Isidro Laso Ballesteros is head of Sector and leads the Startup Europe Initiative at the European Commission.

Isidro had his first taste of entrepreneurship at university, where he created a junior enterprise. After graduating as an Engineer from the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, he moved into engineering activities, working with Geographic Information Systems and design tools before becoming a strategic consultant to high-level executives (CEOs of large corporations), mainly in the telco and media sector.

He then moved to the ICT sector where he worked on research projects related to Workflow Management Systems and Internet Collaboration Systems. This gave him the opportunity to create a new department within his company offering change management projects to customers, to complement traditional ICT projects. Subsequently he spent five months working for one of the Ministries in Spain before being seconded to the European Commission as a National Expert.

Since becoming a Commission official he has managed research projects and drafted research strategy objectives. From 2010 onwards he has been focused on creating a new endeavour within the EU institutions related to tech start-ups; the first output of this latest work is the Startup Europe initiative. Isidro has written several books and papers, some of which have been translated into other languages, including Japanese.

Isidro’s objectives for the Policy Fellowship are to share views on policy measures to strengthen the environment for web entrepreneurs in Europe; to learn new ways of policy making better adapted to an era of extremely rapid change that characterise the web startups; and to access international knowledge and best practices related to policies for web startups.