One thing that struck us when we attended the European Union Digital Agenda Assembly in Brussels last summer was that for an event that aimed to help sculpt the continent’s digital future, it was sorely lacking in the people who can arguably contribute the most – tech entrepreneurs.
To be fair, the European Commission knows that this was the case, and a number of projects have begun over the past few months which the EU’s executive arm hopes will engage the startup community in shaping Europe’s future. The first of these emerged this week – a crowdsourcing challenge that aims to answer the question: ‘How might we support web entrepreneurs in launching and growing sustainable global businesses?’
In a blog post launching the challenge, the Commission calls for the help of the EU’s startup community in shaping its future activities:
“If you’ve been involved in entrepreneurial activity, or think you have a few ideas about it, we want to hear from you! Tell us about clever techniques currently fostering web entrepreneurs worldwide – from Berlin to London, from Silicon Valley to Shanghai. And think up some of the creative ideas that could support the industry across Europe, whether it’s through education, awareness, new activities, new services or even regulatory change.”
The crowdsourcing challenge is currently at the ‘Inspiration’ stage, which means that you’re invited to submit ideas or examples of projects that have succeeded elsewhere. The 149 ideas submitted in the challenge’s first few days include things like a ‘TaskRabbit for techies’, allowing Web entrepreneurs to swap skills, and an Etsy-style open market for startups to sell their products through.
You can submit your own ideas by visiting the site via the link below. This is just the first in a number of initiatives the European Commission is working on in the realm of Internet startups, and we’ll be tracking their progress – and success – closely. The crowdsourcing challenge runs until 29 May and is open to all.