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What is the EU Startup Nation Standard and how can it boost economic growth?

September 3, 2020

In March of 2020, as part of the EU’s new industrial strategy for a globally competitive, green and digital Europe, the European Commission announced the EU Startup Nation Standard. At Allied for Startups we are thrilled that the Commission had listened to startup communities calls to make startups central to EU policy making. 

While we wait for the European Commission to launch this initiative, we already have some ideas of what this may look like. The EU Startup Nation Standard (SNS henceforth) is a political initiative that aims to make the European Union the most attractive Start-up and Scale-up continent. It will call for commitments from Member States to implement a set of best practices which will allow for startups to flourish and accelerate their growth. 

We believe this is particularly important as we rebuild the economy of the future post-COVID. The role startups can play in the recovery from the ongoing crisis cannot be understated: they have a proven capacity to develop breakthrough innovations in response to real world needs, create new jobs and build synergies with Europe’s strong traditional industries. In the last few months we have been saying that startups can bring the economic recovery the European Union is striving for, but for that to happen, policy makers should ensure that startups have the best framework and conditions to operate in. 

Talent and Startup Visas might be a key component of the SNS. Streamlining the procedures for visa applications and residence permits for third country talent has been a key priority of Allied for Startups since day 1. We have always supported the creation of Startup visas that enable founders to migrate and settle their business with fewer administrative requirements, and allow them to hire the right people to develop their business. The talent-focus of the proposed SNS has significant potential for startup ecosystems, since access to talent is still a bottleneck for startups in Europe. 

Creating the right framework for startups to thrive will also have the highly desirable spill-over effect of allowing more of them to scale in Europe. Many EU Member States already have made strides towards more startup-friendly legislative and regulatory frameworks. For example, venture creating and attracting talent, streamlining visa and residency applications for third country talent, granting of employee stock options, promoting venture-building and increasing access to finance for scaling-up. Sharing best practices will allow for the harmonisation of the best conditions, making Europe the Startup continent by excellence. Indeed, the implementation of the Startup Nation Standard has enormous potential, not only post-COVID but as we build a sustainable, green and digital economy and future. 

Allied for Startups will be co-hosting a panel on the Virtual Ideas Festival about the Startup Nation Standard on Wednesday 9th of September at 12:00. Pēteris Zilgalvis, Head of Unit at DG Connec, Dominic Jacquesson from Index Ventures and Liz McCarthy from Scale Ireland as well as Benedikt Blomeyer, Director EU Policy at Allied for Startups will discuss stock options, regulatory sandboxes and access to finance in the context of the SNS. 

You can get your ticket here

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