We had a productive year at EYIF supporting young innovators, entrepreneurs and innovation hubs in Europe and providing thought leadership. Here are some of the key moments of 2017:
Unconvention 2017 – tech, business and policy, all in one place!
The year began with Unconvention, our flagship event bringing together our entire community of young innovators, successful entrepreneurs and EU leaders to think, do and change the way we understand innovation and entrepreneurship. The event hosted over 40 renowned political and business leaders including: Mr. Andrus Ansip the VP of the European Commission for the Digital Single Market, Mr. Jyriki Katainen, the VP of the European Commission for Jobs and Competitiveness, Mr. Dirk Ahlboorn the CEO of Hyperloop, and many others.
The focus for 2017 was #GrowGlobal with hot topics about Smart Cities, Artificial Intelligence, 4th Industrial Revolution, Growing Global in a Post Brexit World and Living in an Autonomous Machines World.
In a nutshell, participants at Unconvention experienced: mentoring and access to funding sessions, venture funding opportunities through Venture Forum, parallel workshops, the InnoPitch competition and forums, policy session at the European Parliament, open discussions with key players of the EU entrepreneurial ecosystem and more. Have a look at the event aftermath.
EU Drone Awards – one step closer to the 4th Industrial Revolution
Together with MEP Dominique Riquet, we had the pleasure of organising the first ever EU Drone Awards, celebrating the companies, innovators and entrepreneurs who are creating value in Europe and the basis for the future success of the drone economy in Europe that will bring jobs, groundbreaking innovation and new business models. Check out the categories and winners here!
“EYIF has always been one step forward to support creative and innovative minds across the European Union. This event illustrates once again our commitment in helping and mentoring the game changers of tomorrow. […] We do believe EU Drone Awards is going to be a fierce competition and we will be excited to see who will be winner of each category.”, stated the EYIF President, Nicholas Zylberglajt.
InnoApps – Young Innovators creating solutions for Smart Cities
In partnership with Huawei, EYIF also organised the 3rd edition of InnoApps, the only pan-European competition to develop innovative Apps for Smart Cities. InnoApps is a competition that encourages young people to build groundbreaking solutions to improve social inclusion and foster the development of decentralised innovation ecosystems in Europe. The first team won 20.000€ and the runner-ups 15.000€! Get a sneak peek at our photo album.
Helping Startups Scale Up
Later in the spring, we’ve attended many major startup events: 4YFN in Barcelona, CeBit in Hanover, Arctic 15 in Helsinki, and Latitude 59 in Talinn, Estonia. At Latitude 59 for instance, our Chairman, Kumardev Chatterjee was invited to give a speech on “The Future of Mobility”, sharing the panel with other high-level speakers such as Srikumaar Ganesan from Hyperloop One, Chantal Ambord from BlaBlaCar and Yuki Liu from OSVechile. Watch his keynote speech here.
“You will be able to walk into an experience where the data and the actions have merged, which will create a what we call “always-on” aspect and this is not 5 years away, you will start seeing it next year.” (said Kumardev Chatterjee at Latitude 59).
After a well deserved summer break, we continued our scouting for the most disruptive tech startups at Pirate Summit, South Summit, WebSummit, and of course Slush. For example, at South Summit, Louis Papaemmanuel, our Head of Office in Brussels, held a free workshop on EU Funding for Startups where he gave a thorough overview on the objectives and the timeline of the programme, offering useful tips on how to write a successful proposal.
EU Startup Services – helping startups secure EU Funding
In 2017, EU Startup Services, our consulting spin-off, consolidated its position as the leading SME Instrument consulting company in Europe. Overall, taking into account this year’s successes they now have over 40 startups that secured EU Funds. They have also managed to secure the highest project budget in Israel for an Israeli SME, Mobius Protection System that won over €2.48 million for its SafeSeat invention!
Building Innovation Strategic Partnerships with major tech conferences in Europe and in the world
EYIF is also engaging with the startup ecosystem at the major tech conferences we partner with, such as Mobile World Congress Barcelona and Shanghai, Startup Embassy in Palo Alto, CeBIT, EU-Startups Conference, Tech Open Air, Pirate Summit, South Summit, 4YFN Tel Aviv, Startup Grind Barcelona, WebSummit, Slush or the European Venture Contest Final organised by TechTour.
Advocating for more #WomenInTech at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit
This year, Nicholas Zylberglajt, our President and Co-Founder, has been part of the US Mission to the EU delegation at the 8th edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit held in Hyderabad in India. The summit’s main topic was Women First, Prosperity for All, which focused on women entrepreneurship and global economic growth. Nicholas’s role was to emphasize the extraordinary entrepreneurship potential of women. Read here how EYIF supports more gender balance in the entrepreneurship and innovation area.
A glimpse into the future
All our past initiatives served one purpose: to be the voice for youth innovation and entrepreneurship who fight for a more digital Europe we can all believe in. All the 2017 initiatives will have a new edition next year. And we have some great news: this is just the beginning! In January we are kicking-off our new project: My Gateway – an initiative that connects the Central and Eastern European Startup Ecosystem to that of the EU. So stay tuned, we have big plans for 2018.