Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

TWIST DIGITAL Report Summary

Project ID: 644021
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - TWIST DIGITAL (Transregional Web Innovative Services for Thriving Digital and Mobile Entrepreneurship)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

TWIST- Transregional Web Innovative Services for Thriving Digital and Mobile Entrepreneurship- connects four of the most interesting ecosystems (Rome, Lillè, Warsaw and Stockholm) and each ecosystem was represented by different players covering complementary and integrated aspects:
Investors and Accelerators;
The consortium has been improved and supported by Hugin & Munin, expert in communication.
TWIST was conceived on the basis of an important and crucial concept: the European panorama is characterized by an interesting liveliness of startups in their early stage and seed phase that usually face difficulties in growing and remaining on the market.
In this stage, It’s generally recognized that the main support to startups is represented by the provision of soft skills and opportunities to facilitate the:
- Access to market;
- Accesso to further knowledge and
- Access to fund raising.
In this context TWIST has been designed and developed with the two main objectives:
- Creating any opportunity of mutual exchange among European startups through the organization of webinars and vertical programs in the four ecosystems of the project;
- Providing international chances for startups both facilitating access to capitals and opening new markets through the cooperation with Large Company .
TWIST digital, through its actions is activating a positive mechanisms aiming at:
- Improving the quality of startups through a dedicated and advanced mentorship program;
- Internationalizing startups through exchange programs and international events;
- creating more opportunities between startups and investors in the ecosystem;
- Facilitating access to new clients through the cooperation between startups and Large corporates.
For this purpose three different kind of actions have been implemented:
- webinars and meetups to share knowledge;
- Bootcamp to receive vertical knowledge on the sector and get in contact with potential investors
- Open innovation challenge to get in contact with potential clients.
At the end of the project TWIST achieved important goals and in some cases improved overpassed the target defined in the proposal:
Summarizing in figures:
- reached more than 2200 twisters;
- involved actively more than 63 mentors;
- organized 88 learning sessions;
- launched 4 open innovation challenges;
- designed and implemented 3 vertical bootcamps.

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

TWISTprovided startups with a selected services :
- mentoring and coaching services for better understanding business models, financial technicalities and for accessing finance for growth, also giving attention to a sectoral approach (vertical mentoring) and applying the lean startup model;
- the creation of co-working laboratories where entrepreneurs will have the chance to peer with potential partners, receive one-to-one coaching and meet the right investors across the EU;
- the organization of challenges for startups with the involvement of Large Corporates from ICT, Mobile and the Entertainment sector;
Generally speaking the mentorship programs achieved the results planned in the Description of Action : 88 mentorship sessions were organized against 72 planned (16 per ecosystems).
All the topics were equally covered with the particular attention to the topic of fundraising which is a crucial argoument for startups in their growing phase.
Also in terms of mentors the project involved more and more serial entrepreneurs and investors.
The opportunity to provide specific and dedicate mentorship on vertical requires a completely innovative approach that improves considerably the average quality of startups participating and make more effective the participation of investors specialized in specific sectors.
Furthermore there is an effective Competitive Advantage which derives from a deep set of industry-specific relationships and mentors.
TWIST bootcamp can be considered an interesting pilot to be replicated in other contexts and ecosystems.
Lillè has widely recognized as hub of cybersecurity in Europe due to the yearly presence of the International Cybersecurity Forum.
The organization of the TWIST bootcamp offered to startups from Warsaw and Rome the opportunity to get the best mentorship available thanks to the strong presence of experts in the sector.
Lazio Innova, taking the advantage of the MIT 2016 organized StartupOnStage, the first bootcamp for lifescience in Italy.
Last but not least the Bootcamp in Poland had the objective to find digital solutions for various city problems – congestion, air pollution, increasing crime rate, etc. involving brilliant entrepreneurs.
TWIST Open Innovation methodology is a systematic approach to engage and channel public/private resources to find solutions for specific business opportunities and challenges
During the duration of the project TWIST launched 4 innovation challenges with different players.
Following the experience of the Imagine Cup in Poland and Frogleap in Sweden, both Rome and Lillè implemented their open innovation challenge in their ecosystems on automotive sectopr cooperating with multinational companies (Adecco group in Rome and PeSA in Lillè)
The communication plan and following the activities carried out by TWIST, the promotion of the project has been channelled through a mix of actions integrating online/offline communication and Public Relations addressed to startups, entrepreneurs, mentors and investors with the aim of connecting the 4 European ecosystems.
As far as online communication is concerned, main deliverables included news articles, videos, testimonials, social media posts and publications (published through multiple channels: StartUp Europe website, TWIST website, TWIST Facebook Fan Page and other Facebook groups for startups, entrepreneurs, mentors and investors), TWIST Twitter account, TWIST Google Plus Page and all the 8 TWIST consortium partner’s websites, blogs and social channels, reaching a wide audience of startups, entrepreneurs, mentors and investors at a European and worldwide level.
Dealing with Public Relations activities, TWIST has been promoted (development of PPT presentations and communication materials as well as formal and informal speeches, webinars, meetings and seminars) in high-profiled events relevant for the scope of the project, taking place in Europe.
The offline activities were carried out through the creation a

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)

The project was in line with the objectives and timeframe defined in the Description of Actions.
At the beginning of the TWIST, partners used the Business Canvas methodology to evaluate the state of the art of each ecosystem.
Apart Stockholm widely recognized as ecosystems fully integrated, Rome and Lille were recognized in the Activation phase .
At the end of the TWIST, even though the three ecosystems didn’t grow exponentially , the project actually implemented some positive effects that supported the movement of the ecosystems above.
In different terms, thanks to TWIST, the ecosystems:
1) Exchanged ideas on common verticals of interest,
2) Moved human resources and ideas
3) Linked their actions on local strategies;
4) Integrated their value chain on specific sectors.

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