This was the second week of our adventure across Europe for the #EUCrowdShow.
We visited 10 countries so far, with 19 left to go, we’re almost half-way and we’ve just started.
This week we went to Valetta, Malta at Talbot & Bons; Tallinn, Estonia at Tallinn Creative Incubator; Riga, Latvia at TechHub Riga; Helsinki, Finland hosted by Maria 0-1; and Vilnius, Lithuania at Rise Vilnius.
That’s approximately 7,600 kilometers! If we drove to all 10 cities (and took ferries to the islands), it would be nearly 13,000 kilometers and take 20 days!
- We asked “Why aren’t there unicorns in Europe? Prove us wrong.” We had some lively responses, including:
- Unicorns fly and so do I with the help of EU unicorn Skyscanner, worth $1.6B in Jan
- We’ve got unicorns in Europe. Payment platform Ayden from Netherlands is at $2.3B
- Wrong! When the supermarket closes and I need to order food, I go to $2.5B UK-based startup Deliveroo
We had quite a crowd for a city of less than 5,700 people! Malta has a total population of 423,000 and 28,000 SMEs, with 96 startups. The main industries include tourism, electronics, and ship building, and the SME sector has expanded throughout the crisis. It’s a beautiful island and our #EUCrowdShow participants were friendly and welcoming. We will be back!
We were very excited to visit Helsinki, capital of the tech startup event, Slush. It has a very vibrant startup scene: more than 600 on Angel List, with an average valuation of $3.3 M. Nearly all businesses are SMEs, providing two out of three jobs and 60% of total value added. A significant portion of Finnish exports include high-tech goods and services.
Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia are often grouped together in “the Baltics”, so we’ll include them here this way:
Although the startup scene in Riga is smaller than Tallinn, it’s growing fast. Government support has grown, and public administration is more responsive to the needs of SMEs. The cost of starting a business in Latvia is less than 35 euros, which is nine times lower than the EU average. Makes cents!
With 2.9 M people, there are 145,000 SMEs and 262 startups. That’s not all, because according to PwC, Vilnius has the fastest public Wifi in the world. Lithuania also ranked 17th for “Ease of Doing Business” out of 189 places on the World Bank index. Attractive!
Affectionately known as E-Stonia, the country has a strong digital effort and electronic solutions for everything. And, our event in Tallinn covered the impressive growth of SMEs, which have added value of 56% since the crisis. There are 398 startups on Angel List with an average valuation of $4.4M.
The president tweets, and Estonia is the home to Transferwise and Skype. It’s a great digital environment to start a company: kids learn to code in primary school, and there is a vibrant Business Angel network.
Next week, we're off to Rome, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Vienna and Bratislava!