I recently posted about there being just a handful of European companies among the Webware 100 awards finalists – 21 out of 300 companies, with Passpack as the lone ranger for Italy. Now it seems Techcrunch is sitting up and recognizing that there’s something interesting is astir in the EU.
The article poses the question of if and where a European Silicon Valley will eventually pop up. In the era of Web2.0 where everything is online, applications are distributed, and networks are virtual.
“one valley to rule the world”?
I believe Erik Schonfeld, Techcrunch author, came darn close to the truth here:
“As Europe searches for its Silicon Valley, it may turn up as a state of mind rather than a specific place. The truth is that Europe may not need a single Silicon Valley because business is becoming so distributed.”
It all comes down to the VCs really. While US VCs still seem reluctant (or so the story goes) to invest outside three miles of their home, my brief experience with chatting with EU investors show a generally more lenient attitude. If that’s anything more than just an impression, then European startups may well have a chance of building a distributed “Valley”.
Europe has been long known as the Old World, with it’s patchwork of countries, cultures and languages crammed into a relatively small spot of land. But just as data silos are being broken down and distributed, the business silos like Silicon Valley may be destined do the same.