Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Work session 2 - SMEs going digital, entrepreneurship and Startup Europe


Technology is disrupting industries like music, education, healthcare, retail and more. Today's agile and innovative startups compete with large corporations and they are able to do it successfully. Disruptive technologies companies like Spotify and Soundcloud are the new MP3 player, Hailo and Gettaxi are disrupting the taxi industry. The European Hubs are a magnet of innovative startups creation and accelerating their growth. 

There are more than 1000 EU startups that build on top of technologies such as social media, mobility and cloud computing and aim to become future unicorns. More than 30 of them exist today in Europe, but how can we double or triple this number in the years to come?


Click to show the agenda
  • 14.00 - Introduction and results of the online discussion

  • 14.10 - Panel discussion:
    Building European Startup Hubs

  • 15.00 - Keynote speech: TechAllStars experience

  • 15.10 - Panel discussion
    Scaling-up Europe through industry disruption and the next generation of innovation champions

  • 15.50pm - Discussion, closing remarks, results from webvoting and networking.

You might also be interested about the Creative Shift Forum.

Search in discussions

How to increase the success factors of a tech startup to grow and internationalize its activities?

Whereas Europe’s diversity is a strength in many ways, our distributed markets, national regulations and cultural differences are certainly hampering pan-European scaling of our digital startups and SMEs, encouraging many entrepreneurs to set up shop in Anglo-Saxon countries and more unified markets instead. 

How to solve the funding gap for startups and SMEs in Europe through other means than adding funds?

The funding gap – especially in the later stages – has proven to be a big drawback in the growth of our digital companies. European VC investment totaled $5.7 billion in 2012 with 1,074 investment rounds, while the U.S figure hit $29.7 billion with over three times the number of investment rounds, according to figures from EY.

How could we move from the many EU Startup Hubs to a more integrated strategy for helping entrepreneurs flourish in Europe?

Entrepreneurship, which has been the engine for growth in the United States, has not been cultivated in an effective or systematic way in Europe. To create more businesses and more startups requires more than a change in policy. It requires a change in mentality.

Welcome to the discussion

In view of the Digital Action Day workshop on Digital Entrepreneurship, we open this space to prepare the debate and focus the scope of the discussion with the widest range of participants.


Karen Boers (CEO of will be moderating this forum and posing questions on a weekly basis.