“Bottom-up approach is our answer to the President Juncker’s five scenarios for EU's future. Regions and cities are key players in creating conditions supporting the start-ups to succeed in Europe, ” addressed Markku Markkula, the 1st Vice President of the European Committee of the Regions in the workshop A regional Start-up and Scale-up initiative – learning from iEER project and its regions.

A regional Start-up and Scale-up initiative – learning from iEER project and its regions -workshop  was organised by the European Commission DG Grow, European Committee of Region and the iEER Interreg Europe project on 11th October in Brussels. The workshop is part of European Week of Regions and Cities official programme in 2017 and it attracted nearly 140 participants representing local and regional authorities, universities, entrepreneurs and business development agencies in learning how to boost start-ups to scale up at the local and regional level.

Following the opening addressed by 1st Vice President Markkula, the workshop moderator Katarzyna Balucka-Debska from DG Grow, introduced the Start-up and Scale-up Initiative launched last year by the European Commission.  She emphasised that the DG Grow encouraged the European local and regional authorities to take ownership and create an environments where the start-ups can excel and scale up. She also encouraged the participants in the workshop to use this occasion to create connections and collect ideas for future actions.

Ms. Adi Barel from Tel Aviv Global stated that ambitions to grow and a culture of daring are one of the elements why start-ups in Tel Aviv succeed in scale-up compared with many other countries. She further added that “because Israel is a small country and Tel Aviv a small city, our start-ups are born with a DNA of global ambitions. In addition, Tel Aviv strives to be a start-up friendly city by breaking municipal tax, providing co-working space and soft-landing services, promoting Tel Aviv as a beta site, establishing city to city collaborations, and providing innovation visa.”

Adi Barel described the entrepreneurial culture of Tel Aviv - there is a culture of taking risks and not being afraid of failing.

With the experience from Tel Aviv as a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem, successful strategies from European Entrepreneurial Award winning regions were also shared by the regions of Valencia and Southern Denmark.  Mr. Francisco Álvarez shared the experience from Valencia that the key elements of an entrepreneurial ecosystem for the regional authority is the governance, coordination, measure and monitoring. The authorities should be selective and improve the most significant factors or barriers relevant to the regions in concerned. In response, Ms. Dorthe Kusk presented how Southern Denmark mobilized the actions supporting start-ups through its regional programme Scale-up Denmark.

Ms. Dorthe Kusk told about the work of Scale-Up Denmark.

As catalogues for the workshop participants to boost cooperation between regions and to enlarge the market and opportunities for best companies in Europe to strive globally, Ms. Christine Chang, shared how iEER Interreg Europe supports the development of start-up policies in ten European regions and Mr. Carsten Schierenbeck, European Commission DG Grow presented and stressed how the clustering policy can fuel up the growth and scale up through cross-border clustering actions.

At the end of the workshop, EC DG Grow Officer Andre Meyer invited all the participants to activate in the EC’s effort of supporting start-ups to scale in Europe. Using the knowledge and networks that they have gained from the workshop creates joint actions.

All the presentations are available here. Pictures taken from EWRC Flickr account.