back to article Judge of EU beauty contest for 'sexy' startups is VC backer of winner

The European Commission has sponsored an award in which a VC was part of a panel that gave the top prize to one of his firm's investments. The first ever Europioneers Awards, presented by EC Vice-President Neelie Kroes, crowned the founders of two European startups, SwiftKey and SoundCloud, as "Young European Tech Entrepreneurs …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely this is perfect..... no doubt as they get bigger, they will need to know who's palms to grease and who to *ahem* influence.

    Just having one corrupt person in their pocket is just the start

  2. nuked

    It's a shame that this story isn't even surprising. The European Commission is nothing more than a group of old-Communists deperately trying to live-out their control fantasies. History will judge this period as a shameless attempt to end the democracy that so many lost their lives trying to protect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Makes you wonder

      If they were also members of Common Purpose.

      If you don't know what Common Purpose is then look it up. It makes the Scientologists look like poppy sellers.

    2. Elmer Phud
      Thumb Down

      Ol' Red?

      And there was me thinking that it was a cosy bunch of bankers and industrialists.

  3. David Pollard

    Transparently obvious - no covert cronyism here

    The Register's editorial staff should be well aware that there was no attempt whatsoever to hide cronyism,.either in the selection of the panel of judges or in the selection process itself. Every stage was conducted openly and transparently.

    Venture capitalists are included on the panel because of the specific expertise that they bring. Capital is a crucial aspect of any growth area and the flow of funds is a vital part of the developments that the EU aims to encourage in order to secure prosperity.

    Clearly in a field such as this some of the participants will be known to each other. Clearly there is likely to be some degree of synergy in the selection processes. Indeed it is precisely to encourage such synergies that this competition has been inaugurated by the Commission; synergies which will help to ensure that future EU development funds are appropriately allocated.

  4. Dave 15 Silver badge


    Wouldn't bother to save it to be honest - my mums use of democracy extends to always voting for the party whose leader has the smartest looking suit (sorry Miliband - she thinks yours is crap).

    Really, democracy is really a bunch of crooks leading a bunch of ignorant, under educated, un interested, pointless fools. Basically sooner we allow Darwin in to cull the 90% of the population that isn't worth a fig the better - for all thats left and the environment.

    As to the corruption - what does anyone expect - the world is corrupt, the western 'democratic' world doesn't like to talk about bribes but frankly is more corrupt than any of the worlds worst dictatorships, backward banana republics or just about anything from history. This is just another sad example. Will the firm lose its grant? Will the guy be imprisoned for the abuse? Not a chance - so more will happen.

    1. nuked

      Re: Democracy?

      "Wouldn't bother to save it to be honest - my mums use of democracy extends to always voting for the party whose leader has the smartest looking suit (sorry Miliband - she thinks yours is crap)."

      But she does have a vote, with proportionate weighting does she not?

      The European Commission is largely unelected, and the citizens of Europe have zero power to remove them at the ballot box. Furthermore, now that the Euro is all-but destroyed, every member-state has to have their budgets signed off by these unelected technocrats. They have their own officials replacing democractically elected leaders in struggling states, and they have even suggested stealing money from people's savings accounts, and property assets to prop up their failing Euro-dreams. And there is sweet FA they can do about it (I say 'they' as by the grace of god, we didn't join the Euro). The only stance the UK can now take against it is to remove itself entirely from the Eurozone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Democracy?

        The fact that they are, largely, unelected by itself does not necessarily pose a problem. In fact, some people argue that it is necessary for the sake of balance to have people who do not need to answer to anyone but their bosses. Cf. another comment above about voters and their (our) intellectual capacity and voting strategies.

        Another thing is whether they are or not impervious to lobbyists.

  5. Mephistro

    A naive statement, at best

    "What matters more is that the process was transparent and the fact that the finalists were selected by the public rather than the final judging panel."

    It would be trivial for Klein -after knowing he would be in the jury- to have lots of friends/employees/relatives attending the event as public, or voting online if that was the case. If the contest rules didn't foresee this kind of situation, the people who made the rules are a band of noobs. So I'd say that the EC spokesperson is probably being disingenuous.

    Just sayin.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " journalists - the Guardian’s Charles Arthur, and WiReD’s Olivia Solon"

    Journalists is being overly generous.

  7. ecofeco Silver badge

    Behind every success story... an inside job.

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