Red Herring has an article prasing the advances in Europe while the Economist has a special feature this week on Private Equity which criticizes European VC. I felt that several of the comments in the Economist were simply not true. Three comments in particular were completely false: 1. Lack of repeat entrepreneurs 2. Lack of specialized Lawyers, Consultants and intermediaries and 3. Lack of government incentives.
First, many of the entreprenuers I meet are serial entrepreneurs that have sold their businesses for millions. Second, there are highly qualified and specialized firms that we work with who understand the needs of early stage companies. Third, the government is essentially the largest VC in the UK thanks to the tax breaks they offer. The Economist, in this case, is way off base- which is very surprising considering they are sitting in the most active area for Venture Capital in Europe. There are a slew of reasons why Venture Capital is very exciting in the UK right now (that’s for another post). In the meantime, have a look at RH’s article:
Europe not only has more professional venture capitalists, but it also has developed a good angel network, with entrepreneurs injecting not only money into startups but also some of their experience, creating an ecosystem of support.