3 Questions for…

October 30, 2019

Allied for Startups is not like any other trade association. Virtually all of our Member organisations (local, national or regional startup associations) are younger than 10 years, many are younger than 5 years. They’re a bit like startups themselves. All of them are leaders in their local ecosystem, driving change for entrepreneurs on the ground.

We’ve asked them to take a minute to share some of their thoughts: What is advocating for startups like? How does it fit in a global context? In this series we’re showcasing some of the incredible members of Allied for Startups:


Dom Hallas, Executive Director of COADEC (The Coalition for a Digital Economy) and Member of the Allied for Startups Continental Council 2019-2021 

What’s unique about your startup ecosystem? London’s a traditional tech hub – arguably the top one outside the US. The main thing is we’re really seeing startups growing to established, mature companies in London.

Why should startup founders engage with policy makers? Politicians actually want startups to engage with them, they’re desperate to talk with them. The more they’re (entrepreneurs) are able to talk with them (policy makers) and the earlier you can do this, the more it helps you on your journey to a scaleup and protects you against challenges in terms of policy.

Why is COADEC a member of Allied for Startups? As a British organisation it’s particularly pertinent for us to be represented internationally right now. Also, all the companies we work with are global so the ability to work together and coordinate is always easier than having to go alone.


Doina Popa, Lead at Codette and Member of the Allied for Startups Continental Council 2019-2021

What’s unique about your startup ecosystem? The startup ecosystem is on the rise in Romania. This gives us the opportunity to learn from the global market and implement as early as possible policies that have been proven to lead to success, as well as try different, innovative strategies to tackle global problems in their infancy, such as gender equality.

Why should startup founders engage with policy makers? We believe startups can be successful if the pillars of the community – policy makers, entrepreneurs, university representatives, companies in the private sector – collaborate to create a growth-oriented ecosystem. Their diversity of opinion is complemented by the resulting diversity of solutions, contributing to economic growth and technological advancements.

Why is Codette a member of Allied for Startups? We joined Allied for Startups because we believe diversity and inclusion should be at the core of every business, driving innovation and consolidating growth. 


Evan Engstrom, Executive Director at Engine

What’s unique about your ecosystem? It’s the most mature ecosystem in the world. It’s also unique in the sense that the strength and size of the tech ecosystem puts a range of pressures on early stage companies both to find a place in the market but also to navigate a tech ecosystem that has many larger companies with years of headstart. So it’s about finding a compelling product but also standing out in a crowd.

Why should startup founders engage with policy makers? Today tech is not just it’s own sector, it’s part of every sector. It increasingly means startups are participating in heavily regulated industries. Disrupting industries with years of heavy regulation, they need to understand how their business model fits in. They need to help educate policy makers on the technology and on how they apply to new technology companies. This is hard enough in one country but in the increasingly global ecosystem it’s impossible unless you’re in touch with other likeminded associations.

Why is Engine a member of Allied for Startups? Startup ecosystems very quickly become global. Even after a first round of funding you need to think about how your company operates in a global environment. It’s hard enough to keep track of just domestic policy, so coordinating with likeminded organisations helps us provide startups with the information they need. 


Stay tuned for more!