Made in Emerging Europe

Made in emerging Europe: myEUspace, SeedBlink, Lighthouse

Emerging Europe’s start-up scene is thriving: new money and new ideas are coming onto the market all the time. To keep you up to date with the latest investments, innovations, events and accelerators, every week Emerging Europe brings you a round-up of the region’s start-up news.

myEUspace: The competition for EU start-ups using data from Galileo and Copernicus

The European Union Agency for the Space Programme, EUSPA, last week launched the latest edition of its myEUspace competition to support the development of innovative commercial solutions – such as mobile apps or hardware-based solutions – that are leveraging data from the Galileo and Copernicus navigation and observation systems.

Satellite data from these programmes are widely available for free use, and the list of areas where products based on them are applicable covers virtually every branch of the economy. Previous winners include application for sustainable precision agriculture, a platform for enhancing road safety through the use of navigation and Earth observation data, and a solution for automatic monitoring of ground settlement on construction sites.

The goal of myEUspace competition is to promote breakthrough solutions that combine advanced technologies, innovative ideas and the enormous potential coming from data from space. Proposed projects should fit into one of the three thematic areas:

Space My Life – consumer solutions such as mobile applications, wearables (smartwatches, smart glasses, fitness trackers, etc.) drones or robotics that will address major societal challenges in focus areas such as health, citizen safety and security, gaming and entertainment, sports and fitness, and tourism;

Our Green Planet – innovative solutions addressing environmental challenges and sustainable life that contribute to the implementation of the European Green Deal as well as solutions for the green transformation of corporates;

Dive in Deep Tech – innovative solutions combining EU space data with deep technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Quantum technologies (quantum computing, sensing, simulation, encryption etc.), Blockchain, Metaverse and Extended Reality (Augmented Reality (AR) / Mixed Reality (MR) / Virtual Reality (VR).

A prize pool of one million euros for the best applications is expected to encourage innovators to submit entries, but according to EUSPA, the financial boost is just one of the many benefits of participating in the competition.

“In addition to funding the best ideas, we also offer technical and business support from our experts,” says Justyna Redełkiewicz, head of consumer solutions, market and technology at EUSPA.

“Over the past few years, EUSPA has created an impressive ecosystem of start-ups and organisations that use satellite data on a daily basis. We are building a community that shares its experience by inspiring each other in addition to pioneering ideas with high market potential. We know from the participants of the first edition of myEUspace themselves that this is of great value to them,” she adds.

Applications from all EU-based start-ups can be made at the EUSPA website, here. Ideas need to be submitted by November 30.

SeedBlink’s ECSPR license

SeedBlink, a co-investment platform for European start-ups, has received a license from the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF) as a provider of crowdfunding services under ECSPR (European Crowdfunding Services Providers Regulation), to strengthen its operational framework and pursue its European strategy.

It makes SeedBlink the first CEE alternative co-investment platform to be authorised under the new regulation. At the European level, only four other platforms have received the license from local jurisdictions (with only two of them including equity).

“A new, safer stage for pan-European investments has begun,” says Andrei Dudoiu, managing partner of SeedBlink. “Our ambition is to continue to support tech start-ups and scale-ups and contribute to the development of Europe as an innovation hub with the help of private investors from across Europe. The authorisation is a step forward for our company and further proof that we want to strengthen the entrepreneurial environment and protect investors as efficiently as possible.”

Under ECSPR, a licensed platform must comply with several measures to protect investors. One of these measures is the Key Investment Information Sheet (KIIS) that each startup must prepare for each crowdfunding offering. It must include the risks of an investment and focuses on important information about the project owners, investor rights and fees, and the types of instruments offered.

According to the regulation, crowdfunding providers are allowed to establish a secondary market where investors can resell their crowdfunded investments, through bulletin boards where buyers and sellers can find each other.

“We have started to apply for accreditation in the jurisdictions of the EU member states to obtain a European passport. SeedBlink offers investors the opportunity to safely invest cross-border in startups with European DNA, along with the strongest network of business angels and VCs. In addition to a clear protocol, the accreditation increases our capacity for co-investments with an investment between 100,000 and five million euros,” adds Carmen Sebe, CEO of SeedBlink.

SeedBlink is a specialised technology investment platform launched in 2020 that enables individual investors to invest in leading European start-ups and scale-ups alongside established institutional investors.

In 2022, SeedBlink consolidated its infrastructure and expanded its presence in Central and Eastern Europe and Benelux to innovate on a European scale. The platform has already mobilised over 145 million euros in start-up investing, attracted over 63,000 individual investors from 73 countries and has a portfolio of 255 funded European companies.

Lighthouse: CEE’s first CCNE member

Romanian PR and communication agency Lighthouse has joined Crisis Communication Network Europe (CCNE), becoming the sole Romanian member of the group and the first in Central and Eastern Europe. The CCNE is an association of owner-managed European consulting agencies with proven experience in crisis prevention and communication. Through the network, members can better serve their clients in the case of transnational crises.

The 13 member agencies from Germany, Austria, Italy, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, France, Switzerland and now Romania maintain regular contact to share best practices. This helps them anticipate and meet their clients’ needs when a crisis event crosses international borders.

Through cross-border workshops, seminars, and simulations, CCNE already helps clients build effective resilience to crisis events. According to CCNE, the need for crisis communication will increase, particularly in the healthcare and financial sector. The war in Ukraine with all its implications, the energy crisis and rising inflation will put great pressure on companies, political leadership, public institutions, and private organisations alike.

“We are very happy to have been received in the CCNE, in a time when crisis management and communication have become more important than ever. Our clients can now benefit from this dynamic network of independent PR agencies across Europe. Being able to work closely with internationally acknowledged professionals and exchanging experiences and latest trends in crisis management is invaluable,” says Ana Maria Gardiner, managing director at Lighthouse Romania.

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