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Looking for Europe’s top entrepreneurs: The 2018 Digital Top 50 Awards

Tech entrepreneurs are changing the world through their own creativity and passion. To celebrate Europe’s thriving entrepreneurial scene and honor the most promising tech companies, in 2016 we founded the Digital Top 50 Awards, in association with McKinsey and Rocket Internet. The 2018 edition of the awards are now open for applications.

Now in their second year, the awards are organized, once again, under the patronage of Mr. Carlos Moedas, Member of the European Commission, and supported by strategic partners INSEAD, Ashoka and Tech Open Air. Companies with a digital product or service from the EU and from EFTA countries can apply on the Digital Top 50 website until April 1, 2018.

All top 50 companies will receive free tickets and showcase space at Tech Open Berlin on June 20-21 2018, where the final winners in each category will be announced. The winner in the Tech for Social Impact category will be granted a cash prize of 50,000 euros, and all five winners will be provided with support from the founding partners to scale their businesses further—through leading professional advice, structured consulting and coaching programs, as well as access to a huge network of relevant industry contacts.

 

Helping people embrace new digital opportunities is at the heart of our Grow with Google initiative in Europe. With the DT50 awards, we hope to recognize a new generation of entrepreneurs, and help them grow further and realize their dreams.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Entrepreneurs, Google in Europe
Celebrating five years at Campus Tel Aviv (and many more to go)

Celebrating five years at Campus Tel Aviv (and many more to go)

Five years ago Campus Tel Aviv opened its doors. It’s a hub to support Israel’s strong and growing startup community, where entrepreneurs from different walks of life and at different stages of their journey can come together to learn, share and connect.  

And connect they have. Our members have hosted over 3,200 events with more than 250,000 participants, met with distinguished guests including the President and Prime Minister of Israel, and used Campus as a platform to empower their own communities and build ambitious new companies.

Startups like Syte.AI, SaferVPN and Veed.me have come to Campus to learn from Googlers and get help taking their businesses global. Tal Gadot, Omer Kenet and Tomer Mesika of RapidUI joined Tel Aviv’s Campus Experts Summit in 2017. They sought help to launch their website builder and, after two weeks of working with Google mentors from the U.S., they decided to change their positioning and shift the focus of their go-to-market strategy, with great success.

We’ve worked hard over the last five years to support underrepresented entrepreneurs and create a more inclusive startup ecosystem. For example, women make up around 40 percent of participants in our education programs and we heard from many women who were on maternity leave that they would love to fulfill their dream of starting a business. So we created Campus for Moms, where mothers can bring their babies to work. We’ve expanded this program to our fellow Campuses in London, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Madrid and Warsaw. We’ve also helped support other community programs through marketing, free space and mentoring, such as She Codes, a women’s coding bootcamp, which has grown from 10 members to more than 16,000.

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A participant of the Campus for Moms program takes part in a mentoring session.

We also created APPlicable, a program that helps startups make their mobile apps more accessible to people with disabilities. We connected more than 50 startups with groups of people with disabilities, who tested the app and provided feedback on the app’s accessibility. Through this program, a product lead at Fiverr realized how parts of their app were difficult to navigate using voice-over and incorporated recommendations from a tester. We’re looking forward to bringing the APPlicable program and our learnings to our other Campuses around the world in the coming months.

Nearly every day we hear about Israeli entrepreneurs building exciting new technologies that can have a positive impact on the world. We’ll continue to support the startup community in Israel; later this year Campus Tel Aviv is moving to a larger location, and we’re also bringing on board a Head of Campus to lead our efforts there. I’m also excited to lead a number of new programs, both at our expanded space and globally.

Thanks to everyone who has been a part of our journey so far! Here’s to the next five years, and the great stories and successful companies that we’ll create together.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Entrepreneurs, Google in Europe
Google Demo Day: shining a light on European founders

Google Demo Day: shining a light on European founders

Yesterday, founders from across Europe took to the stage at our King’s Cross office to showcase problem-solving startups at our first-ever London Demo Day. From feedback tools for managers to fertility trackers for women, the diversity of companies and talent demonstrated something we already knew: The European startup scene is thriving and gaining global recognition, with nearly 300 venture-backed businesses going public or getting acquired just last year. But it’s often still hard for entrepreneurs to gain visibility and raise funds to support their growing ventures—which is why we brought Google Demo Day to London this year.

For yesterday’s event, 10 investment-ready startups were chosen from dozens of startups nominated by our Google for Entrepreneurs network of startup community partners and via our Campus spaces, and 100+ others who applied through an open call. The 10 startups each had four minutes to pitch their product, business and team to a room full of the region’s top investors, with hundreds more watching over live stream. Meet our line-up:

  • AsaDuru, from Stockholm, creates self-sufficient green homes in Africa that incorporate solar energy, rainwater harvesting, and wastewater treatment.
  • Connecterra (Amsterdam) combines machine learning with sensor data to increase productivity in the dairy farm industry.
  • Divido (London) lets customers spread the cost of any purchase over a period of time while the merchant gets paid in full right away.
  • Kenzen (Zurich) provides a new way to monitor the health of athletes and medical patients to through real-time analysis of sweat.
  • Kompyte (Barcelona) provides marketers with real-time alerts when competitors make changes to their websites, products, and digital marketing campaigns.
  • Motivii (London) allows managers to better understand their teams’ performance through a feedback and tracking platform.
  • Nordigen (Riga) uses big data to help banks make smarter decisions about credit scores.
  • WOOM (Madrid) helps women maximize the chances of pregnancy with a data-driven digital platform.
  • XapiX (Berlin) makes it easy for developers to discover, combine and consume data from multiple API providers.
  • Zzish (London) provides tools for developers to create, distribute and monetize education apps for teachers and classrooms.

After much deliberation, our audience of investors and European tech leaders crowned Connecterra, the machine learning technology for dairy farmers, as the People’s Choice. Kenzen won the Judges’ Favorite based on the strength of their business model, their team, and their products.

Kenzen endeavors to transform healthcare. We’re thrilled to receive the Google Demo Day Judges’ Favorite award for our Echo Patch platform.

Heidi Lehmann

Chief Commercial Officer, Kenzen

London’s Demo Day builds on our existing support for startups worldwide, beginning with the launch of Google for Entrepreneurs five years ago. In Europe, we support tech founders through our network of partners, our Campus spaces for startups in London, Madrid and Warsaw (our next location set to open in Berlin), accelerator programs like Google Developers Launchpad, and Digital Skills training programs. “London has become one of the world centers for startups; it was the first location for Google Campus. I’m excited by the innovation in the teams Google has uncovered,” said judge Saul Klein from LocalGlobe, who was joined on the judging panel by Fred Destin of EX-ACCEL and Aurore Belfrage from EQT Ventures.

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Left to Right: Sonia Sousa, CEO and co-founder, and Heidi Lehmann, CCO of Kenzen, took home the Judge’s Favorite award.

Startups who have pitched at previous Google Demo Days in Silicon Valley have raised more than $121 million to fund the growth of their companies, often based on connections made at the event. We hope to catalyze similar opportunities for this event’s featured founders—and many more European entrepreneurs to come.

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Posted by amiller in Blog, Entrepreneurs, Google in Europe