Czech Republic takes part in the initiative to transform Europe into the new powerhouse for startups

Published: 28.05.2021 Related countries:  U.S.A. U.S.A.

Czech Republic takes part in the initiative to transform Europe into the new powerhouse for startups

During the virtual EU Startup Summit held on May 10 the EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel met with the leading independent startup ecosystem leaders from across the 27 member states. The event also saw the "Action Plan to Make Europe the new Global Powerhouse for Startups" unvailed. The initiative, supported by 27 national EU startup organisations, aims to increase the number of unicorns (privately owned companies valued at over $1 billion) tenfold in Europe over the next ten years. Commissioner Gabriel is responsible for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth in the EU. The initiative also represents a strengthening of relations between the startup sector and the European Commission.  

Currently, EU27 boasts more than 80.000 startups, of which 51 are unicorns. The investments raised by European startupstotalled 41 billion US dollars in 2020, up from 36,6 billion US dollars in 2019. It has been reported that during Q1 2021 27 innovative European companies got a valuation of more than 1 billion US dollars, based on their latest funding round. Atfirst glance, this is very positive news. However, a closer look reveals that only 7 of them are indeed present in the EU27and committed to remain there after the funding round, which paints a much bleaker picture. In the same period, the US produced 67 new unicorns.

"There is no reason why Europe could not outperform the US and China with respect to unicorn creation. I strongly believe we can and should increase the number of unicorns tenfold in ten years' time. Just look at Estonia, they are already doing it!" Peter Vesterbacka, FinEst Bay Area  

The "Action plan" includes a list of recommendations covering key areas including education, talent, diversity, tax incentives, stock options, and public procurement. The aim of the group is to provide feedback to the European Commission on how it can further support and promote European start-ups ecosystems and increase employment, innovation and exports across the EU over the next decade.  

"We have excellent startup best practices in different regions of Europe. We need the EC to partner with us in scaling them at the European level. We need European Innovation Cohesion" Markéta Přenosilová, CzechInvest.

Prepared by the team of foreign office CzechTrade and CzechInvest San Francisco