Mobile Meetings Series: “Bridging the gap between mobile operators and start-ups”
Start-ups along with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the European economy. They increase EU innovation and competitiveness and also provide social benefits, including offering more flexible and modern working arrangements. The list of start-ups in Europe has increasingly grown to such an extent that they have become vital forces in both the innovation ecosystem and the wider economy. But rather than flourishing and expanding in Europe and beyond, too few European start-ups survive beyond the critical phase of 2-3 years, with even fewer growing into larger firms. Yet far too many obstacles such as barriers, shortage of partners, opportunities and difficulties as regards finance remain for SMEs, start-ups and young entrepreneurs looking to grow in the Single Market.
The mobile sector can accelerate start-up’s success. Mobile operators have tools such as financial support, customer acquisition, market insights, brand exposure and trust, advising and mentoring, and providing access to customer touchpoints, mass communication, and payments channels which can build a start-ups friendly ecosystem. At the same time, start-ups can help to address some of a mobile operator’s key challenges. In the face of decelerating revenues and increasing competition in the telecommunications sector, start-ups can provide a way for mobile operators to stay relevant. They can also boost a mobile operator’s value proposition, leading to higher customer retention, customer acquisition, and better reputation.
On the other hand, the internet and digital technologies are transforming our world.
The proliferation of smart phones, smart TVs and smart cars could lead to 50 billion internet-connected devices by 2020. Mobile operators represent the main way to access the internet and other important services, and provide communication channels – like voice, SMS, or USSD – that are easy to use and accessible to anyone who owns a mobile.
For such reasons, it is critical to foster synergies between mobile operators and start-ups. This brings many benefits to European businesses and consumers, thus creating opportunities for new start-ups and allowing existing companies to grow and profit within a market of over 500 million people.
In the context of ongoing discussions on future partnerships between start-ups and mobile operators, this Mobile Meetings Series breakfast will focus on:
- How can mobile operators operate to address the challenges local start-ups and SMEs face, to foster links between companies and connect people across Europe?
- Which pilot measures shall the mobile industry take to foster synergies with start-ups?
- Which legislative steps can EU policymakers take to facilitate synergies between mobile sector and start-ups?