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Transforming the success of Startups across the EU

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - VestdSMEProposal (Transforming the success of Startups across the EU)

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

Distributing equity, with conditions, is something that almost all early stage businesses want to do, in order to powerfully align their team with the objectives of the business by giving them a stake in it. In all EU countries, however, this is something that can be difficult, complex and expensive to do.

Vestd is a business that allows companies to easily distribute equity to those that help them build their business via an innovative platform.

Vestd was awarded a Horizon 2020 grant in December 2016 to carry out a market feasibility study for expansion into the EU.
The project commenced in January 2017 and completed in June 2017.

There were 3 key phases:
1) Desktop research and target market analysis
2) In market visits to get first hand feedback on the relevant ecosystems as well as meeting relevant lawyers and tax advisers to assess the regulatory and company framework in each country
3) Data consolidation, and creation of a roll out plan (including business plan)

In the first phase we analysed multiple markets across the EU and decided to concentrate our efforts on Stockholm, Dublin, Berlin and Amsterdam.

We carried out market research on the entrepreneurial and early stage ecosystem in each market, and then carried out a targetted in market visit to each. This involved meeting with our legal and tax advisers to understand the regulatory, tax and corporate law challenges associated with rolling out our business model in each market, and then a number of meetings with key influencers and ecosystem leaders to appreciate the market need and demand for our services.

The outcome of the visits was that there was significant appetite for our services in each of the markets we visited, and in addition we identified that there was a technical and legal solution that we believe can be developed to deliver our model into these EU markets.

We have subsequently modelled the costs and benefits of launching in each market, and developed a prioritised implementation plan to roll out Vestd across these 4 markets and then beyond into other markets in the EU. Full details of this can be found in the Feasibility Study Report.
The expected potential impact of Vestd implementing into the EU countries beyond the UK is that we will greatly increase the chances of success of the businesses we help, because we will allow them to simply and cost effectively incentivise their team through the award of equity at an early stage.
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