Europe is clearly switching its cultural gears. From saying how things can’t be done, to saying how thing can be done, our cultural mindset is changing, whether our politicians like it or not. The media might still be in the long grass of austerity, but here on the lawn, we’re celebrating entrepreneurship. So today it’s rewarding to see that a great event like The Europas, the annual awards for tech startups in Europe awarded by peers in the industry, is to be joined by another awards scheme, Europioneers, which will celebrate two top entrepreneurs individually, this time with the European Commission’s blessing.
Our industry colleagues at The Next Web are partnering with the European Commission to celebrate Europe’s finest tech entrepreneurs. Unlike The Europas, which has over 20 categories for individuals and startups and has run for the last four years, Europioneers will identify just one or two of Europe’s most innovative and influential tech entrepreneurs.
It’s an interesting cultural shift. While Europe is locked in the grip of economic austerity, culturally, underneath all the gnashing of teeth, it has started to realise that it needs to celebrate entrepreneurs, particularly in the tech sector, an area which can transform many surrounding aspects of economics by generating innovation – changing communities and industries.
As with The Europas, which – interest declared – I started – anyone can submit nominees via the site and a jury will pick a short list and winners.
We look forward to the event, which will take place in April and will be handed out by the Vice President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes, who has recently made a lot of the right noises about startups, in contrast to previous EU Commission administrations.