Event: U.S.-Europe Dialogue on Making Ventures Grow

Ambassador Gardner’s blog and Summary of Event

Ambassador Anthony L. Gardner hosted a U.S.-EU Dialogue on Making Ventures Grow on May 5 in cooperation with EBAN, the European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and Early Stage Market Players, which brought together public policy and private sector experts to discuss ways to expand and accelerate financing of high-growth ventures as a mechanism to spur entrepreneurship, economic growth, and job creation in Europe.  The event took place during the European Commission’s public consultation period on building a Capital Markets Union.

The Ambassador welcomed over 50 participants from leading American and European venture capital and private equity firms, angel investors and accelerators, stock exchanges, corporate venture funds from leading digital firms, and related foundations and associations, along with officials from the European Commission’s DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), DG Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA), and DG Research and Innovation (DG RTD), the European Investment Fund, and the European Parliament. The interactive discussion focused on identifying concrete opportunities to broaden Europe’s capital markets, stimulate alternative financing, and facilitate the growth and scaling up of ventures in Europe.

European Commission Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen made keynote remarks and received a summary of the discussion conclusions from Bruegel Senior Fellow Karen Wilson.  The event concluded with a networking cocktail and dinner.

To view our Flickr gallery from the event please click here.  The agenda for the event is below.

U.S.-Europe Dialogue on Making Ventures Grow

May 5, 2015
U.S. Embassy, Brussels

14:00 Welcome by Ambassador Gardner

Overview of Proceedings and Key Objectives by Karen Wilson, Senior Fellow, Bruegel

14:10 Broadening Europe’s Capital Markets & Stimulating Alternative Financing

The proposed EU Capital Markets Union (CMU) seeks to broaden Europe’s capital markets as well as to move towards a more integrated pan-European market for capital. Regulatory fragmentation needs to be addressed to develop a single market for capital in Europe. Today, many of the successful European startups move to the United States to grow and take advantage of the more liquid debt and equity capital markets.  The European Commission has requested feedback on proposals, including the creation of a European private placement market for debt and equity; changes to the Prospectus Directive; and facilitation of high-quality securitization.

What can be done at the EU level and by U.S. and European investors to broaden the instruments available, particularly to innovative, high-growth firms? What must be done to facilitate the development of Europe’s debt and equity capital markets? What role can intermediaries such as crowdfunding platforms play? Is there a need to stimulate other forms of alternative financing?

Moderator: Peter Spiegel, The Financial Times

16:00 Facilitating the Growth of Ventures in Europe

Much effort has been made in the United States and Europe in recent years to encourage the creation of startups. Incubators, accelerators, seed funds and early-stage market players on both sides of the Atlantic have helped to catalyze a stronger entrepreneurial culture. With Europe’s priority being jobs and growth, entrepreneurship is high on the agenda. Young, innovative firms are significant job creators, but ventures need to scale in order to be sustainable engines of growth.

What can be done to support the scaling of startups and innovative, young firms? How can the EU support the further development of venture capital and angel investment? What role can U.S. and European corporations play in facilitating the creation and scaling of startups? What can be done to boost the flow of institutional investment into venture capital? What might be the implications of the Digital Single Market on facilitating financing and growth of firms?

Moderator: Stephen Fidler, The Wall Street Journal

17:20 Summary of Discussions
Karen Wilson, Senior Fellow, Bruegel

17:30 Presentation of conclusions: Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness

Followed by comments and Q&A

Discussion will continue over dinner with rapporteurs at each table.

20:45 Closing Remarks by Ambassador Gardner and Rapporteurs