Tag Archives: europe

How can market signals contribute to public startup funding?


The EU Commission has invited me to participate in a series of very interesting discussions about how to help tech entrepreneurs in the EU. The conversations have been very interesting and have given me the opportunity to exchange with entrepreneurs, universities, public and private organizations, and experts that support the development of startups in Europe.

One of the things that we discussed is how should to ensure that public funding on early stage startups does not bias the market, incentivising “good” ideas that nobody really cares about and ignoring others that are more needed.

My proposal, shared by other participants, is to follow market signals, so that it is the market that chooses and the public sector only reenforces those choices.

But the question is, which market signals?

Coinvesting is a good way to follow the market lead, but it should be investment from private investors, not from guarantee funds or banks (there are already mechanisms for that). They have a higher commitment to the success of the company, after all they’ve bet some of their own money in it. 

The selection of the startups by a group of investors and entrepreneurs to participate in accelerator programs is also a good signal. They usually invest based on the quality of the team of people joining. It is not a school, they have very limited seats available and they work hard to help the startups grow quick. They have some skin in the choice (but are not fully committed.) The equity parts of these programmes are usually passive, they don’t take part in the . They just wait for 5 or more years for a possible exit or buyout. To really make a difference they should also put their own money in the startups, commit themselves, not just distribute somebody else’s funds.

These are some example of accelerator programs and of a public investment scheme to promote web entrepreneurship. 

  • Enterprise Ireland: €50 000 for new startups and €250 000 in coinvestment, companies have to setup shop in Ireland and 10% of the company goes to EI. 
  • Y-combinator: acts as a fund on top of accelerating a very select group of startups. Investments of up to US$80 000 for the next batch in exchange of 2-10% participation. 
  • TechStars: US$18 000 to the selected participant startups plus a convertible loan of US$100 000, in exchange of +- 6% equity.
  • Wayra: US$ 50 000 in exchange of 5-10% of the equity.

Sales would be too tricky to take into consideration, with a lot of different schemes and most of the startups would be to early in their development to have any sales at all. 

In my view, it would be even more interesting to incentivate the investment with a tax-shelter for early stage investment. There are already mechanisms like this in France and the UK where what the tax-shelters are doing is taking out part of the risk. One way to do this could be to create a European fund that would give part of the money back in case of a failure, but the investment has to fall within the scope and be registered when it is done, not after.

How would you do it?

European Business Angel Associations List (members of EBAN)

AUSTRIA Austria Wirtschaftsservice (AWS) Network  www.awsg.at 
BELARUS BAVIN Network www.bavin.by
BELGIUM Be Angels Network www.beangels.be
  BAN Vlaanderen Network  www.banvlaanderen.be 
  WABAN  Associate  www.waban.be 
  IntesaSanpaolo Eurodesk S.p.r.l.  Associate www.intesasanpaoloeurodesk.com 
  IBBT Associate  www.ibbt.be 
CROATIA CRANE – Croatian Business Angels Network  Network  www.crane.ini.hr 
FINLAND Veraventure Ltd  Network  www.veraventure.fi 
  FiBAN Network  www.fiban.org 
FRANCE  FranceAngels  Federation  www.franceangels.org 
  Sophia Business Angels Network  www.sophiabusinessangels.com 
  Business Angels Nord de France  Network 


  Paris Business Angels  Network  www.parisbusinessangels.com 
  UNICer – National Ass. of the investors in regional enterprises Associate  www.unicer.asso.fr 
  Gilles Mougenot Affiliate   
  Phil Dardier Affiliate   
GERMANY BAND – Business Angels Netzwerk Deutschland e.V. Federation  www.business-angels.de 
  netzwerk nordbayern  Network  www.netzwerk-nordbayern.de 
  Business Angels Agentur Ruhr Network  www.baar-ev.de 
  BANSON  Network  www.banson.net 
  Peter Jungen Holding  Associate   
GREECE Virtual Trip Group  Early Stage Fund  www.vtripgroup.com 
  Hellenic Organisation of SMEs and Handicraft Associate  www.eommex.org 
IRELAND HALO Business Network (HBN) Federation www.halobusinessnetwork.com 
  The Association of E.C. Business & Innovation Centres in Ireland Network  www.businessangels.ie 
ITALY IBAN – Italian Business Angels Network  Federation  www.iban.it 
  Italian Angels for Growth Network  www.italianangels.net 
  META Group S.r.l. Early Stage Fund www.meta-group.com 
  FILAS  Associate  www.filas.it 
  Dr. Laurenne Hemily-Figus Affiliate   
LUXEMBOURG Luxembourg Business Angels Network  Network  www.lban.lu


Angelo Dalli  Affiliate www.charonite.com 


BAN Nederland Federation  www.bannederland.nl 
  Angel Wings Ventures BV Early Stage Fund  www.angelwingsventures.com 
  Development Agency East Netherlands – OOST NV Network  www.meestersvandetoekomst.nl 
  BID Network Foundation Network  www.bidnetwork.org 
  Maxwell Group Network  www.maxwellgroup.nl 
  PYMWYMIC Network  www.pymwymic.com 
  Mind Hunter Corporate Finance & Capital Search Network  www.pymwymic.com 
NORWAY CONNECT Vest Business Angel Network Network  www.mindhunter.com 
  NORBAN Network  www.norban.no 
POLAND AMBER BAN – Polish Entrepreneurs Foundation Network  www.amberinvest.org 
  Lewiatan Business Angels Network  www.lba.pl 
  Gildia Anio??ów Biznesu Network  www.aniolybiznesu.org 
  Secus Wsparcie Biznesu Sp. z o.o.  Network  www.secus.pl 
  Polish Investment Fund Early Stage Fund  www.pif.pl 
  Academic Entrepreneurship Incubators Associate  www.inkubatory.pl 


FNABA – Federacao Nacional de Associacoes de Business Angels  Federation  www.fnaba.org 
  APBA – Associacao Portuguesa de Business Angels Federation  www.apba.pt 
  Gesventure  Network  www.gesventure.pt 
  IAPMEI – Portuguese Agency for Companies Associate  www.iapmei.pt 
RUSSIA RUSSBA – The National Union of Business Angels of Russian Federation  Federation  www.russba.ru 
  NBAA (Russia) Federation  www.rusangels.ru 
SLOVAKIA Neulogy  Network  www.neulogy.com 
SPAIN ESBAN – Red Espanola de Business Angels  Federation  www.esban.com 
  AEBAN – Associación Espanola de Business Angels Networks Federation  www.aeban.org 
  ACC1Ó Federation www.acc10.cat 
  BANC  Network  www.bancat.com 
  GOBAN – CEEIs Castilla-La Mancha/BICs  Network  www.gobanclm.com 
  UNIBAN Network  www.uniban.org 
  BAN Madri+d Network  www.madrimasd.org/emprendedores/
  IESE BAN Network  www.iese.edu/businessangels 
  INNOBAN Network  www.businessangelsinnoban.es
  ESADE BAN Network  www.esadealumni.net 
  Fundación Zaragoza Conocimiento  Network  www.fundacionzcc.org 
  MRE, S.L.  Network 
  Orkestra, Basque Institute of Competitiveness Associate www.orkestra.deusto.es 
  ALMIBAN (ALMI Stockholm BAN) Network  www.almiban.se 
  Almi Invest Early Stage Fund www.almiinvest.se 
  Tillväxtverket  Associate  www.tillvaxtverket.se 
SWITZERLAND SECA – The Swiss Private Equity & Corporate Finace Association  Federation  www.seca.ch 
  Mountain Partners Early Stage Fund  www.mountain-partners.ch 
  CTI – Commission for Technology and Innovation Associate  www.kti.admin.ch 
TURKEY TBAA (Business Angels Association – Turkey) Federation  www.melekyatirimcilardernegi.org 
  METUTECH BAN  Network  www.metutech.metu.edu.tr 
  Galata Business Angels Network  www.galatabusinessangels.com 
  ??nventram A.S. Early Stage Fund  www.inventram.com 
  Angel Wings Ventures BV Early Stage Fund  www.angelwingsventures.com 
  ETOHUM  Associate www.etohum.com/ 
  TURKCELL Associate www.turkcell.com.tr
  OzU Startup Factory Associate www.girisimfabrikasi.com
  Firat Yucesoy (Caretta Freight Forwarding) Affiliate  www.carettafreight.com 
UK LINC Scotland Federation  www.lincscot.co.uk 
  BBAA – British Business Angels Association Federation  www.bbaa.org.uk 
  London Business Angels Network  www.lbangels.co.uk 
  Finance South East Limited  Network  www.financesoutheast.co.uk 
  Halo Network  www.nisp.co.uk 
  SWAIN – South West Angel & Investor Network Network  www.swain.org.uk 
  NESTA Associate  www.nesta.co.uk 
  Exemplas Associate www.exemplas.com 
  ClearlySo Associate www.clearlyso.com 
  DFJ Esprit Associate www.dfjesprit.com 
  Louis Loizou Affiliate   
  Actrea Capital Affiliate  www.actreacapital.com 
  Jim Penberthy (Penberthy Consulting)  Affiliate   
CROSS BORDER BUSINESS ANGEL NETWORKS Go Beyond Ltd Network  www.go-beyond.biz 
  Media-Deals Network  www.media-deals.org 
  Quantum Board GmbH Network  www.quantumboard.eu 
INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS INSME – International Network for SMEs Associate  


AUSTRALIA Australian Association of Angel Investors  Associate www.aaai.net.au 
CANADA NACO – National Angel Capital Organisation  Associate  www.angelinvestor.ca 
NEW ZEALAND Angel Association New Zealand  Associate  www.angelassociation.co.nz 
USA Angel Capital Association (ACA)  Associate  www.angelcapitalassociation.org 
  National Association of Seed and Venture Funds (NASVF) Associate www.nasvf.org 
  ACTE Associate www.acte.org 
  Kaushal Chokhi (Quickstart Global)  Affiliate www.quickstartglobal.com 
EUROPEAN ASSOCIATIONS EBN – European Business Incubation Centre Network  Associate   www.ebn.be 
  EFMD – European Foundation for Management Development Associate   www.efmd.org 
ANIMA – Investment Network Associate   www.anima.coop

??Quieres presentar en LeWeb? Loogic.com

El mayor evento Europeo en torno a Internet vuelve a su cita anual parisina los próximos 8 y 9 de diciembre. En LeWeb se juntarán 2400 emprendedores, líderes, inversores, bloggers y periodistas. Es uno de las grandes acontecimientos mundiales que copan la información y en el que este año puedes acabar presentando tú.

Sí quieres tomar la palabra ante los asistentes de LeWeb tienes una gran oportunidad. Dentro del programa de LeWeb se va a celebrar un Ignite. Se trata de un conjunto de presentaciones de 5 minutos y 20 diapositivas para compartir un tema que te apasione (cualquiera excepto vender tus servicios o tu empresa). Su filosofía es “ilumínanos, pero hazlo rápido”.

Para que os hagáis una idea de las presentaciones que pueden hacerse en Ignite, aquí tenéis un vídeo muy interesante computación en la nube:

El plazo para inscribirse en este Ignite especial acaba este jueves 11 de noviembre a las 7 de la mañana hora española (medianoche del 10 de noviembre en San Francisco).

Espero que podamos ver alguna presentación con acento español.

Do you want to present at LeWeb Paris 2010? You have a chance to do so in their Ignite section. Sign up before Wednesday at midnight San Francisco time.

Europe Facebook Usage Statistics Map


A belated thank you post to Mathieu for making this map of Facebook’s colonization of Europe using Facebook’s own data in their advertising section. It presents the percentage of the population of each country that uses Facebook.

I wonder if they count active users or all people that have subscribed.

Europe’s Blooming Tech Entrepreneurs

The Economist has published a very interesting article on the blooming tech entrepreneur sceene in Europe and the main differences with the USA.

The two things that struck me the most were:??

  • The seed and start-up venture capital structure in Europe.
  • The shocking list of the barriers to entrepreneurship index made by the OECD. Italy, Spain and Sweden have lower barriers than the USA.

It has also left me thinking about the Venture Capital divide.

Great food for thought.

European Blogosphere Stats (Campus Party Europe Presentation)

Last April I participated in the coordination of the Bloggers area of the Campus Party Europe in Madrid. This was possible thanks to Jonan Basterra and Marcos Morales the masterminds behind Pixel y Dixel.

Beyond the great experience of spending a few days in a super-geeky event, I also had the opportunity to prepare with Jonan this study about the perception of the European Blogosphere based on the responses given by European bloggers invited to Campus Party Europe. This is not a scientific work, it is fully subjective but still bears a lot of interesting information that prompted a very interesting debate with my copresenter Ben Hammersley and with the audience.

The presentation starts by giving some numbers to make it easier to understand and manage the magnitudes of the numbers we talk about. It then dives into the responses given to the survey, which for me raises a lot of questions, and that really helped to spark the debate.

The presentation was broadcasted live by the event organizers, but I have not been able to find that video. Luckily, the people of Puntotic recorded the conference on their own and shared it with the world.


The European Blogosphere – Presentation Transcript


  1. The European Blogosphere??

    Campus Party Europe 2010

    Monday, May 17 2010

  2. Europe

    ??? 501.259.840 people
    ??? 27 countries
    ??? 23 of???cial languages

  3. Europe

    ??? 501.259.840 people
    ??? 27 countries
    ??? 23 of???cial languages

    ??? 306.050.595 people
    ??? 1 country
    ??? 1 national language

  4. Europe

    ??? 501.259.840 people
    ??? 27 countries
    ??? 23 of???cial languages

    ??? 450.000.000
    native speakers

  5. Blogs in Europe

    ??? 15-20 million blogs*

    * Estimate??

  6. Blogs in Europe

    ??? 15-20 million blogs
    More active countries

    ??? France
    ??? United Kingdom
    ??? Poland
    ??? Spain
    ??? Finland

  7. The blogosphere??debate

    ??? Nicole Simon, Cruel to Be Kind. Interview by Jean-Yves Huwart for GlobeCorp


  8. TOP European??blogs??

    6 Political, 4 Tech

    3 English, 3 Spanish, 2 German, 1 Italian & 1 French

  9. Top 50 European blogs (Alianzo)
  10. Iain Dale’s Diary
  11. Netzpolitik.org
  12. L’espresso blog

  13. #cpartyeu Survey??

  14. Subject of the European blogs

    others 7%

    Gossip&Celebrities ??17%


    Technology 49%??

  15. Age of European blogs

    < 1 year ??6%

    > 1 year 6%

    > 4 years 34%

    > 2 years 27%

    > 3 years 26%

  16. Professional Bloggers:??Are there bloggers in??your country that make a??living blogging?

    I???m Not sure 18%

    NO 13%


  17. Are there blog networks in your country?

    I don???t know????32%


    NO 13%??

  18. Are blogs anonymous or signed by authors with their real name?

    anonymous (alias) ??32%

    real name??68%

    lunes 17 de mayo de 2010

  19. Gender division:??Women in the blogosphere???

    women ??30%

    men 70%

  20. Evolution of blogs in??Europe:??Blogging is???

    Booming 40%??

    Stable 52%

    Deteriorating 8%

  21. Blog domains:??Do European blogs have their own domain???



  22. Platform: Which blog???s CMS is??most used in Europe?

    Blogger 16%

    Others 6%??


  23. Traditional Media:??Do Newspapers, TV,??radio, etc. in your??country have blogs?

    Very few do??15%

    None do 2%

    Most do 37%

    Some do??46%

  24. Blogger Meetings???Are there blogger??meetings or blogger??events often in your??country?

    NO 25%??


  25. Bloggers in social media > bloggers also??use:






  26. Evolution of blogs in Europe

    ??? Downward trend 2009
    ??? Upward trend early 2010

    ??? Social Networks??

  27. Evolution of blogs in Europe

    ??? Page views no longer relevant: impact of social networks.

    ??? Networked in???uence

  28. Thank You! ??Muchas gracias!
    Survey & Work made

    Jonan Basterra @Pixel_Jonan

    Ram??n Su??rez @ramonsuarez