Startup Europe Awards

Finnova celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Day

  • In its more than 10 years of operation, Finnova reaffirms its continued commitment to entrepreneurship through its open innovation methodologies, its active projects and initiatives, and its advice and support to entrepreneurs to access EU funding.
  •  Finnova invites entrepreneurs to continue working for a brighter future through OPEN CALLS for innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • In the framework of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2023, Finnova will develop spaces that identify, reward and accelerate entrepreneurs and startups whose work is carried out taking into account the priorities of the 2030 Agenda.

On 16 April we celebrated this special date to recognise entrepreneurship as a powerful force for positive change in the world, the drive for innovation and economic growth. From Finnova, we pay tribute to all those who have used their creativity and passion to innovate in their communities and ecosystems. Their ideas and efforts are transforming the world!

“At Finnova, we believe in the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to solve our society’s most pressing challenges,” explains Juanma Revuelta, CEO of Finnova. “Our open innovation methodologies add to the Foundation’s ongoing efforts to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe. We have supported more than 1,500 entrepreneurs and startups since 2011, providing funding and resources through programmes such as Horizon 2020, the European Regional Development Fund and the EU’s LIFE Programme.”

As a non-profit organisation based in Brussels, Finnova is dedicated to working for the constant pursuit of business innovation and applied knowledge excellence by developing talent and connecting it internationally and inter-regionally. To do so, it promotes multiple networks and high-level events with the purpose of seeking European resources and funding related to technology transfer, modernisation and competitive development of public and private entities, SMEs and startups at all scales at international, regional and local level.

Finnova’s experience in leading communication and dissemination activities of European projects is combined with a solid proven track record in start-ups and business support programmes, such as accelerators, incubators and selection and award ceremonial events. The Foundation has participated and/or mentored 27 projects with the Seal of Excellence, a quality label awarded to project proposals that have applied for funding from HORIZONTE2020, the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

Year 2023

2023 will be the European Year of Skills, which will mean increased investment and focus on education, training and digital skills. The aim is to improve and accelerate the recognition of qualifications in Europe for skilled professionals from abroad. As European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said, “We need to invest much more in education and lifelong learning. To do this, we want to work closely with companies. Because they know best what professionals they need today and what professionals they will need tomorrow. And we need to reconcile better these needs with the objectives and desires of the job seekers themselves in terms of their career path”.

Furthermore, in 2023, Spain will once again hold, for the fifth time, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2023, between the 1st of July and the 31st of December. The Spanish Presidency in 2023 will take place in the last part of the European institutional cycle, before the European Parliament elections scheduled for May 2024 and the subsequent appointment of a new Commission. Consequently, Spain will have a particular responsibility to complete negotiations on a large number of open dossiers in the Union’s main lines of work: ecological transition, digital transformation and the social agenda. Likewise, the initiatives promoted by Spain will have an impact on the next European cycle. The Presidency of the Council of the Union is an exercise in participation in European integration that goes beyond the General State Administration and should involve the Spanish Parliament, the Autonomous Communities and Local Authorities, the academic world and civil society.


In the latest report of the Observatory of Entrepreneurship in Spain (also known as RED GEM Spain), recent entrepreneurial activity has recovered to a rate of 5.5% of the population, a similar percentage to that recorded before the health crisis broke out, and has done so despite an upturn in business abandonment (2.2%).

In addition, the percentage of people with the intention of starting a business in the next three years has increased to almost 10% of the population, as has the percentage of women involved in entrepreneurial initiatives less than three and a half years old (5.6%), a higher percentage than that of men (5.4%).

In line with these statistics, Finnova supports women entrepreneurs with two types of programmes. On the one hand, women innovators through the Women4tech programme, which was created to support innovation, disruptive projects and public-private partnerships for women. Currently, the deadline is open to welcome new partners who want to join this initiative of women’s projects to support female entrepreneurship.

Registration HERE:

In another dimension and to attract new talent, we work under the umbrella of Girls4tech, which was created to support and propose projects aimed at young people to sow seeds and skills for entrepreneurship and innovation. Support for training, generation of skills and dissemination of STEM projects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) aimed at girls and boys aged 8 to 18.


Currently more than 30 organisations across Europe are part of Finnova’s open innovation partnerships, which have recognised more than 80 European startups.

One of these open innovation methodologies is the Startup Europe Awards, an initiative of the European Commission to connect high-tech startups, scaleups, investors, accelerators, corporate networks, universities and media. Startup Europe Awards is a methodology of DG CONNECT of the European Commission implemented by the Finnova Foundation that has traditionally had the institutional support of the European Parliament, the European Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee since 2016. SEUAs are an open innovation tool to identify disruptive startups that promote public-private collaboration and raise awareness of the importance of self-entrepreneurship as a driver of employment. In addition to generating alliances that help to meet the SDGs of the United Nations and the actions of the European Green Pact, thus contributing to the circular economy, the fight against climate change and sustainable tourism.

On the other hand, the STARTUP EUROPE ACCELERATOR methodology is a package of services aimed at offering a ‘second level acceleration programme’ from a European perspective. The aim is to help startups and young entrepreneurs overcome barriers to innovation through a European platform of funding, mentoring, networking and the inclusion of other customised services specific to each project. It is the first acceleration programme specially designed to bring the European Commission’s programmes and resources to start-ups and entrepreneurs to foster innovation projects, especially in the areas of eco-innovation, social innovation, technological solutions or ICT, renewable energies, smart and sustainable cities, environment, tourism and creative industries.


One of the foundation’s major recognitions in entrepreneurship was in 2021 at the 15th edition of the prestigious European Enterprise Promotion Awards EEPA at the gala “European Enterprise Promotion and Small and Mid-Caps Award” recognised and rewarded the CILIFO project, led by the Junta de Andalucía and co-organised by Finnova, with the European award in category 4: “Support for the internationalisation of companies”.

An award with which the European Commission in partnership with the Committee of the Regions recognises initiatives that exceptionally support entrepreneurship, foster entrepreneurship and raise awareness of the role of startups, SMEs and enterprises.


Finnova invites entrepreneurs to continue working for a brighter future through innovation and entrepreneurship.

We encourage you to register for the OPEN CALLS of the Startup Europe Awards, which aim to promote the identification of startups with innovative solutions to SDG challenges and to support their projects and ideas to be implemented for the benefit of society as a whole, generating a public-private partnership that leads to access to funding from European Union funds.



Innovative startups and SMEs capable of solving current challenges in the area of Waste Reduction, specifically in the improvement of biogas generation in Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP). Closing date for entries: 31st July 2023.

The awards will be presented on the 20th and 21st of September in the framework of S-Moving and Greencities to be held at the Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga (FYCMA).


Innovative startups and SMEs capable of solving current challenges in the area of agro-digitalisation. Closing date for entries: 19th May 2023.

The winners will be announced on the 6th of June 2023 in an event organised in the framework of Green Week.

More information HERE.

The winners will benefit from a European acceleration ticket, consisting of mentoring and training in European funds through e-learning courses. They will also have access to a networking network in the framework of the EU and the internationalisation of projects. Finally, they will be offered guidance on European funding and advice on how to turn the winning idea or proposal into a European project.

Find out about all the Open Calls you can apply for here:

Happy World Entrepreneurship Day!

About Startup Europe Awards

The Startup Europe Awards (SEUA) are an initiative of the European Commission, launched by the Finnova Foundation in collaboration with StartUp Europe. It is an open innovation tool that allows companies to identify talented startups capable of solving today’s challenges in multiple areas. Its mission is to help Startups and Scaleups become more efficient, smarter and more successful. These awards are a useful tool to promote knowledge sharing, add value to the entrepreneurial ecosystem and help startups to grow and position themselves in the market.

About Finnova Foundation

Finnova is the Spanish-Belgian non-profit foundation based in Brussels and Spain, working for the promotion and development of innovation and entrepreneurship in the EU. Finnova’s experience in leading communication and dissemination activities of European projects is combined with a strong proven track record in business creation and entrepreneurship support programmes, such as accelerators, incubators and events, as well as its commitment to training and employability of young people.