In this report produced by Beta-i both for the tech community and their policy-makers in Europe, we share analysis and recommendations on a crucial, yet unexplored, topic: the Digital Markets Act (DMA) systemic impact on European startups and scale-ups, with special emphasis on the direct or unintended consequences on venture capital investment.
Available for download here, the document summarizes what the DMA is about and how it can impact European digital companies growth. But above all, shares contributions to the legislative discussion being held on the topic, such as:
# The DMA’s message that growing too much will come at the cost of being regulated ex-ante is still not enough for Europe’s ambitious digital and green transformation goals over the next decade;
# The proposal skips some necessary guiding principles for the single market’s future competitiveness. The DMA could better anticipate ways to support and prepare European startups’ journey towards a “gatekeeper” position within Europe’s digital single market;
# European companies may choose to fragment themselves to avoid reaching the “gatekeeper stage”, which will inhibit their ability to compete on the global stage;
# By being mainly focused on existing large players rather than unleashing innovation from within, the DMA proposal lacks the connection with other EU initiatives to reinforce Europe’s entrepreneurial vision;
# The DMA debate could explore the topic from a more positive perspective, establishing a competitive and inclusive vision, capable of foreseeing scenarios based on collaboration between different business stakeholders, of different sizes;
# Net VC numbers could plunge in Europe for a period still to be estimated, as the impact of the DMA on the ecosystem and the uncertainty it can generate keeps under assessment. The impact could be greater and deeper in more risk-averse investment models such as corporate ventures and regular M&A;
# The theme of mergers, acquisitions and the so-called killer acquisitions should not be framed under a “one size fits all” logic. Each merger and acquisition is the result of differing sets of circumstances which means that not every acquisition is a to-be-controlled killer one;
# The proposal of centralizing within the DMA gatekeepers’ deliberations in the European Commission is interesting and pragmatic, as long as the Commission set up minimum instruments for the Member States to provide timely context and information;
# In regard to data processing and usage, a proposal with a greater focus on what happens at the very beginning of commercial relations between the current gatekeepers and their business users (and then their final consumers/users), would be a simpler way to nudge compliance and neutralize future conflicts of interest;
# The European Commission could double-down in a systemic economic consultation to further preview and anticipate DMA’s consequences on the investment market, and the impact it will have on up-and-coming European players in the digital marketplace.
Commissioned by Google, the report actually translates Beta-i’s perspective from the inside of innovation, digital and entrepreneurship spaces in Europe. The Digital Markets Act is relevant and necessary but could improve its understanding of the interconnected nature of the tech ecosystem. This would be a way to better design any transition towards Europe’s digital competitiveness ambition. We believe it is possible to promote a free market alongside regulatory tools to ensure fair, equitable access to B2B opportunities – while giving consumers choice.
The Lisbon Tourism Summit (LTS), organized by Beta-i and sponsored by Turismo de Portugal, will take place on Sep 30th and goes fully online. The 2020 edition focuses on a more sustainable approach on the tourism sector, “a segment that more than ever requires deepening in strategic themes such as circular economy, mobility, artificial intelligence and energy efficiency so that it is possible to actually talk about sustainability“, emphasizes Gonçalo Faria, one of Beta-i’s Innovation Programs director.
LTS counts on the participation of several national and international speakers, with the emphasis on the sustainability designer, sociologist and businesswoman, Leyla Acaroglu. Awarded as Champion of the Earth by the United Nations, Leyla is also author of several books and TED Talks. Check what she has to say as, in her own words, a sustainability provocateur:
The Lisbon Tourism Summit is an integral part of Turismo de Portugal’s innovation strategy to manage the growth of this industry in the country over the past few years. Beta-i is a strategic partner in this because, in addition to LTS, it also organizes The Journey – an open innovation program that facilitates collaboration between leading companies in the tourism industry (such as Grupo Barraqueiro, Vila Galé, Parques de Sintra – Monte da Lua and Unicre) with technological solutions from startups around the world. The results of its latest edition will be presented within the LTS: there will be more than a dozen project presentations, involving startups from Europe and Asia.
Digital transformation still has a long way to go before becoming ubiquitous in society and companies. The belief that all the market is fully on digital mode, is actually a myth.
B2B relations might consider more environmental, social issues in their procurement and compliance processes;
Core business technological reinvention is an unavoidable must. Really. At last.
These are some of the key impressions from “Learnings in times of a pandemic – A quick poll on personal mindset changes” ran by Beta-i during the peak of quarantine and self-isolation stress in Europe (May to June). We’ve asked some of our corporate clients, closest startups and other stakeholders (investors, think tanks) about these new perspectives. And you can access the full results here:
Within the scope of Smart Open Lisbon platform, the Lisbon Municipality, alongside Beta-i, has launched SOL Tomorrow, a new program based on collaboration between key organizations in Portugal and startups from around the world to tackle specific social and economic challenges in the city of Lisbon caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the City Hall, the program has a partnership with Aga Khan Foundation, PME Investimentos, LIDL Portugal, Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa, as well as Turismo de Portugal, Axians and NOS with the goal of collaborating with selected startups in the implementation of solutions with social impact.
With a focus on agile implementation, SOL Tomorrow is currently looking for startups to collaborate in the Portuguese capital restarting activities. The program, which will operate on a totally remote basis, has applications open for startups with solutions already tested or being implemented, with a focus on technologies applied to social issues and the city economy.
For Miguel Gaspar, responsible Councilor for the Economy and Innovation, Mobility and Security Division at the Lisbon City Council, “this is a special edition of the main open innovation program in the Portuguese capital. We will seek to respond to the multiple challenges we are experiencing and will continue to face in the recovery period from the economic crisis created by COVID-19, while stimulating the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and affirming Lisbon as one of the most innovative cities in Europe. In addition to having the participation of a diverse set of public and private partners, in this edition we decided to involve all areas of the executive power, bringing innovation to all activity sectors”.
According to Manuel Tânger, co-founder and Head of Innovation at Beta-i, “together with the Lisbon Municipality, we want to give an immediate answer to the most urgent challenges in a city where millions of people are restarting their routines. The SOL Tomorrow program wants to support startups that have almost immediate implementation solutions on topics such as mental health, job training and social isolation, to grow together with partner organizations and provide answers to the problems caused by the pandemic ”.
How it works
Over the course of three months and after the selection process, the best startups proposals will participate in a two-day online bootcamp to start developing implementation projects with the partners, adapted to the five key areas’ challenges previously established by partners: (i) economic and tourism recovery, through the creation of new practices of involvement with tourists and local communities, new forms of contactless payments, etc; (ii) new work paradigm, by reducing the physical presence in the city management functions, optimizing the public space for commercial activities, etc; (iii) remote work and learning, through the ability to check the city’s infrastructure remotely, e-Learning resources for children and adults on topics related to the crisis, etc; (iv) City resilience and confidence building, through real-time information on compliance measures with the sanitation of public and private spaces, overcrowding management technologies, etc; and finally (v) social emergency and unemployment, through topics such as digital and virtual integration of the elderly and digital education for people in vulnerable areas.
From July until September, each solution kick-started in the bootcamp phase will then be tested and implemented in real context.
According to Vanessa Romeu, Director of Corporate Communication at LIDL Portugal, “COVID-19 brought completely new challenges to the retail sector, and since the first day, as a company, we have been committed to creating solutions to support those who need it most. As such, being part of SOL Tomorrow makes perfect sense, as we are extremely concerned with helping to find lasting solutions to the new challenges our customers are experiencing”.
Marco Fernandes, CEO of PME Investimentos, points out that “Initiatives such as SOL Tomorrow are of the greatest importance due to the capacity to promote new ideas and new businesses, even more with a strong component of social innovation and sustainability. In the current context of the gradual revival of economies and activities from Covid19 negative impacts, a program like this gains even more relevance. It´s a great pleasure for PME Investimentos and for our 200M and Social Innovation Funds to be partners along with other such relevant public and private entities. We hope to support the entrepreneurs to achieve their goals and leverage their ‘tech for good’ projects, help building a more innovative and inclusive country ”.
Inês Sequeira, Director of Department of Entrepreneurship and Social Economy at Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa and Founder, Director of Casa do Impacto, highlights that “we hope the solutions presented in this program can be applied to the context of the city of Lisbon and our organization in a really effective way. For us, it is very important to find startups and entrepreneurs with the capacity to create impactful projects that respond to real challenges that organizations like Santa Casa live on the ground. We look forward to bringing a new look to some of our organization’s processes and some of our approaches. Our association with SOL Tomorrow brings us closer to new solutions and pilots with SCML equipment and services, inserted in a program that makes these partnerships agile and efficient. ”
Miguel Aguiar, B2B Corporate Innovation & Transformation Manager at NOS, says that “we have been partners of Smart Open Lisboa for some years and what we have seen is that through these programs we are able to interact with a series of entrepreneurs, being startups or partners. Our main objective at SOL Tomorrow is to find new models to help our customers adapt to this new standard and overcome their new challenges”.
And according to Ana Caldeira, Director of Innovation and Project Management at Turismo de Portugal, “we hope that together with all partners we can validate and implement startup solutions that are safe both for the inhabitants of the city of Lisbon, as well as for tourists visiting us on daily basis. In the face of the pandemic, we want to continue to provide safe and authentic experiences for Lisbon residents and travellers”.
SOL Tomorrow is one of the vertical programs of Smart Open Lisboa, an open innovation initiative by CML managed by Beta-i, with a focus on validating and integrating innovative solutions created to improve life in cities. In the long term, the initiative aims to be a platform for communication and collaboration between different stakeholders – the city, its citizens, companies and startups – and a framework to accelerate innovative solutions.