About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Nominations are open for Europe’s 25 Corporate Startup Stars - the first ranking of exemplary big businesses working closely with startups, led by Nesta and the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP).

The starting and scaling of new business is vital to the economy. Europe’s 25 Corporate Startup Stars will help recognise the contribution of firms within the startup ecosystem and provide role models for large firms.

Working with media partner startups.co.uk, Nesta and SEP will showcase the mutual benefits of working together and explore how corporates are supporting startup growth and learning from those at the cutting edge to keep pace with digital innovations.

Entries for Europe’s 25 Corporate Startup Stars will be ranked according to their level of engagement with startups and judged by an expert panel that includes Sherry Coutu, angel investor and author of The Scale-up Report,Neelie Kroes, former European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, and Bart Clarysse, entrepreneur and Chair in Entrepreneurship at Imperial College, London.

Nominations close on Thursday 31st March 2016 with the 25 stars and final ranking revealed in June. Visit www.startupeuropepartnership.eu to nominate, or apply, and www.startups.co.uk to read more about the ranking.

Chris Haley, Head of Startups and New Technology Research at Nesta, comments: “Many corporates now acknowledge the competitive advantage of working with startups and pride themselves on their ability to collaborate effectively. Showcasing the myriad ways that these relationships are fostered, and the benefits that result, will open entrepreneurs’ eyes to the potential and encourage other corporates to consider similar collaboration.”

Neelie Kroes, Special Envoy StartupDelta Netherlands, says: "Cooperation between corporates and startups speeds up new business models and innovation. It is a key action to strengthen our ecosystem. Europe’s 25 Corporate Startup Stars is an inspiring European step forward. Celebrate successes, embrace failures; let's speed up the learning curve on a bigger scale."

In 2015 Nesta published Winning Together: a guide to successful corporate-startup collaboration.

The launch of Europe’s 25 Corporate Startup Stars follows a new partnership between SEP and The European Trade Association for Business Angels to help provide the ‘missing link’ for corporates and startups working together.


Europe’s 25 Corporate Startup Stars Judging Panel:

  • Alberto Onetti, serial entrepreneur and Coordinator of the Startup Europe Partnership
  • Candace Johnson, entrepreneur behind SES, Loral Teleport Europe and Europe Online
  • Sherry Coutu, author of The Scale-up Report and angel investor
  • Andy McCartney, former CEO-in-residence at Microsoft and Founding Partner of Whitespace Ventures
  • Bart Clarysse, entrepreneur and Chair in Entrepreneurship at Imperial College, London
  • Dolf Wittkamper, Head of EIT Digital’s Accelerator
  • Edward Wray, entrepreneur and angel investor
  • Ian Wallis, editorial director of Startups.co.uk
  • Neelie Kroes, former European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda and Special Envoy StartupDelta.org NL

About Startup Europe Partnership: Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) is an initiative of the European Commission led by Mind the Bridge in conjunction with Nesta and Factory. SEP’s ultimate goal is to help European startups (especially digital startups) to scale by linking them with global corporations. www.startupeuropepartnership.eu / @sep_eu

About Nesta: Nesta is the UK's innovation foundation. We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. We are an independent charity and our work is enabled by an endowment from the National Lottery. Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales 1144091 and Scotland SC042833. www.nesta.org.uk / @nesta_uk

For more information contact Laura Scarrott in Nesta’s press office on 0207 438 2697/ [email protected]