EU

RAISE Project Executed Effective Startup Pilot Actions in Second Year
RAISE Project Executed Effective Startup Pilot Actions in Second Year 1024 683 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

In the second year of the RAISE project’s implementation, the consortium team successfully deployed pilot actions for startups, engaging up to 100 scale-ups alongside high-level coaches, trainers, and speakers. This initiative was part of the broader efforts of RAISE project team to establish a sustainable support framework for startup growth within the EU ecosystem, in accordance with the principles of the Startup Nations Standard Declaration.

Innovative Pilot Actions Drive Startup Growth in the EU

Five distinct sets of pilot actions were executed by five RAISE consortium partners, each leveraging their unique expertise to bolster startup growth within the EU ecosystem. These initiatives align with the Startup Nations Standard Declaration and focus on various critical aspects of business development.

1. Business Model Actions by SERN 

SERN led the way with business plan development for startups and scale-ups. Their approach involved analysing startup concepts, assessing multiple business dimensions, and providing comprehensive advice through different sessions. This included evaluating business concepts, applications, production processes, markets, competitors, pricing strategies, financial requirements, impacts, and time to market. By utilising initial idea stage information, SERN offered thorough support and guidance to enhance business viability.

2. Seed Capital/Venture Capital Actions by EBAN 

EBAN focused on addressing the financial needs of startups and scale-ups. They provided training and services aimed at securing investment, helping startups align their business models with economic scenarios, and enhancing marketing plans. EBAN connected startups with corporations, venture capitalists, and private equity firms, facilitating investment discussions and fostering financial growth.

3. Business Partnerships Actions by EURADA 

EURADA emphasised the expansion of sales channels and technology partnerships for startups. Their guidance and assistance in structuring comprehensive business plans enabled startups to gain insights crucial for market entry. EURADA’s analysis of business concepts, target markets, competitors, and financial needs provided startups with a solid foundation for growth. 

Aiming at providing personalised training and interactive learning, these coaching sessions revolved around a total of four online workshops of 90 minutes each, dealing with crucial aspects: The Lean Canvas, The Unique Value Propositions Canvas, Approaching Risk Capital Investors, and How to Master Your Pitch. The structure of each workshop has been a sum of a theoretical session and a practical one, giving participants in this way the opportunity to gather tailored tips related to their business directly from the coach.

4. Talent Matching Sessions by ICoRSA 

ICoRSA’s efforts focused on bridging the gap between researchers and the private sector. Through mentoring sessions, they linked researcher mentors and startup mentors with startups and scale-ups. ICoRSA organised four matchmaking mentoring events, including interactive online sessions and providing know-how through different presentations of experts from each area. These events resulted in online guides for startups covering topics such as the impact of researchers on startup success, connecting entrepreneurs, investors, and research talents, and using technology and data for talent matching. The key results of these sessions are online guides for startups related to: Researcher’s Impact on Startup SuccessConnecting Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Research Talents, and Market Research and Data-Driven Decisions, and Using Technology and Data for Talent Matching

5. Women Entrepreneurship Pilot Actions by FUNDECYT-PCTEX 

FUNDECYT-PCTEX promoted female entrepreneurship, particularly in rural areas, making significant strides towards inclusivity. Through upskilling and mentoring sessions, female CEOs of startups received invaluable support and guidance. The focus on fostering networking opportunities and community-building among female entrepreneurs underscored the importance of empowerment and support within the entrepreneurial landscape.

These pilot actions represent a concerted effort to create a sustainable support framework for startup growth across the EU, driving innovation and economic development throughout the region.

Photo via Studentreasuers Publishing

The Rise of Green Startups: Entrepreneurship at the Forefront of Sustainability
The Rise of Green Startups: Entrepreneurship at the Forefront of Sustainability 746 419 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

In the wake of growing environmental concerns and an urgent need for sustainable solutions, green startups are emerging as the next big wave in entrepreneurship. These innovative ventures are not just gaining traction but are poised to revolutionize industries, attract significant investment, and capture the public’s imagination. Here’s why green startups are set to blow up and how they’re shaping a more sustainable future.

The Eco-Conscious Consumer

Today’s consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever. A growing segment of the population prioritizes sustainability in their purchasing decisions, opting for products and services that minimize environmental impact. This shift in consumer behavior creates a fertile ground for green startups, which are uniquely positioned to meet this demand with eco-friendly innovations.

The Role of Technology in Sustainability

Technological advancements are at the heart of green startups, enabling the development of sustainable solutions across various sectors. From renewable energy and electric vehicles to sustainable agriculture and waste management, technology is driving the green revolution. Innovations such as blockchain for transparent supply chains, AI for optimizing energy usage, and biotechnology for creating sustainable materials are just a few examples of how tech is powering green entrepreneurship.

Investment and Economic Incentives

Investors are increasingly recognizing the potential of green startups, leading to a surge in funding for sustainable ventures. Venture capitalists and angel investors are pouring money into green technologies, seeing not only a lucrative opportunity but also a chance to make a positive impact. Additionally, governments worldwide are offering incentives such as grants, tax breaks, and subsidies to support eco-friendly businesses, further fueling the growth of green startups.

The Impact of Policy and Regulation

Global policies and regulations are increasingly focused on combating climate change and promoting sustainability. International agreements like the Paris Accord and national policies on reducing carbon emissions and plastic waste are creating a regulatory environment that favors green startups. These policies are compelling traditional businesses to adapt and opening doors for new, innovative companies that prioritize sustainability from the ground up.

Success Stories and Market Leaders

Several green startups have already made significant strides, serving as inspiration for budding entrepreneurs. Companies like Tesla have revolutionized the automotive industry with electric vehicles, while startups like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are transforming the food industry with plant-based alternatives. These success stories highlight the potential for green startups to not only succeed but to lead in their respective markets.

Challenges and Opportunities

While the potential is vast, green startups also face unique challenges. High initial costs, longer ROI periods, and the need for specialized knowledge can be barriers. However, these challenges also present opportunities for innovation. For instance, startups that can develop cost-effective green technologies or create scalable sustainable solutions will have a competitive edge.


The Future of Green Startups

The future looks bright for green startups. As awareness of environmental issues continues to grow and technology advances, these startups will play a crucial role in driving the global shift towards sustainability. Entrepreneurs entering this space have the chance to make a significant impact, both economically and environmentally, by developing solutions that address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

The Green Entrepreneurial Wave

Green startups represent the confluence of technology, sustainability, and entrepreneurship. They are set to attract public attention and investment, driven by consumer demand, technological innovation, and supportive policies. As we move towards a more sustainable future, these startups will not only reshape industries but also inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs to prioritize the planet while pursuing profit. The green entrepreneurial wave is not just a trend—it’s a fundamental shift that promises to redefine business and innovation in the 21st century.

Photo via Iberdola

Understanding Porter’s Five Forces for Startups
Understanding Porter’s Five Forces for Startups 1024 686 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

Porter’s Five Forces: A Guide for Startups to Assess Industry Competition

As a startup, understanding the competitive landscape of your industry is crucial for success. One powerful tool to help you do this is Porter’s Five Forces, a framework developed by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter. This framework helps you analyze the competitive forces that shape your industry and identify potential opportunities and threats. In this article, we’ll break down Porter’s Five Forces and provide a step-by-step guide on how to apply them to your startup.

What are Porter’s Five Forces?

Porter’s Five Forces is a framework that examines five key forces that affect an industry’s competitive landscape:

  1. Threat of New Entrants: The ease with which new companies can enter the industry.
  2. Bargaining Power of Suppliers: The influence suppliers have over the prices and terms of their goods and services.
  3. Bargaining Power of Buyers: The influence customers have over the prices and terms of their purchases.
  4. Threat of Substitute Products or Services: The risk of customers switching to alternative products or services.
  5. Competitive Rivalry Among Existing Companies: The level of competition among existing companies in the industry.

How to Apply Porter’s Five Forces to Your Startup

To apply Porter’s Five Forces to your startup, follow these steps:

Step 1: Identify Your Industry

Clearly define the industry you’re operating in and identify the key players, suppliers, and customers.

Step 2: Analyze the Threat of New Entrants

Evaluate the barriers to entry for new companies in your industry. Consider factors such as:

  • Economies of scale: Can new companies afford to invest in infrastructure and technology?
  • Regulatory barriers: Are there laws or regulations that prevent new companies from entering the market?
  • Brand recognition: Do existing companies have strong brand recognition that would make it difficult for new entrants to gain traction?

Step 3: Assess the Bargaining Power of Suppliers

Evaluate the bargaining power of suppliers in your industry. Consider factors such as:

  • Number of suppliers: Are there few suppliers or many, giving you more negotiating power?
  • Switching costs: Are there high switching costs associated with changing suppliers?
  • Substitutes: Are there alternative suppliers or products that customers can turn to?

Step 4: Evaluate the Bargaining Power of Buyers

Evaluate the bargaining power of buyers in your industry. Consider factors such as:

  • Number of buyers: Are there few buyers or many, giving you more negotiating power?
  • Concentration: Are there a few large buyers or many small ones?
  • Switching costs: Are there high switching costs associated with changing suppliers?

Step 5: Analyze the Threat of Substitute Products or Services

Evaluate the threat of substitute products or services in your industry. Consider factors such as:

  • Availability: Are substitute products or services readily available?
  • Price: Are substitute products or services priced competitively?
  • Quality: Are substitute products or services comparable in quality?

Step 6: Evaluate Competitive Rivalry Among Existing Companies

Evaluate the level of competition among existing companies in your industry. Consider factors such as:

  • Number of competitors: Are there few competitors or many?
  • Competition intensity: Is competition intense, with many companies vying for market share?
  • Differentiation: How do you differentiate yourself from competitors?

Conclusion

By applying Porter’s Five Forces to your startup, you can gain a deeper understanding of the competitive landscape of your industry. This will help you identify potential opportunities and threats, and make informed decisions about your business strategy. Remember to regularly reassess your competitive landscape as your business evolves and adapts to changes in the market.

Additional Tips for Startups

  • Focus on differentiating yourself from competitors through innovation, branding, or unique value propositions.
  • Build strong relationships with suppliers and customers to mitigate potential risks.
  • Monitor changes in the market and adapt your strategy accordingly.
  • Consider partnering with other startups or companies to share resources and expertise.

By applying Porter’s Five Forces to your startup, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the competitive landscape and achieve long-term success.

Photo via Crud Knowledge

Women in Entrepreneurship
Women in Entrepreneurship 683 596 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

In recent years, the landscape of entrepreneurship has been gradually shifting, with women increasingly making their mark in this traditionally male-dominated domain. From Silicon Valley startups to small businesses in rural communities, women entrepreneurs are breaking barriers, shattering stereotypes, and driving change across industries worldwide.

The rise of women in entrepreneurship is not merely a trend; it’s a movement fueled by determination, innovation, and a quest for equality. Despite facing systemic challenges and societal biases, women continue to venture into the entrepreneurial realm, bringing fresh perspectives, creativity, and resilience to the table.

One of the key drivers behind the surge in female entrepreneurship is the growing recognition of the untapped potential and economic benefits that women-led businesses can bring. Studies have shown that diverse teams, including those led by women, tend to outperform homogeneous ones, leading to greater innovation, profitability, and overall success.

However, the journey for women entrepreneurs is often fraught with obstacles. From access to capital and resources to navigating male-dominated networks and biases, women face a myriad of challenges that can hinder their entrepreneurial aspirations. Despite these hurdles, women are forging ahead, leveraging their strengths, building supportive communities, and championing each other along the way.

One of the critical factors in fostering women’s entrepreneurship is providing access to resources, mentorship, and networks. Initiatives and organizations dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs, such as women-focused accelerators, networking events, and funding opportunities, play a crucial role in leveling the playing field and empowering women to thrive in entrepreneurship.

Moreover, addressing systemic barriers, such as gender bias in investment decisions and lack of access to venture capital, is essential for creating a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem. Encouraging policies that promote gender equality, investing in women-led businesses, and challenging gender stereotypes are vital steps towards fostering a supportive environment for women in entrepreneurship.

Beyond economic empowerment, women entrepreneurship also holds the potential to drive social change and address pressing global challenges. Women-led businesses are more likely to prioritize social and environmental impact, contributing to sustainable development and positive societal outcomes.

Furthermore, women entrepreneurs serve as role models and inspirations for future generations of women leaders, challenging traditional notions of leadership and paving the way for greater gender diversity in entrepreneurship and beyond.

As we celebrate the achievements of women entrepreneurs and recognize the significant strides they have made, it is essential to continue championing their efforts and advocating for greater gender equality in entrepreneurship. By empowering women to unleash their entrepreneurial potential, we can create a more inclusive, innovative, and prosperous future for all.

Photo via Global Entrepreneurship Monitor

A Strategic Financing Option for Startups
A Strategic Financing Option for Startups 928 546 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

Growth debt is a specialized form of business financing tailored for startups and high-growth companies, offering an alternative to traditional bank loans and equity financing. This type of debt is provided by dedicated growth debt firms and is structured to meet the unique needs of fast-growing startups.

What is Growth Debt?

Growth debt is designed to fuel the expansion of successful startups, enabling them to scale operations, enter new markets, invest in research and development, complete acquisitions, or even prepare for an acquisition themselves. However, it’s important to note that only a small percentage of European tech businesses, typically between 2-5%, qualify for this type of debt. The criteria for eligibility are stringent, emphasizing a proven revenue-generating business model and significant growth potential.

When is Growth Debt a Good Option?

Bridge Financing

Growth debt can serve as bridge financing, providing extra funds before an exit. This is crucial when there is a gap between the signing and completion of an exit deal. The additional capital ensures that the company can continue operations and meet strategic objectives, thereby maintaining negotiating power with a stronger balance sheet.

Extending Runway

For startups looking to extend their runway between equity financing rounds, growth debt is an excellent option. It provides the necessary capital to reach the next milestone, meet strategic goals, and limit immediate dilution of existing and new shareholders.

Milestone Financing

When a startup hits a significant milestone but wants to avoid raising equity at a lower valuation, growth debt becomes an attractive alternative. It allows the company to secure additional funds without renegotiating valuation terms, making it a viable option in times of declining valuations.

Working Capital Needs or Equipment Financing

Startups often face working capital challenges, especially during rapid growth periods. Growth debt can finance working capital needs like inventory and accounts receivable or operational expenses. For deep tech businesses, it can also finance equipment and initial plant fittings.

Capital Efficiency

Growth debt enables startups to leverage their existing equity capital more efficiently. By using debt for specific purposes, companies can manage their capital structure effectively, avoiding unnecessary dilution and maximizing returns for existing shareholders.

Proven Revenue Model and High Growth

Growth debt is best suited for startups with a proven revenue model and a clear path to profitability. Lenders evaluate the company’s financial health and its ability to meet debt obligations based on performance metrics. This type of financing helps accelerate revenue growth to maximize equity value.

A Sophisticated Strategic Tool

Growth debt is a strategic financing tool beneficial for startups facing specific shareholder syndicate challenges or seeking to optimize their capital structure. Most growth debt financing initiatives are proposed by board members and venture capital investors familiar with this financing tool. A solid CFO and robust financial functions are essential to meet the high reporting standards of growth lenders.

Strategic Considerations for Raising Growth Debt

Knowing when to raise growth debt is crucial and involves careful consideration of the company’s stage, funding needs, and strategic goals. When used judiciously, growth debt can complement equity financing, providing startups with the flexibility and financial resources necessary for sustained growth.

Original article: EU-Startups

The Rise of FoodTech
The Rise of FoodTech 720 480 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

In recent years, the food industry has witnessed a fascinating evolution driven by technological advancements, giving birth to what we now know as FoodTech. It’s a realm where innovation meets appetite, revolutionizing the way we grow, produce, distribute, and consume food. Let’s take a savory journey into this burgeoning sector, where food meets technology in the most delectable ways.

Cultivating Sustainability

One of the most appetizing aspects of FoodTech is its focus on sustainability. Startups are sprouting up like mushrooms after rain, offering ingenious solutions to address food waste, optimize agricultural practices, and reduce the environmental footprint of food production. From vertical farming and hydroponics to AI-powered crop monitoring systems, these innovations are reshaping the landscape of sustainable agriculture.

Feeding the Future

As our global population continues to swell, the demand for food grows exponentially. Enter FoodTech, the culinary superhero on a mission to feed the world. With advancements in alternative protein sources, such as plant-based meats and lab-grown proteins, FoodTech pioneers are offering deliciously sustainable alternatives to traditional animal products. Whether it’s a juicy plant-based burger or a mouthwatering lab-grown steak, the future of food promises to be both nutritious and planet-friendly.

Cooking Up Convenience

In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is king, and FoodTech is serving up a royal feast of convenient culinary solutions. Meal kit delivery services, smart kitchen appliances, and food delivery apps have transformed the way we cook, dine, and enjoy food. With just a few taps on our smartphones, we can have restaurant-quality meals delivered to our doorstep or whip up gourmet dishes at home with minimal effort.

Nourishing Innovation

FoodTech isn’t just about satisfying our taste buds; it’s also about nourishing innovation. From blockchain-powered supply chain transparency to AI-driven food safety inspections, technology is revolutionizing every aspect of the food industry. With drones delivering groceries, robots flipping burgers, and 3D printers creating edible delights, the future of food is as exciting as it is delicious.

Embracing Diversity

One of the most beautiful aspects of FoodTech is its celebration of culinary diversity. Whether it’s exploring exotic flavors from around the globe or rediscovering forgotten heirloom varieties, FoodTech encourages us to broaden our culinary horizons and savor the rich tapestry of flavors that our planet has to offer. With apps that connect foodies with local farmers, online platforms for sharing recipes, and virtual cooking classes taught by culinary experts, FoodTech is bringing the world’s cuisines closer together one bite at a time.

A Taste of What’s to Come

In the ever-evolving gastronomic landscape, FoodTech stands as a beacon of innovation, sustainability, and culinary delight. From farm to fork, technology is transforming the way we produce, consume, and appreciate food, making our meals more delicious, nutritious, and planet-friendly than ever before. So let’s raise a toast to the pioneers of FoodTech and embark on a delicious journey into the future of food. Bon appétit!

Photo via Appvizer

TEDx Talk: The Single Biggest Reason Why Start-ups Succeed
TEDx Talk: The Single Biggest Reason Why Start-ups Succeed 987 535 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

The quest to uncover the secrets of startup success is an enduring pursuit. In a recent TEDx Talk, a seasoned entrepreneur shared surprising findings that challenge conventional wisdom. Bill Gross, the founder of Idealab, delved into what truly drives startup triumph and the unexpected role timing plays in shaping outcomes.

Gross began by extolling the virtues of the startup model as a potent force for positive change. He emphasized how the alignment of motivated individuals with equitable incentives within a startup framework can unleash unparalleled human potential. Yet, despite its potential, the sobering reality is that many startups falter. This prompted Gross to embark on a systematic investigation to discern the critical factors underpinning success.

Drawing from his extensive entrepreneurial journey spanning decades, Gross reflected on his myriad ventures, ranging from childhood enterprises to founding Idealab. With over a hundred companies under his belt, including both triumphs and failures, Gross sought to distill the essence of startup prosperity.

Gross meticulously analyzed five key elements: the idea, team, business model, funding, and timing. Initially, he revered the idea as paramount, epitomized by the eureka moment. However, his perspective evolved over time, recognizing the primacy of team dynamics and execution, especially in navigating unforeseen challenges.

He underscored the importance of adaptability, drawing an analogy from boxer Mike Tyson’s sage advice: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” The ability to pivot and respond to market feedback emerged as a defining trait of successful startups.

Surprisingly, Gross found that timing eclipsed all other factors, constituting a staggering 42% of the variance in outcomes. The serendipitous alignment of a startup’s offering with market demand proved instrumental in shaping its trajectory. Airbnb and Uber exemplified this synergy, capitalizing on societal shifts during economic downturns to propel their ascent.

Gross juxtaposed triumphs like YouTube, buoyed by impeccable timing, with failures like Z.com, hamstrung by premature market entry. These examples underscored the pivotal role of timing in amplifying or stymieing a startup’s prospects.

In essence, Gross’s insights challenge conventional wisdom, urging entrepreneurs to reassess their priorities. While ideas and execution remain vital, timing emerges as the linchpin of success. He advocates for a candid appraisal of market readiness, eschewing wishful thinking for objective evaluation.

Aspiring entrepreneurs are encouraged to heed Gross’s counsel, recognizing that startups wield transformative potential. By embracing the nuances of timing and heeding market signals, they can augment their chances of success and catalyze meaningful change in the world.

Bill Gross is the founder of Idealab, a business incubator focused on new ideas. (He’s now the chair and CEO.) He helped create GoTo.com, the first sponsored search company. He also created the Snap! search engine, which allows users to preview hyperlinks. 

Gross has been an entrepreneur since high school, when he founded a solar energy company. In college, he patented a new loudspeaker design, and after school he started a company that was later acquired by Lotus, and then launched an educational software publishing company. Now, he serves on the boards of companies in the areas of automation, software and renewable energy.

Essential Risk Management Strategies for Startups
Essential Risk Management Strategies for Startups 1024 699 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

Startups, characterized by innovation and agility, face a unique set of challenges and uncertainties. Effective risk management is crucial for navigating these uncertainties and ensuring long-term success. Here’s a comprehensive look at essential strategies for managing risks in a startup environment.

1. Identify and Assess Risks

The first step in managing risk is to identify and assess potential threats. This involves a thorough analysis of both internal and external factors that could impact the business. Common risks for startups include financial instability, market competition, regulatory changes, technological failures, and operational disruptions. By conducting a comprehensive risk assessment, startups can prioritize the most critical risks and allocate resources accordingly.

2. Develop a Risk Management Plan

A robust risk management plan is essential for mitigating identified risks. This plan should outline specific strategies for each type of risk, including preventive measures, contingency plans, and response protocols. Key elements of a risk management plan include:

  • Risk Identification: A detailed list of potential risks.
  • Risk Analysis: An evaluation of the likelihood and impact of each risk.
  • Mitigation Strategies: Actions to reduce the probability or impact of risks.
  • Contingency Plans: Prepared responses for when risks materialize.

3. Financial Risk Management

Financial instability is one of the most significant risks for startups. Effective financial risk management involves:

  • Budgeting and Forecasting: Creating detailed financial plans and projections to anticipate future needs and challenges.
  • Cash Flow Management: Ensuring sufficient liquidity to cover operational expenses and unexpected costs.
  • Diversifying Funding Sources: Reducing dependency on a single source of capital by exploring various funding options such as venture capital, angel investors, and crowdfunding.
  • Insurance: Acquiring appropriate insurance policies to protect against unforeseen financial losses.

4. Market and Competitive Analysis

Understanding the market landscape is crucial for mitigating risks related to competition and customer demand. Startups should:

  • Conduct Market Research: Regularly gather and analyze market data to stay informed about industry trends and customer preferences.
  • Monitor Competitors: Keep a close eye on competitors’ activities and strategies to identify potential threats and opportunities.
  • Adapt and Innovate: Be prepared to pivot or innovate based on market feedback and competitive pressures.

5. Regulatory and Legal Compliance

Compliance with laws and regulations is vital to avoid legal issues that could jeopardize the business. Key steps include:

  • Stay Informed: Regularly update your knowledge of relevant laws and regulations in your industry.
  • Legal Counsel: Engage with legal professionals to ensure all business practices are compliant and to navigate complex legal landscapes.
  • Internal Policies: Develop and enforce internal policies that promote compliance and ethical behavior.

6. Technology and Cybersecurity

For many startups, technology is both a critical asset and a potential source of risk. Effective technology and cybersecurity management includes:

  • Data Protection: Implement robust data protection measures to safeguard sensitive information.
  • Cybersecurity Protocols: Establish comprehensive cybersecurity protocols to prevent and respond to cyber threats.
  • Regular Audits: Conduct regular security audits to identify and address vulnerabilities in your systems.

7. Operational Risk Management

Operational risks can arise from various sources, including supply chain disruptions, equipment failures, and human error. To manage these risks:

  • Process Optimization: Streamline operations to improve efficiency and reduce the potential for errors.
  • Supplier Diversification: Mitigate supply chain risks by diversifying suppliers and maintaining strong relationships with key partners.
  • Employee Training: Invest in ongoing training and development to ensure employees are competent and aware of best practices.

8. Crisis Management and Resilience

Despite the best preparations, crises can still occur. Building resilience through crisis management involves:

  • Crisis Planning: Develop and maintain a crisis management plan that outlines response strategies for various scenarios.
  • Communication: Establish clear communication channels to ensure timely and accurate information dissemination during a crisis.
  • Recovery Strategies: Plan for business continuity and recovery to minimize downtime and maintain operations in the aftermath of a crisis.

A Call to Action

Effective risk management is not a one-time task but an ongoing process that requires vigilance, adaptability, and proactive planning. By systematically identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks, startups can not only survive but thrive in an uncertain and competitive landscape. Building a culture of risk awareness and resilience will enable startups to seize opportunities, navigate challenges, and achieve sustainable growth.

Photo via Treinetic

Startup Interactive Map
Startup Interactive Map 1024 591 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

The RAISE project team launched an innovative interactive map, now available on the project website, showcasing regional support policies and measures for startups across the European Union. This new resource, developed under the RAISE Project Work Package 3 – Preparation for Future Implementation of Common Action Plans, is designed to assist startups in navigating the diverse landscape of regional support programs.

The RAISE project aims to foster an interconnected space for startups through ongoing cooperation and knowledge exchange between associations. Key objectives include driving impact towards scale-ups, planning joint actions to help startups scale, and contributing to the development of startup-friendly regional policies.

Given the dynamic nature of startup policies in Europe, the RAISE Consortium conducted an in-depth qualitative and quantitative analysis of the current state of entrepreneurship, R&D, and the growth potential of startups. Recognizing the vital economic and societal role of innovation-driven startups, this analysis emphasized the need for multi-actor collaboration and the creation of interdisciplinary connections between startups and relevant stakeholders.

To address the gaps in startup support at the EU level, the Consortium evaluated the evolution of startup-friendly regional policies and programs funded by European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and the Next Generation EU program. As part of this effort, EURADA and FUNDECYT-Science and Technology Park of Extremadura collected regional experiences and examples from EU NUTS 2 territories, focusing on services supporting startup growth, capacity building, and access to funding.

The interactive map is closely linked to the project deliverable D3.2.2 – Guide on How to Use Funds for Startup Support, which offers additional information on funding sources and practical examples.

Methodology Behind the Interactive Map:

  1. Survey Creation: Fundecyt drafted a comprehensive survey titled “Benchmark Startup Friendly Policies in Europe,” gathering data on programs, funding sources, regional impacts, and more.
  2. Survey Dissemination: The survey was distributed online and in paper format, supported by a social media campaign and targeted messaging through EURADA’s network.
  3. Data Collection: Data collected through the EU Survey was compiled and analyzed, with the most relevant initiatives selected for inclusion on the map.
  4. Map Creation: Through consultations and meetings between EURADA and iCorsa, the map was developed using a Plugin for enhanced functionality and designed for user-friendliness.

The map currently includes information on five European regions (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, and Romania) and 15 initiatives funded by EU Structural Funds. Users can navigate the map, click on pins for detailed information about each initiative, and access program webpages for more details.

The interactive map is now live and accessible here: https://theraise.eu/interactive-map/

A crucial tool for entrepreneurs seeking to leverage European Structural and Investment Funds: The RAISE initiative, over the past two years, has provided an integrated approach to supporting startups and scale-ups. By addressing the information gap and the challenges startups face in accessing funds, this map serves as a crucial tool for entrepreneurs seeking to leverage European Structural and Investment Funds. It underscores the European Union’s commitment to fostering a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem and supports startups in integrating into the economic fabric.

RAISE Final Conference
RAISE Final Conference 1024 582 RAISE fosters startup growth and scale-up within and across Europe

The EU-Startups Summit 2024 in Malta marked the conclusion of the RAISE project, where over 50 participants gathered to celebrate the culmination of efforts aimed at fostering startup growth through enhanced ecosystem connectivity.

Led by project coordinator Giorgio Alessandro from SERN (Startup Europe Regions Network), the final conference featured a summary of the project’s activities.

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 and research support to public incentives and internationalisation. This resulted in the promotion of competitive business models, unconventional collaborations, and solutions across Europe, contributing to the establishment of a true EU startup ecosystem that linked multiple cities and regions together. RAISE established a joint agenda to build effective collaboration among key innovation ecosystem players at the regional, national, and EU levels. All these players played a crucial role in the start-ups’ growth lifecycle through upskilling initiatives, research and innovation (R&I) programmes and policies, capacity building, private investment, and access to public funding.

How to turn Europe into an interconnected startup ecosystem?

Professor Rudy Aernoudt’s keynote address, titled “How to turn Europe into a world startup ecosystem?” provided invaluable insights into overcoming obstacles and shaping effective policies. Professor highlighted that 36% of world-wide startups are EU-based. He continue further to list obstacles for EU startups: uncertainty about the future, regulatory setbacks and cost effectiveness, cultural difference and mindset of Europeans, lack of capital and financial risks. Prof Aernoudt concluded that there is a need for broad evidence-based policies to support European startup ecosystem in today’s turbulent environment.

RAISE Pilot Actions

Alessandro Craglia from EBAN (European Business Angel Network) showcased pilot initiatives crafted by the RAISE project, spanning business model refinement, partnership cultivation, access to funding and ventural capital, talent acquisition, and the promotion of women and rural entrepreneurship. Verklaren’s testimonial underscored the tangible benefits experienced by startups engaged in RAISE activities. As a small international consulting company, Verklaren managed through ICoRSA mentorship sessions and RAISE pilot action to set a new value proposition, define a new market target, and set strategic direction towards collaboration with European NGOs and EU-finance projects.

Startup Support Map

Giacomo Frisanco from EURADA (European Association of Development Agencies) introduced the Startup Support Interactive Map, a tool designed to assist startups in navigating European Structural and Investment Funds. The RAISE project team launched an innovative interactive map, now available on the project website, showcasing regional support policies and measures for startups across the European Union. This new resource, developed under the RAISE Project Work Package 3 – Preparation for Future Implementation of Common Action Plans, is designed to assist startups in navigating the diverse landscape of regional support programmes. The map currently includes information on five European regions (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, and Romania) and 15 initiatives funded by EU Structural Funds. Users can navigate the map, click on pins for detailed information about each initiative, and access programme webpages for more details.

Common Action Plan

Presenting the Common Action Plan by Giorgio Alessandro marked a significant moment, synthesising the needs and expectations of the startup sector based on extensive research and guidance from the RAISE Regional Steering Group. The RAISE Consortium initially defined 80 activities – 10 for each one of
the 8 dimensions of the SNS (Standard Nations Startup). He elaborated about aims of Common Action Plan on five key dimensions: Action, Objective, Stakeholders, Policy milestone and Timeframe.

The summit concluded with a dynamic panel discussion moderated by Cristina Gallardo Rey (Fundecyt), featuring Rudy Aernoudt, Greta Camilleri, and Philippe Séjalon, facilitating lively discourse on the challenges and opportunities within the European startup landscape. With interactive QnA session, participants had opportunity to ask the burning questions and get answers from perspective of government, academia and business. Throughout the day, prominent speakers and case studies provided valuable insights into the outcomes of the RAISE project.

RAISE’s journey dedicated to bridging gaps and uniting regions to shape a true EU startup ecosystem

Reflecting on RAISE’s journey, the project has been dedicated to bridging gaps and uniting regions to shape a true EU startup ecosystem without boundaries. From funding to research support and internationalisation, RAISE has championed collaboration, linking stakeholders from local to international levels.

As RAISE concludes its journey, it leaves behind a legacy of interconnectedness, collaboration, and empowerment. The project’s efforts have nurtured startup growth and scale-up across Europe, marking a significant step towards a vibrant and resilient European startup ecosystem.

In summary, the RAISE project stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and collective action in driving positive change within the European startup landscape.

You can find full presentation from the final conference below:

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