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UK startup venture firm launches European programmes

Initiatives in France, Germany and Denmark will support startups working on public services innovations

UK startup venture firm Public has launched three GovTech programmes in France, Germany and Denmark to support startups working on public services technology across Europe.

Public has also opened applications for the third cohort of its GovStart UK accelerator, on which the programmes in France and Germany have been modelled.

GovStart Germany will also support startups from Austria and Switzerland to scale across Germany and the rest of Europe.

“As one of the biggest countries in Europe, Germany needs to play an orchestrating role to develop Europe into the leading GovTech ecosystem,” said Lars Zimmerman, managing director of Public Germany.

“From Berlin through Vienna and Zurich, an exciting German-speaking technology market has emerged which has potential to create real GovTech champions and help transform public services in each of the three countries.”

Alex Margot-Duclot, managing director of Public France, added: “We are extremely excited to see the applications we receive and to work with companies that have powerful applications, capable of improving the lives of service providers and citizens.”

The expansion of GovStart UK to the continent will see new offices set up in Germany and Denmark, as well as a new Copenhagen-based GovTech challenge programme, supported by Denmark’s ministry of industry, business and financial affairs.

As with the UK government’s £20m GovTech Catalyst Fund, the Danish challenge programme has five categories, ranging from raising data ethics awareness to tech-enabled housing inspections.

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“Europe holds immense potential to support a thriving ecosystem of dynamic and innovative startups transforming public services for the enhancement of service providers and citizens alike,” said Daniel Korski, CEO and co-founder of Public. “We hope these new programmes present the first steps towards that reality.”

In 2018, Public’s UK GovStart accelerator supported 23 startups and raised £42m investment, with 19 public sector contracts or pilots agreed.

Applications for the German, French and UK programmes close on 30 April 2019. The accelerators will all begin in late June.

Public is backed by an advisory board that includes DeepMind founder Mustafa Suleyman, former Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley and Estonia chief technology officer Siim Sikkut.

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