In 2012, Telefónica and the Lisbon Council, a think tank based in Brussels, reached a 3-year agreement to create StartUp Europe, a centre of excellence aimed at nurturing and supporting entrepreneurs and the job creation in Europe.
In a Europe which is suffering the highest unemployment rate in almost three decades – especially serious among young people – StartUp Europe aims to become a bulwark to halt the “brain drain” and in this way help young people and foment technological development and a spirit of entrepreneurship.
Telefónica and the Lisbon Council have established that one of the essential mechanisms to reverse this trend is the rapid creation of innovation centres throughout Europe to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship, with the ultimate aim of helping the region to regain leadership in technology and innovation.
One of the objectives of the initiative is to establish a new Entrepreneurs indicator to provide young companies with intellectual leadership, ideas and information about research; it would also be a quicker way of integrating with the business social action programmes already operating within Telefónica, through the technological accelerator Wayra, Talentum and Think Big Young People.
In addition, StartUp Europe will identify the key individuals and organisations to develop an ecosystem in which innovation and business audacity can flourish, and to establish relations with them. And it will set up a high-level advisory board and promote a strategy of awareness-raising aimed at politicians, entrepreneurs and opinion leaders.