Skip to main content

Support Ecosystems for Digital Startups

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - DIGISTART (Support Ecosystems for Digital Startups)

Reporting period: 2016-04-01 to 2017-06-30

The project DIGISTART (Support Ecosystems for Digital Startups) is an EU funded research project in the area of startup ecosystems. The project aims to support European-Wide digital ecosystems through a set of coordinated activities targeting Lisbon and Malmo. It also aims to harness the capabilities of the largest European online platform for startups and web entrepreneurs: F6S, for providing online support to startups.

The Lisbon Ecosystem will be supported by UNIDEMI and BETA-i. UNIDEMI, A research centre at the Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologies, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, will initiate activities to provide greater access to the innovation ecosystem for students. This includes early stage mentorship, awareness creation, launching of the Startup Forum, a formal Entrepreneurship Course and an online MOOC. It will also undertake research activities that will provide greater insights on how Innovation Ecosystems have benefitted Startups. BETA-i already runs a very successful acceleration programme, the Lisbon Challenge, and will undertake other events to enhance the ecosystem. Clusterland Sweden based in Malmo, Sweden will initiate activities in sync with the activities in the Lisbon Ecosystem.
Launched a MOOC Repository compiling open source content from more than 15 Courses. (
Launched a physical course for Masters in Engineering Students. (18 Sep to 11 Dec 2015) with content available online. (
LIS ’15 Training Session ”Turning Universities into Entrepreneurial Hubs” with an attendance of around 50 students, teachers and startups at Lisbon Investment Summit 4-5 June 2015
Startup Olé: participation in 3 panel discussions to create a productive debate on how to bring entrepreneurlism to the university and support young adults
Designed and launched a pre-accelerator where first time entrepreneurs will be supported in the development of their ideas (Beta Start)
85 applications/55 closed applications from 28 countries
10 startups to be selected out of the applications submited / 20 to 30 entrepreneurs will take part in the program
Launching of Monthly Startup Inspiration Talks within the University to foster closer connections with the Ecosystem.
Workshop on ”Bringing Entrepreneurial Culture to the Universities” targeted at Educators, Researchers on 22 Oct 2015

During the two training sessions held in Malmo we also arranged a back to back match making session between talent (mostly developers) and start ups. It has generated 10 concrete new partnerships and about 50 new contacts between developers and start ups in the region.
We have also created a link between Malmo and Berlin, since this is the closest bigger start up hotspot from Malmo, using Berlin Partners as a way for Malmo start ups to connect to the start up community in Berlin when it comes to access to talent.
Besides this, we have also engaged in a project screening refugees arriving from Syria in order to find engineers and developers that could be a useful resources to start ups. This is done together with the swedish immigration board and the unemployment agency. There are still some legal/administrative issues but so far we have match maked over 50 persons.
In total 50 different start ups have attended training sessions with the focus of internationalisation and establishing themselves in another country. At the moment we are working closely with organisations in other countries to help with this, and have created applications to accelerators like Beta-I in Lisbon, Start Up Bootcamp in Berlin and Copenhagen, Wayra in London, Dublin and Prague and also helped some companies to establish themselves in the US. Since Germany is Sweden's largest export market - we are focusing a lot on building a bridge for start ups in Malmo to the start up community in Berlin. Companies like Tunaspot, Cross Technologies and Learning to Sleep are all examples of start ups that has taken the step to establish themselves on the German market.

F6S Platform
Open Application
Created an Open Application for Idea Validation for individuals with idea or startup. Involved several pre-accelerators in order to evaluate and validate the ideas. This way ideas are being validated in a real, competitive environment and if receives positive answer, can get an invitation to the pre-accelerator program.

Added “Share Application” feature, Evaluation/Dashboard redesign

Talent Forum

F6S already had a job board and basic functionality for users to identify that their looking for jobs. The whole UI and UX has been redesigned to maximize the impact of such match-making. New tools for match-making has been developed, such as automatic matching based on skills, location etc. Enables effortless and easily scalable match-making. Direct business development to universities (talent) and startups (jobs) has been strengthened with a dedicated position. Improvements with a focus on helping founders find co-founders

Redesign of the Job board and Talent Forum. Increased effort in maximizing the number of relevant jobs Direct business development to Universities to increase the number of student opportunities

Key lessons learnt (positive and negative)
Idea Validation must be led with a hands-on approach and dissemination efforts should be spent in order to incentivize startups to apply.
On jobs, university students with coding skills are have the biggest interest upon future employers
Digistart has 6 main objectives:
Common Open Application for Idea Stage Startups
Entrepreneurship Courses and MOOC
Talent Forum
Student Support Centre
Connecting Lisbon and Malmo Ecosystems

We have been progressing as per the designed work plan and have made significant advances in all the above mentioned areas. The uploaded deliverables detail the specific initiatives launched with regard to all to above activities. With our intervention there has been a significant growth of Entrepreneurship amongst student communities.