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Innovation in a Startup Europe

European Commission – SPEECH/14/458   12/06/2014 | Neelie KROES, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda at Founders’ Forum | London, 12 June 2014

Too often I hear that Europe needs a Silicon Valley. We don’t need one, because we have our own.

The difference is that Europe doesn’t have one Valley. We have a few dozen. Spread all over Europe. It is called ‘Start-Up Europe’.

Start-Up Europe is a collection of hubs with magnificent start-ups. Great ideas. Ambitious young people. Men and women who know what it means to innovate. To break the barriers of the known. Who are fearless and creative in exploring the unknown.

Young entrepreneurs, who do not live in the valleys, but create the peaks in our innovative landscape.

Stockholm, Berlin, London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Warsaw and also Athens. Just to name a few.

Increasingly these entrepreneurs attract venture capital. Business angels. Coaches to assist them into the future.

We see examples everywhere. We have our own global companies with Rovio, Skype, Tuenti. The Start-up Leaders Club has written a manifesto setting out which hurdles have to be removed.

Meanwhile, the App economy in Europe is booming and will triple over the next five years.

The European investment climate is changing. Our start-ups are drawing attention. Europe is ready for change. Start-ups are ready for change. The Business angels manifesto shows us how to improve the investment climate in Europe even further.

Our biggest challenge is finalising the internal market. For telecoms, and for digital. This way our start-up talent can flourish in Europe. And make the jump to become global competitors.

We don’t want more Europe. Or less Europe. We want a smarter Europe. For jobs, growth and start-ups to become global.