The Rise of the Interconnected Startup
The global market is not a static pie, not a zero-sum game. Specifically because the pie is dynamic and ever-changing, in order to properly analyse it you need to be as well. This is what the Startup Heatmap Europe is all about. We are leaving the fragmented nationalistic viewpoint behind and take a look at the flourishing startup industry burgeoning beyond Europe’s borders.
European founders have bred a new form of entrepreneurship: the interconnected startup company. Over 60% of founders in Europe state their startups have either employees, investors or established legal entities abroad. These companies are born international and constitute a completely new type of business. The Startup Heatmap Europe monitors these connections and maps the merging networks of growth. We aim to educate policy-makers and industry leaders on the speed of these developments, how to adapt and how to play a constructive role in the pan-European innovation system that we see evolving.
We track and analyze the migration patterns of Europe’s founders, who are 8 times more likely to move abroad than the average EU citizen. With our unique survey of >1,500 members of the European tech community, we are able to put together a comprehensive overview of the European startup ecosystem and its members’ ideas, expectations and connectivity patterns. Just like any other market, supply and demand interactions come down to the expectations of market players. In our analysis we abstain from foregone conclusions and ideological motivations and view the startup industry through the eyes of its most important stakeholder, the founder.
Focusing on tech founders, we track the interconnectivity of startups, the make-up and motivations of foreign startups and the push factors based on industry. We introduce new tools to analyse the potential and reach of startup hubs all across Europe, especially those who might not show up in your everyday top five. We further expanded our analysis to include migration flows of founders in each of Europe’s regions and the interconnectivity of start-up hubs. We look at investments flows and at how conferences and accelerators can be connectors of growth networks.
Our research shows that international connectivity can be a cure for Europe’s lack of resource concentration, but we also learn that entering other local ecosystems and building a network is the largest obstacle for foreign-born founders. Whilst Europe’s founders display an ever-increasing willingness to transverse borders, they need to have the backing of a network, that smoothes the access to foreign opportunities. This network exists, but still only between a limited number of hubs. Here is where Europe can grow.