USE(!) Vs USA• The EU27 GDP is higher than the US GDP• http://europa.eu/about-eu/facts- figures/economy/index_en.htm• Angel investments (2009) – EU27: ~ 4B$ – USA : ~18B$ – Source: EBAN, www.eban.org
How does an old person behave?• Conservative• Slow moving• Does it look like the ideal ground for “Risk Financing for Entrepreneurship”?
Need to develop the“Culture of Failure” in EuropeTurning Europe YOUNG again!•Education•Legislation
The Silicon Paranoia• “Silicon Roundabout”, UK http://www.siliconroundabout.org.uk• “Silicon Beach”, Australia http://siliconbeachaustralia.org• The “Greek Silicon Valley” – “Acropolis Technology Park” – “Alexander Innovation Zone” – a.s.o….
Stop insanity now!• There’s only one Silicon Valley• It’s NOT an “one size fits all”!• Looking for the “European Facebook” or the “European Google” is a kind of provinciality• Europe does not deserve it
The Silicon Valley model is NOT a panacea! We need authentic growth models for start-up entrepreneurship (including of course risk financing) in Europe
USE Vs USA• EU: The “grow- • USA: The “fail fast” sustainably” model model – Invest in unique – Investing in unique teams ideas – Focus to usefulness – Focus to excitement – Invest less, support – Tons of funding, more high expectations – Higher percentage – Very low of successes percentage of – Higher return on successes average – Very high returns (?)
From Pyramids to Pancakes• Josephine Green: “From command and control to a truly flat world of collaboration!” http://www.pyramids2pancakes.com
• We Europeans must champion the pancake model versus the pyramid one• In other words: – Europe’s strategy should NOT be about domination, but it is about sustainability
The “Entrepreneurial Ecosystem”• A European approach challenging the Silicon Valley model• Key assumption: Access to market is more important than access to capital• Group of non-competing start-ups• Enjoying economies of scale• Without losing flexibility, strong entrepreneurial drive• Evolved in the journey from the first student start-up in Greece to a Seed Fund, an Incubator and a Business Angel Network• http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entrepreneurial_ecosystem
Who can fund entrepreneurship?• Financial Institutions• Governments• Individual Investors• Corporate Investors
Extreme necessity for incentives for individuals and corporate investors in promoting angel / seed investments in Europe• From “SME support” to “Start-upsupport”• Tax start-ups like individuals: –Lower tax income – lower taxes
Governments• Please, stop subsidies NOW!• Subsidies kill entrepreneurship• Looking for Customers is wiser than looking for the right supplier invoices!• New instruments – Business plan competitions – Soft-loans – State-backed Funds
Conclusions?• Angel investments & corporate venturing can drive risk financing for entrepreneurship in Europe• A plethora of successful examples already exists• Extreme necessity for structural changes in the legal & tax framework as well as in the education & research fronts – Bridge innovation/research with market needs – Create start-up-friendly environment