Kosovo marks Startup Europe Week 2018

Startup Europe Week is an initiative implemented by SEW and promoted by the European Commission and Startup Europe. #SEW18 in Kosovo is co-organized by Innovation Centre Kosovo and financed by the EU Office in Kosovo.

European Commission’s Startup Europe Initiative’s main objective is to build a Startup Continent. A Startup Continent is real if startup ecosystems in all Member States are strong and establish meaningful connections one with each other.

In this context, in its third year, Startup Europe Week’s general motto is about democratizing entrepreneurship taking advantage of local diversity across Europe. Democratising entrepreneurship has two dimensions: social and geographical.

On the social side: more and more startups are perceived by large parts of the population as an option limited to the kids of reach families. And we want to change this perception.

On the geographical side: tech entrepreneurship is concentrated in a few geographical areas and in some countries, as we can see in the comprehensive Atomico study “State of European Tech 2017”. There are 41 unicorns in Europe. None is from Southern Europe and only one is from CEE (Slovenia). Moreover, there is an outbound talent from Southern Europe and Central and Eastern Europe of between -8 to -12%. In the top countries, tech entrepreneurship is typically concentrated in one or two big cities. This situation needs to be reverted so that everybody in Europe has a fair chance to try (and fail if needed, but at least try).

Over the last decade, many global initiatives have been created to celebrate entrepreneurship. Typically, such events follow the Silicon Valley format (keynote motivational speeches, networking sessions etc). But Europe is different and requires something more when it comes to celebrating entrepreneurship to meet its peculiarities. Regional diversity and local policy-making still play a big role in shaping European startups. From helping entrepreneurs to incorporate a company, to providing grants or taxes breaks, European regions are key players. That is why we think it is critical to include the regions in this conversation. And that is exactly why we created the Startup Europe Week. And we did it, we had the first edition of Startup Europe Week, from 1st to 5th February 2016, with a kick-off event at the Committee of the Regions. During Startup Europe Week events we spoke about everything the regions are doing (and can do) to support European entrepreneurs. Of course, we will keep track of the bigger picture, but we know that only local actions can get you started! So we will maintain the format we had last year, the events, workshops, and speeches will be specifically relevant to your local reality.

These are some of the SEW goals:

– Showcase best initiatives promoted by regions to support entrepreneurs.
– Inform the local ecosystem about what already exists to help them now.
– Provide live consulting sessions on how to open a company, apply for a grant etc.
– Share among regional officers what other regions in Europe are doing and what can be leveraged locally.
– Connect regional officers, investors, and corporates to create stronger local ecosystems.

This is what you can find during SEW:

– Information sessions on local specific actions currently developed by your local authority to support entrepreneurs (i.e. grants, tax breaks, office space, funding etc.).
– Regional authorities will come to speak with you and make sure which current initiatives can benefit you and your startup
– Information sessions about Startup Europe projects and European Commission funds available for startups
– Office hours and workshops with regional representatives to guide entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs on topics in which they can help (i.e. how to incorporate a company, how to apply for a cohesion grant etc.)
– Great talks with local entrepreneurs and investors on how they smartly used the resources provided by the local authority to create or improve their businesses

Click HERE and pick your favorite #SEW2018 #SEWKosovo event.