Last April, I posted that:
Europe has always had problems gaining start-up momentum – there’s no epicenter, there’s no critical mass- and there are no Heros.
The Wired 100 list has gone a long way towards making 100 heroes visibile. Big applause for the Wired team. This year’s Wired 100 is on stands now – one person I was happy to see on the “bubbling list” – John Taysom. He’s an awesome guy. I’ve got a few other personal favorites that aren’t on the list yet, but I’ll cheer for them in silence… oh, and obviously congrats to everyone that’s on the list.
Europe *has* a start up scene now – and fortunately for me – most of it revolves around London. Spotify, Mind Candy (Moshi Monsters), Soundcloud – all amazing companies are doing well on a global stage. Young startups like Groupspaces or Lightbox (go David, go Thai) are popping up and getting funding from tier 1 investors.
I could count on one hand the number of hot European startups two years ago. I can count them on two hands now. I might even have to throw in a toe or two as well.
Silicon Roundabout is real now – thanks largely to initiatives like techhub. Seedcamp continues to expand it’s footprint and pulls together the who’s who of the European start-up world during seedcamp week each September. There’s an event this weekend spear-headed by Songkick for developers – silicon milkroundabout. Sign up for it here. This just wasn’t happening 2 years ago…
There’ve been some interesting companies getting acquired -M&A activity is picking up significantly - and money is getting returned to investors in Europe. But, we need to see more high-profile European IPOs. Skype
is grabbing for the ring, just got bought by Microsoft for a cool $8.5bn, Daniel Ek at Spotify is (rumored) to be gunning for an IPO. (That would be awesome if you did Daniel.)
All of this is coming together to make London a hot spot. It’s a great time to be here… (plus the weather’s really great this year). One more turn of the wheel and I think we’re there -