European Commission unveils new online platform and think-tank to support the startup community

European Commission unveils new online platform and think-tank to support the startup community

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes today unveiled a new startup ‘accelerator’ and think-tank to support the growing startup community in Europe.

The Startup Europe Partnership is an accelerator in the loosest sense of the word, helping fledgling businesses to connect with entrepreneurs, mentors and accelerators through a yet to be unveiled online platform. Members will receive discounted prices for services such as Salesforce and Google Adwords, as well as help for hiring and training new employees.

The program has been set up to help startups expand beyond their national borders and evolve into truly global companies. With that in mind, the Startup Europe Partnership will store resources to help entrepreneurs grow into new markets and pick up new customers. There will also be opportunities for unemployed young people to sign-up for internships with companies that are partnered with the scheme.

Note: Neelie Kroes will be speaking at TNW Conference Europe. Meet her there.

Led by the Mind the Bridge Foundation and Nesta, the long-term vision is for the Startup Europe Partnership to bring the startup, enterprise and investment ecosystems closer together. This should drive more funding towards startups and in turn, increase the chances of them competing on the global stage.

The Startup Europe Partnership is part of the Startup Europe campaign, an initiative unveiled in March last year which has The Next Web’s own Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten among its leaders.

Kroes also detailed the European Digital Forum today, which will give entrepreneurs the ability to shape and comment upon policy for the continent. The group will produce an annual ‘Digitial Economy Index’ every year to measure Europe’s effectiveness in nurturing new technology companies.

Both projects are backed by some big names. Alongside Nesta and the Mind the Bridge Foundation, the European Commission has brought on board Telefonica, Orange, BBVA, the European Investment Bank, Cambridge University, the IE Business School, Humboldt University and the Lisbon Council.

“Politicians don’t create jobs, entrepreneurs do,” Kroes said. “We’re going to support that mindset and push European start-ups beyond their comfort zone. And then we’re going to get out-of-the-way. Sometimes the best thing a political leader can do is get out-of-the-way.”

Read Next: The Startup Europe Manifesto: A plan for a more entrepreneur-friendly EU

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Image Credit: Martijn Beekman/AFP/Getty Images

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