Dear iEER friend,
Thank you for taking part in iEER activities in 2016. After the iEER had its kick-off conference in Brussels on 28th June, we have organized a series of events supporting young entrepreneurship which include two learning camps and three peer reviews, and also presented the project in international conferences. In total, the iEER activities brought together over 300 individuals representing SMEs, startup support agencies, universities and regional authorities around Europe. We’re very happy about the contribution of each and every one of you to and hope to meet you again in the year to come.
So what were some of the highlights of 2016?
• June: Project kick-off in Brussels
. iEER started on a high note, as over one hundred participants from all over Europe attended the project kick-off at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. What made us particularly happy was the great mix of decision-makers and startup entrepreneurs who attended the seminar. Notable high-level support came from Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, President of the Committee of the Regions Markku Markkula and MEP Lambert Van Nistelrooij who all attended the kick-off.
• September: Learning camp in Brandenburg
. Participants representing startups, universities and municipal actors from 11 regions across Europe arrived to Brandenburg to learn about local best practices, brainstorm how to best support and activate entrepreneurs, and to build bridges across regions. The theme of the camp was entrepreneurial competence and mindset activation, both areas in which Brandenburg region and local universities are doing strong work. In a workshop participants discussed the qualities necessary for an entrepreneur, how these can be taught and learned, and what can be done to make entrepreneurship attractive for young people.
• October: European week for Cities and Regions in Brussels
. The European Week of Cities and Regions is the most important EU-wide event for regional actors. This year iEER was part of the activities with project coordinator Christine Chang presenting iEER in Brussels at the Committee of the Regions.
• October: Learning camp in Valencia
. iEER learning process continued in Valencia under the theme startup support and acceleration. During the two-day camp participants shared their experiences of working with startup support and acceleration, and brainstormed how to tackle common challenges. Valencia is an attractive destination for international talent, and group discussions delved into topics such as global markets, social accelerators, financing, infrastructures and talent for growing. Learning camp participants represented 11 European regions and came from accelerators, universities, incubators and financial agencies.
• November: SME Assembly in Bratislava
. SME Assembly is the largest event for businesses in Europe and iEER had the honor to be invited to the event by the European Commission’s DG Growth. At the SME Assembly iEER project coordinator Christine Chang called for a group discussion where participants pondered what can be done at the local level to better support young entrepreneurs in their start-up and scale up stages.
• November: Peer review visit to Helsinki
. After a busy year the iEER project culminated to a peer review visit to Helsinki. The highlight of the trip was Slush, a student-led initiative which has grown to Europe’s main startup event attracting more than 17 000 participants from around the world. Thanks to an active push by student entrepreneurship societies, the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Helsinki-Uusimaa region has blossomed in the past years.
The holidays are soon here and iEER activities are slowing down momentarily. Next year is looking to turn out even busier than this year, and we are very much looking forward to the many activities 2017 has in store. You can follow us and read about the project on our website at www.interregeurope.eu/ieer