The Entrepreneurial Parliament?

Most policy decisions about startups pass through the European Parliament. Allied for Startups takes entrepreneurs to the core of political decision making about the future of tech.

Image for post
Image for post
What is a startup all about? Open discussion with the S&D Working Group Digital Europe

We always speak about laws and what they mean for business, but did you ever wonder about the process behind them? At Allied for Startups, we are convinced that the innovative companies of tomorrow, today’s startups, need to be involved in policy decisions from day one.

How can we speed up the launch and development of startups? How can we get rid of old and outdated rules? How can we effectively provide trust online? All of these questions matter for digital companies. But in fact, they matter most for startups. Not only because they are the smallest but fastest growing entity in our economy, but also because they don’t have legal departments and corporate lobbyists on call. Through our platform, startups get instant access to the very centre of decision making in politics and government.

This week Rachel Delacour of France Digitale, and Franziska Majer, Founder & General Manager of catchys, made their case at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. “It’s true that startups can’t live without politics, but I believe it’s also true the other way round. We’re here to offer our perspective,” says Rachel Delacour. Rachel leads the voice of over 800 French entrepreneurs and investors in France.

Franziska Majer says: “Policy makers want startups to succeed, but while writing laws about startups I think it cannot be overstated that these laws should be written together with startups at the table”.

Currently the European Parliament is setting out the direction of the Digital Single Market, a groundbreaking set of rules supposed to enable a wave of innovative startups. In this process, the key message from startups is to take full account of the digital economy, including companies that aren’t yet all over european headlines. Startups, without being as big as Facebook or Google, share the same characteristics, making them online platforms too. “When you say platforms, you mean the entire digital economy. There is no other way of reading this,” says Lenard Koschwitz.

Platforms, in their countless shapes and sizes, are like a subscription-based wizard to any business, and not an Orwellian overlord. Entrepreneurs want to innovate rather than losing time filling out forms and following up invoices. Startups are destined to become just like some of our amazing SMEs, world leading in a niche, but we need to give them a way to focus on what they do best rather than getting lost in 28 shades of red tape across Europe.

Image for post
Image for post
MEPs Ehler, Niebler & Voss met startup founder Franziska Majer from Catchys

By the title of a law you can’t always tell the extent of its implication. The European directive on copyright may become a painful lesson for that. While no one disagrees that creators deserve recognition for their work, misguided rules bestrange a seemingly simple concept.

While governments and the EU are pledging ambitious programs on AI, provisions on Text & Data Mining could prevent such an ecosystem from evolving in the first place. Moreover, the benefits of TDM are visible also for far-reaching revelations like Panama Papers. Press is benefiting from technology and startups can be a way to explore this potential. The public, journalists and the press can hugely benefit from technology and startups often deliver novel solutions.

Startups offer huge economic potential and are proving it, keeping Europe on track for the next economic revolution. Now it’s up to policy makers to bring our innovators from garages to boardrooms.

Image for post
Image for post
Unwinding a productive day with MEPs Pavel, Zdechovsky & Wölken. We’re looking forward to continuing the discussion.

Written by

A Global Advocacy Organisation representing Startup Associations in Politics and Government. #100EuropeanStartups

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store