70% of investments in Europe are divided: London still leads but Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and Barcelona follow. Milan and Rome, however, are not watching. Here we look rapidly at the first two.
If there’s a startup Eden in Europe, it’s definitely London. Despite Brexit, the English capital boasts many records and is a leader in the number of European scale-ups in five sectors: artificial intelligence, fintech, insurtech and industry 4.0.
The London startup ecosystem is the sixth largest in the world. It is located behind only New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Tel Aviv. Although still behind the top 5, the European hubs are actually the fastest and the number of exits of London start-ups has quadrupled since 2012 to date because of the Brexit.
The exchange programmes that universities have implemented in European countries, and European projects such as Erasmus could therefore exclude British participants. In addition, immigrants moving to the UK are three times as likely to be entrepreneurs as those born in Britain and London will continue to be a key player in the global startup ecosystem for years to come - Brexit or not Brexit.
In London, coworking spaces with multiple locations are very common and this spaces are also used to mentor and coach start-ups by accelerator program, a series of large-scale tech/startup events and meetings. There are also several support organizations from foreign governments in London. For example, JETRO supports Japanese companies that want to expand into the UK market, Tech Italia manages a support and acceleration network for Italian companies and Plugin offers support to Polish entrepreneurs. The Irish government also offers a hub for incoming founders and runs programs such as City Insights to connect Irish companies to the London ecosystem.
The events are a great starting point for the founders who have just arrived in the city. At least in the first two months the founders should try to participate in multiple events like New Tech Meetup each week to expand their networks and begin to know the territory in terms of who to talk to and where to spend their time.
With four of the top 10 universities in the world (Oxford University, Cambridge University, UCL and Imperial College London) in London or very close to London, the city offers a wealth of highly qualified entrepreneurship programs and services such as the K-20 accelerator at King’s College.
The UK government and the local authorities of the city of London have made a big push to make London the European Tech Hub in the last decade. There are a good number of public organizations that can help foreign founders with soft-Launching in the city. The Global Entrepreneurship Program of the Department of International Trade is very useful for connecting important ecosystem actors and investors. London & Partners, the London promotion agency, is also available to help founders with tax credits and programs without taking capital in return.
To date, in France there are 7 unicorns, companies that are worth more than a billion dollars but when 3 years ago Macron won the elections in France, many called him "the president startupper", for the passion and determination with which he had followed the theme of innovation in his previous assignments but above all for how, Personally, he convinced the big French companies and also the international corporate companies present in France to bet on the local founders.
In Paris today there is the largest campus in the world for startups, Station F. In this context, half of the employees of French startups are talented foreigners who come from the rest of the world thanks to the network of about 100 cities where La France Tech is present, the organization that represents the French startup and technology ecosystem together with Paris & Co.
French Tech offers equity-free funding for initial startup costs, covering up to 70% of eligible business expenses for entrepreneurs. Since its launch thanks to French Tech, over 3,000 startups have benefited from the benefits of this government grant. At the same time the French embassy has launched the ban Yei - Young Enterprise Initiative, a competition aimed at young innovative Italian companies interested in expanding their business in France with the aim of helping them to develop and find partnerships in Paris with financial instruments and support they can use, connecting the founders with the main players in the French ecosystem.
France is one of the European nations that best supported the innovation ecosystem. The PACTE Act provides for six key measures to help start-ups : it reduces staff cost thresholds and related regulations; it reduces the cost of employee profit participation; it promotes crowdfunding by opening PEA-PME accounts for investments that come from crowdfunding, such as shares, fixed-rate bonds and mini bonds; it creates a legal framework for Initial Coin Offerings (Icos) to attract innovators from around the world, and to protect themselves from fraudulent crypto offerings; it simplifies the path of researchers wishing to start or join a company by simplifying the rules that currently separate the public scientific research sector from the private sector; and it encourages the protection of industrial property by strengthening French patents.
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