On the 11th of June of 2014, Melissa Blaustein, our Founder and CEO, came together with 12 national startup associations and formed Allied for Startups. Today, we have over 45 national startup associations scattered across the globe, from Canada to Malaysia to Finland. The team has also grown significantly, from a two-man show to 7 and growing! Allied for Startups have changed offices, logo and established a high-level Advisory Board in 2020 but our core mission remains: creating consensus across various policies that work for startups! Here are some of the things that we have been up to lately and where we hope to go!
Startup Nations Standard: In March 2021, following extensive and in-depth consultations with startup communities across Europe, the European Commission set an ambitious benchmark for Member States to aspire to grow entrepreneurship and the digital economy through 8 best practices that work for startups. Since then, we have advocated for Member States to implement these best practices and hope to transform this from an EU standard to a global one.
HealthTech Charter: In December 2021, Allied for Startups DTx launched the HealthTech Charter as a best practice repository of the most empowering tools and measures for digital health innovators to scale across European borders. This Charter provides an opportunity to shape the EU into a hub for digital health scale-ups and creates benchmarks to inform policy makers what innovators need to succeed.
Ukraine: We have unequivocally condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As a global network of startup associations, we underline our willingness to assist wherever and however we can. To date, we have collected and published a list of best practices and resources for startup ecosystems who would like to support Ukraine. We continue to collect and share strategies on how tech ecosystems can harness their potential to help those in need of urgent assistance in war.
Growth and expansion:
Because startups are global from day 1, digital policy harmonisation across borders and markets is key for companies to scale. We are on a mission to create a global-wide policy consensus on what startups need to thrive – and we’ve started with Latin America! Latin America was the fastest-growing region in the world for venture funding in 2021 and startups’ valuations multiplied by 32 times in the last decade. In other words, Latin America is a unicorn breeding ground. However, many startups still face enormous challenges when scaling up, from excess of red tape, difficulty finding talent, to scaling across the region and beyond.
So we set up camp! A few weeks ago we hired Alejandra Plaschinski, the Director for the LATAM office, who now spearheads our efforts to create a more-startup friendly regulatory environment in Latin America. We’ll be announcing our new and exciting projects shortly!
In the last 3 years we have also expanded our knowledge into thematic areas in the Digital Health sector as well as in the Data Flows one.
Our DTx vertical has grown into a network of over 50 digital health startups, ecosystem partners, and policy makers aiming to enhance the policy environment and support innovation in the European healthcare ecosystem. The project spearheads DTx research and opinion, institutional engagement, and initiatives such as the HealthTech Charter.
In December we announced a Global Data Flows & Privacy workstream. While startups are increasingly relying on data to bring their disruptive innovations to market, regulatory hurdles are also increasing. The new workstream publishes and develops policy concepts around the increasing challenge for data-intensive startups to transfer and process their data in a global and interconnected society. It considers these issues from a startup perspective, while establishing a broader dialogue with investors, academics, policymakers, and companies in various industries.
Startups are at the core of solving issues, from health to food to armed conflict. This is why as an association we are receiving an increasing demand for startup representation at the policy table. Our goal for our 10th birthday is to expand thematically, geographically and to expand consensus on policy that works for startups!