Due to Europe’s Recession, European startups and incubators/accelerators are touring San Francisco and Silicon Valley to learn how to succeed here. Their biggest challenges? The speed and intense competitiveness, overcoming their modesty, finding strong marketing/sales people, overcoming visa hassles, and validating their business models so they can raise angel/VC funding.
Within the last few weeks, I’ve been communicating with northern European countries:
– Norway Innovation brought a group of a dozen entrepreneurs to visit SF and Silicon Valley incubators, events and startups. Norway has too much oil money so people prefer to stay with big oil/gas companies, not take risks with startups, but local governments and incubators are encouraging them to diversify into Internet and cleantech. Bringing in European tech talent and funding local women would untap new business opportunities. see: BRB.no, KPSF.no
– Dresden’s Ralf Lippold is organizing venture groups to create the Lockschuppen incubator in a former railway station. The group will host an Entrepreneurship workshop on Sept. 21-23, 2012. http://www.facebook.com/LockSchuppen
– Finland: Nokia is laying off and struggling to find a new business model, as is Finland, which has Rovio, the creator of the “Angry Birds” game, as its new national champion. My friend Meeli Koivo is working with the City of Tampere on a Smart Glass Project, which could be a new display industry.
– Sweden: Stockholm is now one of the top entrepreneurial centers in Europe. On September 12th, the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce will hold the first of its workshop series in Mountain View, CA. http://saccseminar1.eventbrite.com/. Stockholm School for Enterpreneurial Studies (SSES), a joint university program, will hold its annual event, “Good Morning 2012”, with TiE Nordic at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Nov 16 2012.http://www.goodmorning.se/
– Denmark’s Milestone Systems will open a new office in Silicon Valley, http://www.fditracker.com/2012/09/milestone-systems-accelerates.html
Silicon Vikings (www.siliconvikings.com), as well as France, Italy, and Spain, are expanding their activities in Silicon Valley so I expect to see a slew of new startups, tours and incubators/accelerators.