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Web Start-up Challenge: Using Themes

As our efforts continue in the Web Start-up Challenge  Concepting phase, we thought we'd offer some pointers. After all, with such an exciting topic and so many directions in which to head with our new concepts, where and how do we get started? Enter Challenge Themes: a handy tool we use on every challenge to guide and focus our Concepting phase. 
At their core, Themes represent specific areas of opportunity for our ideas – ones that have been identified through conversations with European Commission, as well as through the common topics and trends our community surfaced during Inspiration. 
You'll find the Web Start-up Challenge Themes at  the top of the Concepting phase page, and if you click on each one, you'll see a list of questions to help spark your fresh, creative and entrepreneurial thinking for this challenge. 
Here's a quick Themes rundown to get your Concepting energy flowing:  

Support Tools

Web start-ups are at their best when focusing on the core product and the problems they're trying to solve. Everything else, from funding to accounts to marketing, might require skills not available in the core team.
  • How might we create new online & offline support tools for web start-ups?
  • How might we create opportunities for web entrepreneurs to learn from others?

Breaking Down Barriers

The web traverses borders, but it’s often difficult for businesses to do the same. Within Europe there are many rich cultures and talents in which to tap, yet no easy ways of overcoming legal, financial, language barriers. 
  • How might we support web start-ups in navigating across countries?
  • How might we leverage the European community to enhance web start-ups?


Shared spaces encourage exchange of ideas, skills and offer flexible ways for small teams to work.
  • How can we create workspaces that support the virtual and informal nature of web start-up teams?
  • How might we extend beyond physical spaces to virtual ones, helping to connect people who aren't necessarily in the same city?

Celebrating Start-ups

We share knowledge and gather momentum through storytelling. What better way to pass on the highs and lows of start-up life than through celebrating its stories? 
  • How might we better share the highs and lows of web start-up life? 
  • How might these stories educate as well as inspire new entrepreneurs?

Connecting Talent

Very often the people that make up a web start-up team are more important to its success than the idea itself. When inspired people come together, great things happen. 
  • How might we connect the right people together to create great ideas?
  • How can we support shared goals and deadlines in order to encourage forward momentum for web start-ups?

Untapped People Potential

Inspirations like The Amazings, a platform where the elderly share their wisdom, got us thinking about leveraging the knowledge and skills of people in different life stages. 
  • How could we tap into the latent knowledge of people in different life stages to support start-ups?
  • How might we encourage young people to practise entrepreneurship and get involved with web start-ups?

Funding & Incentives

New finance models from sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo empower entrepreneurs to seek funding in new ways. The traditional models of equity and control could also be disrupted as projects define their own offers. 
  • How could we fund web start-ups in creative ways?
  • How might we reduce financial burdens for web start-ups to encourage growth?
What new ideas will these Themes spark for you?  Share them with us!