Allied for Startups asks its members 3 questions…

December 18, 2019

Three questions for our members…

Allied for Startups members are a bit like startup themselves. All of them are leaders in their local ecosystem, driving change for entrepreneurs on the ground. They’re all younger than 10 years and many are younger than 5 years.

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:


Liz McCarthy, Head of Scale Ireland and Member of the Allied for Startups Continental Council 2019-2021

Why is Scale Ireland a member of Allied for Startups?

Being a member of Allied for Startups is incredibly valuable for us for two main reasons:  first, community. We learn from and connect with peer organisations around the world, helping us adopt global best-practice for our work. Second, supranational policy. Access to experts and advocates in Brussels helps us both understand how EU policy will impact on our members, and engage effectively with policy makers.

What’s unique about your ecosystem? 

There’s so much to say about Ireland’s startup ecosystem, but I’ll boil it down to two areas: connectivity and talent. Startups based in Ireland benefit from our strong access to global markets, connectivity between startup ecosystems right across the island, and the wealth of knowledge on our doorstep in the enterprise space. We’re also seeing more focus from the government on how the policy environment can be improved to better support innovation-driven startups, so we’re excited about where our ecosystem will go next!

Why should startup founders engage with policy makers?

As the saying goes, “if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu”. Policy makers are trying to meet the demands of multiple stakeholders. If startups are not effectively represented throughout the policy-making process, it’s unlikely their needs will be properly met. 

We are setting up Scale Ireland so that we can provide founders of innovation-driven enterprises with such a voice.


Markus Raunig, Managing Director at Austrian Startups

Why is Austrian Startups a member of Allied for Startups?

Because startups are about growth! Especially with a small local market, it is imperative that startups think and act globally from day one.  For that, they need the network on the one hand, and the conditions that enable quick scaling up on the other.

What’s unique about your ecosystem?

If you go back 5-6 years, there wasn’t much happening. This has definitely changed. The amount of startups founded has doubled. The amount of capital – you can add a 0 to the number we had before. In the ecosystem, there are probably 4 times more organisations active. In whole, Austria has an interesting business proposition, for example by helping organisations do research, like in life sciences. If you look at its geographical situation between east and west, it’s an ideal starting point for many. 

Why should startup founders engage with policy makers?

One should not underestimate the importance of regulation and policy when it comes to innovation. We need to help policy makers understand the reality of starting a startup, otherwise their decisions will not reflect this reality. Or, as Allied for Startups fittingly put it: it’s important that startups are not on the menu but at the table.


Augustin Jarak, President of Startup Zagreb

Why is Startup Zagreb a member of Allied for Startups?

Allied for startups looked like the most promising startup supporting organisation in Europe, a real ally that is trying to create a better startup ecosystem in Europe for all startups. 

What’s unique about your ecosystem? 

Zagreb has grabbed the attention of a lot of startup people worldwide in recent years. It’s located in the heart of Europe and provides a high quality of living, yet living here is cheaper than in other major startup hubs like London or Berlin. Being an early-stage startup ecosystem for a long time has its advantages and disadvantages, we have a lot of potential that was unrealised for years, we are changing this with Startup Zagreb.

Why should startup founders engage with policymakers? 

Startup founders should join startup associations and other startups by providing a united front to deal with policy makers and others. Most startups have the same or similar issues, startup founders should not have to waste time on trying to individually engage with politicians and policy makers. The most ideal way for startups to engage with policy makers is via startup associations, because they dedicate the time and resources in opening and maintaining a dialogue with policymakers to truly represent the interests of their members, startups, and scaleups.