Major conference on how to put risk capital at the service of European innovation and enterprise

September 30, 2005

Brussels, 29 Sep 2005

On Wednesday and Thursday next week, the UK Presidency and the European Commission will jointly hold a major conference in London to debate and make recommendations on how risk capital should support the establishment of Europe as a leader in innovation, growth and enterprise. The success of Skype Technologies SA highlights how spectacular technological and commercial breakthroughs can be reached through venture capital investment in start-up companies. Skype is a peer-to-peer phone services provider using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allowing people to talk to each other by linking their computers. This success story only began two years ago. In 2003, the fledgling company benefited from a European Technology Facility (ETF) start-up investment made by the European Investment Fund (EIF). The ETF Start-up financial instrument, supported under the Commission's Multiannual Programme for enterprise and entrepreneurship (MAP), provides equity to venture capital funds investing in young SMEs with growth potential. This is one of the policies aimed at enhancing the growth of small businesses that will be discussed at the "Risk Capital Summit 2005 - Investing for Growth and Competitiveness in Europe" in London on 4 and 5 October 2005; see http://www.riskcap2005.com

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