Lisbon, Portugal, September 14, 2023 — Europe Startup Nations Alliance (ESNA), a public entity advocating startup-ready policies in Europe, has announced its first Advisory Board.
This move is integral to Europe’s strategy of enhancing its startup ecosystem and global competitiveness.

Elevating European Startups Ecosystems Through Collective Expertise

Comprising 25 distinguished members deeply rooted in the startup ecosystem, the Advisory Board will provide insights, knowledge, and strategic foresight to propel ESNA’s mission. The Board is set to become a cornerstone in implementing ESNA’s Standards and will guide the EU’s entrepreneurship agenda. Arthur Jordão, Executive Director of ESNA, stated, “Our Advisory Board members made remarkable contributions to the European startup landscape. They bring ESNA a wealth of expertise as we continue to promote entrepreneurship between the Commission, Member State Governments, and the National Entrepreneurship bodies of each EU country.”

Introducing the newly appointed Advisory Board Members

André de Aragão Azevedo
Former secretary of State for Digital Transition – XXII Government of Portugal, currently Digital Development Partnerships Director – Microsoft Corporation

Nicolas Brien
Entrepreneur, Investor and Advisor

Veroniek Collewaert
Professor of Entrepreneurship at Vlerick Business School and KU Leuven

Sam Eshrati
COO & Chief Engagement Officer at TechBBQ

Martina Fitzgerald
CEO of Scale Ireland

Carolin Geier
Co-founder and Chief of Staff Mintbase

Sabrina Gülck
Board Member Junger Wirtschaftsbeirat Bayern, Founder and Managing Director Undiced

Ricardo Greenfield
Management Board Member at EurA AG

Vit Horky
Founder Czech Founders, Founder & General Partner Czech Founders VC

Steven Jacobs
Venture Partner & Chief Product Officer Lakestar, Board Member constellr, Board Advisor ClearSpace

Omar Kandil
Public Policy Stripe

Liina Laas
Head of Expansion CEE at Deel, Founding Partner at The Better Fund

Sacha Michaud
Cofounder of Glovo

Thaleia Misailidou
Angel Investor Alma Angels, Co-Founder Tech Finance Network

Inés Moreno-Alonso
EU Director Allied for Startups

Nina Nikolich
Founding member of Western Balkan Startup Alliance (WBSA)

Padraig Nolan

Clark Parsons
Managing Director Internet Economy Foundation

Thijs Povel
Managing Partner Dealflow

Markus Raunig
Chairman of Austrian Startups

Annamaria Tartaglia
CEO TheBrandSitter, Founder Angels4Women, W7 (G7) Advisor

Joao Trigo da Roza
VP BAE- Business Angels Europe, Managing Partner Toplever

Tatjana Zabasu Mikuž
Managing Partner at South Central Ventures

Simon Zajc
Former State Secretary at Ministry of Economic Development and Technology

Greta Zekiene
Head of Intellectual Property Management at Kaunas University of Technology

A Strategic Move in the Wake of the Baseline Study

The formation of the Advisory Board follows ESNA’s release of its Baseline Study exercise, which aims to assess the maturity of the European startup ecosystem regarding its entrepreneurship-driven policies. With this added governance layer and expertise, ESNA can leverage collective intelligence to drive policy decisions and advocacy efforts.

Europe’s Startup Ecosystem at a Tipping Point

Today’s announcement demonstrates Europe’s continued focus on nurturing its startup ecosystem as a vital component of economic sustainability and global competitiveness. As the Baseline Study outlines, Europe aims to narrow the gap with leading startup ecosystems like the US, UK, and Israel. The Advisory Board’s formation represents a crucial step in translating this vision into actionable strategies.

About Europe Startup Nations Alliance (ESNA)

With its inception moment in 2021 during the Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council, the Europe Startup Nations Alliance (ESNA) is a collective initiative committed to boosting the competitiveness and sustainability of the European startup ecosystem. Supported by 26 EU Member States and Iceland, ESNA focuses on implementing the “EU Startup Nations Standards of Excellence,” which outlines eight best practices in startup-friendly policies. The Alliance aspires to position Europe as a global frontrunner in innovation and tech entrepreneurship by continuously updating policy frameworks and sharing best practices through a digital platform, fostering a more robust startup ecosystem across its member countries.

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