EU’s Neelie Kroes Looking to Boost Startups, Lure U.S. Firms

As governments around the world compete to lure tech startups, the European Union’s commissioner for the digital agenda, Neelie Kroes, has entered the fray.

As well as her startup manifesto, launched here late last year, Ms. Kroes said in an interview with Digits that she plans a new think tank focused on the digital economy and an advisory network to help the bloc’s startups grow.

She also discussed Internet tax and how to make the European tech and telcoms sector more competitive.

Next week, Ms. Kroes and her team will unveil an advisory network to help new tech companies scale up and reach pan-European size. Corporate partners include Telefonica, Orange and Spanish bank BBVA, which will be accompanied by institutional partners such as the  European Investment Bank, Cambridge University and Berlin’s Humboldt University.

The apps-creation business has led to 800,000 jobs in Europe in the last couple of years, she said, adding it’s “quite remarkable” that a number of young U.S. entrepreneurs and their startups are coming over to Europe.

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