It may be a cliché, but our collective future really does depend on the brightest and best of youthful talent. Here in Europe, Microsoft has initiated a huge focus on nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs, across a wide variety of projects and programs. The latest of these is our commercial support for the participants in the UN Convention Young Innovators event taking place in Brussels 26-27 June.

The current crisis has shown the structural difficulties European economies are facing. Against this backdrop, the UNconvention brings together young Europeans with innovative ideas and those who will inspire, guide and support them: leading businesspeople, experts, entrepreneurs, investors, top politicians and officials to stimulate innovation and growth in Europe.

And what a line-up of keynote speakers: representative of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Alec Ross, Senior Advisor on Innovation), representative of UK Prime Minister David Cameron (Rohan Silva, Senior Policy Adivsor), European Commissioner Neelie Kroes, our very own Chairman of Microsoft Europe Jan Muehlfeit, plus representatives from a whole host of other organisations, including the European Investment Fund, The World Economic Forum (WEF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Seedcamp.

But while this is an impressive list of VIPs, the focus of this event is on young innovators. So, as well as discussing how we can work together to create a better for them, young entrepreneurs are encouraged to participate and make their voices heard. They’ll get a chance to network directly with the delegates, tell them what they’d like to see in the way of help for start-ups across the region and even have a chance to engage with potential investors. Plus, six early stage entrepreneurs will compete live at the event for the first ever Young European Innovator Award.

By the way, there are still some places left for anyone interested in attending, but you need to act very soon. More information can be found here.

This blog post was written by Ruud de Jonge, Audience Marketing Manager for Microsoft in The Netherlands