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The Secret of Success

The Secret of Success 19
European Commission The Secret of Success 20142015 Europe’s Digital Icons: Transforming Our Economy Enterprise and Industry 1Europe Direct is a service to help you find answers to your questions about the European Union. Freephone number (): 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 () The inf ormation given is free, as are most calls (though some operators, phone boxes or hotels may charge you). More information on the European Union is available on the Internet ( Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on its behalf may be held responsible for the use to which information contained in this publication may be put, nor for any errors which may appear despite careful preparation and checking. This publication does not necessarily reflect the view or the position of the European Commission. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2014 ISBN 9789292021337 doi:10.2826/36502 © European Union, 2014 Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged. Front cover image: www.shutterstock.comForeword Welcome to the 201415 edition of the ‘Secret of Success’. This is why the EU Digital Agenda and the EU Industrial Policy not only recognise transformative power of digital technologies and their growing In the current economic situation, European companies must turn to impact across all sectors, but also call to integrate new technological innovation, productivity, resourceefficiency and high valueadded if opportunities, such as cloud computing, big data and data value chain they want to stay competitive in global markets and to respond to the developments, new industrial applications of internet, smart factories, growth and job creation challenges. Digital transition, which is underway robotics, or 3D printing and design into all sectors of the economy. And it across the global economy, is at the heart of the transformation of does not stop there. European industry. We are helping entrepreneurs and SMEs to unleash the full potential of the In the context of the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU is implementing several digital revolution: together with the member states we are working to build measures with the ambition of creating a wide and strong industrial the best digital infrastructure available and to strengthen the structure of base conducive to a positive environment for long term investments; the digital ecosystem by creating single copyright and ecommerce rules. accelerating increases in productivity and job creation; raising EU industrial competitiveness; and bringing the contribution of industry to a The European Commission intends to continue rolling out the implementation level of 20 of the GDP by 2020. of this industrial policy counting on the cooperation of Member States and stakeholders. Digital technologies are the single most important driver of innovation and growth today; they reshape entire industries and open doors for a The entrepreneurs in this brochure, although diverse in their gender, age, new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. ethnicity and experiences, all have a common thread running through their stories. These should inspire policymakers and wouldbe entrepreneurs However, Europe is only scratching the surface when it comes to reaping and help draw conclusions on what it takes to build and grow a successful the benefits of digital growth, with only 2 of European enterprises business powered by advanced digital technologies. currently taking full advantage of digital opportunities. They are our inspiration and we hope that they will inspire millions of other entrepreneurs to transform their business and so transform the European economy. Antonio Tajani VicePresident of the European Commission, responsible for Industry Entrepreneurship 9 February 2010 15 July 2014 3 3Contents 3. Foreword 19. T ivadar Limbacher 34. Nebojsa Matic Ma este Színház (Theatre Tonight) MikroElektronika 5. Wolfgang Hafenscher 20. P at Phelan 35. Anna Gullstrand LineMetrics GmbH Trustev Ltd Fröjd Interactive 6. Rudi Cleymans 21. Shai Newman 36. Andrej Glézl Syneton Compedia Ltd Datamolino s.r.o. 7. Hristo Tenchev 22. Georg Ludviksson 37. Renata Kišek XS Software JSC Meniga Rettro d.o.o. 8. Elena Tanou 23. Gianpiero Oddone 38. Atilla Altay Top Kinisis Travel Public Ltd Officine CST S.p.A. Ekapici İnternet Hızmetlerı Sanayı Ve Tıcaret Ltd. ŞTİ. 9. Petr Čížek 24. Milda Mitkute o.p.s. Vinted 39. Polly Go wers Everyclick 10. Swetlana Reiche 25. Thibaut Britz Lensspirit Contact Lenses GmbH Trendiction S.A. 41. Educating the Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow 11. Jon Schäffer 26. Uldis Leiterts Lesson Plan Conferize 12. T aavet Hinrikus 27. Anton Jurovicki TransferWise Ltd Montepass D.O.O. 13. Karen Márquez 28. Claudine Cassar Infantium Alert Group 14. Samuli Tursas 29. Petra van Schayik Liana Technologies Compumatica Secure Networks BV 15. Benjamin Suchar 30. Kim Daniel Arthur Yoopies Superplus 16 Goce Armenski 31. Patryk Strzelewicz Ljupcho Antovski Game Technologies iVote d.o.o. 32. Nuno Da Cruz Sebastiao 17. Marco Veremis Feedzai Upstream 33. Bogdan P adiu 18. Vibor Cipan Ymens UX Passion 4Wolfgang Hafenscher Austria LineMetrics GmbH At LineMetrics, we have developed a cloudbased platform that enables industrial manufacturing companies of all sizes to trace problems and optimise production in their factories (for example in energy efficiency or maintenance). Our ‘pay as you grow’ business model makes our service affordable for very small companies and brings results within days rather than months. We have benefited from many different local and national government programmes and services whether through financial investment, guidance or access to a wide customer base. Our goal now is to build a global network of partners and resellers. I would like to see start ups exempt from taxation for the first five years; more programmes to allow start ups to benefit from new technologies; and European platforms to raise the profile of start ups. Hero(es) Those who demonstrate that the sky is no limit Entrepreneurs like me are important to society because Start up capital Own and public start up funding we strive to improve the world, ignoring whatever Growth rate p.a 300 obstacles we meet along the way. Mentor(s) Hansi Hansmann, Alfred Luger, Florian Gschwandtner, Rene Giretzlehner, Christian Kaar Can you code Yes Employees 14 Education / Training IT Product / Service Industrial analytics software 5Rudi Cleymans Belgium Syneton After seeing my wife struggling with the administration of her accounting company, I started Syneton which pro vides better software tools for accountants who help entrepreneurs become more efficient. What really sets Syneton apart from its competitors is our knowledge of our customers, flexibility and our commitment to customer care. The cloud has allowed us to expand easily into new markets: our next targets are France and Brazil. We are also investigating providing our services to new industries. I believe ICT is a great career choice and we regularly host school groups and children who are keen to learn more about the sector and how to code. If I were in charge of start ups, I would promote the benefits of entrepreneurship; I would lower their taxes and give them more support. Hero(es) Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela Start up capital Own Entrepreneurs like me are important to society because Growth rate p.a 20 we provide opportunities for employment for Europe’s Mentor(s) No young people and set an example for future generations. Can you code Yes Employees 18 Education / Training Military officer Product / Service Accountancy software 6Hristo Tenchev Bulgaria XS Software JSC I had the chance to convert my greatest hobby, computer games, into a business. With five friends, we created the first web browser based game in Bulgaria (Bulfleet) that rapidly became very popular and we grew very fast. Eight years later we have more than 35 million registered players in over 80 countries worldwide. We started lean but venture capital was key to helping us break into new markets and develop new platforms. The best way to help start ups and SMEs like me grow would be to develop more incubator and accelerator funds and programmes; and to ensure that education is of highest quality for all, especially in IT. Hero(es) Computer games Start up capital Own Entrepreneurs are important to society because we Growth rate p.a 10 kickstart new ideas, services, products and make our Mentor(s) Yes, including my partner Svetlin Nakov lives better. Can you code Yes Employees 130 Education / Training Computing Product / Service Gaming 7Elena Tanou Cyprus Top Kinisis Travel Public Ltd Top Kinisis was set up to meet the challenges and opportunities arising from the globalisation of online travel. My passion is to create dream holidays for all and to all destinations. Digitalisation is critical for us because it has increased usability, choice and reduced costs for customers. My chief aim is to provide value to our customers, protecting their interests with our prestigious retail history, integrity and a professional image. I’d like to see more funding for economic and technological learning; improved access to EU funding; the removal of bureaucratic barriers; and a big push to encourage successful firms to rescue struggling ones. Hero(es) Nelson Mandela and Steve Jobs Start up capital Own Entrepreneurs are important to us all because we strive Growth rate p.a 10 harder than anybody else to develop the economy, to Mentor(s) Yes employ people and can be trusted more than politicians. Can you code No Employees 60 Education / Training Travel and tourism Product / Service Online travel services 8Petr Čížek Czech Republic o.p.s. Thanks to, anyone wanting to form a business in the Czech Republic can now do so online for free, saving them considerable time and resources. Since we started in 2009, 5,000 businesses have been set up through our platform. Our ambition is to create a universal website which would allow SME entrepreneurs across the EU to form their new companies for free. I would have set up a business regardless of the internet, but its existence along with other digital technologies has made it relatively cheap to build and grow a successful business. I would like to see a massive reduction in the administrative burden on small businesses and laws that are easily enforceable. Hero(es) My teachers and people who have inspired me Entrepreneurs are important to society because we Start up capital Own identify business opportunities and realise them, thus Mentor(s) No creating value systems for the whole of society. Can you code No Employees 6 Education / Training IT and Law Product / Service Online legal services 9Swetlana Reiche Germany Lensspirit Contact Lenses GmbH The original idea of Lensspirit was to sell contact lenses via a catalogue. A few months after the business was set up, a friend of mine programmed a very simple online shop and that (together with the aid of a KfW mittelstandsprogram loan to finance software development) gave birth to today’s business. Our openminded company culture forms the basis for creative ideas. Therefore, our customers benefit from outstanding support and innovative campaigns and they simply love our product line “GoodMorning” because they know that they can rely on the quality and service. I’d like to see a limit on subsidies; and greater simplification and a drive to unify taxes across the EU. Hero(es) My father and my son Start up capital Savings Entrepreneurs are important to society because we Growth rate p.a 10 inspire, innovate, motivate and create ideas, new jobs Mentor(s) My colleagues and boost growth. Can you code No Employees 40 Education / Training Economics Product / Service Online eyewear marketplace 10Jon Schäffer Denmark Conferize We set up Conferize (with the help of funds from Accelerace, a Danish business development organisation) to build an event community and increase attendance at events, principally by engaging people in content, live streaming, and social networking. We have built an engine that automatically identifies and converts leads to attendees. We make it easily available for attendees and followers before, during and after the event, all for free. I’d say that to increase start ups we should reduce their taxes; provide a safety net for the selfemployed; and incentivise investment. Hero(es) Elon Musk Start up capital Friends; business angels; Entrepreneurs are important to society because we are accelerator programmes the backbone of the economy; and the key to Growth rate p.a 500 Denmark’s prosperity. Mentor(s) No Can you code No Employees 14 Education / Training Business and technology Product / Service Events applications 11Taavet Hinrikus Estonia TransferWise Ltd TransferWise was born out of my frustration with the high fees charged by banks to transfer money abroad. So Kristo Käärmann and I built a web platform that allows our customers to transfer money more quickly and cheaply than any of our competitors, particularly high street banks. In the three years we have been operating, we have already saved our customers £45million (€ 56.7million) in transaction fees. Digital technology is making financial services cheaper, more transparent and customer friendly. I would like to see the bank payment infrastructure deregulated; more transparency in the marketing and advertising of financial products; and new rules to make it easier for us to recruit talent from anywhere in the world. Hero(es) Niklas Zennström Start up capital Own and seed funding Entrepreneurs are important to society because we Growth rate p.a 10 challenge the status quo: we use innovation to shake Mentor(s) Yes monopolies, boost the economy and make people’s lives easier. Can you code Yes Employees 101 Education / Training Web start ups Product / Service Online financial services 12Karen Márquez Spain Infantium We set up Infantium because we were sure that technology was ready to disrupt the very traditional sector that is education. Infantium uses braininspired computing to personalise learning for children and to deliver a tailored syllabus for every learner based on performance, learning style, level, preferences and motivation. This is education adapting to the child and not the other way round. We have had invaluable support from Telefonica at key stages in our journey, with which we hope to build the most valuable repository of the way children learn world wide, and ultimately give all children better learning opportunities, wherever they start from. Governments in Europe should make it easier for businesses like mine to attract international talent; should create onestopshops for start ups (where they can pay their taxes and complete necessary forms); and improve access to EU RTD funding. Start up capital Savings, bank lending and angel capital Mentor(s) Carles Grau; Bill Magill and Farly Duvall Entrepreneurs are important to society because we bring Can you code Learning innovation to the market and improve people’s lives. Employees 8 Education / Training Marketing Product / Service Elearning 13Samuli Tursas Finland Liana Technologies Liana develops and supplies digital marketing and communication software. Our customers are digital marketing and PR professionals and our cloud based software helps them perform better. Thanks to local and EU business support we have expanded into four other countries and our goal is to become 1 marketing cloud provider in Europe. We have also been able to employ 100 people let go by Nokia. I would like to see a government sponsored account manager for each start up; bottom up business support programmes; and direct support for sales and marketing activities. Hero(es) My team Start up capital Own Entrepreneurs are useful to society because we are the Growth rate p.a 30 ones that turn innovation into reality; we are the people Mentor(s) My business partners who get things done. Can you code Yes Employees 110 Education / Training Computing and marketing Product / Service Marketing and communications software 14Benjamin Suchar France Yoopies Yoopies started because I have 3 sisters, 2 of whom are mothers. When I realised that their only choice to find a babysitter was either to rely on poorly written classified ads in supermarkets or third party agencies that requested high fees, I saw a great opportunity to create an online childcare platform that parents could trust. So Yoopies is building a future for itself (helped by the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme) by providing that trust to its customers by leveraging the power of online social media recommendations. Personally, I’d like to see a European Visa for Entrepreneurship to allow anyone to create a company in the EU; a single legal form for European companies; and a European incubator programme. Hero(es) My sisters Start up capital Venture capital Entrepreneurs are useful to society because we change Growth rate p.a 300 the world We improve the everyday life of millions Mentor(s) My investors of people. Can you code No Employees 9 Education / Training Business Product / Service Childcare website 15The former Goce Armenski Ljupcho Antovski Yugoslav Republic iVote d.o.o. of Macedonia We set up iVote to provide specialist solutions for election modernisation technologies, elearning systems and ecommerce solutions. Our most popular product, Demokra, is a stateoftheart election management platform that has been used by electoral commissions in our country, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo and Ecuador and has processed a total of 107 million voters worldwide. The outstanding benefit of the platform is that it enables new democracies to have more efficient and more transparent elections (the proof being that iVote won the European Venture Contest 2013 ICT award). I’d like to see the teaching of entrepreneurship at all levels; the establishment of more business support centres (incubators; science parks; clusters etc.); and the introduction of government guarantees for start up funding. Hero(es) Visionaries who follow their dreams Start up capital Own Entrepreneurs are key to society because we are the Growth rate p.a 360 source of innovation, of products and services that Mentor(s) No create wealth and we improve the competitiveness of the economy. Can you code Yes Employees 12 Education / Training IT Product / Service Voting management software 16Marco Veremis Greece Upstream My partner Alex Vraskides and I had the vision to make mobile a mainstream marketing medium 12 years ago. MINT, our marketing technology platform delivers the highest conversion rates in the industry. We have advertised goods to over 700 million consumers with close to 100 million making a purchase. We are connected in 40 countries and 23 languages and we are increasingly focused on the emerging markets where we can offer services that have a huge impact on local communities such as English lessons or health alerts. I would lower tax rates for start ups; modernise intellectual property rules; and develop partnerships between leading universities and start up communities across Europe. Hero(es) My father Start up capital Business angels Entrepreneurs are important to society because we Growth rate p.a 28.4 create jobs. The best of us fuel progress in people’s Mentor(s) No everyday lives through truly innovative products and services. Can you code Yes Employees 157 Education / Training International and EU politics Product / Service Online marketing services 17Vibor Cipan Croatia UX Passion Digital technology (and a grant from the Croatian Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts) has enabled us to express ourselves in a very creative and meaningful way. Our most popular product is ‘Wall of Tweets’, a simple and engaging Twitter wall solution that enables people attending events to share their tweets in real time on a big wall. We have also developed a number of smaller helper apps for Twitter list management, search engine optimisation and data analytics, as well as a framework for dashboardlike data representation. We enable people to interact with each other, to share, to enjoy, to express themselves and realise their potential. For us, it’s all about the people. For entrepreneurs to succeed we need to lower taxes and social security contributions; reduce bureaucracy; and listen to entrepreneurs. Hero(es) My team and best friend Start up capital Own Entrepreneurs have a positive impact on everyone’s life: Growth rate p.a 65 we have the potential to contribute, grow, develop and Mentor(s) No inspire people. Can you code Yes Employees 12 Education / Training Astrophysics Product / Service Social media analytics 18Tivadar Limbacher Hungary Ma este Színház (Theatre Tonight) At first I was simply curious whether my idea of selling last minute affordable tickets for theatre performances would really make hundreds of thousands of people happier. It turned out that the answer was yes Nowadays (and with the support of the European Entrepreneurship Foundation) Theatre Tonight operates in eight different Hungarian cities and we sell more than 150,000 tickets annually. Also, we recently expanded to last minute concert tickets with the launch of Ma este Koncert For me, the key benefit of digital technology is that it allows you to start up with limited funds. European governments, please make it easier to set up and run a company; create a onestopshop for aspiring entrepreneurs; and give tax breaks for entrepreneurs rather than complex government funding arrangements This will help Europe in reaching its 2020 targets. Hero(es) My grandmother Start up capital Own Entrepreneurs are important to society because we dare Growth rate p.a 327 to innovate, drive change, create employment and Mentor(s) Zsolt Kalocsai and Peter B. Zaboji generally create new wealth. Can you code No Employees 4 Education / Training Sociology Product / Service Entertainment applications 19Pat Phelan Ireland Trustev Ltd My last business was badly hit by fraud; when I couldn’t find any security solutions to fit my needs, my cofounder Chris Kennedy and I decided to build our own system. We now offer businesses a modern, robust solution to online fraud that saves them money and allows them to concentrate on building their own business. Digital technology allows us to solve real problems for real people, on an unprecedented scale. I am grateful for the help we have had (and continue to have) from Enterprise Ireland both in terms of funding and access to new markets – in fact I have just moved to New York to lead our US expansion. Hero(es) Liam Casey Start up capital Own; Wayra– Telefonica’s Global Entrepreneurs are important to society because we startup accelerator; Enterprise Ireland shape it; we are disruptors, we change the world, Mentor(s) Yes solving real problems for real people. Can you code No Employees 20 Product / Service Digital security 20Shai Newman Israel Compedia Ltd We have built Compedia up (using grants and RD cooperation including the FP7 and Intel programmes) to be the leader in supplying products for the global market of education, serious games, elearning and ehealth, so that we give our customers advanced, cost effective and differentiated solutions. I’m especially excited by our new product developments that help children with autism and diabetes. If you ask me what is needed to expand enterprise, I would say more resources for RD, IP protection and international marketing; plus the creation of an environment (for example, more open markets and better access to finance) that truly supports SMEs like ours. Hero(es) Winston Churchill Start up capital Own Entrepreneurs are important to society because we have Growth rate p.a 58 drive and energy to motivate, to create ideas and Mentor(s) Advisers rather than mentors solutions in a way it is difficult to do in larger companies. Can you code Yes Employees 55 Education / Training IT Product / Service Elearning 21Georg Ludviksson Iceland Meniga Meniga was started to help people manage their personal finances better so that they could make the most of their money. I also hope it inspires them to think about their finances and improve their financial literacy. Digital technology (plus a local RD grant and RD tax credits) made it easier for us to expand onto a global stage. As for helping other entrepreneurs like me, I would recommend tax incentives for early stage start ups; fast track immigration permits so that start ups can compete for global talent; and the creation of a really ‘great’ business environment through flexible labour markets and light touch regulation. Hero(es) Humble and generous people Start up capital Savings Entrepreneurs are great role models because we work Growth rate p.a 266 hard to improve the world though innovation; taking Mentor(s) Advisers rather than mentors risks to have a positive impact on society. Can you code Yes Employees 80 Product / Service Online financial services 22Gianpiero Oddone Italy Officine CST S.p.A. I started Officine because I saw an overlooked market opportunity, the lack of specialised IT platforms and skills to manage credit. Today, the company is a onestop credit management solution that increases our clients’ liquidity by simplifying the reconciliation and recovery process. We then identify investors interested in buying the credit. As for policies that would increase European enterprise: the keys are simplification and reduction of red tape; lower corporate tax rates and employee contributions for the first 3 to 5 years of a start up’s life; and better value borrowing through government guarantees. Hero(es) Larry Page and Sergey Brin Start up capital Family and associates Entrepreneurs are important to society because they Growth rate p.a 68 introduce innovation in products and processes, create Mentor(s) No wealth and employment and improve the balance of trade. Can you code No Employees 60 Education / Training Legal and banking Product / Service Financial services software 23Milda Mitkute Lithuania Vinted Vinted was born when I tried to solve my own wardrobe problem: a closet full of clothes, but still nothing to wear. My vision was to bring everyone together so we could share our treasures with each other. We aimed to bring technology to the preloved fashion industry and solve the customer’s problems of discovery and transaction. Using Vinted, women can buy and sell their preloved clothing and find great clothes that others have for sale. By integrating shipping, payments and instant messaging services, we connect sellers and buyers, offering them a very smooth and friendly trading experience. The best way to grow more entrepreneurs like me would be to create a network of successful entrepreneurs to share their knowledge. Hero(es) My team and my friends Start up capital Own Entrepreneurs are important to society because our “out Growth rate p.a 117 of the box” thinking changes the world. Mentor(s) No Can you code No Employees 117 Education / Training PR Product / Service Online fashion marketplace 24Thibaut Britz Luxembourg Trendiction S.A. I started Trendiction because I am passionate about social media and I love building things. My cofounder and I have developed a series of powerful and userfriendly tools (with some help from business angels, private equity and Luxinnovation, a local government programme), that give our customers unique insight into their internet presence; which in turn allows them to react faster, better and more accurately to consumer feedback, resulting in better products. Our most popular product, Talkwalker, was rated one of the top five best social media monitoring tools and online reputation management tools globally in 2013. If I were in charge of enterprise policy, I would select a handful of entrepreneurs and support them for a year while they develop their ideas. Hero(es) Mark Zuckerberg Start up capital Own Entrepreneurs are important to society because we bring Mentor(s) Yes new ideas, hope, vision and change. Can you code Yes Employees 42 Education / Training Computing Product / Service Social media analytics 25Uldis Leiterts Latvia My cofounder, Raimonds Kaze, and I had the idea to set up after we made customised data visualisations for the European Commission, the weekly analytical magazine Ir, and the Latvian Institute. With a rising demand for interactive infographics, we developed data visualisation software for nondesigners. It is used by millions of journalists, activists, teachers and students around the world, including The Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, and Amnesty International. Our goal is to empower people to tell stories with data. If the internet had not existed, I would have had to invent it – but I would have given it a different name. As Minister in charge of SMEs and start ups, I would make Latvia a digital hub for start ups by reducing tax rates, cutting red tape and cofinancing participation in accelerator programmes. Hero(es) Family, friends, history Start up capital Venture Capital Entrepreneurs are important to society because we Mentor(s) Yes create growth, innovation and success stories; we are Can you code Yes driven to try again even if success is not immediate. Employees 25 Education / Training Graphic design Product / Service Data visualisation software 26Anton Jurovicki Montenegro Montepass D.O.O. We started Montepass because we are passionate about digital innovation and what it can offer businesses and consumers alike. Our flagship platform, Zaposli, is a job seeking website that brings employers and jobseekers in Montenegro together in one convenient place. Our vision is that Zaposli becomes an employment hub for the whole region. If I were in charge of enterprise policy, I would sponsor business incubators; organise competitions to encourage digital innovation; and make sure entrepreneurship is taught in all schools at the earliest opportunity. Hero(es) Steve Jobs Start up capital Own Entrepreneurs are important to society because we bring Mentor(s) Yes positive change and help people become more Can you code Yes independent and free in their thinking. Employees 7 Education / Training IT Product / Service Online jobs marketplace 27Claudine Cassar Malta Alert Group We created the Alert Group (benefiting along the way from the Business Promotion incentives in Malta that gave tax breaks to investors) to offer customers a range of ICT and marketing services which help our clients transform themselves; improve their workflows; and grow their customer base. We stand out from our competitors because we leverage the business experience and marketing knowhow of our workforce to maximise the benefits of technology for the client. I have built my business around the internet and I am profoundly grateful that I was around at the right time but if it had not existed I would have found something else to do. The single most effective thing that would encourage European entrepreneurs would be to improve access to finance. That’s the real key to growth. Start up capital Bank Growth rate p.a 20 Entrepreneurs are important to society because we Mentor(s) More of a sounding board foster innovation and create jobs. Can you code Yes Employees 50 Education / Training ICT and marketing Product / Service ICT and marketing services 28Petra van Schayik Netherlands Compumatica Secure Networks BV I joined Compumatica because I want the IT world to be secure; a world where government, businesses and citizens can operate with confidence and safety. Compumatica stands out in cybersecurity because of our personal touch: our high level IT security solutions ensure that nobody but the customer has access to the key material. My immediate goal is to find new investment (we have already received funding from Dutch RD programmes) to develop new products and ultimately to create more user awareness of IT applications and IT security. If I were Minister for SMEs, I would make sure they got a bigger share of the public procurement markets; and I would make it cheaper for them to employ people. Start up capital Family Growth rate p.a 10 Entrepreneurs are important to society because we Mentor(s) Yes power the economy, create interesting jobs, develop Can you code No new products and take risks. Employees 45 Education / Training Technical business administration Product / Service Digital security 29Kim Daniel Arthur Norway Superplus We started Superplus (with the help of the government start up fund “Innovation Norway”) because we wanted to use our experience from gaming, teaching and research to improve the lives of children with special needs. Our products were designed using the “child first” principle; focusing on creating engaging, motivating and playful experiences that can be customised to the child’s needs. Superplus enables children with special needs to communicate and interact with the world around them; to express themselves and share their emotions; build relationships and get a sense of mastery over their lives. It would help entrepreneurs if funding programmes were easier to understand and to apply for; and were more readily available. Keep removing those barriers Hero(es) Kristian Segerståle Start up capital Own and investment from Entrepreneurs are important because we can go and Innovation Norway challenge the status quo, we can truly make the world Mentor(s) Yes a better place; more open, more tolerant and more Can you code Yes connected. Employees 3 Education / Training Gaming industry Product / Service Elearning 30Patryk Strzelewicz Poland Game Technologies At Game Technologies, we strive to invent and create products that do not exist in the market. In the last few years, we have achieved this twice. Our lead product is the most technologically advanced game controller in the world called DICE+. The dice is used to play interactive board games on a tablet or computer. The dice itself is a tiny device (only 25 grams in weight) packed with 60 individual components, all of which are produced in the European Union. We are one of a few hundred companies that will receive an RD grant this year from the EU. If I were Minister for SMEs and start ups, I would consistently promote the gaming industry, especially at international trade fairs. © Vitālijs Stīpnieks, “Dienas Bizness” Hero(es) My father Start up capital Own and private investor Entrepreneurs are important to society because we create Mentor(s) Yes the most jobs, design numerous innovative products and Can you code No inspire new businesses to develop more companies. Employees 120 Education / Training Engineering Product / Service Gaming 31Nuno Da Cruz Sebastiao Portugal Feedzai We develop and supply software that detects fraud up to 30 earlier than traditional methods. Fraud prevention is an increasing challenge in an age of big data and we make a difference by using the latest technology and data sources. We started with EU funding and were able to raise considerably more venture capital, but not as much as our US competitors where the availability and scale of venture capital dwarfs what we have in Europe. If I were in charge of start up and SME policy, I would scrap the bureaucracy around access to funding; and I would do a better job of marketing European hightech companies to the rest of the world. Hero(es) Thomas Edison Start up capital EU funding Entrepreneurs are important to society because we Growth rate p.a 67 create new markets, disrupt old ones and create jobs. Mentor(s) Many Can you code Yes Employees 43 Education / Training Computing Product / Service Fraud prevention software 32Bogdan Padiu Romania Ymens I want to transform society through technology so I set up Romania’s first and only cloud broker. We offer business solutions in the cloud via a platform that acts like a onestopshop for both businesses and public bodies. Our platform stands out because our customers can choose from a wide range of cloud applications and business services, whether IT outsourcing, security or maintenance support, according to their needs. Our challenge is to continue to educate the SME market on the benefits of cloud technology because the potential is huge. If I were in charge of SME growth, I would make it easier and cheaper for them to pay their taxes; I would increase European funding for developing cloud solutions and make it easier to access that funding; and I would ensure that SMEs have equal access to government procurement markets. Hero(es) People are my greatest inspiration Start up capital Own and bank loan Entrepreneurs are important to society because we have Growth rate p.a 40 the determination and the creativity to transform it Mentor(s) Yes through innovation and drive the economy forward. Can you code Yes Employees 60 Education / Training IT and business development Product / Service Cloud computing 33Nebojsa Matic Serbia MikroElektronika I founded MikroElecktronica ten years ago because I wanted to provide software and hardware tools that would save engineers time. We offer entire development tool chains for all major microcontroller architectures that are easy to use and offer complete solutions, unlike many other products on the market today. Even though electronics predated the internet, it would have been much harder for me to set up and grow MikroElektronika without it. In fact, I believe that starting and growing a business takes just 5 of the effort required before the web and digital technologies were available. Entrepreneurs like me should be left alone by government to get on with what we are good at. Start up capital Savings Growth rate p.a 30 Entrepreneurs are important to society because we prove Mentor(s) No but wish I had that it can be done. Can you code Yes Employees 60 Education / Training Electronics Product / Service Engineering hardware and software 34Anna Gullstrand Sweden Fröjd Interactive I set up Fröjd because I felt strongly that there was a better way of conducting business – a way that would benefit both clients and employees. Fröjd creates ecommerce solutions, websites, campaign sites and mobile applications that support our customers in achieving their objectives. Our vision is to be “The Web Agency of the Future”, an ongoing challenge that means we must stay curious, alert and ahead of market trends. This gives us valuable insights and new business areas to explore, and keeps us on our toes. I believe I am an entrepreneur at heart, regardless of what the digital era has given us, but I believe the dynamics of the industry have helped me grow faster. My shopping list for further improvements in enterprise promotion would be: subsidise broadband and computers to minimise socioeconomic gaps; add programming to the school curriculum; establish more accelerator programmes; and free WiFi in public areas. Hero(es) Astrid Lindgren Mentor(s) No Entrepreneurs like me are important to society because Can you code No we are driven by change and progress, to find solutions Employees 14 to everyday problems and longterm challenges. Education / Training Digital communications Product / Service Digital communications 35Andrej Glézl Slovakia Datamolino s.r.o. I started Datamolino because I wanted small businesses to have the same access to technology as large ones. Datamolino is a platform for accountants, that processes invoices and receipts sent in any format and exports the extracted data into any accounting software thereby saving time and money. The growth potential for our platform is huge with some 16 billion ‘unstructured’ invoices in Europe alone. We benefited hugely from being part of Telefonica’s Wayra acceleration programme that helped us get to market quickly and gave us access to a large customer base. That ecosystem of entrepreneurs, a skilled workforce and investors are essential to the growth of the economy and government needs to ensure that all the conditions are in place for such ecosystems to thrive. Hero(es) Nelson Mandela Start up capital Investors and acceleration Entrepreneurs are important to society because we drive programme (Wayra) innovation, creating products that add value through Mentor(s) Yes material benefits, savings or unique experiences. Can you code No Employees 19 Education / Training Lawyer Product / Service Accountancy software 36Renata Kišek Slovenia Rettro d.o.o. We originally set up RETTRO to provide complex IT services to large companies. With the help of ESF and JAPTI research funding, we have since diversified into developing webbased products and services applicable for mobile devices. RETTRO’s latest product is a mobile application called Notifly. Notifly is a revolutionary new system of conveying content through sound code, undetectable by a human ear. FLY messages are broadcast by TV and radio stations, event and concert managers, organisations, restaurants, shops etc. to consumers who want additional information related to the programme they are watching; the shows they are attending; the shops they are visiting. Looking ahead, the challenges for RETTRO are to continue to create new innovative products and access new markets. Start ups and small firms in general would most benefit from a tax regime that encourages investment in RD and from more flexible employment rules. Hero(es) Honest and fair people Start up capital Savings and ESF/JAPTI investment Entrepreneurs are important to society because we Growth rate p.a 33 create jobs, develop the economy, bring new ideas, Mentor(s) No discover new businesses and boost the local community. Can you code Yes Employees 11 Education / Training Mathematics Product / Service Marketing/retail applications 37Atilla Altay Turkey Ekapici İnternet Hızmetlerı Sanayı Ve Tıcaret Ltd. ŞTİ. I started Ekapici because I love ecommerce. We are currently the only online takeaway ordering service in Turkey that delivers orders in 30 minutes and that has low minimum delivery costs. We save people time and money. We have just secured investment to expand in İzmir, and we hope to set up franchises in Ankara and Istanbul within the next three years. If I were in charge of start ups and SMEs, I would ensure that they had access to decent investment so they could make their dreams happen. Hero(es) Hakan Bas Start up capital Family and bank Entrepreneurs like me are important to society because Growth rate p.a 100 we innovate; we help construct the national economy Mentor(s) No and create a broad vision for our country. Can you code No Employees 9 Education / Training Mechanical Engineering Product / Service Online takeaway services 38Polly Gowers United Kingdom Everyclick I wanted to create a company whose product was money for charity. With help from family and friends, and then later angel investment and local government funding, we built a website and search engine that allows people to donate whilst shopping on line. With ‘Give as you Live’ you can shop with over 3500 retailers and raise funds for the charity of your choice. The products don’t cost any more as the retailer makes the donation. Close to £5million has been given to the charity sector. The internet is a delivery channel that provides an opportunity to scale much faster and aim much higher. I would make Seed Funding and incubator space more readily available to start ups; I would link all funding to a Mentor Network; and I would reduce red tape. Hero(es) Margaret Thatcher Start up capital Family and friends Entrepreneurs like me are important to society because Growth rate p.a 104 we create the businesses of tomorrow that will Mentor(s) No change the world and ensure a healthy and attractive jobs market. Can you code No Employees 20 Education / Training Business Product / Service Online fundraising 3940Educating the Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow Lesson Plan 41Educating the Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow The digital economy has the potential to grow and create jobs at unprecedented levels. According to recent research, start up rates can be increased by as much as 20 by providing more entrepreneurship education at school. We need the younger generation to learn to create value in the digital economy and embrace the opportunities that abound in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Closer, realworld cooperation between education and business /industry is key to helping young people develop entrepreneurial competences and ‘switch on’ to innovation. The Entrepreneurial School The Entrepreneurial School is a project cofinanced by the EU’s Competitiveness Innovation Programme with a consortium of 15 international partners. The lead partner is JAYE Europe. The Entrepreneurial School project aims to give teachers a diverse range of tools and methods that support entrepreneurial learning. We have 4,000 teachers involved, in Helpful hint: 18 different countries, who have access to best practice that has been developed over many You are encouraged to look at The years. “The Virtual Guide to Entrepreneurial Learning” – – is a database of Entrepreneurial School TES website and shared materials and tools to speed up the implementation of entrepreneurship in schools. explore the Virtual Guide with more than 100 different tools and methods to The following pages show you ways this Secrets of Success brochure can be used as part of encourage entrepreneurial learning. your entrepreneurship lesson planning. The Effects of Education and Training in Entrepreneurship A longterm study of JA Sweden Alumni labour potential and business enterprise. Karl Wennberg and Niklas Elert. 42Sample lesson plan for students aged 1418 “Mini Innovation Camp” How well do your students understand the innovation processes that are propelling modern technologies Do they know what skills they need in order to participate in and contribute to the 21st century fastpace and hightech economy Try to introduce your students to the concept of being an entrepreneur – and in particular, the kind of entrepreneur who cares about technology and understands what it takes to build and grow a successful webbased business. The inspirational entrepreneurs in this ‘Secret of Success’ brochure tell the story of how they are embracing digital technology to help their own and other new businesses to thrive. 20 minutes Let the students look at the ‘Secret of Success’ brochure and let them individually pick and read four or five of the profiles of the digital entrepreneurs. After the students have spent 10 – 15 minutes reading, stop them and ask a few questions: ● Which of the entrepreneurs impressed them Helpful hint: ● Which entrepreneur had the best idea A teacher can do the following exercise, but a combination of a teacher and a business ● Of the ones they read about, which one would they prefer to work with volunteer involved in the digital sector doing it together is the preferred solution. Ensuring Make sure you leave enough time for your students to be innovative, creative and to think that schools are engaging with outside outside the box. Your main challenge will be to motivate and encourage your students at partners is not just a good thing, it’s essential the start. if we want to realise young people’s potential as entrepreneurs and ensure they are relevant in the job market of the future. 43 20 minutes 60 minutes Now you will move into a brainstorming session with the whole class. The brainstorming is about what entrepreneurs, The challenge you give to the groups like the ones in this book, need to consider when running their businesses. Discuss with the students the basic rules of brainstorming: Take your students on a little journey through time and give them the challenge: ● No judgment or criticism about ideas ● Imagine that the context is 2022. ● Encourage wild ideas ● Imagine that you (the group) are running a very successful business within the digital sector. ● It is OK to build on the ideas of others ● Imagine that back in 2014/2015, you read an inspirational ‘Secrets of Success’ brochure, ● Record all the ideas (make sure you have someone in the group writing everything down) which told stories about successful digital entrepreneurs. ● Look for quantity (lots of ideas) Involve the whole class by splitting them into groups of five/six in each group. Involve the whole class by splitting them into groups of 56. You were inspired by how new digital technologies such as mobile social solutions, data Using different brainstorming techniques can help you involve analytics, cloud computing, digitisation of manufacturing and design, prototyping and testing all the students: offered a range of new opportunities for you to set up your own business. You looked into the creation of new business services in the knowledge economy, but also ● Freewheeling: Group members call out their ideas spontaneously and the writer records everything. in the supply chain of new digital products and services and in the area of smart and efficient use of IT. ● Round Robin: The writer asks each person for an idea; a person can say “pass” if they can’t think of anything, but there should be several rounds in order to give everyone a chance to contribute and generate as many ideas as Since you are now running a very successful business within one or more of these areas: possible. come up with all the reasons why your business is booming in this context ● Silent Brainstorming: Everyone writes their ideas on a postit note and hands them into the writer. This process can be done more than once in order to get as many ideas as possible. After your introduction and 15 minutes of brainstorming, you can ask the students to try to ● Reverse Brainstorming: Think about all the things that would NOT work. Make a list and then think of how you cluster their ideas. They can try to put every idea into one of the categories to the right, which could turn all those negatives into positives. is something that every successful business needs to address: In brainstorming, it is OK to build on the ideas of others. You can encourage the students to write all the ideas on flip charts and let them briefly present them to the others. The different groups are allowed to “steal” from each other for the second round. You can find more about brainstorming and creativity in the “Virtual Guide to Entrepreneurial Learning” Helpful hint: – Try using a deck of 52 creativity cards: 44 60 minutes The challenge you give to the groups Take your students on a little journey through time and give them the challenge: ● Imagine that the context is 2022. ● Imagine that you (the group) are running a very successful business within the digital sector . ● Imagine that back in 2014/2015, you read an inspirational ‘Secrets of Success’ brochure, which told stories about successful digital entrepreneurs. Involve the whole class by splitting them into groups of five/six in each group. ● Price ● Financing You were inspired by how new digital technologies such as mobile social solutions, data analytics, cloud computing, digitisation of manufacturing and design, prototyping and testing ● Product offered a range of new opportunities for you to set up your own business. ● Location You looked into the creation of new business services in the knowledge economy, but also ● Employees in the supply chain of new digital products and services and in the area of smart and efficient use of IT. ● Image / Brand ● T arget customers Since you are now running a very successful business within one or more of these areas: come up with all the reasons why your business is booming in this context You can explain that every entrepreneur needs to think about the elements in the list above. After your introduction and 15 minutes of brainstorming, you can ask the students to try to These are the elements of a business plan. cluster their ideas. They can try to put every idea into one of the categories to the right, which is something that every successful business needs to address: Ask your students to write in a few sentences their ‘key concepts’. It might be several, ask them to write them on a flip chart and encourage all the groups to share their key concepts with each other. Maybe they can add elements from the other groups. Homework activity Ask your students to look up a ‘business plan’ on the internet as a homework assignment. Ask them to see if there is anything there that they did not come up with on their own list. 45 Next session 120 minutes The Innovation Competition Make sure all the ideas from the last session are visible in the room. Let the students ‘apply’ to one of the ideas and create groups around the ideas. Try to limit the number in each group to a maximum of five students. From now, it is about coming up with one idea, developing a short concept paper and presenting the idea in front of the others. The Task “We are back in 2022, same context and situation. You will now create the new business idea.” Describe the business idea; write a short concept paper describing the business they run and why it is so successful. Prepare a presentation and a short ‘pitch’, a convincing 2 minute presentation. The concept paper can include: ● The name of the team members ● A short description of the idea (max 100 words) ● Innovation describe why the solution is innovative (max 100 words) ● Resources where do you see the need for the idea What key resources do you need to realise your idea (max 50 words) ● T arget group who will use/benefit from the solution (max 50 words) A competition If possible, make it more challenging and exciting by arranging for an “external audience” – a neighbouring class, other teachers or even the school director, who could act as the ‘jury’. The jury should review the concept paper first and then watch the presentations. The 2minute presentation should aim to convince others about why their idea will be successful, and why it will help to create more jobs in the digital world. 46 Testimonials About JAYE Europe Andrija Kasia Ben Teacher from Serbia Teacher from Germany Teacher from Slovenia JAYE Europe is Europe’s largest provider My experience with the Company For me it’s an ingenious idea. The materials can be used regularly in of entrepreneurship education programmes, Programme is that teachers and students the learning process. It helps to develop currently reaching 3.2 million students in I’ve already started to use the tools and find it is the best way of learning thinking, intellect and creativity. 39 countries. methods at the school where I work, about entrepreneurship and gaining because I found it difficult for my students The methods are very well described and Funded by businesses, institutions, entrepreneurial skills. to think in a creative way and to discuss will be useful to everyone during the foundations and individuals, JAYE brings This programme is, from its essence, and search for solutions. They should deal school year. the public and private sectors together totally about bridging the gap between the with such activities as often as possible to provide young people in primary and educational system and the reality of the Thanks :) secondary schools and early university business world. with experiences that promote the skills, understanding and perspective that they will need to succeed in a global economy. The JAYE Company Programme is recognised by the European Commission Enterprise Directorate General as a ‘Best Practice in Entrepreneurship Education’. JAYE Europe is the European Regional Operating Centre for JA Worldwide®. 47 What support can you get from Europe Are you looking for help to set up or expand your enterprise The European Commission assists small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) through networks and business support measures, such as: The Enterprise Europe Network business and gets the opportunity to European Small Business Portal To find out more, visit: cooperate with foreign partners or learn The Enterprise Europe Network offers support Do you want to find out what the EU does to about new markets. and advice to European SMEs. The Network is boost small businesses in Europe and on the made up of around 600 partner organisations in global market, and what it can do for your The stay is partially funded by the European Network of Mentors for Women 50 countries. It is Europe’s largest business and business This portal gathers together all the Union. Entrepreneurs technology network. Partners include chambers information provided by the EU on and for SMEs, To find out more, visit: The Mentors Network provides advice and of commerce, enterprise agencies, regional ranging from practical advice to policy issues, support to women entrepreneurs on the start up, development organisations, research institutes, from local contact points to networking links. running and growth of their enterprises in the universities, technology centres and innovation To find out more, visit: Access to Finance early phase of their life. The network covers 17 centres. Strongly rooted in local communities European countries. and regions across Europe, the Network provides The Commission is helping small businesses information on EU legislation and funding, helps to overcome financial market weaknesses, To find out more, visit: Your Europe Business companies find business partners, especially mostly by working together with various Your Europe Business portal gives individuals in other countries, and offers advice on how to financial institutions to provide them and businesses practical information on their develop an innovative idea. with funding. The goal is to increase the rights and opportunities in the EU as a whole opportunities for small businesses to obtain To find out more, visit: and in the individual Member States, including finance from banks, guarantee providers information on national funding opportunities. and venture capital funds. To find out more, visit: Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs To find out more, visit: Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a cross border exchange programme which gives new Women Entrepreneurship Portal The European Progress or aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to learn Microfinance Facility (EPMF) The Commission has set up this portal from experienced entrepreneurs running small specifically devoted to the promotion of businesses in other European Union countries. The EPMF provides microcredit to small and women’s entrepreneurship. This women’s microenterprises, and to people who have The exchange of experience takes place during entrepreneurship portal aims at providing a stay with the experienced entrepreneur, which lost their jobs and want to start their own links to the websites of women entrepreneurs’ small businesses. helps the new entrepreneur acquire the skills representative organisations, networks, projects needed to run a small business and get to know To find out more, visit: and events that relate to the promotion of the market of another European country. The female entrepreneurship. host benefits from fresh perspectives on his/her 48 48 Enterprise Industry Magazine The Enterprise Industry online magazine ( covers issues related to SMEs, innovation, entrepreneurship, the single market for goods, competitiveness, environmental protection, industrial policies across a wide range of sectors and more. The printed edition of the magazine is published three times a year. You can subscribe online to receive it in English, French, German or Italian free of charge by post. ● European SME Week ● Erasmus for Entrepreneurs erasmusentrepreneurs ● Enterprise Europe Network ● European Small Business Portal ● Your Europe Portal ● Funding for SMEs ● Second Chance Portal ● Transfer of Businesses businessenvironment/smoothtransfer 49 49 Notes 50 How to obtain EU publications Free publications ● One copy: via EU Bookshop ● More than one copy or posters / maps: ● from the European Union’s representations ● from the delegations in nonEU countries ● by contacting the Europe Direct service or calling 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 (freephone number from anywhere in the EU) (). () The information given is free, as are most calls (though some operators, phone boxes or hotels may charge you). Priced publications ● Via EU Bookshop Priced subscriptions ● Via one of the sales agents of the Publications Office of the European Union 51 51EA0214708ENC ISBN 9789292021337 doi:10.2826/36502 Version: EN 52
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