Building a Bridge For Entrepreneurship Between Silicon Valley and Europe


Chair: Klaus Beetz, Business Director, EIT ICT Labs (Munich)


This workshop is about
Investing in building the bridge between U.S. and Europe. Discovering key factors for success.
Exchangeing ideas about turning challenges into opportunities.

Silicon Valley raised US$12.6B in venture capital in 2013, Europe raised US$7.4B billion. U.S.-based investors invest 87% of their funds in the U.S., just 3% in the EU.

Huge U.S./EU synergy and support 

Silicon Valley and Europe have immense untapped synergy. Players are targeting it. Large European companies, like Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom, are acquiring Silicon Valley startups. Google has been acquiring EU startups for years. The Silicon Valley innovation campus RocketSpace runs startup bootcamps in Europe. TechCrunch has organized "TechCrunch Disrupt EU".

Cultural blocks? 

In Europe, innovation is a machine, in Silicon Valley it's gladiatorial, where bold CEOs are superstars, like Europe’s celebrated soccer professionals. Failed European entrepreneurs struggle to restart. In the U.S., startup failure is “a great learning experience.” Cultural differences hamper collaboration: how much is reasonable cost, how to make decisions, how to execute, what are realistic goals?  Yet European companies have succeeded in Silicon Valley, sometimes applying the "Israeli model" where the CEO and business management relocate to Silicon Valley while engineering teams remain in Europe.

EIT ICT Labs: vital EU link 

The EIT ICT Labs offers a unique ecosystem with a Business Development Accelerator at Co-Location Centers in Berlin, London, Eindhoven, Helsinki, Paris, Stockholm, Trento, Madrid, Budapest and now San Francisco, providing:

●     Access to qualified European ICT Startups, SMEs and technologies;
●     Introductions to a EU-wide network of investors and venture capitalists;
●     Links for EIT ICT Labs startups to Silicon Valley investors, projects and partners;
●     Reach into EU markets through large companies.