Data is the most valuable asset in the modern digital economy. It allows entrepreneurs to understand complex realities, make better decisions, and even forecast business outcomes. Data is the number one ingredient of innovation and is key for startup entrepreneurs as it is an easily scalable asset. For instance, if you want to manufacture a new product line you would probably need a whole new plant, workers, and machinery. Whereas you might be needing just a couple of developers to run the same algorithm on a million additional customers. As our association grows across borders, we have compiled three key concepts for a global startups data ecosystem. Policymakers: here’s how to unlock the full potential of the global data-driven economy.
#1 Simplifying and harmonising access to data
Accessible, and shareable data is the engine for innovation and for future incumbents to challenge big players. Startup entrepreneurs should be able to exploit data accesses to better increase their knowledge to grow their businesses. We invite policy makers to ask themselves how they can bolster innovation by establishing the right set of incentives on how entrepreneurs from different regions can access and share data across borders. Navigating complex legislation, in the best of cases, can drain resources and can hinder startups’ innovative potential, in the worst, it may become an insurmountable barrier.
#2 Support free flow of data across regions
Startups think global from day one. Startups by definition have fewer resources than bigger, more established players. Entrepreneurs should be able to make the best decisions on how to allocate these resources in the most efficient manner. As a consequence, a startup can have a marketer in Brazil and a developer in India while operating from Europe. That is why we urge policy makers to move towards a free flow of non-personal data framework that is waived only with justified national security reasons. Data localisation is not an ingredient for economic growth and sometimes data localisation in certain countries rather than others can even be less secure.
#3 Privacy is at the top of startups’ priority list.
In recent years, consumers’ concerns for privacy have grown significantly. Nowadays users not only want a service to perform and meet their needs but also want it to be private. Startups thrive in an environment in which consumers trust their product and hence privacy is at the top of their priority list. Policymakers should give startups the opportunity to make value propositions to consumers with plain and clear frameworks. Innovation and privacy are not a zero-sum game.
Supporting these key concepts will encourage startups that are scaling across the globe and, in turn, support the growth of the data-driven economy. Policy makers, stay tuned!