We have just finished our 6-week all-online collaborative “DEEPSEA” program for startup ecosystem builders running from 18th May – 23rd June 2020. The program brought together 32 ecosystem leaders from Europe, South Africa, Russia, and Brazil to provide a comprehensive overview of trends in ecosystem building, work on new joint projects, build meaningful relationships and extend their global network.
During the 6-week project phase, participants have been forming cross-border teams and with the assistance of mentors have developed innovative projects to grow the European ecosystem.
Here is the list of teams with their projects:
- Primary & Secondary Entrepreneurial Education
Team members: Roberto Napoli (University of Trento) , Ionut Amariei (Rubik Hub), and Gloria Cannone (University of Trento)
The project aims to connect high schools with research centers and innovation hubs in the knowledge-intensive region of Trentino in Italy. The ultimate goal is to develop an entrepreneurial mindset to foster innovation and start up creation.
- How to Make More Informed Decisions to Support Entrepreneurial Communities by Using a Tool and Data
Team members: Benjamin Meier (Swisscontact), Gil Baxpehler (Köln Business), Arturo Guizar (Freelancer), and Adina Simionescu (Rubik Hub)
There are many different elements that make up the entrepreneur’s ecosystem which eventually contribute to the success, or failure, of an entrepreneurial venture. The team worked on building a dashboard (prototype) to systematically track indicators that drive ecosystem vibrancy. It is targeted to ecosystem builders such as Economic Development Agency who aim to strategically develop a city or regional ecosystem and act as a neutral organization.
- Retaining Entrepreneurs in Smaller Regions
Team members: Giorgia Tirel (NOI Bolzano), Luka Prisunjak (Swisscontact), Diletta Pegoraro (University of Trento), David Hess (Hessen Trade & Invest), and Ela Asaftei (Rubik Hub)
More people are moving to bigger cities and smaller regions are left behind. Thus it is crucial to retain people in small regions creating an attractive place that draws in capital and skilled and driven people, by supporting skills development, providing inspiration and creating a positive perception of the area by promoting entrepreneurship and an entrepreneurial mind-set.
- Fostering Collaboration Between Universities And Industry
Team members: Milica Pejovic (University of Trento) and Alexander Grau (Hessen Trade & Invest)
Universities in Europe are still very traditional in their focus on research and education, trying to separate themselves from the economy. While European universities provide high-quality education and excel at research, they still insufficiently nurture an entrepreneurial mindset and innovation spirit among students and faculties. The project is designed to fill in this gap between academia and industry by providing a set of possible activities that would help universities and businesses collaborate and mutually reap benefits from these partnerships.
- Activating SMEs for Collaborations with Startups
Team members: Patrizia Deltedesco (NOI Bolzano), Christian Langenberg (Fidelity Investments), Florent Bardy (Area42), and Nicklas Pavoncelli (TechBBQ)
Open innovation is key to the success of many companies. It is based on the intelligent use of all possible resources, including collaborations with parties outside the firm. Although it is well known that large companies foster and use startups as experiments in their innovation process, little is known about similar activities with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The team brainstormed on possible partnership opportunities between startups and SMEs.
- Attracting International Founders and Investors to Emerging Ecosystems
Team members: Nina Nikolikj (Swisscontact), Valentin Toc (Rubik Hub), and Mckevin Ayaba (Global Startup Awards)
Attracting international investors and founders to an emerging market can be a daunting task. It requires time, effort, a lot of confidence in your ecosystem and support from the government. But with the right tools you can get international attention. The team tried to identify incentives to attract international founders and investors to micro-ecosystems.
- Virtual Network to Unite all European Ecosystems
Team members: Richard Murphy (Fidelity Investments), Elena Klimshina (Ingria Business Incubator), Vlad Gliga (Rubik Hub), and Felix Garriau (Area42)
Europe is fragmented by administrative country borders, as well by different cultures, languages, legislations, all these creating communication and collaboration barriers. The team tried to sketch the EU Startup Community Platform where all EU ecosystem players come together to help HUB Leaders & Startup Communities Leaders to better support their portfolio of startups and co-create the innovation the world needs, allowing startups to live & work from their home communities and not having to move to the “major” startup hubs present in Europe.
- Attracting Corporates to Collaborate with NOT Only Invest in Startups
Team members: Jenny Berthling (Invest Stockholm), Vladimir Corda (Swisscontact), Guilherme Rosa (Constellatio Open Innovation), and Eoghan Considine (Fidelity Investments)
The team worked on setting up a pilot programme engaging Brazilian corporates and the Stockholm startup ecosystem in order to validate the proposed framework to improve connections and value exchange between the parts.
We are extremely proud of all teams and what they have achieved in this short period of time. It is our ambition to help them continue and succeed by providing them visibility and connections to further collaborators and partners.
We will be making sure to promote it in our network of international investors, ecosystem builders and innovator for maximum exposure.