Red Herring‘s Europe 2017 event has begun in Amsterdam. The conference, which runs until tomorrow evening, will showcase the best in European tech and entrepreneurship across a variety of talks, discussions and presentations. The event will culminate in tomorrow evening’s announcement of the year’s Top 100 winners–which has been whittled down from thousands of prospective startups and tech companies.
The Top 100, held at the Marriott Amsterdam, includes speeches by some of Europe’s leading tech lights. Speakers from the investment world include Michael Mathiesen, partner at Nordic Venture Capital; 360 Capital Partners’ general partner Emanuele Levi; Syllion Ventures co-founder and managing partner Robert Weaver and many more.
Leaders from companies like eDevice; sureCore and TalentSoft will also speak at the conference, on topics ranging from exits and investment to growth and funding the world’s next unicorns.
Red Herring chairman Alex Vieux kicked off proceedings with a speech on the state of the European technology ecosystem. In it he emphasized the current attack on democracies and unity across the continent, and “anemic growth” that has gripped Europe’s major economies.
Vieux also pointed to several data points underpinning Europe’s recent tech successes, as it has shifted part of its risk adversity and grown increasing numbers of unicorns and big-value companies.
Europe represents 40% of US venture investment, with 605 deals versus 1163 deals in the US. However $13.9bn of money has been spent in America versus $3.3bn in Europe, so average deals are far smaller. Meanwhile Asia’s continued emergence will worry firms in both regions, with $9.3bn cash injected by Asian investors in the last year.
“EU structural problems remain daunting,” said Vieux, noting a lack of public IPO platforms and fragmented market. “But it benefits strongly from global trends. Tech is not a sector but it is the economy.”