Most startups are told that America is the holy grail of market potential. That to end up in Silicon Valley is the most epic of ambitions. And there's a lot of truth to it. Silicon Valley and New York City are amazing locations for European startups to expand to.
Yet, it was refreshing to read an article by an American entrepreneur who moved himself, and his startup, to Europe. Martin Varsavsky begins by listing his impressive credentials. 1995, moved from NYC to Madrid, and while in Europe he built Viatel, Jazztel, Ya.com, Eolia Renovables, and Fon, among others. His amazing track record with successful European ventures is undeniable.
But the most interesting aspects of his article aren't the gasp-inducing numbers he sold his companies for, they're the particularities he found about the European market. According to Varsavsky, the European market is technically bigger than the US in terms of GDP. The article mentions that Europe is great for an American tech entrepreneur because the wealth is more evenly distributed and there will be less competition to face as many Europeans have negative views of entrepreneurship.
There are of course negatives, including the strict work regulations in Europe. A great example that the article brings forward is HP-- HP was founded in America in a garage... but it's illegal to work out of a garage in Europe... Varsavsky, unaware and in Madrid at the time of starting Jazztel, was working out of a garage and had to quickly rent office space.
However the positives are overwhelming. Legal assistance is cheaper, healthcare is more affordable and accessible for employees, as mentioned the market is larger, equal opportunity in the US is taken to another level in Europe-- equal opportunity should yield equal results. And the can-do attitude of Americans is needed in Europe.
As with all things, there are positives and there are negatives. But it is definitely endearing to read an article praising Europe as a location for American entrepreneurs.
Or you can go the Captain Dash way and establish a presence in both!
Either way, this is the year for big tech advancements, success for smart startups, and radical change. Read the article here for an indepth look at the difference in environments for startups worldwide.