Europe launches start-up club with backing from Skype, Spotify and Tech City

The EU is aiming to bolster the European start-up industry by glorifying successful home-grown tech entrepreneurs behind companies such as Skype and Spotify.
Written by Sam Shead, Contributor

The European Commission has rounded up the founders of tech organisations like Skype, Spotify and Rovio to create a club that will encourage the next generation of European web entrepreneurs to set up — and stay — in Europe.

The Startup Europe Leaders Club (SELC) launched late last week and is the first part of the EC's six-part Startup Europe initiative which aims to help start-ups in Europe. 

"I want young entrepreneurs to have role models, and for them to have a real digital single market to grow their ideas in," European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes said in a statement.

The Leaders Club consists of nine entrepreneurs including co-founder of Skype, Niklas Zennström, Spotify founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, and head of the Tech City Investment Organisation, Joanna Shields, among others.

"Europeans need to be creative and fearless. That's how dozens of the world's most exciting web and tech companies were born in the EU, and I want the world to know it," said Kroes.

Additional elements of the Startup Europe campaign include a Startup Europe Partnership aiming to unlock mentorship potential, an accelerator forum to increase awareness of existing programmes, EU Crowdfunding Networks, and building stronger relationships with venture capitalists.

Europe is seeing a handful of start-up hubs springing up around the continent: according to recent research, London, Paris and Berlin now rank among the top 20 start-up ecosystems worldwide.

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