European Commission strategy for tech startups: Start in Europe, Stay in Europe

European Commission strategy for tech startups: Start in Europe, Stay in Europe
Innovation

Neelie KroesNeelie Kroes, Vice-President for the Digital Agenda of the European Commission, ended the second day of LeWeb, talking about the European Commission’s strategy for supproting European tech startups. The talk was part of an ambitious action plan by the European Commission, currently being studied with input from the European startup scene, which will be presented in full in the beginning of 2013. Kroes touched on a few key facts in her presentation about how the EC feels about innovation & technology in Europe, and what they plan to do about it.

Startups: Start in Europe, Stay in Europe

A great motto for the European startup scene, Kroes highlighted the EC’s desire not only to create innovative tech companies, but to make Europe a global player, a place where people come to build and grow businesses. With startups driving most of the growth in Europe these days, it’s no wonder the EC plans to announce the creation of the EU Web Entrepreneurs Leaders Club, meant to encourage web entrepreneurship as a career. The club will feature 5-6 world-class entrepreneurs acting as role models for the European web startup scene.
EU FlagKroes announced other upcoming initiatives, such as the creation of a Startup Europe Partnership, meant to strengthen the Web startup and technology investment ecosystem and enhance its competitiveness. This will bring serial entrepreneurs, large companies, specialised investors, mentors, accelerators and media with special interest in the web in contact with young entrepreneurs and online startups. It will unlock expertise, technology, services or offices, to support entrepreneurs.
In order to support startup investment, the EC plans to create a European network of web business accelerators, as well as to suport a European Network of Crowd-funding platforms, in order to provide support, visibility and inter-connectivity between existing crowd-funding platforms.
After yesterday’s talk about Government’s role in Innovation at LeWeb, it’s interesting to see the perspective of an entity with an increasingly larger role on the evolution of the European startup scene as a whole. They’ve been responsible for setting pan-European infrastructural standards, putting forth initiatives, and increasing coherency across Europe for entrepreneurs & businesses. This new, more aggressive plan of action looks promising, and I hope to see them foster the growth of a great entrepreneurial environment in Europe.

3 Responses

  1. Avatar
    cyberdoyle

    If we want tech startups to stay in Europe we need decent fit for purpose connectivity for them. Fibre.

  2. Avatar
    Shanto Akobian

    Dear Neelie Kroes,
    I’ve read your message and wanted to say so long as startupper.
    I think you asking the wrong question: why are there more startups in areas like Silicon Valley, Puget Sound, Virgina Tech Area, etc compared with virtually all areas in Europe?
    Of course it is also important to maintain, but I think the problem is deeper. Partly innovation is something that in many EU countries is not deep, although you else seems to think.
    And the dream job of many Europenan is one with less than 40 Culture of a (semi-) public institution. I do not mean that as a sneer incidentally, but the reality is that the balance of money vs. free time in many EU countries, for example, is different in terms of desire picture than in the U.S.. The difference between social security payroll vs. ZZP example in the U.S. is much smaller than in the EU.
    But also is a problem that has long been known in Europe for most companies the bank is the only way to get money. If the bank does not lend, you have no case. In the U.S., parallel investment from other sources more common. Perhaps it is better that such fiscally attractive??? :-)))
    Incidentally, I do not think the labor cost here in the EU are lower. Wages may be, but that is not what an investor relevant. Employers charges are much higher than in the U.S.
    Also, this is probably the higher taxes so that small advantage of lower wages again. Furthermore, in the Netherlands as ASML said often enough that last finding staff that can perform such activities. In Europe, fixed a sort same problem exist with regard to highly skilled technical staff. What I also can suggest is that I as a start-up rather Engage in Silicon Valley to be there so you benefit from it than from Europe to operate allowing other companies in Silicon Valley have less connection with your business.
    And it goes even further, good developers get paid far less than managers who spend all day doing nothing but nice together twenty meetings and plans in the round bullshitting. This still applies: the creative people who make beautiful things do not get the appreciation and the money that goes to the people who talk about. In SF are the qualities of good developers at least be appreciated.
    Do not get me wrong, good managers you need too, only you can see here too often that is managed and on the valuations / rewards are skewed. That is where you would imagine hard to make …
    What the problem is that European funded research and innovation ultimately often ends up on U.S. businesses. Think of one of the most successful European high-tech companies: ARM. A small company in England does very well with a certain type of processor design and know that through European research funding to further research and development. Meanwhile, it is one of the leading suppliers of chip designs for mobile and embedded market has become. But since his success has been very fast from the European disappeared and bought / merged and largely become American.
    I have in recent years increasingly in European research projects see the same thing happen across Europe. Companies like Apple, Google and lesser-known names like taking a majority stake in a company and the company is “gone”. (Quick) growing companies in America to see the capital to grow much faster and are bought / move / etc. Very waste of EU taxpayers’ money, in the long run is all here know how lost and must be re-invented the wheel.
    The same happens also in Europe, but from the perspective of yours obviously less critical and partly also desirable. But this is as far as I can see not to individuals but to small businesses / SMEs. Rovio has also been successful in Europe before they started thinking about America…..
    Hope u read my letter and most important making EU more attractive then in any other country for and as start uppers.
    Best regards,
    Shanto Akobian

  3. Avatar
    MAK @ MAKTIG.vc

    Think of what Facebook would be should it had stayed in the U.S.

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