In Budapest, David has met Goliath with the aim of building jointly Europe's innovation. This could be a description of the Matching Event promoted by Startup Europe Partnership (SEP), the platform established to support the best European startups, which on May 7th. included for the first time among its central members also Enel, after the Group officially joined as active corporate member of the programme with an announcement on May 5th.
At the centre of the Matching Event in Budapest 14 startups from Hungary (5), Poland (3), Germany (2), Italy (1) the Netherlands (1), France (1) and Sweden (1) and four companies: Enel, Endesa, Orange, Telecom Italia. Thirty matching meetings took place between "David and Goliath", aimed to establish a focused contact between big companies' specific innovation needs and the offer coming from Europe's most competitive startups. The final goal is to establish commercial partnerships, investments and – in some cases – even actual purchases.
"Startups need to world together with big companies to produce innovation, value and employment worldwide", said Startup Europe Coordinator Alberto Onetti. Because "having startups is not enough. In Europe we need scaleups. SEP aims to make this transformation tangible". For Enel, the Budapest event was a debut in the SEP ecosystem. "We have met some very interesting startups, with different backgrounds and highly heterogeneous origin", explained Luca Seletto, from Enel's Innovation New Ventures. "We aim to continue the debate that began today, in order to analyse partnership potential in depth".
The Matching Event on May 7th., hosted by InnovEIT 2015 at Budapest's Congress Centre, is the seventh of a series of meetings, held within a sort of innovation tour 2.0 across the whole of Europe, which before the Hungarian capital had reached Naples, Madrid, Rome, London, Paris, Berlin and in June will arrive in Lisbon
Enel has become the seventh active corporate member of SEP, which was launched in Davos on January 23rd, 2014 by the European Commission and is lead by the Mind the Bridge Foundation, together with Nesta (UK) and Factory (Germany). Other major corporations taking part in SEP include Microsoft, Orange, Telefonica and Telecom Italia, BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria) and Unipol Group. Enel's membership in SEP has introduced green and clean technology and renewable energy within the platform's scope, expanding the diversity of its industries.
SEP also involves investment funds (European Investment Fund, parte dell'European Investment Bank Group, as well as dozens of funds and accelerators across Europe) and leading European universities (Cambridge University, IE Business School e Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society), and has carried out extensive mapping of the European startup and scale-up ecosystem: to date eight editions of the SEP Monitor, which highlight the key trends and characteristics of differing national ecosystems, have been published
Enel has been investing since longin the development of products made by innovative startups, with which the company have began joint projects aimed at both technological improvements to and the marketing of products, as part of a strategic partnership. The Group also coordinates INCENSe, a European startup financing initiative that offers seven million euros of grant money and a personalised acceleration programme. Fourteen start-ups were rewarded at the end of the first call in February, and up to 28 new projects will be selected during the second call, which will open in June.
In order to strengthen its commitment to the startup world, Enel has signed a number of agreements with a range of major players, including venture capital funds, universities, research centres and incubators. Enel has also changed its internal structure in order to gain maximum value from its relationships with new ventures, by offering them an ecosystem in which they can find resources, skills, facilities and above all a customer base of 61 million people.