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Thursday, March 21, 2013
Skype, Spotify and Angry Birds Creators Advise EU

Silicon Valley in the US is not the sole synonymous to technology and entrepreneurs - the European Commission (EC) wants young Europeans to be inspired by home-grown entrepreneurs, so their bright ideas start and stay in Europe.

The European Commission launched a campaign this week to encourage more technology entrepreneurship on Europe's side of the Atlantic. With help from the creators of Spotify, Angry Birds, Tuenti, Skype, SeedCamp, HackFwd, London's Tech City and TheNextWeb, the EC is creating a platform for star entrepreneurs to tell their stories of inspirations and frustration, to wake-up young Europeans and leaders to the potential of entrepreneurial careers.

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

The Startup Europe Leaders Club is the first part of Startup Europe, the European Commission's 6-part plan to accelerate and connect local entrepreneurship ecosystems in Europe to help tech start-ups to start and grow in Europe and to scale up to a global level.

Members of the Startup Europe Leaders Club are living proof that web entrepreneurship can be a hugely rewarding career. Neelie Kroes said "These people didn't just talk about doing something, they went and did it. That's why young people and leaders should listen to them."

For example, Spotify is now in 23 countries; Skype handles one third of international calls; Angry Birds is bigger than Twitter, with over 250 million monthly active users.

The other elements of Startup Europe are the 'The Startup Europe Partnership,' to unlock expertise, mentoring, technology and services; the 'EU Accelerators Forum' to increase awareness of the existing accelerator programs; the 'EU Crowdfunding Networks' to link up existing crowd-funding platforms, especially those specialised in Web start-ups and also making Venture Capitalists more aware of Web Business by sharing success stories and through networking activities.

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