Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


WELCOME Report Summary

Project ID: 644286
Funded under: H2020-EU.


Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2016-04-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

WELCOME is working hard to break down the barriers between 5 different major EU startup ecosystems (Berlin, Dublin, Milan, Madrid and Salamanca). Teaming up with local partners present in these ecosystems to identify and engage the most relevant players of the tech entrepreneurial world (e.g. investors, mentors, media, corporates, successful entrepreneurs, etc.) and connect them with prospective, emerging and successful tech startups. In addition WELCOME also aims to bridge the divide between the tech entrepreneurial world and policy makers. Furthermore, WELCOME is connecting Europe with Silicon Valley and thus offering more opportunities for tech startups to truly go global.

WELCOME is focused on tech entrepreneurs and startups that use web, “apps” and mobile technologies as main components in their innovation and act on all the three phases of a web startup lifecycle (Prospective, Early Stage and Late Stage).

1. To create a Pan­‐European tech entrepreneurship ecosystem, based on 5 different major EU local ecosystems (Berlin, Dublin, Milan and Madrid/Salamanca areas), identifying and connecting the most relevant players (e.g. investors, mentors, corporates, media, successful tech entrepreneurs) with prospective tech entrepreneurs, emerging and successful startups, in which every tech entrepreneur in one of the local ecosystems feels that they belongs to WELCOME ecosystem.
2. To bring the best players of each local ecosystem into the WELCOME Pan­‐European Ecosystem by providing them with the best support and services to efficiently launch and scale up their operations across EU, exposing them to new financing opportunities and linking tech entrepreneurs with key actors to increase the number of business relationships between startups and existing companies as well as investments in startups and acquisitions by medium and large corporates.
3. To achieve a great impact in the five local ecosystems, by means of the extensive networks of contacts (e.g. investors, mentors, corporates, media) that the WELCOME partners provide.

WELCOME has selected five local ecosystems due to their relevant EU added value and their complementary geographical, economical and web entrepreneurship characteristics, making them unique, complementary and very suitable to execute this project.
In particular Berlin is one of the most notable EU hubs. Berlin has become home to an increasing number of big digital companies largely building consumer‐focused products, which have attracted significant international investment. The investor community is also growing in Berlin.
Dublin is also recognised as another notable EU hub. Although Dublin is not home to any ‘big-­name’ startups, it is the location of European bases for major US companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft, as well as home to relevant accelerators and web events. This makes it a very important city to the EU Web technology industry.
In recent years Madrid has come forth as a prominent EU startup hub. With top business schools and large offices of major tech companies the city is a prime spot for smaller startups to find success. In the wake of the nation’s crisis and high unemployment rates, more and more people are turning to entrepreneurship to create opportunities for themselves and others.
Salamanca is a young, growing and promising entrepreneurial ecosystem, being a hub of talent with more than 30,000 international students.
Milan is rapidly transforming itself into an emerging startup hub for the bubbling Italian innovation ecosystem (Startup Genome has put Milan on its map of worldwide startup ecosystems) for innovative companies in Italy and Southern EU, and it is acting as a vital bridge to the Mediterranean area. A new generation of local accelerators and funds have emerged and the European Investment Fund and Fondo Italiano have been active in supporting new funds.
Therefore WELCOME partners are complementary and cover all various angles of the ecosystem. WELCOME partners are fully involved in the EU and international Web entrepreneurship/startup world, making the WELCOME consortium ideal to create a robust and long-lasting Pan‐European web entrepreneurship ecosystem, fostering collaboration with SE Initiative and other EU projects and clusters for WEs.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Summary of the most important milestones and achievements since the beginning of the project:
4 pre-coordination meetings in 2014 & project kick-off in January 2015
5 on-site consortium meetings
First amendment accepted (new partner, new WP, 3 new activities)
Second amendment in progress (partners financial structure + minor changes)
11 Hackathons
+33 hours of video library published
40 Workshops
Helped launch the visual map (2 meetings + launching event in Madrid)
Competitions attracted over 500 startups
Early stage Roadshows selected 6 startups 2015 and 10 startups 2016 who'll go to all ecosystems + Silicon Valley
16 startups in Europass 2015 (SES, Betapitch, Startup Ole, Websummit, Slush, Codemotion)
7 early & 7 late stage startups went to European Innovation Day & Startup School in San Francisco
3 Accelerator Assembly events (Berlin, London, Salamanca)
4 Matchmaking Events (GEC - Milan, Betapitch - Berlin, SO - Salamanca, Web Summit, Next: Seeds & Chips Milan, People in Beta, Startup Ole 2016, ...)
1 Meet-up
Launch of Unicorns Forum (SES) - Meeting with VP Andrus Ansip
Meeting of Startup Europe Nations HLG (SO'15)
Launch of the SEUN (SO'15) + Cambridge Meeting
Startup Europe Summit 2015 Berlin
Startup Ole 2015 Salamanca
10+ collaboration activities with Startup Europe initiative
Full rebranding of the WELCOME project + SE initiative
Established & redesigned the project website, social media, newsletter
Made project storytelling video
WELCOME stand present at top startup events

This translates into +70 events already organised with +1500 startups taking part, counting +8000 total participants.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

1) To support the emergence of dynamic European ecosystems for web entrepreneurs that also contribute to shaping future web entrepreneurship specific policies, in particular for the implementation of Startup Europe EU initiative and Manifesto.
WELCOME will act as a pilot for what can be realised as part of the SE initiative. Therefore, WELCOME will specially collaborate with SE Initiative with regard to the following actions:
Startup Europe Partnership
SE Web Talent Forum
Startup Europe Dynamic Mapping
Tech All Stars
SE Crowdfunding Network
Web Investors Forum

2) To provide new, innovative environments including services that will help WEs in their process of starting up and scaling up their start­‐ups. WELCOME will create a Pan‐European ecosystem based on the execution of 19 activities to support WEs and W&M startups to launch and scale-up their operations across the EU. As a summary, WELCOME will:
• Encourage and inspire more than 20,000 EU young (particular focus on skilled unemployed youth and EU women) through the organization of hackathons (attracting 2,000 prospective developers), providing Video Library content (engaging 14,000 users) and workshops (4,000 prospective WEs) to become a successful WE and “dispel fear of failure”.
• Support 480 early stage startups to launch their operations by means of cross-­‐border mentoring (accelerating 16 startups), Roadshows (16 startups), workshops (400 startups), Europass Program (32 startups) and connecting EU with the Silicon Valley (16 startups). Each startup will be introduced to 50 investors (VC’s and BAs) and at least 2 large & medium corporates & startups and get EU media coverage by appearing in a minimum of 20 articles/tech blogs.
• Scale-up 152 late stage startups: exposing 120 late stage startups through roadshows and meet-­ups to more than 100 investors, 50 tech­‐bloggers and 400 prospective customers and connect 32 Startups with 100 corporates and 100 investors through matchmaking events.

3) A European environment, fora and stakeholders, for web entrepreneurs to reflect and share experiences, easily replicate successful examples, consider failures as valuable experience and where web start‐ups can be confident in getting support.
WELCOME aims to connect different major EU ecosystems (Berlin, Dublin, Milan and Madrid/Salamanca areas), identifying and engaging the most relevant players of the WE ecosystems (e.g. investors, mentors, corporates and media) with prospective, emerging and successful startups. The final goal is to create a Pan-­European ecosystem in which every tech entrepreneur in one of the local ecosystems feels that they belong to this ecosystem and where startups can be confident in getting support. Therefore, WELCOME activities have been designed to:
• embrace the culture of failure (removing the negative stigma that it implies) and build and strengthen the community by sharing lessons learned and experiences through 16 workshops for prospective WEs and 9 workshops for early stage startups. Highly reputed speakers (e.g. serial WEs, founders, investors) will be invited in each local ecosystem in order to attract more than 4,000 attendees.
• and to make WEs/startups to feel confident by providing proper cross-­border mentoring by a network of close to 200 skilled mentors from WELCOME partners (see annex: ”mentors list”), exposing them to new financing opportunities and build bridges with reputed investors (VCs, BAs and Crowdfunding platforms), and a high number of large and medium corporates and media trough WELCOME activities.

4) To contribute, together with other relevant initiatives of the Commission, to a positive impact across the continuum of actors for entrepreneurship.
WELCOME will foster collaboration with SE Initiative and also with the Marie Curie International Fellowship (to bring the best brains back to Europe) and Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (To prepare graduates for a radically different marketplace) and ongoing and future projects, such as those funded through the FI‐PPP phase 3, ICT13 2014 projects, ICT35 2014 projects and COSME projects. For example, WELCOME will collaborate with the Marie Curie International Fellowship to attract at least 10 experienced innovators/WEs based in third countries (non-­Europeans) willing to receive research training in a startup based in WELCOME ecosystem. The collaboration with Erasmus for young entrepreneurs20 would support the four local web entrepreneurship ecosystems in the exchange of 20 WEs, knowledge and experience, networking opportunities across Europe, new commercial relations or markets. In relation to the FI-­PPP phase 3 projects, ETVENTURE operates as coordinator of the “ExpaMeco” project (one of the 16 accelerators for FI­‐PPP). ETVENTURE will take care of a transparent know-­‐how transfer and will also ensure that the two projects will be mutually beneficial, for example, by offering the services from “WELCOME” not only to ETVENTURE`s startups at FI-­PPP but also to all the other remaining 15 accelerators. Hence, there will be a very powerful and dynamic interlink between F-­PPP and ICT13. WELCOME collaborate with the ATALANTA EU‐FP7 project (where TETUAN is a partner) in terms of delivering cross border services to innovative startups and WEs and linking these groups to investors and the business world on the other.

Related information

Record Number: 190471 / Last updated on: 2016-11-15