European startup CEOs and founders urge countries to adopt the EU’s Startup Nations Standard

16th Mar 2021

The European startup ecosystem has never been stronger, with unprecedented levels of available capital and talent, and ever-growing ambition of founders and teams. After decades of hard work, we are seeing innovative businesses emerge from every corner of Europe. Startups that began as back-of-an-envelope ideas have grown into unicorns and publicly traded companies valued at tens of billions, creating hundreds of thousands of highly-qualified new jobs every year. 

However, to continue to build on this momentum, and to make Europe the most entrepreneurial continent, startups need to become a strategic priority for policymakers. The countries with startup-friendly legislation will be the ones to benefit from the resulting innovation and economic growth. This will be especially important for post-Covid economic recovery. 

This is why today, we, the founders of Europe’s startups, welcome the launch of the EU Startup Nations Standard. We applaud the EU’s ambition of seeking a pan-European solution to address the needs of startups and urge every Member State to adopt and implement it urgently. We need a pan-European approach to help startups achieve their full potential.

The new Standard is designed to fuel the creation of the next generation of successful European tech giants and will help the continent compete with powerful global tech hubs in the US and China. It tackles barriers currently hindering the growth of startups, and if implemented across the continent, will make it easier to start a business, attract capital, expand across borders and hire and retain top talent.

Two years ago, more than 500 leading European entrepreneurs joined the Not Optional campaign, advocating for a legal reform of stock options and highlighting that the limited availability of talent to nurture and fuel [Europe’s] blossoming start-up ecosystem is a serious bottleneck to growth.” Today, we are encouraged that the European Commission has specifically called out the treatment of stock options as one of the key policy areas in need of change. If implemented, startups will no longer be hamstrung by an inability to use stock options effectively to attract and retain world-class talent.

As founders and CEOs of businesses that contribute significantly to Europe’s economy, we will support and celebrate national governments as they take the steps required to become Startup Nations’. 


Signatories Founders

Alan, Jean-Charles Samuelian

BlaBlaCar, Nicolas Brusson

Cabify, Juan de Antonio

Collibra, Felix Van de Maele

GetYourGuide, Johannes Reck

Klarna, Sebastian Siemiatkowski

Personio, Hanno Renner

Pitch, Christian Reber

Rohlik, Tomas Cupr

Stripe, John Collison

Supercell, Ilkka Paananen

Swile, Loic Soubeyrand

Trustpilot, Peter Muhlmann 

UiPath, Daniel Dines

Vinted, Thomas Plantenga

Wise, Taavet Hinrikus

Wolt, Miki Kuusi

Supporting Investors

Accel — Andrei Brasoveanu

Alven — Rodolphe Menegaux

Atomico — Niklas Zennström

Balderton Capital — Bernard Liautaud 

Blossom Capital — Ophelia Brown

Creandum — Staffan Helgesson, Fredrik Cassel

Index Ventures — Martin Mignot and Neil Rimer

Lakestar — Klaus Hommels

Localglobe — Saul Klein and Suzanne Ashman

Point Nine — Christoph Janz

Project A — Florian Heinemann

Partech — Omri Benayoun

Seedcamp — Tom Wilson

Supporting Startup Associations

Austrian Startups — Markus Raunig

Allied for Startups — Benedikt Blomeyer 

Deutsche Startups — Christoph Stresing

European Startup Network — Jan Bormans

France Digitale — Nicolas Brien and Frédéric Mazzella

Scale Ireland — Martina Fitzgerald

Startup Estonia — Eve Peeterson

Startup Foundation (Finland) — Jouni Lounasmaa 

Startup Portugal — Simon Schaefer

Tech​leap​.nl (Netherlands) — Constantijn van Oranje