Heading towards SEC2SV: The LIBE Committee at Mind the Bridge

LIBE Committee meets SEC2SV SOUNDING BOARDAs you might know, Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley (SEC2Sv) is not just a week of conferences and high level meetings. It is a permanent landing platform for policy makers visiting Silicon Valley and interested in engaging entrepreneurs directly as they shape EU’s future. This has become a regular practice at Mind the Bridge; advising the EU, from MPs to Commissioners, and bridging them to the Bay Area’s best European entrepreneurs through the Sounding Board we launched last September at the SEC2SV European Innovation Day.

On Friday we hosted the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee (website) during its visit to Silicon Valley. The LIBE Committee is responsible for all issues relating fundamental right, data protection, privacy and home affairs (e.g. law enforcement, criminal justice, …).

The MPs meeting us (Timothy Kirkhope, Josef Weidenholzer, Ana Gomes, Roberta Metsola, Axel Vossare) were primarily focused on Big Data and Data protection policy.


For this meeting, the SEC2SV Sounding Board has been represented by:

Julian Green: Founder, Jetac, Houzz; Group product manager, Google X
Fabrizio Capobianco: Serial Entreprenuer; Founder, ToK.tv, Funambol
Michel Wendell: Investor; General Partner, Nexit Ventures
Marco Marinucci: Founder/CEO, Mind the Bridge.

An open discussion ensued, with the LIBE committee trying to decipher some of the often mysterious questions:

What are the ingredients for a successful startup?

How will the TTIP influence the growth and success of startups, scaleups, and SMEs in the EU?

What would it take for successful EU entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley reverse course and consider the EU a “better” starting bed?

We discussed these in depth and noted how complex the process will be, considering some of the tangent implications of such policies. The TPP, which the US government approaches as a companion agreement of the TTIP, has significant implications on security – an analysis made by Mike Chapple.

The Sounding Board gave the MPs various practical advice for their consideration on how to play a positive role on entrepreneurship in the EU. Items to consider while structuring policy. Noted were some extra measures that the US has already taken such as including individuals from the entrepreneurial community in policy development, including hiring a Chief Data Scientist and Chief Technology Officer.

LIBE Committee meets SEC2SV SOUNDING BOARDThis is just the one of the many conversations that will be had as we head towards Startup Europe Comes to Silicon Valley, SEC2SV, Sept, 12-16. A week characterized by multiple separate action based meetings designed for top EU Scaleup companies (Startup Europe), corporations from both continents, and policy-makers (Commissioners, Prime Ministers), to meet their Silicon Valley counterparts.

For now, as we top off the week, we are in agreement: we need each other.