In Brussels, we held our first Amazon Academy around the theme of innovation and entrepreneurship. The academy gathered small and medium business owners, MEPs and EU officials together to share their stories and ideas. Before the keynote speeches and panel discussions we held a coding workshop in partnership with the Digital Leadership Institute (DLI) as part of the broader EU Code Week in Brussels.

Small business leaders talk about their own experiences

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Stefan Grosjean CEO of Smappee a business selling smart home monitors for energy conservation talked about how using the cloud is integral to his business. Stefan joined Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, Jean-Claude Burgelman, Head of Unit for Data, Open Access and Foresight at DG RTD, Eva Paunova, MEP and Cheryl Miller, Cofounder of DLI on a panel about how cloud technology benefits innovation and entrepreneurship.

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A second panel with Teshia Treuhaft of Senic GmbH, Lavinia Davolio, Founder of Lavolio Boutique Confectionery and Nesya Goris, co-founder, of Virovet told their company stories and shared their perspectives and lessons learned about how to build a successful business online. They were joined by Bertrand Wert, Project Adviser, Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) from the European Commission and Fabrice Rousseau of Amazon Launchpad who talked about how Launchpad helps to make it easy for startups to launch, market, and distribute their products across the world.

After presentations and panel discussions, attendees were invited to interact and watch demos of the Amazon Echo, recently launched in Europe, Fire tablets, and Kindle e-readers.

Click to see a gallery of photos from the event