Annual EU4Digital Start-ups and Innovation Forum 2022

  • Date: 27/01/22 to 27/01/22
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On 27 January, the EU4Digital Facility will gather government representatives, leading start-up ecosystems organisations, and experts in the innovation field in the first high-level policy forum ‘Innovative solutions for the development of startup ecosystems in the Eastern Partnership’. The event will be held remotely in the form of a virtual session.

This high-level policy forum aims to provide a platform to share progress and challenges, and discuss future cooperation in finding innovative solutions for the region’s development. This year, the forum will be focused on understanding strategies and instruments to support the start-up ecosystem development in the Eastern partner countries.  

The main audience of the event will be representatives of the European Commission (DG NEAR), high-level representatives of national governments, leading organisations in the start-up ecosystem, and other acknowledged experts in the area of start-ups and ICT innovation. 

The forum will be opened by a welcome note from Gérald Audaz, Head of the Economic Development Section (DG NEAR), followed by a keynote speech by Mr. Charles K. Whitehead, Founder of EO Business Incubator in Kyiv and Founding Director of Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship Programme at Cornell Tech (US). He will reflect on the potential of the region, importance of connectivity and share inspirational examples of accomplishments in the ICT and start-up innovation field in the Eastern Partnership.

The event will celebrate the official launch of the innovative Eastern Partnership startup ecosystem platform that already today brings together 2200+ start-ups, 20+ venture capitalists and 135+ corporates. The platform is aimed to provide macro-level trends and trusted insights for data-driven policymaking for start-up ecosystem development. It was developed in partnership with based on the best practices from European Union such as the EuropeanStartups platform. During the forum, Mr. Matthieu Demolin, Head of Ecosystems at Dealroom, will introduce the platform and the benefits it will bring to multiple groups of users and the Eastern Partnership as a region.

The forum will be crowned with the panel discussion on ‘Innovative solutions for start-up ecosystem development in the Eastern Partnership‘. High-level EaP ministerial representatives and experts will be invited for a strategic discussion on how existing solutions, initiatives at country and international levels could help to accelerate the start-up ecosystem growth and what are the future perspectives. 

The panel discussion will host the following distinguished speakers:

  • Davit Sahakyan, Deputy Minister, Ministry of High-Tech Industry of Armenia
  • Irakli Nadareishvili, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia
  • Andrei Cușca, Head of Information Society and Digital Economy Directorate, Ministry of Economy, Republic of Moldova
  • Oleksandr Bornyakov, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Digital Transformation and Head of the Diia Project, Ukraine
  • EU4Digital Facility Senior Expert in ICT and Start-up Ecosystem

During the Q&A session, participants will have the floor to ask questions as well as to express their needs and share their ideas with the dedicated national representatives and other ecosystem players.  

This first high-level event is expected to lay a solid ground to make it an annual forum each year focusing on different topics related to innovation and start-ups. 

The detailed agenda of the forum can be found below.