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updated 1:29 AM BST, Oct 1, 2014
Technology and life sciences news from the Cambridge cluster

ideaSpace seeks five startups as Europe looks to build world beaters

A building sign showing where idespace is – second floorCambridge startup incubator, ideaSpace, is to guide five startups under a new EU programme designed to support Europe's brightest technology businesses.

Described by University of Cambridge vice-chancellor, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, as key to the future of economic growth in Europe, the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) is a pan-European open platform dedicated to helping startups progress to maturity and has been designed to build on the success of existing businesses and technology clusters.

As the University of Cambridge's representative on the programme, ideaSpace will not only play a guiding role as a member of the steering committee, but also support five businesses through the initiative.

"The University of Cambridge has been extremely successful in supporting spin-outs, and last year invested a record £2.3 million in seed funds to support such enterprises," said Professor Sir Leszek.

"This has helped build Europe's most successful technology cluster, with 14 companies valued at more than $1 billion. That is why we welcome this initiative, which is key to the future economic growth of Europe."

The work programme will be promoted by the European Commission. Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice president responsible for Digital Agenda, said: "Europe needs thriving start-ups and global internet companies to become a global growth centre again.

"Politicians don't create jobs, entrepreneurs do. We're going to support that mindset and push European start-ups beyond their comfort zone."

The SEP programme will be based on three main elements:

Matching: a series of same-format international events in start-up hubs across Europe will create a marketplace where selected start-ups and corporations meet to enhance investment from corporates and pave the way for potential acquisitions.

Mapping: a 'map' of the hottest European start-ups and hubs will provide international visibility for emerging companies and celebrate the successes of start-ups and spin-outs that are able to scale up.

Sharing: bringing together best practice on entrepreneurship and corporate venture/start-up support from leading European and international companies, such as those from Silicon Valley, will help reduce cultural divides and encourage 'start-up cross-fertilization'.