Startups Policies in Europe

ICT startups are often seen as a key for transformation of the current economy and society, but also as a major driver for new and innovative jobs especially for the younger generation.  The European Union has included in the Digital Agenda for Europe the Start Europe project that aims to strengthen the business environment for web and ICT entrepreneurs so that their ideas and business can start and grow in the EU.

This section is looking to national initiatives in relation to startups and tries to identify whether there are national projects aimed at encouraging innovation, competitiveness and market growth by supporting ICT and web startups.

CountryNational legislation/policies supporting startups and entrepreneursStartups associationsStartups Incubators / Accelerators

Major Startup competitions


Neugründungs-Förderungsgesetz (NeuFöG) reduces taxes and social insurance fees for first-time entrepeneteurs.

Austrian Startups

Startups are members of the chamber of commerce, which supports Startups and SMEs with various activities.

Gruender Service


Speed Invest



i5 invest





National Strategy for Encouraging Small and Medium Enterprises: Small Business Act


Small and Medium Enterprises Act

On the 9th May 2016 a public discussion on a Draft Act of Innovations was initiated by the Bulgarian Ministry Council. The legislative act aims to boost competitiveness and innovative potential and thus create a knowledge-driven sustainable economy. Specific measures for the implementation of the aforesaid objectives include: tax reductions and direct financial aid for innovative enterprises; increase in job numbers in the sector; enhancing the cooperation between education, science and business entities and others. Nonetheless, the draft has not yet been proposed for adoption by the Bulgarian Parliament.


ABLE Bulgaria


StartIt Smart



Startup Bootcamp

Digital Alliance





Czech RepublicNot applicable

CzechInvest – Investment and Business Development Agency

Innovation Centre

South Moravia Innovation Centre

JIC Startcube



Impact Hub Praha

Some minor calls and competitions are organized by the Start-up accelerators.

Major competitions with a support of three main telcom companies:


Nadace O2

Rozjezdy Roku

Law No. 47/2002 (Support for SMEs)

CzechInvest – Investment and Business Development Agency

Small and Medium Enterprises Support Strategy 2014-2020

Financial support of SMEs and starting entrepreneurs via state owned Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank


La French Tech.

In addition to FrenchTech, the Tech 40 label supports innovative start-ups (not only French, European wide) by enhancing their visibility and providing specific assistance during a year.

The setup of an “Innovation cluster” three years ago, put CNIL in contact with start-ups in order to ensure optimal advise on data protection from the earliest stages of product design.

French Tech Initiative

Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, USA - 160 French startups and companies present


Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir

Call for proposal for investors through the operator Bpifrance - EUR 200M investment capacity


GermanyBerlin Startup Unit

BITKOM Get Started

Deutscher Gründerpreis

Existenzgründerzuschuss”: unemployed people who decide to become an entrepreneur will receive support for the first six month, § 93 SGB III


Italia Startup

Associazione Start up turismo

Roma Start-up

Law D.L. 3/2015 – Investment Compact, which includes the possibility to establish a new kind of SME: the Innovative SME.

Law 18 October 2012, no. 179 and in particular the articles 25, 26, 27, 28, 29. A synthesis of the Italian law on start-up is available here.

CONSOB regulation on Equity Crowdfunding, with important changes made on February 2016 for start ups funding (recognition of the role of “business angel”) – Resolution no. 1950 del 25 febbraio 2016

Minister for Economic Development – updating of synthesis of Italian legislation on innovative start-ups (May 2016)

Politecnico di Milano:

Università degli studi di Trento

Politecnico di Torino

LUISS EnLabs – the Startup Factory, based in Rome.

Italia Startup
Associazione Start up turismo
Roma Start-up

Premio Ericsson

Trentorise – Societal Innovation rooted in Research and Education

Startup Europe Partnership


INVITALIA - Smart and Start

REGIONE LAZIO - Lazio regional government, through Roma Casilino Incubator and Tecnopolo Tiburtino High-tech Incubator

Training for ICT start-up

Wind - Training Platform for start-up

Best Programme 2015, issued by the USA Embassy in Italy

Startupper School Academy of the Lazio regional government (training for 2000 boys and girls in the year 2015-2016)

Emilia Romagna Startup – La rete per la creazione di impresa innovativa

Napoliest Incubator

“Made in Italy. Eccellenze in digitale”, made by Google, Unioncamere and 64 Chambers of Commerce based in Italy.

La Repubblica delle Idee

WindforFund – crowfundg platform promoted by Wind and DeRev

Lazio Regional government, The last competition was: “Fondo per la creatività” aimed at supprting innovative startups

Best Programme 2015, issued by the USA Embassy in Italy

Emilia Romagna Start-up – competition for innovative startups

Fondazione Cariplo

Vodafone Foundation: Digital for social


Malta Enterprise Innovative start-ups

Business First

JCI - Best business plan competition

MITA Student Start-up Award

Chapter 463 (2003, as amended in 2013) Malta Enterprise Act

General innovation policy for startups covers also foreign companies operating inside the NL including IT sector.

The English introduction is available here, or the Startup NL Manifesto.

Also Dutch immigration laws are changed to from Jan. 1 2015 to give visa to non-EU startup founders.

Official communication documents between Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Dutch of Representatives.




Netherland ICT

ACE connect


Young Startup

Dutch Incubation Association

Startupdelta supported by the Dutch government


Dutch private Hubs:

ICT Startup

Eindhoven Startups

Utrecht inc


Holland Startup





Lean Startup Machine

ACE Venture Lab Amsterdam

Startup Weekend 2015

ABN AMRO Digital Impact Fund




ICTRegie Award

New Venture

SIDN Funds to finance projects promoting  innovation, research, education, security and trust

Tu Delft

Loey Awards


Dell For Entrepreneurs 2015 Award


Business Angels Law - a law granting fiscal benefits to investors (an English synthesis new law is available here)

Start Up Romania - project of the Ministry of Economy, Commerce and Business Relations



Risky Business - acceleration fund

Venture Connect

Tech Hub

Impact Hub

Connect Hub


Innovation Labs - a pre-acceleration program that advances tech creativity and entrepreneurial drive among young professionals and students

Startup Spotlight (and How to Web conference)


ENISA: a Spanish government institution providing funding in the form of “participative loans” (a blend of traditional loan and venture capital) for innovative projects for startups and other SMEs.

CDTI: (Center for Industrial and Technological Development), a Spanish government institution for promoting and funding technical innovation and development for companies

Asociación Española de Startups

Wayra Lanzadera Mola

Sonar Ventures

Spain Startup

Emprendedor XXI
Law of Physical Persons Income Tax  (IRPF) Article 42.2 f) which stipulates up to 12.000€  tax-free stock options for employees, a measure aimed to help companies attract talent

Startupticker Association


Comprehensive map of the tech startup community in Switzerland with filters for incubators and accelerators

Swiss ICT Award

Best of Swiss Web Swiss award for e-business and internet

CH Open Source Awards

Top 100 Start up Award Award for the 100 best Swiss start-ups.

Swiss Technology Award

Ordinance on the Federal coordination of policies in favour of SMEs


Last updated 7 February 2017.

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Link - Posted on Monday 15 September 2014

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