Attracting the Best Startups

Start Up Nations: The Quest to Attract the Best Startup Companies brought together a variety of professionals with different viewpoints to discuss Malta becoming a global hub for startup and technical talent including Kurt Farrugia- CEO Malta Enterprise, Charles Mizzi- CEO Malta Residency Agency, Nicolas Brian – President of EU Startup Network, Vijay Vaswani – Co-founder and CEO OmniScope, with Omeed Mehrinfar- Managing Director and Co-Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa for Plug & Play Tech-centre.


Kurt Farrugia, CEO of Malta Enterprise stated that “Boundaries are going to bring pushed with the new legal framework for startups which is three fold in that discussions have been made with startups themselves, with stakeholders and the feedback from the public is also necessary. This startup framework will focus on three pillars, these being, simplification and equity, fiscal environment and human capital.”


He also added that despite the 60-month shelf life startups tend to have, this shelf life is being extended to seven years. Moreover, he added that nowadays people want a good salary because apart from being professionals, they want a give a good life. The competition has shifted from tax incentives or specific grants to giving the best quality of life.


Charles Mizzi, CEO Malta Residency Agency added that the Residency Programme was co-developed with Malta Enterprise with an aim to provide a channel to facilitate the attraction of new startups to Malta, in particular those from outside the EU- third countries. Through this programme, startups will have a three-year period for peace of mind in which they can focus on the business side and their future as well as their residence permit. He added that if the business is indeed successful, the permit may be renewed for a further five years. Furthermore, he stated that when it comes to the nomad permit, it was a success story with an increase in the numbers. The quality of the applicants has increased with many being university graduates which want to move to establish their own business.


Nicolas Brian, President of EU Startup Network stated that there are two very common mistakes which are often made. The first being that policy makers tend to believe that there is such a thing as a big country when it comes to startups while the second mistake tends to be that policy makers believe that startups are random companies. He also added that the ecosystem quality is a pivotal factor and that a talent pool is always of key importance. Moreover,  he added that the world has is experiencing two transitions, the green and the digital transition.


Vijay Vaswani, Co-founder and CEO OmniScope stated that despite Malta’s small size, it is ready to move quickly in regards to the legislative process. He added that is necessary to focus on both natural and core strengths with a more elaborate financial ecosystem being a core strength which needs to be developed. Vasmani also identified three key pillars, these being finance, the public-private sector as well as understanding our markets and profits. As a founder one must ensure that employees have good benefits on stock grants and that a holistic approach is necessary as people are coming with their families.



Omeed Mehrinfar- Managing Director and Co-Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa for Plug & Play Tech-centre stated that the H-1B visa is the key behind the success of the US. It is a visa which imports talent it is more local based rather than merit based. 


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