EBAN partners with Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) to provide the “Missing Link” for startups to corporates

Barcelona, February 23rd – EBAN announces today, at the Mobile World Congress’ 4YFN event, a partnership with Mind the Bridge, the leader of the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP). Both SEP and EBAN are devoted to supporting the growth of Europe’s most promising companies, recognising the deficit of scale-ups across the continent. In an effort to build a more unified start-up ecosystem in Europe to help new companies transition from start-ups to scale-ups, new corporate members of Startup Europe Partnership will now automatically gain inclusion to EBAN’s e-Xcelerator and vice versa.

SEP is the open innovation platform launched by the European Commission, managed by Mind the Bridge. SEP’s goal is to initiate qualified connections (“matching”) between top European scale-ups and medium and large corporations with the goal of fostering commercial and strategic partnerships. Startup Europe via Mind the Bridge has also established connections with Silicon Valley, facilitating further opportunities for growth for its elite club of startups. In Europe, corporate partners meet startups at exclusive matching events, access SEP’s extensive database, promote their corporate initiatives, and benchmark with other leading companies.

EBAN is the pan-European representative of the early-stage investor community. The EBAN e-Xcelerator gathers Europe’s top accelerators, corporates and business angels at small, sector-specific events where investors and corporates can meet vetted start-ups in the sectors that truly interest them. The e-Xcelerator is a platform for building strategic relationships and offers corporates the chance to co-invest with business angels and other investors. EBAN’s e-Xcelerator thus aims to facilitate and focus the investing process for the benefit of both start-ups and investors alike.

The partnership outlines several areas for closer collaboration, including:

  • The integration of EBAN’s e-Xcelerator program into Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) platform.
  • The opportunity for e-Xcelerator corporate members to join Startup Europe Partnership (SEP).
  • EBAN to host a SEP Matching Event in May during its annual Conference (Porto, May 26-27).
  • EBAN’s continued involvement in SEP Investors Forum, including vetting the most promising start-ups for the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) matching platform.
  • EBAN’s ongoing support of the SEC2SV (Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley), a week of activities that brings together EU startups, corporates and member state representatives under one EU flag to meet with Silicon Valley stakeholders (Sep 26-30).
  • Education support from Mind the Bridge for EBAN companies, sharing knowledge and expertise on innovation, entrepreneurship and the US market.

In comment to the partnership, Alberto Onetti, President of Mind the Bridge and SEP Coordinator expressed: “We don’t need new initiatives to scale-up the European startup ecosystem. We need to put together the ones that are already in place and are working well. We have been working with EBAN for a while and are thrilled to expand our partnership and share with EBAN our expertise in open innovation and bridging start-ups to corporates.” 

Candace Johnson, President of EBAN stated: “We are very pleased about partnering with Mind the Bridge and Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) as working together with corporations is a major point of our strategy to provide the “Missing Link” for start-ups to corporates. Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) is by far the best platform to bring startups and corporates together and turn open innovation into reality.”

The necessary cooperation between corporations, start-ups and scale-ups was also addressed at the “Conference on the digital transformation of European industry and enterprises” on February 16th. At this conference European Commissioners Bieńkowska, Moedas, Oettinger, and Vice-President Katainen called for renewed and ambitious efforts for promoting and fostering entrepreneurship, open innovation and investments that will support the digital transition of the European economy based on collaborative innovation. EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bienkowska noted: “All the power of the fourth industrial revolution lies in innovation and collaborative business models”.

The EBAN-SEP partnership means that Europe’s high potential start-ups now have a greater chance of accessing corporations who may be key to helping them leap and achieve sustainable growth. Corporations will also benefit from access to innovative start-ups and scale-ups as well as capitalizing on a broad network of experienced investors and mentors.

Corporates interested to exploit their open innovation strategy through SEP and EBAN should contact EBAN Members of the Board of Directors, Peter E. Braun p.e.braun@eban.org and Aleksandar Cabrilo aleksander.Cabrilo@eban.org (EBAN) or Antonio De Mitri ademitri@mindthebridge.org (SEP).

Read more on Mind the Bridge’s blog