Join EIT Health InnoStars Awards and meet Europe’s 15 most promising healthcare startups in 2020 (Sponsored)

EIT Health InnoStars Awards, a programme that is open for micro and small enterprises, startups and spin-offs is launching the InnoStars Awards Startup Demo Day, where you can meet with Europe’s 15 most promising healthcare startups that have created outstanding products and solutions. Out of the 15 selected teams, the ultimate finalists will be announced…

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Working on a project that uses location information? Level up your idea with #MyGalileoSolution competition! (Sponsored)

Galileo – Europe’s own global navigation satellite system Europe’s own global navigation satellite system (GNSS) – is interoperable with the American GPS and other sat-nav systems. With more than 1.5 billion Galileo-enabled smartphones and more than 51 million GNSS-enabled wearable devices in the market, the Location-Based Services (LBS) sector is (unsurprisingly) booming.  To drive innovation in the…

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A dating site for businesses: Matchmaker.Ruhr brings together startups and more established companies (Sponsored)

Are you looking for new contacts and joint projects? A new digital platform is bringing startups from all over the world together with companies from the Ruhr industrial region. Matchmaker.Ruhr is a new digital platform that is bringing startups together with established companies from the Ruhr region. This matchmaking platform lets startups know about companies that…

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Why you should join Oslo Innovation Week: It’s time to build on Sept 21st-25th (Sponsored)

We all need to build. Some build physically, others virtually. Innovation never stops, and this year Oslo Innovation Week is bringing it to you, wherever you are. That’s right – this year, they are going digital! You’re invited to Oslo Innovation Week 2020 You could be a founder building a growth company, or an investor…

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Join the OTP Startup Partner Program to collaborate with an international banking group! (Sponsored)

After reviewing the possibility of working with nearly 900 startups, conducting 30 pilots and running post-pilot collaborations with 12 companies, the OTP Group is opening its fourth Startup Partner Program. Applications can be submitted by later-stage startups and scaleups from any location until 23 October 2020, and the successful cooperation will be supported by bank managers,…

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Pitch online at Oslo Innovation Week to win up to €30K for your startup (Sponsored)

Oslo Innovation Week (OIW) is an annual conference focused on bringing forward new voices and innovation in action. The event highlights green solutions that solve real global challenges through entrepreneurship, technology and innovation. This year’s edition will take place 21-25 September 2020 and will be fully digital. 

Join the OIW 100 Pitches

The best place for founders to showcase their startup during Oslo Innovation Week is at the OIW 100 Pitches. The OIW 100 Pitches connects the most promising seed stage startups with corporate leaders, VC’s and investors, and give big visibility to seed-stage startups working towards the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals. 

There are 5 tracks for this year’s OIW 100 Pitches, each indicating an area of expertise for the startups to compete in: Ocean, Energy, Health, Equality and Smart Cities. 

This year the top 100 Video Pitches will be made available for all to see ahead of the event, similar to a “Netflix for Pitches”. This way investors and VC’s can check out the top 100 startups, divided by this year’s five tracks. In addition, the startups will get their own page and URL to share with potential investors and stakeholders. 

How do I apply?

To apply, all startups must submit a video pitch (max 3 min) by 31 August. Wondering about the video quality? Anything goes. You can record your voice over your slides, and that’s great! The startup is what matters at OIW 100 Pitches, not your video skills.  

Based on the video pitches, a jury will select 3 companies from 5 different tracks. The 15 companies are invited to present live, through an in-depth dialogue with the jury. This means you can pitch from all over the world, wherever you are based.

The live pitch session will be Tuesday 22 September, competing for a prize pool of €30K. The track winners will be announced at DNB NXT on Wednesday 23 September.

What are you waiting for? Apply here no later than 31 August!


Digital Top 50 Awards: Applications close on the 30th of August (Sponsored)

European startups, both early and later stage, can now apply for the Digital Top 50 Awards. Since 2016, the Digital Top 50 Awards have been rewarding and celebrating Europe’s growing and most promising entrepreneurs and founders and their respective firms. The 2020 Awards are a joint project by McKinsey, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Google; this year, Hering Schuppener Consulting and 468 Capital join the awards and support Europe’s vibrant startup community. Bits & Pretzels is the official community partner.

Startups based in the European Union and EFTA countries having received financing in the amount of up to €100 million can apply. This year’s categories are:

  • Best Technology
  • Best Consumer Business Model Innovation
  • Best Enterprise Business Model Innovation
  • Tech for Good

Winners of the prestigious awards will receive structured support, professional guidance and coaching. All applications are reviewed by DT50’s Executive Jury, a panel of experts, veterans in venture capital and growth mentoring. The complete list of jury members can and the application form can be found on the DT50 website. The application phase will end on the 30th of August.

The award’s winners will be announced during the Bits & Pretzels Conference on September 29; the shortlist of the Top 50 firms will be published in mid-September. Winners will receive valuable support, guidance and mentoring from all 2020 partners of the awards. They will benefit from professional advice, structured consulting and coaching programmes, as well as access to a huge network of leading industry decision-makers. The winner of the “Tech for Good” category will receive an additional cash prize of €50,000.

Karel Dörner, Senior Partner McKinsey Digital, one of the founding firms behind DT50, stated: “The pandemic is hitting startup teams particularly hard: sales are collapsing, costs are being reduced, and venture capitalists are more cautious about investments. Now more than ever, society and the economy need digital innovation from creative entrepreneurs. Some of the biggest digital players were founded in times of crisis. And that’s why we are holding on to our Digital Top 50 Awards, even in times of crisis. But we don’t just want to provide financial support, we want to share our knowledge and strengthen the community ─ for a future-proof and competitive European startup ecosystem.”



7 ways to educate new hires about employee equity compensation (Sponsored)

You’re ready to onboard some new employees. Congratulations! If your company is like most, part of your onboarding process probably includes some education about your employee equity compensation plan. After all, the plan provides your new staff with the unique opportunity to participate in your company’s long-term success—making not only an attractive recruitment and engagement tool but also a critical element of your employee retention strategies.

However, conveying the value of equity plans during the employee onboarding process may be harder than you think. Often, employees coming onboard don’t fully understand the ins and outs of equity ownership, particularly in a private company context. Plus, equity-based compensation jargon can get confusing fast. Depending on the location of your company and employees, mention Phantom shares or Equity Management Incentives (EMI’s) and more than a few questions are bound to rise. Start talking vesting and valuation, and eyes may get glassy. By the time you’re ready to chat about tax consequences, your newest employees may be thinking that participation in your equity plan could be more effort than it’s worth.

And that would be a shame, not only because you’ve invested in making the plan a success, but because you risk missing the benefits of active plan participation—from increased employee loyalty to fostering a culture of ownership.

The good news is that there are ways to promote equity plan participation among your new hires. It just takes a couple of sound approaches when communicating equity plans and equity participation agreements.

Start with the who of the equity-based compensation plan

Although many new hires may be unfamiliar with equity as compensation, others may have a full grasp on it, so it likely makes sense to offer different levels of education. Consider creating a tiered communication program, where novices receive the most detailed training and extra support and experienced equity plan participants can opt for just the highlights.  It is important to take steps in efforts to ensure each employee understands their equity participation agreement that may include information about vesting schedules, cliff periods and non-compete language.

Keep it simple to boost plan participation

No matter how well your new employees understand equity-based compensation, no one wants to wade through complex information full of technical terms. To boost plan participation, aim to use accessible language in your communications. By using concepts your employees understand, equity compensation can be more approachable.

It may be helpful to align your equity program communications with your existing corporate brand. That’s particularly true for new hires who are just becoming familiar with your visual identity. Shareworks assists your efforts permitting you to customise the platform to reflect your brand images and voice. You can even communicate in multiple currencies and languages, so your employees around the world can feel at home. Check out Shareworks Global Intelligence for more information on our database of legal and international tax regulations that spans more than 170 countries.

Take the communication multi-channel

Learning styles differ, which is why communication across various channels heightens the odds of reaching the most people possible. While some of your new hires will review your entire plan booklet, others may prefer shorter articles shared over your company’s intranet. Others may prefer face-to-face interactions and some learn best through reading. To reach them all, consider implementing a multi-channel strategy using emails, videos, print, text messages, events and more. Consider ways to make the education interactive, such as through online learning modules or gamification.

Make equity ownership engaging to learn

Onboarding may be stressful for new hires who are typically inundated with more information than they can retain. That’s why it’s important to provide ongoing access to your educational materials through an easy-to-navigate centralised portal. A good equity plan management platform makes this possible by providing you with videos and other educational resources directly on the platform. Participants can also review their award agreements, accept grants and receive automated notifications about upcoming award-related events through the system.

Set participants up to succeed

Employees who don’t fully understand their equity compensation may fear making a mistake or are hesitant to become active plan participants. To help simplify the process, the Shareworks Participant Experience features an intuitive design that allows your employees to complete a wide range of transactions, including trades, without any previous trading experience. Through a single sign-on, participants can gain a clear, consolidated picture of their equity awards and savings. Its full functionality is also available through a mobile app, empowering participants to conduct portfolio forecasts, check balances, track vesting events, exercise their options and sell or transfer shares no matter where they are.

Plus, if your participants have any questions about account activation or system navigation, or need help with trading or completing tax forms, Shareworks Support Centre is available around the clock to offer assistance. They also offer the Shareworks Academy for participants to go through self-directed learning with industry context and Shareworks how-to’s.

Follow up with participants about their equity compensation plans

It’s not enough to encourage equity plan participation during onboarding and hope for the best. To make sure your people have the information they need and understand their next steps, you should consistently follow up. A sound equity plan management platform allows you to track activity completion, so you can proactively reach out before critical dates to encourage account activation or remind employees of your annual vesting schedule.

Keep the equity ownership conversation going

The conversation about equity compensation doesn’t end after the offer letter is signed. To foster a culture of ownership across your organisation, it’s important to offer ongoing education. This can take a variety of forms—from fireside chats, regular blog posts, and engaging video series to posters, alerts and events designed to encourage specific action.

If you’re looking for more communication ideas, whether you’re onboarding or as part of an ongoing educational campaign, then please contact Shareworks directly.

Find out more about Shareworks and request a free demo:

Information made available by Shareworks by Morgan Stanley is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or tax advice. You should always consult with and rely on your own legal and/or tax advisor(s) as Shareworks does not provide legal or tax advice and the information is not tailored to the specific situations of your company or your employees. The information may not be current and is subject to change without notice. Shareworks makes no representations or warranties concerning the completeness or timeliness of the information for your purposes. Solium Capital UK Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of Morgan Stanley Delaware) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


Last call: Apply by August 16th and kickstart your startup together with the Next Commerce Accelerator (Sponsored)

The NCA is again looking for passionate founders who want to take their business to the next level. 

Meet the Next Commerce Accelerator

Next Commerce Accelerator is one of Europe’s leading commerce-related acceleration programmes. Together with their extensive network of corporates the NCA supports startups since 2017 by test driving their business models, developing the right product-market fit, and establishing the basis for scalable growth. Each of their startups will engage with their 20+ corporate partners and will receive guidance to secure a follow up funding. More than 50% of alumni startups receive follow up funding within 12 months after taking part in the programme. The average amount being funded is around €600K. 

After 6 successful rounds of the programme and 36 supported startups in their portfolio,, Batch #7 is about to start! The dates for the coming acceleration programme are from mid-October 2020 to mid-March 2021.

What’s in it for me?

Next Commerce Accelerator offers early-stage startups a customized 6-month acceleration programme that gives them:

  • Support to test-drive your product
  • Access to a premiere-league network of corporate partners
  • Individual coaching and mentoring sessions
  • Up to €50K funding
  • Free office space in beautiful Hamburg Germany
  • Access to their alumni network which they will automatically become part of after finishing the program

How do I apply?

Applications for the upcoming Batch #7 are now open. Fill in the application form, attach your pitch deck and you’re ready to go!

For more information, contact their scout or go straight to their website and apply. Applications should be submitted until 16th August 2020.


Apply to the e-Open Innovation service to boost your tech project! (Sponsored)

If you have a technological innovation, cosmetics (while not necessarily your chosen field) can be an opportunity to diversify your market.

The e-Open Innovation service allows startup founders and project leaders to present their project to major players in the sector. Whatever your level of progress is (idea, prototype, marketing), whatever your field is (health, agrifood, biology, logistics, IT, circular economy), you can connect to this exciting sector.

For two days on October 12 and 13, international innovations in the perfume / cosmetics sector meet in the digital version on e-Cosmetic 360.

For 6 years, large companies have offered 30-minute meetings there to discuss the innovations presented and establish collaborations. In 2019, project leaders had the chance to meet 6 international decision-makers of the cosmetics world: Chanel, Nuxe Group, IFF, L’Oréal Research & Innovation, LMMH Research and Rodan + Fields. 

How to apply? 

Your innovation should fulfill these challenges: naturalness, traceability, compliance, quality of raw materials and finished products, continuous improvement of manufacturing and logistic processes, a new product or a new device in order to be as close as possible to consumer expectations. Your startup can use diverse technologies (biotech, cleantech, IoT, AI, blockchain, connected objects, etc.).

Submit a brief application free of charge on the dedicated platform until August 31. If accepted, in September you will be offered meetings with experts from the cosmetics industry. You have 5 days to confirm your appointment and get organized. On October 12 and 13, during the show, log in and meet in a virtual private room.

Become a player in the future of cosmetics.

For more information and to apply, check out the website. Applications should be sent before 31 August, 2020