The last General Assembly meeting of ESNA – the Europe Startup Nations Alliance – resulted in the election of the 5 members of the Presidency Board, responsible for providing important guidance and overseeing the activities of the executive team, among other institutional activities. Four new members were also formally welcomed.
Portugal, Czechia, Spain, Slovenia, and France are the five countries represented on the ESNA Presidency Board, namely through the Startup Ambassador at CzechInvest, Marketa Prenosilova, the Executive Director at Startup Portugal, António Dias Martins, the Head of Startup Slovenia, Matej Rus, the Secretary-General Scale of Up Europe at Présidence de la République France, Philippe Huberdeau, and also cabinet advisor of the Spanish Secretary of State for Digital and AI, Alberto Gago Fernández.
In order to fulfill the ESNA vision – to connect the dots between the Commission, Member States Governments with the National Entrepreneurship bodies of each European Union country – these are the members that, during their tenure, their countries will hold or already held the actual presidency of the European Union Council.
According to Marketa Prenosilova, “it is a great opportunity to be involved in the inception of this entity. I do believe that Europe is a great place to start and conduct business but all market fragmentation is very difficult for startups and scale-ups. Therefore I assume that ESNA is going to be the “right voice” to make Europe the best startup destination not only for EU founders”.
For the Executive Director at Startup Portugal, António Dias Martins, “ESNA is a strategic piece for building a European ecosystem that can compete within a global economy. The entrepreneurial community is one of the most important drives to the growth of the Portuguese economy, which makes us very committed, as members, to ESNA´s important mission. We’re eager to contribute with clearer standards and creative solutions for all startups driving innovation and the new economy in Europe”.
Alberto Gago Fernandez shares the same vision: “ESNA gives EU national startup ecosystems a chance to collaborate and together consolidate the EU as an excellent hub for startups and scaleups to thrive. It is an honor to participate in the Presidency Board for Spain to contribute to this mission”.
Matej Rus from Startup Slovenia, sees an opportunity ”be the ESNA voice of the region truly is a great honor”. For her, it gives “a noble chance to represent the Slovenian startup ecosystem and to co-create the entrepreneurial future of Europe. I am looking forward to building connections with other ecosystems throughout and beyond our region”.
“Scale-Up Europe and ESNA share the same strategic goal of building a strong and ambitious European tech ecosystem and, to that end, connecting all public schemes supporting this ecosystem to maximize our collective impact. I am honored and thrilled to able to pay my personal contribution to this aim as a member of the ESNA Presidency board”, affirms Philippe Huberdeau.
During the meeting, new four ESNA associates were also admitted, namely entrepreneurs’ organizations from European countries such as Slovenia, France, Czechia, and Bulgaria. These are:
Start:up Slovenia, an independent open platform of the Slovenia startup ecosystem that supports innovative entrepreneurship. This initiative dates back to 2004 and is managed by the Venture Factory, with the Slovene Enterprise Fund and the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology partnering for many years. Members of the startup community and other public and private partners are intensively involved in the activities.
Business France, which contributes to the development and success of French and foreign businesses wishing to expand abroad by supporting them throughout the lifetime of their projects, and is driven by an efficient, result-oriented working culture.
CzechInvest, which plays a key role in supporting business and investments in its comprehensive form. Their combination of regional, central, and international operations ensures the integrity of services and the ability to connect global trends with regional conditions in the Czech Republic.
BESCO – The Bulgarian Startup Association: For Entrepreneurs By Entrepreneurs, a non-governmental organization that acts as a bridge between startups, private and institutional investors, the government, and other stakeholders in the innovation industry.