PEEK INTO THE EUROPEAN STARTUP COMMUNITY BUILDERS
Apart from waking Europe up and making it competitive again, we set out to achieve another goal – turn country borders into a mere formality. It's not that we'd suddenly shift our attention to politics, though. Instead, we'll use what we know best – our network. How exactly will the idea of the European Startup Community Builders unfold? Let's leave the answer to Vaclav Pavlecka, CEO of Air Ventures, the co-organizer of the Startup World Cup & Summit.
Can you briefly introduce the thinking behind the European Startup Community Builders?
European Startup Community Builders should connect all relevant players within our continent's startup landscape. The goal is to create a single go-to platform that startups can turn to when they're ready to take their business abroad. We're putting together a highly curated and verified database of investors, accelerators, incubators, and other institutions that can help the founders in each European country.
Why do we need this in Europe?
Imagine you're running a startup, and you want to expand for example to the Norweigan market. Unless you already have a rich network of your own local contacts, it will take you quite a bit of time to find your way around the new environment and figure out who's a relevant partner for you – whether we're talking about local accelerators, investors, or even other startups that you could cooperate with. You'll spend hours, if not days on the phone and in meetings before you reach your goal. I believe we can minimize the effects of how fragmented the European market is, save founders and investors huge amounts of time, and enable them to focus on the truly relevant things.
THE GOAL IS TO CREATE A PLATFORM FOR STARTUPS THAT ARE OUTGROWING THEIR HOME MARKETS.
CEO of Air Ventures, the co-organizer of the Startup World Cup & Summit
Who can become a community builder?
Virtually anyone who's actively supporting European entrepreneurship. The European Startup Community Builders are open to startups, incubators, accelerators, investors, and other institutions. We do have a “filter”, though. Each Builder must be involved in a clearly defined activity, and they must have a great track record in it. Only then can they become truly valid members of the community.
VIRTUALLY ANYONE WHO'S SUPPORTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP CAN BECOME A COMMUNITY BUILDER.
What's in it for the community builders themselves? Where do you see their motivation to join?
I hope it will be enough for some people to join us solely because they also want to help the European startup ecosystem. But let's be realistic. Becoming the European Startup Community Builder will definitely generate leads – the platform will serve as a “members-only” way to spark new connections with fellow members. If I were to describe it from a startup's perspective, let's say you're a founder looking for fintech partners that could help you grow your sales network. You'll look them up among the Community Builders and connect with them right on the platform. Then you can use the community to meet investors who're relevant for the current stage of your startup, the field of business you're in, and the business vertical and region. If I were to simplify all this, you'll meet the business partner you're looking for.