Red Herring‘s Top 100 Europe event kicks off tonight in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The conference, which runs until Tuesday evening, highlights the best and brightest among Europe’s tech startup scene. Companies will showcase their business models across two days, accompanied by high-level roundtable discussions, and keynote speeches.
The Top 100 will conclude with an awards ceremony, during which the winning companies will receive their honor from Red Herring chairman Alex Vieux. Speakers will include top-level investors, entrepreneurs and insiders.
The conference comes at an intriguing point for the tech industry in Europe. As Silicon Valley’s firms continue to suffer under the weight of political and economic constraints, it is Asia which has stolen most headlines over the past six months.
But while many experts predicted a US-style dip in tech stocks across the Atlantic, in practice it has not materialized. Record funding is being pumped into Europe’s brightest companies, with brands like Delivery Hero, Spotify and Deliveroo winning big.
Europe’s markets might not break records like America’s. But the continent’s increasing focus on business-to-business (B2B) industry, rather than the Valley’s huge, consumer-facing strategies, shields it from the growing specters of trade wars, government regulation and user flight.
In fact 2017 saw more than $19 billion invested in European tech companies – a huge leap from 2016’s $14.5bn. Big rounds are up, and seven of the continent’s startups joined the unicorn club last year: privately-owned firms with a valuation upwards of a billion dollars.
All of which means that, once more, tech is on the rise in Europe: and Amsterdam, which has grown in recent years to become a key tech hub, is the perfect place for the continent’s most exciting talent to meet, greet and explore new ideas with Red Herring.