit mirrored the dynamic nature of a startup, making her well-equipped to discuss the convergence of science and policy.

Based in Washington, DC, USA, Adriana was ideally positioned to offer valuable insights into research-powered innovation, real-world impact, and the art of building strategic partnerships and talent scouting. Her diverse background and passion for research made her a dynamic speaker for discussions surrounding innovation, collaboration, and talent development.

To learn more about Adriana:


Juan Fuentes Fernández

Juan Fuentes Fernández

Juan Fuentes Fernández, based in Copenhagen, is a seasoned expert with a career spanning over a decade in various areas, including strategy, international business development, PR & Comms, brand and activation management, project and people management, market research, and CSR.

Having worked across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas, Juan’s global perspective is reflected in his extensive professional journey. His notable achievements include:


Professional Experience

  • LALIGA Delegate for the Nordic Countries (2021-Present): Appointed by LALIGA, the Spanish football league, Juan leads the growth strategy in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland.
  • LALIGA Delegate for the Middle East (2017-2021): Spearheaded LALIGA’s successful expansion in Egypt, Sudan, and Libya.
  • Editor at Oxford Business Group (Philippines): Analyzed emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Trade and Investment Advisor for the Embassy of Spain: Represented Spanish interests in Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.

Academic Involvement: Juan’s academic contributions include research and co-authoring a Working Paper for Harvard Business School on LALIGA’s strategic development. He has served as an instructor and master thesis supervisor in various sports management programs in Spain and Europe.

Angel Investor: As an investor, Juan focuses on sports and entertainment-related startups, emphasizing industry validation and expansion. He avoids investments in projects collaborating with LALIGA or seeking collaboration with his organization.

Multidisciplinary Project Coordination: Juan has successfully managed diverse teams for award-winning projects, such as the Spanish-Arabic football dictionary by the Instituto Cervantes and LALIGA, which received the “Publication of the Year 2021” award in Spain.

Recognition and Social Impact: Juan has been shortlisted as a winner in Spain’s inaugural Nova 111 list, particularly in the telecom, media, and entertainment category. Dedicated to social impact, he has volunteered with various NGOs for over a decade and is a member of Common Goal, donating 1% of his salary to support social causes.

Areas of Expertise: Juan Fuentes Fernández excels in entertainment and sports management, international business development, strategy, market research, PR & Comms, brand and activation management, project and people management, CSR initiatives, academic instruction, keynote speaking, and angel investment. His multilingual and multicultural proficiency further enhances his ability to make a significant impact across various sectors.

80% of the results come from just 20% of the efforts
80% of the results come from just 20% of the efforts 1024 483 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

Wisdom often emerges from unexpected quarters. Take, for instance, the Italian philosopher Pareto, whose Pareto Principle has become a beacon of guidance for countless entrepreneurs. This principle, asserting that 80% of results stem from a mere 20% of efforts, underscores a fundamental truth: resourcefulness reigns supreme, particularly in the nascent stages of a startup’s journey.

Navigating Limited Resources

At the onset, startups grapple with a scarcity of resources—be it funds, manpower, or time. Juan, a seasoned voice in the startup arena, emphasizes the art of discernment amidst such constraints. His advice? Zero in on the vital 20%—the efforts that yield 80% of results. By prioritizing tasks judiciously, startups can optimize their impact without spreading themselves too thin.

Harnessing Technology

In a digital age teeming with possibilities, Juan advocates for leveraging technology as a potent ally. Startups can craft compelling strategies sans hefty expenditures or physical presence, all thanks to the myriad tools at their disposal. From online platforms to virtual fundraising endeavors, technology emerges as a game-changer in the quest for entrepreneurial success.

Embarking on Thought Leadership

Enter the realm of thought leadership—an arena where Juan’s insights truly shine. This strategic approach hinges on the power of content—a veritable cornerstone of modern marketing. By sharing valuable insights and industry knowledge, startups can cultivate trust and credibility, paving the way for enduring relationships with stakeholders.

Strategic Content Creation

For Juan, content creation transcends mere self-promotion. It’s about fostering genuine connections, humanizing brands, and offering tangible value to the audience. By blending industry updates with personal anecdotes, startups can carve out a distinctive niche in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

Embracing Global Connectivity

In a world without borders, linguistic and technological prowess assume paramount importance. Juan’s advocacy for communicating in a global language, coupled with harnessing AI for content creation, underscores the importance of embracing innovation on a global scale.

Forging Meaningful Connections

Networking, Juan asserts, is more than just a requisite—it’s a strategic imperative. By cultivating connections and nurturing relationships, startups can tap into a reservoir of opportunities, propelling their growth trajectory to new heights.

Empowering Startups through Communication

At its core, Juan’s philosophy champions the transformative power of communication. Whether it’s through compelling content or strategic networking, startups hold the key to unlocking their full potential in an ever-evolving business landscape.

Juan’s insights offer a roadmap to success—one marked by astute resource management, unwavering innovation, and a steadfast commitment to forging meaningful connections. As startups navigate the tumultuous waters of entrepreneurship, they would do well to heed the wisdom of pioneers like Juan, whose vision illuminates the path toward enduring success.

Juan Fuentes Fernández

Juan Fuentes Fernández

Juan Fuentes Fernández, based in Copenhagen, is a seasoned expert with a career spanning over a decade in various areas, including strategy, international business development, PR & Comms, brand and activation management, project and people management, market research, and CSR.

Having worked across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas, Juan’s global perspective is reflected in his extensive professional journey. His notable achievements include:


Professional Experience

  • LALIGA Delegate for the Nordic Countries (2021-Present): Appointed by LALIGA, the Spanish football league, Juan leads the growth strategy in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland.
  • LALIGA Delegate for the Middle East (2017-2021): Spearheaded LALIGA’s successful expansion in Egypt, Sudan, and Libya.
  • Editor at Oxford Business Group (Philippines): Analyzed emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Trade and Investment Advisor for the Embassy of Spain: Represented Spanish interests in Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.

Academic Involvement: Juan’s academic contributions include research and co-authoring a Working Paper for Harvard Business School on LALIGA’s strategic development. He has served as an instructor and master thesis supervisor in various sports management programs in Spain and Europe.

Angel Investor: As an investor, Juan focuses on sports and entertainment-related startups, emphasizing industry validation and expansion. He avoids investments in projects collaborating with LALIGA or seeking collaboration with his organization.

Multidisciplinary Project Coordination: Juan has successfully managed diverse teams for award-winning projects, such as the Spanish-Arabic football dictionary by the Instituto Cervantes and LALIGA, which received the “Publication of the Year 2021” award in Spain.

Recognition and Social Impact: Juan has been shortlisted as a winner in Spain’s inaugural Nova 111 list, particularly in the telecom, media, and entertainment category. Dedicated to social impact, he has volunteered with various NGOs for over a decade and is a member of Common Goal, donating 1% of his salary to support social causes.

Areas of Expertise: Juan Fuentes Fernández excels in entertainment and sports management, international business development, strategy, market research, PR & Comms, brand and activation management, project and people management, CSR initiatives, academic instruction, keynote speaking, and angel investment. His multilingual and multicultural proficiency further enhances his ability to make a significant impact across various sectors.

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