Part of the European Commission’s “Startup Europe” initiative, Eurapp is a new project directed by the National University of Ireland Galway (Digital Enterprise Research Institute) and GigaOM. We recently spoke to John Breslin and Maciej Dabrowsky of NUI Galway about their recently launched Challenge which seeks ideas for initiatives focused on supporting European app companies in overcoming barriers and fostering growth.
Hi John and Maciej, thanks for speaking to us today. Can you please start by telling us a bit about the Eurapp project and its partners?
Eurapp is a study of the European app economy, launched under the European Commission’s “Startup Europe” initiative, which aims to model and profile jobs in the app economy here, but also to propose solutions to overcome major bottlenecks in growing this app economy. The partners are the National University of Ireland Galway, home to the major web research institute DERI, and GigaOM, one of the world’s top online technology publishers whose research analyst division GigaOM Research are working on this project.
What types of insights are you hoping to gain from Solvers?
We know that the US has an advantage in terms of its app economy, in terms of ease of finance and market conditions. In our first Challenge, we are hoping to gain insights into how to improve access to funding to European app companies, not just at the early stages, but also when a company is looking for more significant funding to scale up (e.g., when it wants to build out product to international markets). In our second Challenge, we are interested in solutions to help companies overcome market fragmentation issues encountered when these companies look to operate in other countries (e.g., differing privacy laws, inconsistent pricing schemes, access to national markets).
In addition to offering prize money, this Challenge is unique in that you intend to invite up to five Solvers to present at a Eurapp workshop later in the year. Could you tell us a bit more about the workshop, and what experience Solvers could gain from it?
Yes, one of the aims of this study is to provide the opportunity for winning Solvers to interact face-to-face with stakeholders in the European app economy at a workshop to be held in Europe in November 2013. We had an initial workshop with platform providers, app developers, EC officials, and other stakeholders earlier this year, and we are inviting the top 10 Solvers from all Challenges to tell attendees at this next workshop about their solutions. We have up to $1,750 in travel expenses available for each of these Solvers, and we hope that bringing together all stakeholders at such an event will spark even more ideas and help grow the app economy in Europe.
Can you share a bit about what will happen after the Challenge? How might the winning solution be applied?
As part of this project’s final workshop in Brussels next year, the solutions will be presented to officials from the European Commission – in particular those who are involved in policy making procedures – to discuss practicalities of their deployment and hopefully improve the European app economy.
Any final words of inspiration for the Solvers?
Have a look at videos from some of the stakeholders who attended our last workshop. They are up on YouTube and will give you a good idea of the issues experienced by those in the European app economy. Good luck to all you Solvers!
Up for the Challenge? Take it now!