EYIF: Stalled but not suspendedMay 26, 2020
Despite our abrupt stall in physical activity, the European Young Innovators Forum’s (EYIF) Women in Entrepreneurship Roadshow (WER) project is one of the marked achievements for our organisation in both 2019, and now in 2020.
The WER project has assisted in the development of EYIF’s missions and values as we enter our 10th year of activity. Starting in March 2019, the WER project aimed to reach, connect, and build a network of 300 entrepreneurs with 30 investors across the pan-European landscape.
Over a ten months period, EYIF, with the support of the U.S. Mission to the EU and Startup Europe, visited nine cities in Europe, with the 10th stop in Paris, France scheduled for March 2020 unfortunately cancelled due to the restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Although, the impact of COVID-19 has provided a welcomed expansion of EYIF into the virtual and online market, through our recently launched webinar series. The EYIF Webinars (also known as the WER Webinars) were first launched in March 2020, as part of EYIF’s response to the coronavirus pandemic that, like many others, shifted our work style to more adaptable methods.
In order to help sustain ourselves as well as those in our growing network and community, the first set of four webinars focused on the theme of adaptable working, showcasing alternative solutions to traditional office working, and highlighted the EU SME support for entrepreneurs in the forums community, existing and expanding.
Centred around the three key themes of fundraising, remote working, and public funds, the webinars provided practical and applicable skills and learnings to participants on how to maintain business progression and growth through a global crisis that has seen a downturn in economic activity worldwide.
Nevertheless, between March 2019 and January 2020 to EYIF aided in the progress of 270 women entrepreneurs from across the European landscape (out of 600+ applications) through the WER project. Facilitating the introductions with 122 top level mentors, from inside and outside the entrepreneurs’ ecosystem. Providing a platform for discussion on barriers and solutions for women entrepreneurs from 55 insightful investors. As well as building partnerships with 156 businesses and organisations to further the projects reach and create a network of opportunity.
With the project being internationally recognised by the US Department of State in their International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) award, which listed EYIF President, Nicholas Zylberglajt amongst the Top 10 global leaders out of more than 40,000 others who have participated since the creation of the programme.
Along with the WER project, EYIF has also been actively involved in the STARTED Project since 2018. The Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance project facilitated by the European Commission aims to reinforce and structure a European network for promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in the R&D area (via the ResearchInno network), while improving the flow of knowledge and win-win cooperation between HEIs and businesses.
Working in consortium with innovators and higher education institutes (HEIs) in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, France, and Spain, EYIF has helped in the STARTED Project’s growth by disseminating information related to project events and milestones; such as research and development skills learning workshops, and the ResearchInno Database, as well as providing communications support for internal and external project material for partners, stakeholders, and institutional bodies in our role as Network Administrator.
Also notably, contributing to the collaborative report on ‘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 centres in 107 countries published in 2019.
EYIF’s directive and directive adjacent roles in both WER and Started Project have assisted in building upon EYIF’s existing role as pan-European innovators, through our support of all parties involved in the start-up and innovation ecosystem from researchers to entrepreneurs, as well as leading investors and top mentors creating a vibrant and fruitful network that we are proud to welcome as part of the EYIF Community.
“I am proud about the team’s achievements in 2019. Consolidating a strong position in innovation and open innovation and tech transfers while leading the way on diversity in the tech ecosystem, this has been a very fruitful year for EYIF. We demonstrated strong resilience in transitioning to a new leadership in the organisation and showed how sustainable organisations should work; by bringing value and leadership to their communities” – Nicholas Zylberglajt, EYIF President