Lisbon, Portugal, December 6, 2023 – Europe Startup Nations Alliance (ESNA) announces the expansion of its membership with the addition of three new member countries: Malta, Slovakia, and Sweden. This development brings the total number of ESNA members to 18, further solidifying ESNA’s role in bolstering the European startup ecosystem.

Malta, Slovakia, and Sweden join ESNA with a commitment to enhance the European startup agenda. They bring unique perspectives to the table, contributing to the collective goal of advancing Europe’s position as a global leader in innovation and tech entrepreneurship.

Markéta Přenosilová, ESNA Chairwoman of the Presidency Board extends a warm welcome to Malta Enterprise, Slovak Business Agency, and Sweden´s Vinnova, as they join ESNA: “Together, we´ll keep pushing for transformative change, strengthen economic resilience, and position Europe at the forefront of global startup ecosystem. This expansion marks a significant milestone, highlighting the importance of unity in shaping a vibrant and dynamic European startup landscape.

New members expressed their commitment to increased collaboration. Kurt Farrugia CEO, Malta Enterprise said that “Joining ESNA is a great privilege for Malta as country that is seeking to contribute to the European Start-Up ecosystem. We look forward to working closely with ESNA to develop policies that would make Europe the home for talent, disruptors and innovators.

A thought echoed by Marian Letovanec, Ing.  Director of the National and International Programmes Section from the Slovak Business Agency, who said “Our membership is a strategic move poised to inspire the creation of innovative support mechanisms tailored specifically for startups and innovative enterprises. We look forward to actively participating in collaborative efforts and leveraging collective expertise to foster a more robust and dynamic business environment in Slovakia.

Darja Isaksson, Vinnova’s Director General stated upon joining ESNA: ”Europe invests largely in research and has very strong academic institutions, but innovations are not made possible without a strong entrepreneurial culture and a supportive policy framework. We look forward to working within ESNA together with other European partners to strengthen Europe in this regard.”

ESNA continues to evolve as a dynamic, collaborative entity, fostering policy development and implementation that supports startups across Europe. ESNA is committed to continuous improvement, aiming to create favourable conditions for startups at all life-cycle stages and contribute significantly to the EU’s competitiveness on the global stage.

ESNA’s efforts align with broader EU objectives to enhance competitiveness, address structural challenges, and foster a unified and efficient single market. This expansion represents a step forward in addressing these challenges and leveraging the collective strength of the EU’s member states.

About Europe Startup Nations Alliance (ESNA)

With its inception moment in 2021 during the Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council, Europe Startup Nations Alliance (ESNA) is a collective initiative committed to boosting the competitiveness 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 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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