Startup Europe Awards: Antonio Tajani: We should cultivate good ideas and help them to grow

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The StartUp Europe Awards initiative, promoted by the European Commission, supported by the President of the Committee of the Regions and implemented by the StartUp Europe Accelerator by Finnova Foundation, have recognised for the first time in a collaborative and inter-European way the best startups in Europe in 10 categories, in the so-called “Eurovision for startups”.

The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, opened the final ceremony of StartUp Europe Awards 2016. “We should cultivate good ideas and help them to grow. We need to invest more in digital technologies and create a genuine European single market where our young companies can develop”, assured Tajani.

StartUp Europe Awards presents a prize methodology for startups at local, regional and national level, fostering the open innovation and the collaboration between the different actors of the European ecosystems, through the private-public partnership to support entrepreneurs. "Besides, it creates a network of contacts that will allow to inspire and give visibility to all the local startups so that, by using this network, they can scale their services and products at a global level", has stated Juanma Revuelta, the Director of Finnova's Startup Europe Accelerator.
The European winners of StartUp Europe Awards 2016 according to the 10 categories are: Robocamp (Creative Category), Tespack (Energy), INZMO (Fintech), Windcity (Green), NeuronGuard (Health), VyzVoice (ICT), CityCrop (Smart Cities), TempBuddy (Social), Waynabox (Tourism) and APSU (Water). Ekuore (Health), Human Surge (Social) and APATEQ (Water) have received the Extraordinary Awards, a special prize created to recognise the effort of those startups whose score was very high and got very close to the final recognition.

The startup Audified Reality from Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) won the “Best European Neighbour StartUp Europe Award”.

Waynabox received a European acceleration ticket of 10,000 € from Amadeus Company, to continue their internationalization in 2018, delivered by Elizabeth Aston, Senior Adviser, Industry Affairs. “Amadeus continually invests in innovation with a total bugdet of over 4 billion during the last 10 years. Innovation is about doing things differently – having a different business model, a different approach to customer service and this is what Waynabox does” stated Aston.


The startup APSU also received a European acceleration ticket of 10.000 € for presenting their project to different European calls as LIFE or EUROSTARS. The award has been delivered by Rafael Páez Santana, Counsellor of innovation and Employment from the Cabildo de Fuerteventura.


The Commissioner of Investigation, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, delivered the award of ICT Category to VyzVoice. “I want to create the kind of environment where the entrepreneurial spirit can flourish [...] Entrepreneurs are the stars, we’re there to help and support them”, said Moedas in his motivational speech.


The Vice-President for Communication of the European Economic and Social Committee, Gonçalo Lobo Xavier, who handed in the award for Fintech and Tourism categories, considers “StartUp Europe Awards a very interesting way to promote entrepreneurship and the quality of the work developed in Europe. We have very good examples of solutions that can change peoples' lives for the better and this is a huge achievement when we talk about innovation, science and entrepreneurship: to address the citizens!”


StartUp Europe Awards delivered the recognition to the “Best Public Administration for the Startups”, a pioneering prize which aims to recognise the best programmes or public services supporting entrepreneurs and innovation in municipality, province and region categories. The winner in Municipality category is Lisbon City Council; in the province category is Consorcio Zona Franca de Vigo and in the Region category is Central Denmark Region.


These awards were delivered by the first Vice-President of the Committee of the Regions, Karl-Heinz Lambertz who stated “the European Committee of the Regions encourages cities and regions to implement entrepreneurship-friendly policies through our European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) initiative. We actively promote and support efforts to create smarter EU cities and regions”.


The president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, delivered the award “Best Media Partner” to the TV Program Emprende of Spanish Television (RTVE) for their commitment to the dissemination of the entrepreneurship and the startups.

Finally, the Ambassador of Spain in Belgium, Cecilia Yuste, handed in the award to Jesús Brotons "Brainiac Beats", winner of the Music Contest Award, for creating the music for StartUp Europe Awards, representing the values of union, community and entrepreneurship.


The winners of StartUp Europe Awards will obtain great visibility all around Europe thanks to the Media Partner Alliance of StartUp Europe Awards formed by 21 media members. The startups will also have access to a programme of mentoring (information in internationalization, European funds like SMEs Instrument of 50.000 € to 2, 5 million € of non-refundable subsidy, international communication, legal barriers to innovation, etc.), through the StartUp Europe Accelerator of Finnova Foundation, which will allow them to boost their projects and to make them more viable worldwide.


StartUp Europe Accelerator is the unique accelerator specialized in European opportunities funding, which helps the entrepreneurs to internationalize their business through European projects.
Thanks to the initiative StartUp Europe Awards, the winning startups will be able to participate in business missions focused in internationalization in India, Africa, LATAM and Silicon Valley.
To close the ceremony, the president of the organisation “Mind the Bridge”, Alberto Onetti, presented the last report of “Scaleup Europe” by Startup Europe Partnership (SEP). This report includes new data about Scaleups and capital raised in Europe, plus a comparison among regions, countries and sectors. The maturity of the EU scene, the potential impact of Brexit, and recent growth ends the report, along with a survey of the largest verticals present in Scale-up Europe, and which countries these verticals are most represented in.

About StartUp Europe Awards

StartUp Europe Awards is an initiative that seeks to identify and recognise local models of success which become an example to other entrepreneurs, to the public administrations for developing custom-made programmes to stimulate its growth and to the investors for approaching local ecosystems.


"From the Commission, we want that entrepreneurship generating growth and employment is not only present in a few cities or regions. Thus, more people can benefit from the impact" assures Isidro Laso, Head of StartUp Europe's Sector – European Commission.

More than 20 local events and 14 national awards have been celebrated under StartUp Europe Awards´ frame in 2016, with 91 startups winners and 84 that made it to the final. 21 media partners of the whole Europe, as The Independent in Ireland or Emprende TVE in Spain, they have helped to give visibility to this initiative. 9 members of the European Parliament have come together in the StartUp Europe Awards as ambassadors, supporting the local events with their presence and following closely the progress of the startups.

StartUp Europe Awards is an initiative promoted by the European Commission and it is supported by the President of the Committee of the Regions, several members of the European Parliament as Ambassadors and implemented by the Finnova Foundation in collaboration with Startup Europe.

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