European Startup Universe is the biggest project for tech startups, connecting hundreds of early-stage startups with the brightest minds of the diaspora – established founders, well-known investors, great engineers, academics, and experts – through open online programs. It promotes the creation of an all-inclusive ecosystem in the European tech market.
With programs in 8 different European countries, supported by ecosystem stakeholders from over 25 countries, 58 speakers, 160 experts – lawyers, accountants, business advisors, mentors -, 40 European Union-originated tech Angel Investors and over 1,000 startups with over 2,000 founders, the main challenge was on how this enormous number of ecosystem stakeholders involved, would all coexist at one virtual place and cooperate in a manner that tons of value would come out of it. All this, whilst providing an effortless experience to the participating founders.
In light of the ongoing effects of SAR-CoV-2 and the practical challenges of physically gathering teams and companies from across Europe, the European Startup Universe has opted for a fully virtual program. They recognized that to facilitate productive work among stakeholders without interference, they needed a well-organized, easy-to-use, and functionally developed solution. After experiencing great success with the Foundehood platform during the Greek Startup Universe last year, they decided it had everything they needed for this major initiative. Through the platform, national programs offered online 1-on-1 sessions, live videos, video libraries, educational materials, participation in an active community through a forum, group sessions, customizability, an all-in-one place for startups, and perks from program partners. This allowed national teams and ecosystem stakeholders to join forces, creating massive momentum and value for founders during national 6-week programs.
After months of intense organizing and coordination between the different national teams, European Startup Universe and Founderhood, on the 1st of March European Startup Universe launched 8 national programs, in Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Luxemburg, Slovenia, Spain, Hungary, Croatia. Under the auspices of the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the European Committee of the Regions, ESU with over 26,000 hours of volunteer work managed to create a direct impact on over 10,000 people, Over the course of the programs more than 28 workshops, 8 live Q&A group sessions, and 53 office-hours meetings took place, 58 speakers and 160+ experts participated in what can be translated as one of the biggest such programs ever ran in the European Union. With more than 2,000 founders participating, with 28% of them being women – compared to Greek Startup Universe 24% - the impact was groundbreaking. After the completion of the programs, startups that stayed consistent throughout these 6 weeks were over 100 and were introduced to 40 Angel Investors with the possibility to access a pool of funding that overgrew the amount of 50 million euros. Interestingly and impressively European Startup Universe managed to increase its startup portfolio by 300% compared to last year’s program.
"The features of the platform were very staright forward, user-friendly, helped us to get the most out of every aspect, and we had everything in an all inclusive environment. Essentially they assisted us to streamline everything."
Head organizer of European Startup Universe Cyprus program