4 June 2013, Crowdfunding for Webentrepreneurs, Brussels

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This workshop was organized with the support of the European Commission’s DG CONNECT as part of their Startup Europe initiative.

We aimed collaboratively to discuss and identify issues affecting the growth of web start-ups across Europe, the prospects for increasing pan–European access to crowdfunding for web-entrepreneurs and ways of fostering stronger and more competitive European crowdfunding brands. We believe in a dialogue between the crowdfunding industry and web start-ups in order to identify how needs and expectations can be addressed in the best possible manner. This should result in actionable results as much as in forward looking statements.

To that extend, we stimulated a common approach and a sense of common purpose among the European crowdfunding platforms and to discuss the benefits of and gather support for a common entry point and data repository using a standard taxonomy (i.e. online) for information on European crowdfunding platforms and industry trends.

The results of the workshop will be disseminated to the wider crowdfunding and web start-up community and shall guide the European Crowdfunding Network in its execution of specific work related to web-entrepreneurs.

Agenda

09.00 – 09.30 Registration and Coffee
09.30 – 09.45 Welcome; Ronald Kleverlaan, WEBclusive
09.45 – 10.15 Introductions
10.15 –10.30 Opening remarks; DG CONNECT
10.30 – 11.00 Keynote; Peter Baeck, NESTA
11.00 – 11.20 Coffee Break
11.20 – 12.00 Mapping of the main challenges for Discussion; Oliver Gajda, European Crowdfunding Network
12.00 – 13.00 Break-out Workgroups 1-6

  1. Side Benefits of Crowdfunding – Facilitated by Irene Tordera, Maastricht University. How can CF help with product/business model validation, pre-sales, marketing, pricing? Should CF mix separate models and how?
  2. Crowdfunding as a realistic financing alternative – Facilitated by Benoit Vandevivere, AAA Group. How can CF help close the funding gap for pre-seed and seed start-ups, while innovating new ways of funding but also create deal flow for business angels and venture capital?
  3. Communication for crowdfunding platforms – Facilitated by Raf Weverbergh, Whiteboard. What are the information needs of entrepreneurs with regard to CF & CF platforms? How much must CF platforms provide in order to educate and comply with demands of customer/investor protection?
  4. Scaling up across Europe – Facilitated by Guillaume Desclee, MyMicroInvest. How can CF platforms develop pan-European reach, both for investors and entrepreneurs? Who can help and how (non-regulation)? Or are CF platforms going to fail across border as venture capital and business angels have done before?
  5. Open data and transparency – Facilitated by Karsten Wenzlaff, Ikosom. What type of public KPIs should CF platforms provide (directly and aggregated via ECN) in order to build transparency and trust with stakeholders? Fee structure, No. of projects online/successful/failed, average/median/min/max length & value, gender/age/income of entrepreneur/investor?
  6. Cooperation with public bodies – Facilitated by Iwona Mertin, EuroChambres. How can the EC or other political stakeholders help, apart from adjusting regulation, in supporting the development of CF – but, what do they likely want to see prior to that and how can CF platforms work together to deliver?

13.00 – 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 15.00 Break-out Workgroups I-VI
15.00 – 15.20 Coffee Break
15.20 – 16.15 Presentation of the Workgroups I-VI
16.15 – 17.00 Synthesis and joint conclusions; Oliver Gajda, European Crowdfunding Network
17.00 Closing & Networking

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