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European Startup Network: A Common Voice For Startups

The initiative to build and strengthen national startup ecosystems was officially launched in September. Karen Boers, co-founder of the ESN, explains the main objectives and what is coming up for the organization.

(Author: Gabriela Fernández / Image Credit: ESN)
What is the European Startup Network (ESN)?

The ESN constitutes the European umbrella organization representing startups. It brings together 16 democratically organized, non-profit and independent startup associations from the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and United Kingdom.

What is the main goal of the association?

The ESN’s main goal is to harmonize and empower European startup ecosystems with respect to entrepreneurial culture, market access, and the legal environment. Together with Lisa Schreier, we are the current directors of the ESN in Brussels and Berlin.

Which concrete actions will the ESN take to achieve its goals?

There are several things coming up for the organization. On one hand, we will focus on scientific research about the European startup ecosystem in order to create transparency and offer fact-based policy advice at the European level. To this end, the ESN is the editor of the European Startup Monitor (ESM), an annual study on startups and founder-friendly framework conditions in Europe. On the other hand, we also support the internationalization of startups and facilitate international go-to-market through the development of a soft landing program to ease startups into foreign markets. To that end, we have put together a delegation of startups from different countries to attend Slush, one of the biggest entrepreneur-driven conferences in the world, taking place in Helsinki at the end of November.


This article was first published in SILICON

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