Should you stay or should you move? This panel tackles the pivotal question European start-ups face when scaling globally: the Valley or staying on the home turf.
"Should I stay or should I go?!" - Jennifer Schenker talked about the European Entrepreneurship with Nicolas Brusson, founder of BlaBlaCar (a service who is disrupting the long distance travel scene), with Mikkel Svane, founder of Zendesk (a customer service software) and Giuseppe Zocco from Index Ventures, an Investor who helps entrepreneurs to be successful wherever they are based.
Mikkel Svane explained why he left Denmark for the Silcion Valley. In 2009 he needed to go to the US because as a European start-up it was almost impossible to raise money. Only very little money was spend to support entrepreneurs. As he started pitching in the US his company was welcome and they could talk to a wider audience for raising money.
Now it is easier to raise money in Europe and in the US if you think globally and want to expand your business globally.
"To get $100 Mio. investment we could not only be a French company - we had to be a European company.", Nicolas Brusson (BlaBlaCar)
It's easy to benefit from the market at the moment but know where is your market and what's your customer even in Europe. But never underestimate the spirit of Silicon Valley, Svane said. You'll will never find this vitality and inspirational energy within a 40 miles radius outside of the Valley. That's might be one reason while people are jump from job to job. There are too many sexy job opportunities because of this unique spirit. Here you can dream big.
"Face it. There is nothing like it in the world. Such up inspirational atmosphere of Silicon Valley.", Mikkel Svane (Zendesk)
He further explained that Europe has a really difficult system of regulations and taxes which makes it expensive:
"Scaling in Europe is incredibly difficult and expensive." (Svane) - "Oh, but when you start from France everything else is easy.", Brusson joked.
It seems it doesn't really matter anymore where to start your business - the hubs are quite similar if you compare Dublin, New York, London, Boston and Paris. Just start. It's only the beginning...