Scale-Up Europe: Tech Leaders Lobby for Strategy to Build European Tech Giants of Tomorrow

Written by | Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

Europe’s objective must be building “10 companies worth €100 billion by 2030,” French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday (15 June) after receiving the “Scale-Up Europe” collective, which presented him with 21 recommendations featured in its report aiming to encourage the emergence of digital giants on the continent. If Europe is to stay in the race against the United States and China, “we need to build a stronger European ecosystem and champions, and entrepreneurs need to push governments to be more efficient,” the French leader said. A dozen ministers, investors and French and European digital entrepreneurs from the “Scale-Up” discussed with Macron, for example, the creation of an “ecosystem favourable to the listing of tech companies on European stock markets,” a “tech worker status for European talent, with a standardized contract and the portability of social rights across the continent” as well as support for the relocation of such talent.
Apart from these, the report also recommends setting up a “standardized framework for patent transfer to accelerate technology transfer out of universities, and between start-ups and large companies” and the implementation of “a tax credit for European companies investing in European start-ups.” Companies, investors and associations that signed the „Scale-Up“ manifesto include Alan, Axel Springer, Bpifrance, Darktrace, Deutsche Startups, Doctolib, Eurazeo, Flixbus, France Digitale, Glovo, La French Tech, N26, OVHcloud, Shift Technology, Stripe, UiPath and Wise. “To achieve all that, I’ll follow your ambition — 10 technology companies that are worth €100 billion or more by 2030,” Macron endorsed their ambition and called for the creation of a “European tech visa” to attract foreign talent and for more investment from institutional players.
To achieve their ambitious goal, the Scale-Up Europe has laid out a roadmap, and being backed by both private actors and public institutions, it could be considered as a sort of lobbying effort for the European Commission and European governments. High on the agenda is naturally funding and the group stresses that Europe is still lagging behind when it comes to late-stage investments. The biggest VC funds aren’t as big as the biggest VC funds in the United States or in China. Meanwhile, the French government has been working on a way to foster late-stage funds and investments in public tech companies in France. The idea here is that Europe should consider using public funding as a multiplier effect for VC funds. The European Investment Fund is already pouring a lot of money in VC funds. But Scale-Up Europe recommends associating private funds of funds, sharing risk and pooling public investment banks for increased collaboration.

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