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Help startups to scale by leveraging the access to European markets offered by four major startup hubs

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Access2Europe (Help startups to scale by leveraging the access to European markets offered by four major startup hubs)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2018-12-31

Access2Europe focused on helping European startups enter and scale up in other EU markets by bridging key tech ecosystems. It goes back to the basics of doing business: knowing the right people, shaking the right hands. In order to do so, four consortium partners have joined forces: CONNECT GLOBAL (Berlin), Tehnopol (Tallinn), the French-German Chamber of Commerce (Paris) and Peninsula (Barcelona).
The concept of this project is a combination of centralized common activities and distributed tasks in each local hub, all activities built on the pan-European network of partners, a customized support & incubation program for all Startups with individual mentoring sessions, workshops and personnel introductions between Startups and contacts/ players relevant for doing business and growing into a geographically new market.
The involved markets are clearly highly interesting for B2B European startups - either because of the relevant customers or the innovation-driven regulatory framework. The number and quality of applications for the program shows the relevance of the respective destinations for (Deep-)tech startups. The raising number of Deeptech-Startups being founded (in particular those using AI and Blockchain-technology) shows, that it is important that the European Commission supports these Startups at a very early stage. The easier their entry into market in Europe is and the more support they receive (without the ties of a VC), the more successful Europe will be in the international competition of hubs.
A key learning and conclusion of all partners of Access2Europe is, that time spent on-site (in the market) by a Startup is crucial to establish relevant, substantive contacts and to fully profit from such a program. It thus proved important to set clear expectations e.g. prior to the incubation phase and to insist on an active involvement in the program. This allowed the partners to identify the less cooperative founders, those with a “cherry picking” mentality.
All partners accepted startups from various industries and verticals. The solution to set up a very curated program proved to be right. The individuality and flexibility was highly appreciated by the participating startups. In the end, it compensated the disadvantage of not being able to offer substantive financial support to the Startups during the time of their incubation.
The goal of Access2Europe was to build on the strong regional presence of all project partners to create a true pan-European ecosystem that transcends national boundaries and promotes the growth of European startups across country borders. The objectives of Access2Europe were achieved through different work packages:

“Identify & Inform” (WP1) startups in the form of smaller and large, high-profile informational events where startups in selected fields are invited to attend and become familiar with the possibilities offered. The project partners had to inform their ecosystems about Access2Europe and attract startups ready to enter another EU market.
The results reached exceeded the target (min 5.000 Startups): over 9600 startups were identified and informed of Access2Europe.

In WP2 (Market) Discovery, Access2Europe focused on selecting Startups to participate in Discovery Tours. During these 3-day tours, they were enabled to leverage connections and meet stakeholders that are difficult to access otherwise. 99 startups with 121 participants profited from the Discovery Tours in all partner cities. The Discovery Tours are are the Success Story of the A2E project: The project partners received over 300 applications from startups and selected them according to specific evaluation criteria.

“Support & Match” (WP3) aimed at startups in rolling out their activities in international markets during the first three months by introducing them to the respective ecosystems, giving them hands-on information and contacts to relevant stakeholders, and real-life experience as a startup in the new market.
41 European Startups were selected (Project Target: min. 20 startups) out of over qualified 200 applications. The SUPPORT part included: the onboarding during introductory week, free office space, expert led workshops and one-on-one meetings for a successful market entry, access to entrepreneurial ecosystem, free access to key tech events and exposure via the partners communication channels. The MATCH part included connection to relevant industry/corporate and finance players.

In WP4 “Communicate & Enable” the focus was on promoting the exchange of information between startups and partner ecosystems, providing answers to hot topics via the Online Access Academy, and exploiting opportunities for new ventures. Access2Europe’s efforts led to 19 inclusions in newsletters (min. target 12); 152 posts on social media (min. target 100); 999 posts retweets, shares and likes (min. target 500); 8 promotions at large conference on stage (Startup Europe Week, Cube Tech Fair, SLUSH), 22 promotions at smaller scale events on stage (min. target 15); 9 press releases sent to targeted media audiences; 18 226 views of the Online Access Academy video material (min. 500 views by startuppers).

WP 5
Management activities were aimed to ensure effective coordination between the consortium and the European Commission, e.g. through partner Coordination meetings, an action Plan with an overview and monitoring of dates, deadlines, KPI's milestones and deliverables and regular communication between the partners.
All activities aimed at connecting tech Startup hubs and their companies (startups, scaleups) to the larger European business ecosystem seeking maximum synergies in terms of number of concrete collaborations between relevant players within existing ecosystems and networks. The results exceeded the planned KPI’s and laid the basis for the desired impact:

- Over 9.600 Startups (min. Target 5000) were informed via Identify & Inform of Access2Europe and involved in various events in all partner cities
- 132 Startups (min. target 70) were involved in the Discovery (WP2) and Support & Match (WP3)
- 72 Corporates (and Industry Associations) got involved in the project (min. target 55)
- Access2Europe was supported by 7 HR experts (min. target 4) to help the Startups attract new talents and learn more about the local employment market
- 31 relocating opportunities for Startups (min. target 11) have been identified
- 33 investors got involved (min. target 18) via investment discussion, workshops, pitches etc.
- 19 different local authorities (min. target 13) supported the program and the participating Startups with direct input, sessions etc.
- 17 public administration representatives (min. target 5) got in touch/ involved with Access2Europe
- Access2Europe is specifically proud that 29,7% female participants (min. target 25 %) profited from the program

The Consortium partners are dedicated to create a long-time partnership across partners, their network startups and the Startup Ecosystems in Berlin, Tallinn, Barcelona and Paris.
To keep up a high impact on Startups and their success the partners will with incubation service to help startups reach export markets or secure investment and involve participating Startups in new projects and events (depending on industry, technology and topic)
All partners plan future collaboration with local hubs on the basis of the reputation and knowledge gained through project.
WP 2- Estonian Discovery Tour Tallin
WP2 - Discovery Tour with Blockchain Startups in Berlin - Berlin
WP 2 - Discovery Tour I - Participating Startups Berlin
WP 2 - Barcelona Discovery Tour 2018
WP 1 - Inform Access2Europe at the CUBE Tech Fair 2018
WP 1 - Inform Access2Europe dinner
WP 4 - Dissemination and Communication of success of Startup Fooddocs
WP 1 - Inform Access2Europe booth and Matchmaking area at Latidude59
WP 2 - Discovery Tour in Paris - Station F
WP1 - Inform Access2Europe at VivaTechnology 2018
WP 5 - Management meeting in Paris
WP 1 - Inform event in Paris 2018
WP 2 - Paris Station F French Discovery Tour
WP 1 - Inform Access2Europe at FYFN
WP 2 - Discover Barcelona Discovery Tour 2018