EYIF at the heart of Startup Europe – 2019 round up of our EU projects

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EYIF at the heart of Startup Europe – 2019 round up of our EU projects

Dec 26, 2019

As a leading youth NGO, the European Young Innovators Forum (EYIF) is committed to strengthening the European startup ecosystem, through the creation, as well as the support of innovative ideas, initiatives, and projects across the EU. 

Over the past 12 months, EYIF, has contributed as part of two key European projects:

MY-GATEWAY – a Startup Europe initiative under the Horizon 2020 framework that aims to strengthen the capacities of high-tech startups and innovative SMEs in the Central and Eastern European region run in consortium with 14 pan-European organisations, and the Started Project – a consortium, of 6, project that helps promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the research and development area, through the shared flow of knowledge between higher educational institutions and businesses, funded by the European Commission and Erasmus+. 

Both projects have been a welcomed impact within the startup and innovation ecosystems; providing platforms, as well as direct skills and tools that contribute directly to Startup Europe’s mission to ‘connect startups, investors, accelerators, entrepreneurs, corporate networks, universities and the media through an array of networks.’

Together with Europa Media, EYIF, has assisted in highlighting events and reports of the MY-GATEWAY project at a European level as Startup Europe Ambassadors, allowing EYIF to take on a central role in Startup Europe, facilitated through the use of social media promotions and stakeholder communications at pan-European level, engaging with local and encompassing EU level ecosystems.

Also contributing to the mission statement to support the Digital Single Market; by assisting entrepreneurs in developing on a pan-European scale, by offering support to local ecosystems, encouraging startup creation and growth, connecting founders with relevant stakeholders, promotion capacity building programmes, and helping to shape policy recommendations and best practices, relayed throughout EYIF efforts such as the Women in Entrepreneurship Roadshow

Since the first Startup Europe Campfire event in Paris, in 2018, EYIF has supported MY-GATEWAY with these campfire events that help founders to reach policy makers and project managers in order to deliver information on how governments can assist in market access for entrepreneurs through policy, collaboration and partnerships.

During the two year run of the MY-GATEWAY project, campfire events were held three times (twice in 2018 and once in 2019), providing Startup Europe Ambassadors, like EYIF, to share their experiences and achievements, as key influences in the European startup ecosystem, acting as connectors to help build meaningful relationships on a local and pan-European level – particularly in the Central Eastern European regions. Also helping to facilitate and contribute to the monthly project meeting with the European Commission, which provided project updates, ideas and suggestions for local and EU level action.

Also supporting events such as the Startup Oléevent in Salamanca, which created a competition platform for startups to create innovative solutions targeted at startups in Romania, Czech Republic, and Slovenia, in March. As well as, Untold Stories, a one-of-a-kind event that brought together international speakers, mostly from Silicon Valley, to the Hungarian capital with the intention to strengthen the bond between the USA and the EU, in November. Along with skills learning workshops hosted in around the Balkans and Czech regions, to increase startup engagement and inclusion in those areas, across the course of the year. 

Untold Stories promotional banner

Along with MY-GATEWAY, EYIF also helped to disseminate the ‘Talent Acquisition Model’ report produced in partnership with the European Commission and Startup Europe, written by Annesh Zutshi, Belma Rizvanic, and Tahereh Nodehi. As well as the ‘Technology Transfer Methodology’ report, also produced in partnership with the European Commission and Startup Europe, written by Eli Even, Frosina Ilievska, and Gabriella Lovasz. Both reports analysed and  measured entrepreneurial market gaps and identified effective policy decisions to be implemented to improve the status quo. Illustrating how successful entrepreneurial ecosystems develop when a strong technology transfer dynamic is present, promoting the link between universities, researchers, entrepreneurs through a structured strategy.

MY-GATEWAY reports

The report was able to provide several elements of additional value, for instance updating the measure of HR to take into account the entrepreneurial ecosystem in university such as the OECD ‘Guiding Framework for Entrepreneurial Universities,’ and the development of 21st Century Skills.

During its two year run the MY-GATEWAY project has been able to identify 10 capability gaps in current support in the Central Eastern European ecosystem, providing an insightful approach to what indicators should be measured and tracked to support reforms in the region such as; accessibility to funding, awareness raising for available support opportunities, improvement of entrepreneurial education and training, and the current insufficient cooperation with universities, students and R&D departments. These findings are outlined in the MY-GATEWAY report ‘Boosting the growth potential of CEE start-ups on a pan-European level by creating new opportunities, synergies and opening the GATE of Startup Europe to the Balkans,’ produced by Penka Fileva, Startups.be and Krisztina Toth and Frosina Ilievska, Europa Media, and provide a clear path for collaboration withEYIFs other EU funded project, Started Project, in order to create valuable impact synergies for both projects due to its involvement in the academia and research sectors. 

As for the Started Project, EYIF has been fortunate enough to partner with the project from incubation to fruition, from their first coordination meeting in Galway, Ireland, in January, to the launch of the ResearchInno database – the first database designed for academic researchers who want to take their ideas onto the entrepreneurial stage, run in partnership with Crunchbase, in November during the Smart Regions 3.0 Conference, in Brussels, Belgium.

Started Project stand at the Smart Regions 3.0 Conference

In consortium with IESE Business School, NUI Galway, Venture Hub, RomaTre and Translated, EYIF, has been able to support the project with its goal to  ‘Support Researchers to Create Innovation-Driven Enterprises in Europe,’ through the promotion of R&D skills workshops, and also contributing to the collaborative report ‘Technology Transfer – Commercializing Discoveries at Research Centers Through Linked Innovation’ report – which provides the mechanisms to move away from broken, to more linked innovation informed by four-years of analysis of 3,881 research centers in 107 countries.

With the decade nearing its end, EYIF intends to finish as it started at the beginning in 2010:


“I am honoured to be part of two ambitious projects that will have a real impact on the overall European technology sector. With one having worked on  developing and nurturing the CEE region startup ecosystem. And the other ensuring that more technology transfers occur from university to commercial products. With both projects allowing for EYIF to concrete its central stakeholder role into the European Innovation ecosystem, on the front foot of its development, a role that we will continue to take on in the new year.” – Nicholas Zyberglajt, EYIF President.

EYIF will continue to contribute to the reinforcement of the startup and innovation ecosystem in Europe, and beyond as we go forward into 2020.

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