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The next step towards a united European start-up ecosystem

Second Rise Europe Summit in Madrid

A group of people posing with yellow umbrellas
Published Apr 30, 2024

Rise Europe, a network of leading European start-up centers came together for the second time in Madrid, Spain. The aim of the network, where KTH Innovation is a member, is to empower the next generation of start-ups to secure long-term prosperity in Europe.

The Rise Europe network was launched one year ago in Elmau, Germany. With members from leading innovation centers from across Europe, including KTH Innovation, Aalto University, DTU Skylab, ETH Zurich, Imperial Enterprise Lab, and UnternehmerTUM, the network aims to combine individual ecosystems into one and contribute to European technological sovereignty.

"Addressing transitions and global challenges, such as the climate crisis and the scarcity of resources, demand a joint effort" says Lisa Ericsson, Head of KTH Innovation. "The ambition is to match the innovativeness of countries like the USA and China by helping European start-ups to scale and become sustainable global market leaders".

Four days full of exchange

The representatives of Rise Europe met for four days in Madrid and Segovia. Hosted by IE University, the focus of this year's summit was the creation of a joint Vision for Europe 2030, public affairs activities in favor of start-up scaling, a pan-european AI incubation program and the improvement of cross-national matchmaking of start-ups and corporates. Rise Europe is also welcoming a new member this year: Yes!Delft from The Netherlands is joining the network.

"The aim is for Europe to become the best location for start-ups and to produce a third of the world's start-ups, scale-ups and unicorns by 2030", Lisa Ericsson explains.

A milestone in the coming year will be the launch of a cross-institutional incubation program for the field of AI in order to take account of this key technology in Europe. Furthermore, joint public affairs activities, presence at international events, cross-border collaboration of start-ups with established companies and communications as a joint ecosystem are to be advanced.

“We need a new culture of entrepreneurship in Europe,” says Prof. Dr. Helmut Schönenberger, CEO of UnternehmerTUM and co-initiator of Rise Europe. “Rise Europe is about leveraging the power of a united Europe. By bringing together individual countries with specific strengths, we can support start-ups much better than if we only do this for ourselves in Munich.”

Reflecting the first year: Moving towards a united European start-up ecosystem

One major achievement in the first year of Rise Europe was the publication of a European Scale-up Navigator. The Navigator provides start-ups that are considering to internationalize with valuable insights, resources, and strategies to navigate the European innovation landscape and achieve sustainable success.

Also, Rise Europe published a European Start-up Landscape to give Europe’s ecosystem more visibility. The landscape demonstrated the impact of the group’s members which inspired 38,000 talents on the topic of entrepreneurship and supported 2,300 start-ups on their entrepreneurial journey in the previous year. All together, these start-ups received 7.8 billion Euros in venture capital funding.

Another highlight of the first year was the first start-up Demo Day of Rise Europe, bringing together deep tech start-ups and investors from all over Europe. Additionally, a delegation tour to Tokyo was made to increase awareness of the European ecosystem and Rise Europe in Japan.

These activities were rounded off by bringing the initiative to major start-up events like Slush, Bits & Pretzels, or South Summit and joining the Energy Resilience Leadership Group (ERLG) as Operational partner, acting as a European cleantech funnel for the group.


Contact Lisa Ericsson, Head of KTH Innovation at .

The Rise Europe network

Rise Europe is a collaboration of representatives from: Aalto University, Agoranov, Beta-i, Campus Founders, DTU Skylab, École Polytechnique, ETH AI CENTER, ETH Zurich, HighTechXL, IE University, Imperial Enterprise Lab at Imperial College London, INiTS, KTH Innovation, EnSpire Oxford at Oxford University, Sting, TalTech, DCU Invent, UnternehmerTUM and Yes!Delft

Represented countries

Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

Belongs to: About KTH
Last changed: Apr 30, 2024