3. September 2013–
Setting up a startup in the EU can be difficult, especially if you're planning to work across borders. In the latest development of the EU Commission's campaign to bolster tech entrepreneurship, it has introduced the concept of an E-Corp – a new type of cross-European corporation that could be set up in under 24 hours.
Since March 2013, The Startup Europe Leaders Club – an independent group of star entrepreneurs created by VP of the European Commission Neelie Kroes, and which includes Spotify founder Daniel Ek and Seedcamp cofounder Reshma Sohoni among others – has been formulating a manifesto aimed at powering economic growth in the region.
New ideas: E-Corp and governments buying from startups
Following the Founders Forum in London in June, initial recommendations were outlined in a draft sent to the media. Though most of the manifesto remains the same, the E-Corp concept is a new and interesting addition.
In theory, it sounds like a great way to simplify the creation of businesses "and make it easy for cross-border investments to flow from investors in one country to companies in another". However, with "unified requirements across the EU" and promises that it "can be done by anyone in under 24 hours", it'll be interesting to see it in practice (if it even materialises).
Another interesting point that wasn't addressed in the manifesto's initial draft, but is present in the updated version is the call for EU governments to "buy more from smaller businesses". According to the recommendations, the majority of government procurement contracts are currently filled by large corporations and a shift to committing a portion of their contracts to smaller companies could help kickstart entrepreneurial growth in their countries.
Call for action
The unveiling of the refined Startup Europe Manifesto was accompanied with a slick new website that calls for support from entrepreneurs, investors and advisors. People can now sign the manifesto and provide feedback in order to "ensure that proposals are as robust and actionable" ahead of policy meetings to be held in Brussels in October.
"Now's a turning point for Europe. And now's the time to start making a noise. We know this sector is essential to our future; now we need to hear its voice, and mobilise. So if you agree — or disagree – with what we're discussing today, then make sure decision-makers know about it," said Kroes in a speech addressing the economic significance of digital entrepreneurship at the Startup Europe Forum in London yesterday.
"Make sure they know what matters to you and your business. Make sure that they know how important startups and innovation are to our economy. Make sure they know that this is a changing world, and that outdated structures need to change too."
Startup Europe – flickr user Campus Party Europe in Berlin
For related posts, check out:
Startup visas and new data laws: Startup Europe Leaders Club reveals manifesto
EU launches Startup Europe and Leaders Club to bolster support for entrepreneurs
EU announces €100m fund for entrepreneurs and SMEs to boost the European startup scene