Silicon Valley remains an illustrious name in the world of technology and innovation. This small area in the United States is the one place where nearly all major technological breakthroughs come from. It goes without saying that various countries around the world would love nothing more than reach the same level as Silicon Valley, although that is quite an ambitious goal. But do some European cities have a legitimate shot at this title, or are they just living a utopian dream?
Plenty of European ICT Hubs To Be Found
One thing’s for sure, there is no lack in ICT efforts by European entrepreneurs and companies. Several cities can be pinpointed on the map as to where technological innovation is only a matter of time. However, there is still a long way to go before anyone can dream of building a European Silicon Valley.
Investors are eager to become a part of any tech unicorn right now, but they will still value US companies much higher than their European counterparts. As a result, the total valuation of all European tech unicorns is half of what Facebook is worth. This paints an interesting picture for the future, as the amount of venture capital funding has to grow in Europe if the continent wants to compete with the US.
Numbers won’t tell the entire story though, despite there being far more early investment deals brokered in the US compared to Europe. Just because someone or some company has a bright idea, doesn’t mean it will become a success anytime soon. With investors now thinking twice before investing in tech unicorns, the playing field between both components will start to level over the next few years.
But there is another side to the investment funds flowing to tech companies. Government officials play an important role in stimulating the growth of technology in their respective regions, and the European officials are lagging behind in this regard. Europe is not entrepreneurial enough to create major tech companies just yet, a situation that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Even though people may argue these are still the early days of the digital and technological revolution, it is important to be in a prime position to steer this movement in the right direction. Europe has very little to offer in that regard unfortunately, making it that much harder for entrepreneurs and SME’s to put themselves on the global map.
Changing The System In Favor of a European Silicon Valley
To make matters even worse, a lot of the European tech startups are, in the long run, bought up by their US counterparts. On paper, this does not pose a problem by any means, as the talent is usually acquired as well. But at the same time, this leaves even less growth for tech companies in Europe. Part of this scenario can be attributed to the lack of European funding opportunities. forcing startups to look to the US for seed funding.
There is a change underway, however, as more investment funding is flowing to European technology than ever before. It may very well be only a matter of time until a new Silicon Valley hub emerges, and Europe seems to be the continent in a prime position for such growth. Whether or not the scales will tip, remains to be seen, but the winds of change are already here, and it is time to ride its gusts.
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Also published on Medium.