Articles & more

 'New EU funding opportunity “FRACTALS” for ICT SMEs and Web entrepreneurs to develop FI-WARE based applications for the Agricultural Sector
FRACTALS is a new EU funding opportunity for ICT SMEs and Web entrepreneurs to develop FI-WARE based applications for the Agricultural Sector. FRACTALS will distribute a total grant support of 5,5 m€ to 50-60 SMEs. Grants per SME will be from 50K - 150K Euros. The duration of projects will be from 4 to 9 months.
The FRACTALS Open Call dates from November 30th, 2014 to February 28th, 2015.  FRACTALS will provide multi-dimensional support in the sense that it aims to span beyond grant assistance to also include: (1) the technical capacity building of ICT SMEs and Web entrepreneurs with respect to developing applications based on the FI-PPP enablers and the achieved results from the first two phases, (2) the testing and validation of applications in an open innovation context (by involving end-users in the testing/validation assignment through a short of Living Labs environment), and (3) clustering and mentoring services related to entrepreneurship and venture capital finance. FRACTALS Call will be open to all European SMEs and Web entrepreneurs but will additionally focus on areas which are considered as “white spots” with respect to FI-PPP Phase 1 and 2 (Balkans, South East Europe).

Check for dates of currently planned Info Days in Podgorica, Poznan, Novi Sad, Banja Luka, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Sofia, Thessaloniki and Istanbul on FRACTALS website.

There will be more in January and February in Bucharest, Sarajevo, Nis and Skopje.

For more detailed information check out the overview, value proposition, criteria for applying, accelerator activities, selection process) here  and a detailed presentation here.
Applications will open online at the end of November 2014.
For more information or additional questions, please feel free to e-mail directly Grigoris Chatzikostas and Mladen Radisic.

 'World’s TOP 18 Fiercely competitive Tech companies
The competition in the tech is the fiercest compared to any other industry in the world where big companies easily kill the small ones or stunt their growth. Competition is good for business. But you better pray that one of these companies is not your rival if you are a tech firm. More on this here

'Investors Leaderboard made by CrunchBase
A list of investors and values of their investments by CrunchBase here 

'7 Traits to Turn Good Managers Into Great Managers’
Great managers have one job: to get the very best out of the people they manage. While that premise sounds simple, the execution is hard. Read more here

'Why Businesses Are Accelerating Investment in Video Communications
Innovative companies constantly strive to communicate more efficiently and effectively. A recent study commissioned by my company, Qumu, with independent market research firm Wainhouse Research shows communications using video is growing in popularity and explains why here...

'Maria Pinelli, EY: “Think like Entrepreneur, even if You’re Not’ met with Maria Pinelli, Global Vice President of Strategic Growth Markets at EY Global, at EY offices at Becket House, London and discussed about creating a friendlier environment in Europe towards entrepreneurship.
Ms. Pinelli mentioned how important is for G20 the contribution of entrepreneurship to the global economy and society, as entrepreneurs create the vast majority of new jobs, while she proposed a closer collaboration between governments, corporations and entrepreneurs for supporting the latter ones, by facilitating access to financing and reducing the bureaucratic obstacles. More about in this video-interview here

'John C. Fox on Startups in Europe'
They are trying to tackle practical problems, whereas in San Franscisco’s they are focusing on the Next Billion-Dollar Idea”, video interview here...

'How Britain Developed a Billion-Pound Angel Investors Marketplace
Video Interview with UK Business Angels’ Jenny Tooth here

'The 10 Most Reliable Ways to Fund a Startup'
One of the most frequent questions I get as a mentor to entrepreneurs is “How do I find the money to start my business?” I always answer that there isn’t any magic, and contrary to popular myth, nobody is waiting in the wings to throw money at you just because you have a new and exciting business idea here...

'Ernst and Young Entrepreneurship Barometer 2013
Governments around the world are increasingly recognizing entrepreneurs’ roles as job creators, but how do the world’s leading economies fare when it comes to cultivating an environment in which entrepreneurs can flourish? About the EY G20 entrepreneurship barometer 2013 here...

'Why Silicon Valley Can’t Find Europe
What is missing between the U.S. and Europe is a real bridge. So how do we build one, and what can both partners in constructing this connection hope to gain? The entire article here...

'FAQ for SME Instrument
More about SME Instrument - Horizon 2020 here...

'The success story of the Greek startup Daily Secret
The Greek digital media startup Daily Secret is helping users find the best-kept secrets of some of the world’s most exciting capitals and cities thanks to a daily e-newsletter sent through its web service. More here...

'How to build a globally successful startup from a small country: Lessons from Prezi
Building a startup anywhere is hard, but it’s especially difficult if you’re based in a country that isn’t a huge market itself. One company that has managed to make it big despite such a restriction is Prezi, which designs and creates ‘zooming’ presentation software – a cloud-based presentation and storytelling tool for sharing ideas on a virtual canvas. here...

'The Surprising thing TechCrunch's Co-Founder has to say about an European Startup Community
About Chat Center project and about the Krakow startup community with Keith Teare here...

'Seedcamp’s place in a confusing European ecosystem
Interview with Carlos Espinal here...

'Future of education is digital, but these are some problems we need to solve in Edutainment Industry
Interview on this subject with Stephan Stephensen (Savivo) here...

'How To Fail At Fundraising: Top Ten Mistakes Startups Make
Fundraising isn’t easy, even if done well, its fraught with all sorts of ambiguity and frustrations. To that very point, more here...

 'Talent and EU money: A snapshot of burgeoning startups in Bulgaria and the Balkans
A combination of strong tech talent and EU funding seems to be working well for Bulgaria. co-founder Ivo Spigel takes a look at the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bulgaria and the Balkans. here...

 'Balkan Nations Need to Support Startups
The wave of startup excitement sweeping Europe has hit the Balkans. However, while the region has had some successes, unless big problems in its nascent startup culture are resolved, it is in danger of missing out. here...

 'Watch out for the Balkans
Article on Techcrunch about the startup ecosystem in the Balkans here...

 '10 Things I Learned from Paul Graham at Y Combinator'
Many entrepreneurs can’t even remember to feed themselves. How can they take care of a baby? Few answers from Paul Graham that worth reading here

 'Till Ohrmann on Events market during European Pirate Summit
Events market in Europe is a huge and interesting opportunity, although it’s too big already states Till Ohrmann in European Pirate Summit here... 

 'Startups fail because they lack customers, not funding'
Speaking before a crowd of more than 600 businessmen and women at the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Breakfast Wednesday morning, Diana Kander, senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation, urged entrepreneurs to ditch the traditional business plan and adopt a more customer-based approach here... 

 '7 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Business in 2014
If your New Year’s resolutions include quitting your job and starting a business, you’re not alone. What could be more fulfilling than calling the shots, setting your own hours, and making things happen? … here...

 'RSA Shorts - The Power of Quiet
Author Susan Cain shines a spotlight on introverts and reveals how over time our society has come to look to extroverts as leaders. Not suggesting that one is better than the other, Susan argues that the world needs an equal space between introverts and extroverts; that an innovative, creative world wouldn't be the same without the two coming together here...

 The ‘Review of the Existing Regulation Concerning Crowdfunding in Europe, North America and Israel’ by the Tax & Legal Work Group of the European Crowdfunding Network (October 2013) can be found here...

 The updated version (March 2013) of the document ‘All Money is Not the Same’, the comprehensive review of the large variety of existing funding instruments for SMEs in Europe, by Christian Saublens, Director General of EURADA, the European Association of Development Agencies, can be found here...

 Startup Quotes
Inspiring quotes for startups.

 Startup Weekend Events

 A Guide for Start-up Businesses by Innovation Farm

 United Startups Blog
A site-newsletter, that presents one startup, its product, service or innovation, to make it visible outside its own country.

 Start-up procedures: progress in 2012 (EU)

 Requirements for Start-ups by country (EU)

 Entrepreneurship 2020 – EU plan
Full pdf:

 South-East European Network of Business Start-up Centers and Incubators

 Apply to work for an Openfund portfolio company. Openfund portfolio companies are growing fast, constantly looking for world class talent to hire and partner with. They are creating jobs that offer intellectual challenge, great career potential and exposure to high quality work practices.

  Microsoft Corp. announced the winners of the 11th annual Microsoft Imagine Cup, the world’s premier competition for student technologists, developers and aspiring entrepreneurs to create innovative projects and ultimately bring those ideas to market.

 Balkan Nations Need to Support Startups.

 "Sofia is a startup madhouse" – 10 reasons why business is rocking in the Balkans.

 Start me up, Sofia – A beginner's guide to South East Europe's rising tech hub.

 The World's 20 Hottest Startup Scenes (Infographic)

 How Entrepreneurs Think Differently and You Should Too.

 Business Start-up Centers in the Western Balkans – The SPARK Approach. This case study describes and analyses SPARK’s extensive work on entrepreneurship promotion and SME development in the Western Balkans region.

 Doing Business in South East Europe 2011

 What is social entrepreneurship? – A Youtube video explaining social entrepreneurship.


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