The European Digital Forum took centre stage at ICT 2015: Innovate, Connect, Transform in Lisbon on 20-22 October 2015. ICT 2015 is the European Union’s flagship digital conference that united 7,000 innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses, corporate leaders, private investors, regional and national policymakers and digital-era luminaries from throughout Europe for intense policy debates, stimulating keynotes, dynamic new research and high-level networking.
This year, the European Digital Forum was proud to co-host the Startup Europe Forum, an intellectually vibrant parallel track of unprecedented discussions and debates that will take place inside of the conference. Günther Oettinger, European commissioner for digital economy and society, kicked off the opening plenary of the Startup Europe Forum with a 30-minute round of “hard talk,” led by Politico’s Zoya Sheftalovich and Paul Hofheinz, director of the European Digital Forum.
Rastislav Chovanec, state secretary of the ministry of economy of Slovakia introduced a newly established initiative The Startup Policy Facility and handed over a letter of intent to Commissioner Oettinger. Later, Brigitte Baumann, founder and CEO of GoBeyond and president emeritus of the European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and Early Stage Market Players (EBAN); Marie Ekeland, co-president of France Digitale; Nikita Fahrenholz, co-founder and CEO of Book a Tiger and co-founder of Delivery Hero, one of four German “unicorns;” Inês Henriques, CEO of Ynvisible; Miguel Leitmann, senior vice-president of Vision Box; António Murta, co-founder and managing partner of Pathena and digital champion of Portugal; Carlos Torres Vila, president and chief operating officer of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA); Matthias Ummenhofer, founder and managing director of mojo.capital; and Linnar Viik, co-founder and member of the board of Pocopay and associate professor and member of the board of Estonian Information Technology College, took the stage to share their successful experiences and discuss how Europe can become a better place to start and scale up. Paul Hofheinz, president and co-founder of the Lisbon Council, moderated this high-level debate.