Processing feedback on Y Europe
Thanks to everyone so far who has commented on last week's post on why Europe can seed great startups in the coming years.
There has been a really encouraging response so far: not only in the really thoughtful comments people have left but also in the e-mails that I've been sent.
I'm delighted that people feel this is an issue we need to be addressing and are keen to participate.
As suspected a few issues have kept on surfacing:
- crisis of confidence - fear of taking risks, fear of failure
- inferiority complex - the Silicon Valley shadow looms large and long
- lack of dense networks - for hiring, funding or just bouncing around ideas
- we don't have a name yet for what we'll be doing (thanks to Phil and Sam for suggestions, keep them coming)
- we're not planning an incubator (i'm really not convinced that's the right model) -- right now we're just starting a conversation and finding out what people need and want to help them succeed
- we do want to gather people together in the summer to get the ball rolling
Let me repeat, I'm still not sure the YCombinator model is right for where we are in Europe - it might be part of the solution. But now we're talking, I know we'll find the right approach (maybe approaches) that will work for us.
I still think better education, awareness and transparency of information on how companies are built, funded and exited is one of the biggest issues. If you want to find out more about funding and you're at FOWA, you should stop by and hear Ben Holmes' presentation on Tuesday.
We simply do not have enough experience in Europe yet of building great early stage businesses - but it's happening and there are more and more knowledgeable people around (entrepreneurs, investors, service providers etc) to ask questions and find answers.
So let's keep asking questions -- or start asking them at least -- and please keep the comments coming.
If you want to discuss this in person, I'll be at FOWA tomorrow and speaking on a panel at lunchtime on Wednesday wiht my friends Richard from Moo and Tariq from Netvibes. Looking forward to seeing you there or online.