The European Commission is getting active in the world of accelerators and startups—announcing a new network of 20 programs including recognized leaders like Nesta, Seedcamp, TechStars London, Startup Weekend, Bethnel Green Ventures and Seed-DB. The Accelerator Assembly, backed by the EC as part of its Startup Europe initiative, is focused on improving the environment for web-based entrepreneurship through a collection of events, forums, workshops and research.
While many may be waiting for the accelerator bubble to pop, Europe is definitely in expansion mode and the promise of shared expertise and support for new and young firms is worth the time and effort. The network joins earlier Startup Europe efforts—The Leaders Club, Europioneers and Tech All Stars.
There is heavy participation from the United Kingdom (7), along with accelerators from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain—as well as a couple of global / continent-wide programs.
Early focus points of the network are an online Yammer forum from Microsoft, new research from accelerator graduates and programs in Europe, and a European Accelerator Conference to take place in early 2014.
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