Allied For Startups

Annual Summit 2024

Join us for this year’s edition of the AFS Annual Summit, our 3-day flagship event, taking place in Brussels on 15 October 2024. Each year, the Summit brings together representatives from various startup associations across the world, uniting entrepreneurs, startup communities, policymakers and industry experts to debate digital trends, entrepreneurship, and legislation.

This year holds special significance as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Allied For Startups. In addition to commemorating this milestone, you’ll have the opportunity to meet our new Director General, who will be eager to unveil their vision for the organisation’s future. Our agenda promises to be more dynamic than ever, featuring engaging panels encompassing key topics such as artificial intelligence, entrepreneurship, M&A and scaling, and digital health.


TownHall Europe, Sq. de Meeûs 5, 1000 Brussels


15 October 2024


The registration is free of charge!

Upon registration, you'll receive an email with a QR code which you shall present upon arrival at the venue.

Meet our Speakers

Anne Gabrielle
Anne-Gabrielle Haie

AI, Data & Digital Partner at Steptoe LLP

Anne-Gabrielle Haie advises clients on a wide range of digital-related matters, with a strong focus on data protection, privacy and cybersecurity. In addition, she has developed considerable expertise on AI and blockchain. She advises clients on compliance with EU laws and risk management. Anne-Gabrielle also has strong experience advising clients on data privacy and cybersecurity issues related to strategic transactions and commercial negotiations. She further assists clients with cybersecurity preparedness and response to data breaches and other security incidents.

Anne-Gabrielle’s practice includes representing clients in enforcement and litigation actions before European supervisory authorities and courts. Her clients include multinationals, start-ups and scaleups in diverse industries, and she has a strong track record in the Life Sciences and Technology sectors.

Lucia Bonova

Head of Unit, DG COMP J.1, European Commission

Lucia Bonova heads a unit at the European Commission responsible for the implementation of Digital Markets Act and antitrust enforcement in the area of digital platforms. She holds a law degree from Université Panthéon-Assas in Paris and an LLM in International Business law from McGill University in Montreal. Lucia spent her entire professional career devoted to competition law enforcement, in particular merger control, and to a lesser extent, antitrust.

Previously, she served in the private office of the Executive Vice-president of the European Commission for Competition and Europe fit for Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager. In addition to her experience at the European Commission, in 2009 Lucia spent three months at the Federal Trade Commission as an exchange official. Lucia was featured amongst 26 women at the forefront of global antitrust in GCR Women in Antitrust 2016 : Enforcers and in 30 in their 30s Notable Women Competition Professionals in Enforcement in 2017.

Ana Barjasic
Ana Barjasic

Founder & CEO, Connectology

Board Member, European Innovation Council

Ana Barjasic is an entrepreneur, angel investor, policy adviser, and ecosystem builder, with over a decade of experience in international startup ecosystems. In 2024, Ana was listed as one of Europe’s top 100 influential women in the startup and VC space. Combining her hands-on experience and knowledge of startup and innovation ecosystems and investment communities across the EMEA region, Ana founded Connectology, an international boutique agency for access to finance, innovation, and investment readiness.

Ana is also an Obama Leader Europe, Executive Committee Member of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (Europe), and a Board Member of the European Innovation Council, the largest innovation fund for deep tech in Europe with an investment capacity of 10 billion euros. Ana is the Chair of the Widening Countries/Opening for Excellence Working Group of the EIC Board, recommending concrete actions across the EU to increase participation and success rates of entrepreneurs from widening countries of Horizon Europe (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia).

Gareth Walkom

Founder, withVR

Gareth is from the UK and now lives in Belgium. He is a person who stutters and is the Founder of withVR – an award-winning customizable virtual reality tool for speech therapy. Since 2015, he has published, advised, and reviewed research on the topic, including collaborating with Google and Orange. Gareth has spoken at 40+ conferences in the past three years and collaborates with 100s of clinics, universities, and hospitals worldwide. He proudly uses his voice to empower others to use theirs.