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europeanbusinessmagazine.com

SUMMER EDITION | 2017

EUROPEAN BUSINESS

International Coach Federation: Supporting The Rise OF Executive Coaching Throughout Europe

Cryptocurrencies / Fintech / USA Investing / Choose Colorado / Business Optimization Processing / Emerging Payment Technologies / Executive Coaching Swedish Style / Rise Of The Cheap Smartphone


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Table of Contents 14

Latest CEO Movements in European Business

15

Latest Technological Gadgets 2017

17

Emerging Payments Technologies

20

58

European Business Magazine talks to Magdalena Mook CEO of International Coach Federation

61

All You Need to Know About The FinTech Industry

Bitcoin and the Future of Cryptocurrencies

66

The Digital Impact of Instagram on Purchasing Decisions

24

What’s Next for Jeff Bezos and Amazon?

68

Google And YouTube Target “Conspiracy Theories” In New Quality Control Update

26

The Meteoric Rise Of The Cheap Smartphone

69

Charming for tourists…even more Attractive for Businesses

29

Foreign Direct Investment in the United States – No Better Time, No Better Place

72

Just Why Do Millennials Love Polaroid?

32

Colorado’s Diverse Industrial Base

76

Only You Boutique Hotel Madrid

36

Coming To America

79

The Evolution Of An Icon

40

Colorado Insight

82

The Blue Frontier, Humanity’s Next Home

45

Your Region For Success In The USA

86

48

Executive Learning Scandinavia Style

European Business Magazine talks to Jason Oxenham CEO Rocket Languages

50

Executive Education With the Stockholm School of Economics

88

Samsung Chooses Berlin Over London

51

Innovative Learning With The SSE MBA

91

Top Start Up Regions in Europe 2017

96

What Can Tesla Autopilot Teach us About Business Process Automation?

53

Spotlight Focus on SSE’s MBA Programme

54

Coaching to Contentment

56

Coaching – Good For Business

101 How Artificial Intelligence Is Affecting Us 107 Disaster For Big Pharma As 50% Of People Report Quitting Pills For CBD

europeanbusinessmagazine.com


EUROPEAN BUSINESS

europeanbusinessmagazine.com

MAGAZINE

Publishers Note

W

elcome to the Summer Edition of European Business Magazine. Traditionally a quieter quarter compared to other periods, things haven’t slowed down whatsoever this year. With GDPR fast approaching, changing data laws quite significantly, Europe is bracing itself for a new period in data protection. As for Brexit, whichever way you look at it, and it has been turned inside out by the British media, it hasn’t changed that much from a year ago and is still a giant mess. It has been reported that the divorce settlement will cost the UK £67 billion with no one really knowing exactly what the future holds except that 2019 is now the new date for officially leaving. Will the UK leave the single market or keep that separate? Will they ever leave or will there be another referendum? Your guess is as good as mine. As for the goings on across the pond, Donald Trump’s daily tweets keep us amused and seem to be his way of avoiding employing a director of communications, resulting in a catalogue of errors. Russiagate seems to have passed, but boy did the media have a good go at trying to bring him down. After months of speculation, and delving into depths beneath plankton, the Washington Post and the New York Times called for Donald to be impeached, but it appears zilch was found, apart from emails incriminating Hilary. Onto our summer edition - we cover some ground on the latest activities across Industry in Europe. Our front cover and lead feature focuses on executive learning, how attitudes have changed dramatically regarding using coaches within business to enhance performance across organizations and how to become one yourself. We look at the rise of its success across Europe and to accompany this lead feature we had the pleasure of interviewing

the CEO of the International Coach Federation, Madgalena Mook, who gave us the low down on where they are with their current business operations, plans for the future and what direction they are looking to go. It is a great interview, looking at the huge success of the ICF since its inception. Other interviews come from Jason Oxenham, Head of Rocket Languages, who tells us all about their plans to gain global dominance in the online language marketplace to Stephanie Copeland, Executive Director of Colorado Economic Development and International Trade, who tells us exactly why so many businesses are moving there. Colorado is featured heavily as we focus on its burgeoning industries and its big attractions for both US and global corporations. We also look into the fascinating and ever changing world of Bitcoin and Crytopcurrencies, transforming people into multi-millionaires over night by choosing the right currency. We look at why there is such huge interest, to what they actually are, and, most importantly, what is the future. We also feature heavily on Fintech and Artificial Intelligence and cover how it is affecting us and our environment. The re-emergence of Polaroid was a nice feature to cover and we also touched on the latest payment technologies that are emerging. Additionally, we looked at MBAs and executive education and how they approach it, Scandinavia Style. We talk with the Stockholm School of Economics who tell us what they have to offer and why so many executives are knocking on their door to enhance and further their careers. All in all, we have given you the latest, and the more interesting stories vis-à-vis what’s going on in the European business world.

Nick Staunton Publisher

Publisher Nick Staunton Editor Katie Winearls Deputy Editor Anthony Gill Associate Publisher Brad Adams Features Editor Patricia Cullen Head of Production Marija Hajster Head of Design Vladimir Mladenovski Subscriptions Manager Rebecca Hill Head of Business Development Paul Matthews Advertising Sales Brad Adams Tara Duckworth Advertising Sales Tara Duckworth, Mike Ray, Andy Ellis, Mark Holburn Contributing writers Patricia Cullen, Richard Fitzpatrick, Bala Murali Krishna, Shilpa Meen, Argee Laraya, Aimee Ni Mhaolcraibhe, Gordana Ristic, Jonathan Hooker, Jose Ignacio Latorre Head of Digital Stephen Scott Photographer Ben Fisher NST Publishing Ltd, 19 Leamington Spa (studio 1) Leamington Spa,Cv324tf, UK The information contained has been contained from sources the proprietor believes to be wholly correct however no legal liability can be accepted for any errors. No part of this publication can be reproduced without consent of the publisher.


CEO SHUFFLE

European Business Magazine gives the low down on some the recent reshuffles amongst the highbrow in the business world AKZONOBEL:

CARREFOUR:

Thierry Vanlancker has succeeded Ton Buchner as the chief executive at AkzoNobel, after Buchner stepped down on health grounds. Buchner’s decision came weeks after successfully foiling a takeover bid by America’s PPG. Vanlancker, a DuPont veteran, joined the Dutch paint manufacturer in 2016.

Alexandre Bompard has taken the helm at the world’s secondlargest retailer, after investors voted to end Georges Plassat’s five-year stint. He was previously the chief executive of consumer electronics retailer Fnac Darty. Bompard, 44, is tasked with hoisting Carrefour into the digital era amid growing competition from Amazon.

C&A: Former Rewe chief executive Alain Caparros has joined textile chain C&A as its European CEO, breaking its parent company Cofra’s tradition of picking insiders for the top job. Caparros succeeds Philippe Brenninkmeijer, who resigned in May amid growing pressure from investors to modernise operations in the fiercely competitive business.

ENDEMOL SHINE: Sky executive Nicola Bamford has been named chief of international operations at the television production house famous for shows such as “Big Brother” and “MasterChef.” She takes office in October, succeeding Martha Brass. The former Disney executive will manage operations in France, the Iberia Peninsula, Italy, Israel, China, India and Southeast Asia.

ITV: EasyJet CEO Carolyn McCall has been named to succeed Adam Crozier at the British broadcaster ITV early next year. The former Guardian executive has helmed the low-cost airline for the past seven years. ITV, valued at about £7 billion, is the biggest freeto-air commercial broadcaster in the U.K.

TIFFANY:

PORTUGAL TELECOM:

Diesel SpA chief executive Alessandro Bogliolo will take the reins at Tiffany. Bogliolo, 52, spent 16 years at Bulgari SpA, besides working at Sephora. He will take office in October. The American jewelry maker is eyeing younger shoppers to reverse a slump that led to the ouster of CEO Frederic Cumenal.

Cláudia Goya, who was most recently chief operating officer at Microsoft Brazil, has been named the CEO of Portugal Telecom. She succeeds Paulo Neves, who is assuming the position of chairman at the parent company, Altice group. She has previously worked for Microsoft in Portugal, and at Proctor & Gamble and Galp Energia.

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Latest Technological Gadgets 2017 Louis Vuitton’s Tambour Horizon smartwatch

Louis Vuitton finally dips its toe in the smartwatch with the launch of the Tambour Horizon Connected range. The 42mm luxury watches are priced at $2,450 and upwards. In comparison, Apple’s iWatch tops at $1,499, if you ignore Brikk’s diamond-crusted version that costs a whopping $115,000. The French fashion house, as you might expect, wants to make ugly smartwatches look beautiful. “For us, the aesthetic is non-negotiable,” CEO Michael Burke told The New York Times.

The Tambour Horizon Connected comes in three variants – polished steel, brushed steel and full black. Accessories include a range of 30 different straps each for men and women. The watches run on Android Wear 2.0, the free operating system from Google, and use a Sanpdragon 2100 processor. Featuring a 1.3-inch 390 x 390 AMOLED screen, the little beauties come with 4GB storage and 512MB RAM.

Andy Rubin’s Essential smartphone Android founder Andy Rubin’s Essential smartphone is coming soon to Europe. The $699 minimalist phone is billed as an alternative to the duopoly of Apple and Samsung, but oddly enough itself runs a version of Android. It is designed for “trend setters and technology seekers,” and will be delivered with no preloaded apps. Rubin believes Essential will enhance smartphone innovation even as the device has aged quickly. True to promise, the Essential smartphone will be launched with a snap-on 360-degree camera, priced at $50. Essential also plans to roll out clip-on devices for audio, fitness and virtual reality. europeanbusinessmagazine.com 15


Huawei Honor Band 3 Chinese brand Huawei is raising its game, and its ambitions, in the fitness band market. Its latest Honor Band 3, notably adds better water resistance at up to 50 metres with a move to IP67, and is now on par with the iPhone.

The Honor Band 3 sports a 0.91-inch AMOLED screen and provides battery life of up to 30 days. It can be synced with smartphones running Android 4.4 (or later) or iOS 8.0 (or later). It comes in four colours – Dynamic Orange, Classic Navy Blue and Carbon Black.

Among other things, the wearable continuously monitors heart rate and tracks sleep, and has a pedometer to count steps and an exercise tracker. At 18 grams, and £60, it is light on the hand as well as the wallet.

Dell’s wireless charging hybrid laptop

It might be in the category of “I didn’t really ask for it,” but who doesn’t love to go wireless. Dell’s hybrid laptop with wireless charging, first unveiled at this year’s CES at Las Vegas, is claimed to be the world’s first in its category. The Dell Latitude 7285 costs $1,199 in the U.S. but users will have to shell out $199.99 for a wireless 16 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

charging mat or $379.99 for a wireless charging keyboard. The laptop features a 12-inch screen with resolution of 2880x1920 pixels, and runs on Windows. The hybrid claims battery life of up to six hours when used as a tablet, and up to nine hours when attached to the keyboard.


Emerging Payments Technologies By Bala Murali Krishna

I

t is not hard to understand why FinTech is among the hottest areas of startup activity. Or why payments platforms, in particular, are the hottest area of innovation in finance. At the heart of this new zeal is a clutch of emerging technologies such as Internet of Things, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain, and a string of slightly more mature technologies such as cloud computing, Big Data, Bluetooth, near-field communications (NFC) and biometrics. Exciting new startups are racing to mix and match these technologies to create new payments platforms, notably on mobile devices, in what looks like the biggest wave of financial disruption since PayPal emerged in the late 1990s. Incentives to do so have never been higher. The non-cash payments market was worth $1 trillion in 2015 and is estimated by the Boston Consulting

Group (BCG) to double to $2 trillion in 2025. Big as the number is, there might be even more in the pot at the end of this rainbow. That is because the global payments industry will still represent less than a third of the traditional banking market. It is no surprise then that the biggest technology giants – Apple, Google and Samsung – are in the fray to mint money, some literally so. So are financial giants such as Barclays, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, and emerging ones such as Santander. Incumbent credit card giants Visa, MasterCard and American Express – who probably have the most at stake – are also right at the forefront, partnering with several startups to tap new technologies. Here’s a quick look at some of the interesting payments technologies emerging across the world:

Amazon Go: Cocktail of Technologies This concept store – no checkout, no lines and no attendants – might be the holy grail of payments processing, as much as that of retail. Amazon’s prototype, unveiled in late 2016, is an 1,800-square-foot store in Seattle. It is open only to the ecommerce company’s employees as Amazon tests a variety of features. The store incorporates a wide range of wireless technologies and sensors, allowing shoppers to pick up anything they want and simply walk out the door. Billing, among other things, happens automatically. Predictably perhaps, word out of Amazon is that the store is far from ready for a commercial rollout anytime soon. But it could be coming to a future near you.

Internet of Payments Visa, Honda and Samsung are among companies experimenting with Internet of Things in payments, or the socalled Internet of Payments (IoP). At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the Japanese carmaker and the credit card company demonstrated a system for in-car payments using IoT devices. With a dashboard device, users can pay for fuel and parking, among other things. Visa is working on similar payments processing on wristwatches and other devices.

europeanbusinessmagazine.com 17


Samsung is partnering with MasterCard with embedded IoT sensors in its smart fridges to enable grocery shopping. Others known to be developing IoT technologies for payments include China’s SAIC Motors, New York fashion jewellery maker Ringly and pop star Rihanna’s designer Adam Selman. With over 30 billion IoT sensors expected to be embedded by 2020, expect more physical goods to sport payment platforms.

Bitcoin/blockchain The cryptocurrency bitcoin has two huge advantages. It can send transfer money faster than any other system – in minutes compared to 24-48 hours for most other systems, especially for cross-border transactions – and it is cheaper than any other prevalent system. However, banks are in no hurry to embrace bitcoin because of risks and uncertainties in the cryptocurrency system. Consequently, many banks are shunning bitcoin but using blockchain, the ledger technology that powers the cryptocurrency, to create their own alternatives. Barclays, for example, is working with Earthport. Citigroup wants to create “citicoin” digital currency. A consortium of UBS, Deutsche Bank, Santander and BNY Mellon plans to launch a new digital currency in 2018 and Goldman Sachs is believed to be creating “SETLcoin.”

AI Artificial intelligence is being widely deployed by financial services companies worldwide. But it still is in its infancy, notably when it comes to payments processing. Still, some baby steps have been taken. PayPal, which has relentlessly innovated since its founding in 1998, has developed a bot that can enable p2p payments. It works with several third party apps like Facebook Messenger and Slack, for example, marrying the identity of these apps with Paypal’s security technology. Paypal has additionally set up two AI innovation labs in India to build on the capability of the bots. 18 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

Bluetooth Bluetooth is available on more phones than, say, NFC. Still, most of the world has shied away from using this wireless technology for payments processing. The reasons are varied. Bluetooth’s wider coverage area and ability to maintain multiple connections, for example, are seen as disadvantages with regard to security of transactions. But Bluetooth is being tested, notably in Denmark. MobilePay and Nets, the country’s largest payments provider, have rolled out Bluetooth-based payments systems. So has Unwire with a service it calls SensorTap and Unwire Connect. Both services apparently can perform transactions even when offline.

Data Over Voice Margento, a Slovenian company, has built mobile payments technology to target the good old feature phones, still the device of choice in much of the developing world. It uses Data Over Voice, or DOV, to authenticate financial transactions. The technology requires two feature phones to be placed face-to-face to enable exchange of encrypted audio signals in order to fulfill a financial transaction. Margento says it has used the technology for over a decade to deliver airtime top-up, and loyalty and ticketing etc. It works across all mobile phone platforms and does not require an app. The technology has been deployed in 15 countries, notably in Asia. UltraCash, a Bangalore startup, also uses ultra high-frequency sound waves to process payments between two phones.

Offline Klozest, a Silicon Valley startup with operations in Bangalore, has built technology to expand the reach of mobile


wallets, especially in parts of the world not enjoying ubiquitous access to the Internet, or even cellular connectivity. It has developed software that, when integrated with a mobile wallet app, can identify other users in a 50-feet radius, and begin one-to-one transactions. Klozest’s technology, essentially, creates an access node that creates a network of users for a given app. Later, when the mobile devices connect to the internet, the transactions are tallied.

For companies operating mobile wallet, Klozest offers a so-called last mile solution. It not only does away with the need for internet or cellular connectivity but also such things as QR codes to validate transactions.

Low-cost bank-to-bank transfer The Indian government has built a system called Unified Payments of

Interface (UPI) and Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) that enable low-cost money transfers from one bank account to another. Both use apps and two-factor authorisations – using a combination of biometrics, IFSC banking codes and SMS – to process transactions. But the service is limited to participating banks. India expects these low-cost platforms to reduce use of cash, besides broadening banking access to its poor millions. europeanbusinessmagazine.com 19


Bitcoin and the Future of Cryptocurrencies Bitcoin It is becoming more frequent and more questions are being asked as Bitcoin and other new cryptocurrencies appear to be showing up on news sites and in people’s social media feeds. Many people and investors are hyping cryptocurrencies as they urge people to invest in them. And people are also getting greedy as they watched bitcoin zoom to $2,588, almost triple of its value since the start of the year. European Business Magazine delves deep into the world of Bitcoin and reports on the future from the world of cryptocurrencies

W

hile Ethereum, which is the second largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, has seen its value rise by fifty times to $300 coin, Ripple, has managed to reach a market cap of nearly $10 billion. Ethereum distinguishes itself apart from other virtual currencies with its ability to incorporate “smart contracts.” Smart contracts are computer-based contracts that pay parties only after certain conditions have been met and verified. This reduces the risk for both parties and creates a better sense of trust in using the cryptocurrency.

20 europeanbusinessmagazine.com bu usi sin ne ess ssma maga gazi zin ne e.c .com om


While it is still a new market and quite volatile some analysts believe that the cryptocurrency market could reach $5tn by 2022. If bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to rise exponentially in value, more people will be drawn to invest and make profits out of it. Tom Lee, a Wall Street strategist, believes that Bitcoin, which was launched in 2009, will reach $55,000 by 2022 because of scarcity and the instability in financial markets. The actual supply of bitcoin is capped at 21 million bitcoins, and so the price of bitcoin has no ceiling given this scarcity. According to CoinMarketCap.com, the market

share of Bitcoin has fallen from 87 to 40% but this is purely down to other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum started to gain popularity. Cryptocurrencies and its technology is a huge area of interest and one of great high complication.The currencies use Blockchain technology for its encryption and registry techniques. This means that the ledgers of Cryptocurrencies are made on blocks of verified transactions. The price of bitcoin is dictated by the market and how bitcoins are reproduced is built into its programming.

This sophistication of how cryptocurrencies work make it alien language to most people, but as soon as more people become aware of how these virtual currencies work, it is likely they will not hesitate to try using it. This will be especially so as Blockchain becomes more prominent in fields such as financial technology because fintech companies are continuing to disrupt the world of finance and how business and society operates. Andrew Levin is a professor of economics at Dartmouth, and he believes digital currencies are the way to go. He says, “the greater need is for consumers and businesses to have access europeanbusinessmagazine.com 21


to money that has a stable value and is practically costless to use. We think there’s a strong case for central banks to issue digital currencies that would be free to use.” Japan and China are the big countries that are fuelling the rise and acceptability of cryptocurrencies. Recently, Japan has accounted for almost 55% of total bitcoin trading volume as it recognised bitcoin earlier this April as

a legal currency. As wealthy people grow in number in China, cryptocurrency is now seen as an alternative asset class that is less volatile and improving in stability. There is also an increase in acceptance of cryptocurrencies in Japan. For example, megabanks in Japan back bitFlyer, which is Japan’s largest exchange for bitcoins. However, there is hesitation in China to recognise virtual currencies as

currencies that can meet modern economic development needs. Shen Songcheng, an adviser to the People’s Bank of China, commented that virtual currencies like bitcoin are assets, but they do not have the essential attributes that can allow it to meet modern needs of the economy. There also remains much scepticism and calls for regulation of bitcoin, and other virtual currencies have remained strong. For example, China recognises Bitcoin as a “virtual good.” The CEO of Chinese bitcoin exchange BTCC, Bobby Lee, believes that cryptocurrencies need to be regulated to protect consumers. Lee adds, “But the challenge is how to craft the rules around this new technology. I think it is taking the lawmakers and regulators some time to wrap their minds around it, and coming up with the appropriate rules and laws to govern companies, how we do business, to govern individuals and how people conduct business online.” Of course, with government regulation, a possible topic discussion shortly would involve taxes.

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With these developments, it is indeed a strong possibility that cryptocurrencies could be the future of money. There is also more support from big corporations such as Microsoft, Intuit, and PayPal who recognise and accept bitcoin. When more mainstream companies and small businesses start to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as money, then money as we know it will transition into oblivion and irrelevance.

Economist Thorsten Polleit, believes that cryptocurrencies avoid the major flaws of public fiat money such as inflation, the possibility of an increase in national debt as well as fueling boom-bust cycles in the economy. He argues that so long that there is no state-mandated economic monopoly on cryptocurrencies, the future of bitcoins and the likes be bright as it could usher in a new age of monetary revolution.

As an investment class, cryptocurrencies remain volatile, but for traders’ volatility is a good thing, and we are likely to see increased shortterm interest in cryptocurrencies for short-term trading. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been dubbed as digital gold for millennials.

However, regulation must be in place as cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can also be used in illegal transactions such as online drugs selling and paying hackers to carry out cyber attacks on digital properties. Continued speculation on these cryptocurrencies will also slow down

the acceptability of these currencies as investors are just focused on how much the price can be worth in the future rather than its intrinsic use and value today. This makes the value of bitcoin and other virtual currencies rather volatile as traders swing in and out of the market. In addition, unlike government guarantees on money savings in the bank, e.g. money insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in America, cryptocurrencies are vulnerable to hacks and although blockchain technology prides itself in being difficult to penetrate and hack into, if something happens investors have no place to turn to if they want to get their money back.

europeanbusinessmagazine.com 23


What’s Next for Jeff Bezos and Amazon?

L

ate this July, Jeff Bezos became the world’s richest man when Amazon’s stock shot past $1,082 per share. The surge of the world’s largest ecommerce company’s shares placed its founder Bezos’ notional wealth at $92 billion, surpassing Microsoft mogul Bill Gates’ fortune. But the joy, if that, was short-lived as Amazon’s shares tanked 3% on poor results, restoring the relative status of the fortunes of Seattle’s two richest men. Truth be told, Bezos, 53, has shown no particular hunger to become the world’s richest. Instead, he has shown vision that has led some to believe he is the next Steve Jobs, and a worthy rival to Elon Musk. He has serious plays out in the world of business to be considered – pioneering both ecommerce and cloud computing to enormous scale, reviving print media’s fortunes via acquisition of the iconic Washington Post, reimagining brick-and-mortar via new stores as much as the $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods and exploring otherworldly planets through his Blue Origin.

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Just how did Bezos come to be? By most reckoning, Amazon’s founder had a “normal” childhood. He was born in 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Jacklyn and Ted Jorgensen, who today runs a bicycle store in Arizona. The couple split a year later and Jacklyn married Miguel “Mike” Bezos,

a Cuban immigrant, who adopted the four-year-old Jeff. Bezos was 10 when he learned of his real father, but appears to have given the fact scant attention. Like many boys, Bezos loved to tinker with stuff. In an early sign of his ingenuity, he once took apart his cot with a screwdriver. Over many summers, the young Bezos would repair windmills, lay pipes, repair pumps and castrate bulls in his grandparents’ ranch in Texas, and even work at McDonald’s. He was also deeply into science and is believed to have designed a hovercraft and a robot, besides building an electric alarm to keep his siblings away from his room. An early sign of entrepreneurship


American corporations. Amazon has expanded globally. It sells just about everything and delivers in as little as a couple of hours. Like many truly great entrepreneurs, Bezos has demonstrated great ambition, vision and timing. He developed the Kindle e-reader, transforming the book market as much as the way we read books. He ventured into cloud computing when even the world’s biggest technology companies had merely dipped their toes. Today, Amazon Web Services is a clear leader in the all-pervasive technology, and rings in nearly $12 billion in annual revenues. was glimpsed when he successfully ran a camp called the Dream Institute where kids lined up to pay $600 apiece to participate. In college, Bezos studies computer science and engineering at Princeton University. On graduation, he picked a startup called Fitel for his first job, rejecting offers from computing giants like Intel and Bell Labs. He later joined hands with CNET founder Halsey Minor in starting a news-byfax service. Bezos found his true calling when he quit the Wall Street firm D.E. Shaw to start Amazon, leveraging the growing popularity and reach of the internet to sell books online. In its first month, the online marketing platform had customers in 50 states and 45 different countries. Bezos took Amazon public in 1997, in just about three years since launch. Amazon still wasn’t exactly seen as a brilliant move, with Borders and Barnes & Noble still ruling the book market. Even though the financial analyst Henry Blodget, famously, placed big bets on Amazon’s stock, there were skeptics too. Notably, a Lehman Brothers analyst by the name of Ravi Suria reckoned the losing ecommerce firm would simply run itself into debt. Bezos, of course, has had the last laugh. He has built Amazon into a behemoth is worth nearly $500 billion and ranked third by value among

Today, Bezos is keenly watched for his bets on physical stores, whose “death” has hastened by his own Amazon. He has two things at play here. One is the relatively recent acquisition of Whole Foods, a large American supermarket chain touting healthy food. The other is a concept store called Amazon Go, which pushes technology’s frontier at the marketplace. Go is an 1,800 square foot store, with no human attendants. It is restricted to Amazon’s employees as the company tests advanced technology that enables shoppers to simply pick up stuff and walk away. Similarly, Bezos’s hand is seen in the revival of the Washington Post, which he bought in 2013 for $250 million. He has already strengthened technology at the Post, building one of the best content management systems (CMS) in the industry, and strategically combining the strengths of print and digital to revitalize the media, which has suffered huge financial damage at the hands of Google and Facebook. Bezos has ploughed over $500 billion into Blue Origin, a space-exploration company that aims to enable manned flights. Focusing on suborbital and orbital flights, it has built the New Shepard reusable booster vehicle and successfully performed multiple launches. A manned launch is scheduled for 2018. Blue Origin also builds rocket engines it sells to other companies.

The Bezos Scorecard 1994: Founded Amazon.com as an online bookseller 1998: Bezos was among the earliest investors in Google, putting in an initial $250,000 in his individual capacity 1999: Named Person of the Year by Time magazine 2000: Founded Blue Origins to develop technology for space flights 2006: Founded the cloud computing platform Amazon Web Services, which in 2017 clocks nearly $12 billion in revenue 2005: Established Bezos Expeditions, a family office to drive venture investments. Notable early bet was Twitter. Bezos is also an individual investor in Airbnb 2007: Unveiled the e-reader Kindle, which by 2010 helped ebooks overtook traditional books in sales on Amazon.com 2013: Bought The Washington Post for $250 million in cash in his individual capacity. Bezos is also an investor in the digital media company Business Insider, via Bezos Expeditions 2016: Opened the Amazon Go, an unmanned concept store in which shoppers can pick up whatever they want and walk out, with technology automatically carrying out the billing 2017: World’s richest man, briefly overtaking Microsoft mogul Bill Gates on a spike in Amazon shares on July 27


The Meteoric Rise Of The Cheap Smartphone Chinese manufacturers are driving growth in a mature market in which sales of Samsung and Apple have plateaued. Led by Huawei, Could they also be driving innovation? European Business Magazine gives you the low down on a new phenomenon in the smart phone market.

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his year marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, the world’s single most popular high-end phone. Apple’s iconic device created an all-new industry and has so far fuelled sales of over seven billion smartphones. But things are beginning to take a turn. This year, analysts expect another 1.5 billion smartphones to be shipped, rising to a likely peak of over 2 billion in 2019. But growth has significantly slowed, especially in the richer countries. In the most mature markets, such as the United States and Western Europe, smartphone penetration has reached near saturation. Some countries – Germany and France, for example – even reported 10% decline in sales in the last quarter of 2016. In the first quarter of 2017, sales of Samsung and Apple smartphones were near flat at 79 million and 52 million respectively, with both giants losing market share. In this environment, growth is being sustained by Chinese players. A clutch of global Chinese manufacturers led by Huawei (pronounced ‘Wah-Way’) is clocking up growth rates of over 20%. Huawei, the biggest Chinese brand, grew nearly 22%. Vivo grew 23.6% and Oppo by nearly 30%. Together, the Chinese makers account for a quarter of the world’s smartphone sales, and half of China’s sales.

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Price, unsurprisingly perhaps, is at the heart of the growth of China-made devices, notably across Europe and Asia. But many manufacturers today combine low prices with great build quality and features. Take Huawei’s newest P10 Plus, which sports a 5.5” screen. A variant with 128 GB memory and 6GB RAM retails for €799 (£703). A comparable device from Apple, the iPhone 7 Plus, would cost nearly 30% more at €1029. Price differentials are even higher with other smaller Chinese brands. With over half a dozen global Chinese brands – such as ZTE, OnePlus, iPhone-clone Xiaomi and Huawei’s own low-cost brand Honor – flooding European markets, notably those in highgrowth eastern Europe, buyers may never have had it so good. “The consumer is the ultimate winner as the white heat of competition tends to drive across-the-board improvements in quality of products and associated services,” says Peter Richardson, Research Director for Tech Strategies at Counterpoint Research. For years, analysts have predicted Chinese ascendancy in the smartphone arena. Gartner, for example, made the call in its traditional annual forecasts in 2014. Still, a key difference exists between what was tipped and what has come to bear on the market.

Back then, most saw Chinese manufacturers as me-too players, bringing to market cheap knock-offs, not truly innovative products. That perception, notably, arose from Xiaomi, whose early phones were clones of the iPhone. But today, many other Chinese brands, and certainly Huawei, have erased such views and are increasingly being seen as genuine innovators. Richardson cites as examples cameras on flagship handsets, calling them “superbly capable” that often “put dedicated cameras to shame”. Huawei’s P9, for example, was the first to sport dual cameras. Built in partnership with camera maker Leica, it vastly enhanced, among other things, the quality of selfies. Today, even the iPhone 7 has borrowed that feature. Most other flagships do too, with great effect. With the right software, the dual lenses combine to create great photos or simply run as separate cameras. It’s no wonder that many Chinese phones have strongly branded their devices as camera


part of it, but by designing and delivering high quality products with excellent feature sets – for example dual Leica cameras – at (a) price that’s slightly below the premium level, but certainly not cheap,” says Counterpoint’s Richardson. If there is one area in which the Chinese maker lags its bigger rivals, it is in the enterprise sector. Besides Huawei, several emerging local brands are doing well in a few specific European markets, according to Richardson. He cites as examples Wiko in France, BQ in Spain and Westel in Turkey. These phones offer “good enough” quality with strong support for specific operators and retailers.

phones, with Oppo’s flagship being dubbed the “selfie phone”. It might be fair to say that Chinese smartphone makers have finally won some respect, not just love. Some like Huawei may have ignited fears too, from rivals. The original maker of telecom equipment has been a surprise winner from China, handily eclipsing the more fancied Xiaomi. Of course, Huawei has a longer history of making quality communications systems and successfully competing with the likes of Ericsson, Cisco and Nokia. Since its founding in 1987 by a former army engineer, it has powered its way into all corners of the world, with the exception of the U.S., where it has been banned on security concerns.

– despite being virtually shut out of the U.S., the world’s largest and most lucrative market. In individual markets, it holds higher shares. In Spain and Italy, Huawei has already eclipsed the iPhone with a market share of over 20%, according to the research firm GfK. “Huawei has achieved this not with low-cost devices, although that is a

Richardson believes Samsung, more than Apple, might be more vulnerable to the emerging competition because it is harder to innovate in the Android environment, controlled by Google. In contrast, Apple has its own operating system and ecosystem, not to mention a large and strongly loyal following in Europe, and could be better positioned to innovate in new technologies. “But Samsung is not lying down and is countering by refreshing its portfolio sensibly and effectively. The recently launched Galaxy S8 and S8+ are both excellent products. We also expect the Galaxy Note 8 (following on from the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7) to add incremental strength the portfolio in the second half,” says Richardson. “These measures have served to slow the rate

In Europe, especially, Huawei has leveraged its relationship with carriers to push its smartphones, which were launched only in 2010. Its phones held a global market share of 9% in the first quarter of 2017 – behind only Samsung (24%) and Apple (15%) europeanbusinessmagazine.com 27


of market share loss, but Samsung will likely struggle to meaningfully regain market share in the near term.”

What might be the path ahead? Richardson is not hot on emerging technologies such as augmented reality or virtual reality. The reason: user experience is poor to make a difference, and it might take years before AR, for example, offers a “fantastic user experience”. Rather, competitive advantage can come from “softer factors”, such as “brand, marketing, pricing, distribution, design etc. and this is where we see increasing emphasis by the different players.”

Huawei’s ‘secret sauce’ So what is Huawei’s secret sauce? Can it sustain its momentum and successfully challenge Samsung and Apple? Some consider its ‘close’ ties with the Chinese government as a key strength. But Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in the Chinese army, has denied this. Its closest ties to the government come from a $10 billion

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funding from the state-funded China Development Bank to expand in Africa and Latin America. Regardless, its alleged ties to the state may have hurt the company more because that was a key factor in its ban by the U.S. Unlike widely publicised articles on the R&D at Samsung, or speculative ones on Apple, Huawei’s research strength is less known. Over the past decade, its research budget is believed to have been around $38

billion, and nearly 45% of its 176,000 employees work in R&D, according to the China Daily. Some success is attributed to its management and ownership structure too. About 98.6% of the company is owned by employees, and it is run by rotating CEOs. Huawei is the first true Chinese multinational, earning more revenues abroad than in its home market. It is the only Chinese firm on the Fortune 500 to do so.


FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT IN THE UNITED STATES – NO BETTER TIME, NO BETTER PLACE

The United States welcomes foreign direct investment (FDI) as a win-win proposition that benefits both international business investors and U.S locations. As they become part of a symbiotic innovation and production ecosystem, these investors – and their companies – both benefit from and contribute to economic growth and prosperity in communities across the nation. SelectUSA, the U.S. national investment promotion program, explains why.

europeanbusinessmagazine.com 29


The fundamentals that make the United States a great place to invest – markets, a climate of innovation, rule of law, and a motivated, skilled workforce – are stronger than ever.

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arket Fundamental 1: Top Destination for Business Investment The World Bank consistently ranks the United States among the best markets in the world to start, operate, and expand a business – and in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, the United States continues to be the world’s leading destination for foreign direct investment. Indeed, at more than $3.7 trillion, total FDI stock in the United States equals 17 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) – a larger share by far than that of any other country. Market Fundamental 2: Growing Investor Confidence In 2017, for the fifth year in a row, the United States has topped the A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index. The Index is

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an annual survey of global business executives that ranks markets most likely to attract the most investment in the next three years. Moreover, nearly half of business investors were even more optimistic about the United States than they were last year. Market Fundamental 3: European Companies are Voting with their Dollars (and Pounds, Euros, and Francs) The latest available data (2015) from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reveal that at $1.92 trillion, European foreign direct investment (FDI) accounts for more than half (61.2 percent) of total foreign investment into the United States. Indeed, eight of the top ten largest sources of FDI in the United States are European countries. This and much more FDI data is available on SelectUSA Stats, a free online data visualization tool.

There are many reasons why investors from Europe and around the world choose the United States as the place to launch, grow, and succeed in their business endeavors. Here are just a few: The United States is the single largest market in the world – with an annual GDP of more than $18 trillion, a diverse population of 325 million, and the highest household spending on the planet. Companies tapping into this substantial market find that locating manufacturing and distribution facilities closer to their customers enables greater quality control, improved responsiveness to customer demands, and reduced lead times. Perhaps this is why U.S. affiliates of foreign companies exported US$425 billion worth of goods in 2014 – more than one-quarter of all U.S. goods


The U.S. workforce is diverse, skilled, innovative, and mobile – and its workers are among the most productive in the world. In fact, U.S. workforce output per hour is 36 percent above the OECD member country average. The federal and state governments offer a wide array of resources – from training programs to tax incentives – to support employers in their quest to find, train, and retain the best talent. Businesses operating in the United States are powered by abundant resources, including independent, stable, low-cost energy sources, raw materials, and the most developed, liquid, flexible, and efficient financial markets in the world. All companies – from growing tech startups to established multinationals – can find the resources and capital needed to take their firms to the next level.

And the future looks even brighter As a stable democracy with a transparent and predictable legal system, the United States treats foreign and domestic firms equally under the law. At the local level, economic

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The United States is a leading destination for innovators, offering seven of the top 10 universities, 27 percent of global research and development (R&D) spending, and the most robust intellectual property protections in the world. The innovation culture in the United States – with deep roots in collaboration and knowledge-sharing, respect for diversity, adaptability, and flat organizational structures – catalyzes opportunities. By encouraging entrepreneurship, risk-taking, and even the risk of failure, this culture offers an added competitive edge to the business community.

Top Five European Sources of FDI in the United States

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exports. Moreover, the “Made in the U.S.A.” brand is internationally renowned for innovation, quality, and reliability, giving U.S.-made goods a competitive edge in global markets – and it is more timely than ever that President Trump declared July 17 – 21 “Made in America Week.”

Investment (USD Billions)

development organizations from every corner of the country promote and facilitate business growth and investment. And at the federal level, steps are being taken to create an environment in which companies can flourish – including reducing burdensome regulations, simplifying the tax structure, and investing in infrastructure initiatives.

“We came to [the United States] more than four decades ago and it’s been nothing but success… [We are] part of the fabric of this country, and I dare say we call it our second home.” Ludwig Willisch, President, CEO and Chairman of the Board, BMW (U.S.) Holding Corp. SelectUSA Investment Summit, June 19, 2017

What’s Next? For companies ready to take the next step, SelectUSA is here to help. Housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, SelectUSA promotes and facilitates business investment into the United States. SelectUSA offers a range of services to help investors find the information they need to make decisions; connect to the right people at the local level; navigate the federal regulatory system; and find solutions to regulatory issues related to the federal government. The annual SelectUSA Investment Summit convenes companies from all over the world, economic development organizations from every corner of the nation, and other parties working to facilitate business investment in the United States. The next SelectUSA Investment Summit is scheduled to take place on June 20-22, 2018 in the Washington, D.C. area. For more information, visit www.selectusa.gov. europeanbusinessmagazine.com 31


COLORADO’S DIVERSE INDUSTRIAL BASE

Colorado’s diverse industries is a huge contributing factor to Colorado’s robust economy. From renewable energy to a buzzing tech start-up scene we report on its main business sectors

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oloradoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s key industries exist for the same reasons Coloradans choose ;39'ħ£','8'W 831-;9 craggy peaks to its wide-open plains, Coloradoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s incredibly diverse 67 million acres are irresistible to adventurers and innovators. In that second category are industry leaders to whom the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natural resources are not 32ÂŁ@!'9;,'ধ$!ÂŁÂŁ@!ħ8!$ধ='#<; '$3231-$!ÂŁÂŁ@#'2')$-!ÂŁW Thanks to its central geography and wide array of environs, Colorado is well suited to a number of key industries and business sectors, and it shows. In 2015, Colorado was ranked No. 2 on NerdWalletâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s list of most entrepreneurial states, and 38#'9 ranked Denver No. 3 on its list of eas-'9;$-ধ'9-2>,-$,;3)2&!/3#W

3ÂŁ38!&3Z9 $'2;8!ÂŁ ÂŁ3$!ধ32h91!$0f &!# -2 ;,' 1-&&ÂŁ' 3( ;,' $3<2;8@h means its exports are easily accessible across the globe. Huge swaths of open land and low energy costs allow $316!2-'9 ;3 <9' -223=!ধ=' ;'$,nology to improve their processes and products. Natural resources, like the constant wind on the plains, have allowed companies like Vestas to make advancements in wind turbine technology. In 2015, according to the American Wind Energy Associ!ধ32T ;,' >-2& -2&<9;8@ employed over 7,000 people in Colorado, and advancing developments mean the 2<1#'83(/3#9-932;,'8-9'W Eight of the U.S.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top aerospace $32;8!$;389 ,!=' 9-+2-)$!2; 36'8!ধ329 -2 ;,' 9;!;'T -2$ÂŁ<&-2+ !ÂŁÂŁT 3$0,''& !8ধ2T !2& 3'-2+W 3 itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no surprise that some of the

#'9;f023>2  683/'$;9T ÂŁ-0' the Hubble Space Telescope, have Colorado roots, too. The wide-open >'9;-9!2-&'!ÂŁÂŁ3$!ধ32(38$316!nies to develop aerospace technologies, and it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hurt that Col38!&3 -9 $'2;8!ÂŁÂŁ@ ÂŁ3$!;'&h38 ;,!; its capital city is nearly 5,300 feet above sea level. There are more than 400 aerospace )819 that have set up shop in Colorado. Strategically located on the Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2021;Â&#x152;;,'8-&-!2h'7<-&-9;!2;(831

8!20(<8;T '81!2@T !2& 30@3T !6!2h'2='8 -9 6'8('$;£@ 9<-;'& to serve the growing global technology market. Colorado has long #''2 ,31' ;3 ,'!=@ ,-ħ'89 £-0' 8!$£' !2& T !2& -;9 <2-='89-ধ'9Z6,'231'2!£;'$,23£3+@683+8!19W'$!<9'3(;,'9'2!ধ32!£ly-ranked programs, the number europeanbusinessmagazine.com 33


of homegrown tech talent is conধ2<!££@ +83>-2+WNearly 30,000 Coloradans are employed by the electronics industry, and according to numbers from WiserTrade in 2014, electronics exports grew by over 55 percent between 2009 and 2013. 3£38!&3 !ħ8!$;9=-9-;389 !2& 8'9-&'2;9>-;,;,-93đ'2f$-;'&(38'$!9;V over 300 days of sunshine annually. That’s great for outdoor enthusiasts, but it also means the state -9 68-1' 8'!£ '9;!;' (38 $<£ধ=!ধ2+ energy and natural resources. The plains east of the Rockies are rich with oil and natural gas, but many 3( ;,' ¤T‡‡‡ '2'8+@ )819 -2 ;,' 9;!;'!8'$311-ħ'&;38'9'!8$,-2+ !£;'82!ধ=''2'8+@93<8$'9T;33W In fact, Colorado ranked No. 4 on the U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index in 2014, and it’s in the top 10 for per capita solar power gen'8!ধ32W,'9' '2'8+@ -223=!ধ329 8'7<-8' £3;9 3( #8!-263>'8T ;33T which is why energy (both private enterprise and government fund'& 683+8!19T £-0' ;,' !ধ32!£ Renewable Energy Laboratory in 3£&'2memploys nearly 150,000, !$$38&-2+ ;3 ;,' 3£38!&3 ă$' of Economic Development and In;'82!ধ32!£8!&'W The American West is alive and well in Colorado. With millions of acres of farms and ranches, the Centennial State exports billions of dollars’ worth of food, beer, and wine each year. The beer and wine industries are bolstered by perfect growing $32&-ধ329 -2 3£38!&3Z9 '9;'82 £36' 8'+-32 (38 )2-$0@ $8369 £-0' hops and grapes. As a result, ac$38&-2+;3;,'8'>'89Z993$-!ধ32T 3£38!&3Z9‰¥‡f6£<9$8!đ#8'>'8-'9 produce over 1.75 million barrels of $8!đ beer annually. Colorado’s diverse industries contribute to Colorado’s vibrant and robust economy and make Colorado one of the most outstanding places to live and work in the US.

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COMING TO AMERICA Total Foreign Direct Investment in the United States has been achieving record levels, reaching $3.1 trillion 12 months ago in 2016 and 2017 is already proving a success.In adddition United States topped A.T. Kearneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s FDI Confidence Index. We go stateside to look at who is attracting the big investment and take a closer look at Colorado which is fast becoming the place to go in the USA for its mix of business and lifestyle.

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ue to advances in technology, business mod'ÂŁ ;8!29(381!ধ329 !2& policy developments, -2='9;389!8'32$'!+!-2+'ষ2+'?$-;'&!#3<;;,'W,'ধ1'-92-+, (38 !1#-ধ3<9 $316!2-'9 ;3 ÂŁ330 across the pond to invest, gaining a local footprint in the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest economy. 2;'82!ধ32!ÂŁ)819-2='9;'&Â&#x201A;Â&#x160;Â&#x152;Â&#x160; billion in the US economy in 2015, and Europe made up more than 60% of that investment. Corpo8!ধ329 9'' -2='9;1'2; !9 !2 !ÂŁ;'82!ধ=';3'?638ধ2+T!2&>,'8' #'ħ'8 ;,!2 ;,' T -2 ;'819 3( sheer size, sustainability and scope. In light of Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s longstanding role as a top investor in the US, more and more European companies are looking to make the move. The US remained the top host country for fdi last year >-;,Â&#x201A;Â&#x160;Â&#x17D;Â&#x2C6;#-ÂŁÂŁ-32-2*3>9T;366-2+ the Foreign Direct Investment Con)&'2$' 2&'? (38 ! )Ä&#x2018;, @'!8 -2 ! 83>W -+,ÂŁ-+,ধ2+ ;,' $<88'2; ÂŁ<$8!ধ='(&-9$'2'T3='8¤WÂ&#x2039;1-ÂŁÂŁ-32 Americans work for US subsidiaries of foreign companies, and that number is only set to increase.

Recovering from the shocks of 8'?-;!2&8<16T;,'2!;-32Z98'silience and entrepreneurial spirit in the face of adversity are providing unparalleled opportunities for driven companies and inves;389W ÂŁ3#!ÂŁ -2='9;389 !8' ;!0-2+ note, actively looking to the US as a set-up location, permanent base and growth market. While !2!&!T ;,'  !2& '81!2@ 9;-ÂŁÂŁ 8'68'9'2; ;,' 1!/38 93<8$'9

of fdi for the US, Japan has also become a leading investor, and Toyota Motor Corp. intends to in='9; Â&#x201A;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2021; #-ÂŁÂŁ-32 -2 ;,'  -2 ;,' next five years. Investment is intrinsically linked to innovation so when choosing a host location the density of tech companies, the share of professionals in STEM fields, R&D spending per capita and the

europeanbusinessmagazine.com 37


speed of the internet are sig2-(-$!2;T 1'!9<8!#£' 7<!£-;-'9W According to the 2016 Global 223=!;-32 2&'?, the US lands in fourth place, and powered by a strong history of innovation, the pioneering renewable energy and technologies sector continues to accelerate. Despite on-going uncertainty over policy incentives and competition from historically low natural gas pric'9T 8'2'>!#£' !$7<-9-;-32 !$;-=-ty is gaining steam. The US has become increasingly committed to the use of renewable energy, opening up new investment opportunities and corporate America is trending toward greening its energy. Supporting this initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced ‚Š‰ 1-££-32 (<2&-2+ (38 91!££ #<9-2'99f£'& 683/'$;9 ;3 (<8;,'8 develop clean energy technologies as the renewable energy race is producing nothing but winners across the board. While the nation continues to depend on carbon-based technologies; the winds of change are clearly blowing toward a brighter and cleaner future. So, which of the 50 states can all this opportunity, and more, be found? Utah is a hotbed for investment, and when it comes to performance and overall economic health, it outranks most oth'8 9;!;'9 -2 !8'!9 9<$, !9  growth, the percentage of fastest-growing firms, business start<6!$;-=-;@!2&/3#9-2,-+,f;'$, industries. Established tech advocates like eBay, Oracle, Microsoft and Twitter have caught wind of this well-known secret, and expanded their operations here -2;,'£!9;('>@'!89W3!9;-2+!2 enviable regulatory climate and lucrative growth prospects, coinciding with a growing appetite for renewables, Utah is booming. The business environment in Utah is also thriving, with com-

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panies growing faster there than anywhere else in the US. California is another state to >!;$,W <££3(2!;-32!£6!809!2& beautiful nature, inhabitants are encouraged to exploit all ;,!; 9<29,-2'T >-;, !2 3#/'$;-=' to reach 33% renewable ener+@ 3<;6<; #@ ‰‡‰‰W ,' 3£&en State had already soaked up enough rays to generate 67.2% of its energy from renewable sources, leading the way in terms of clean energy. Experts believe California will continue to break records for renewables in 2017

and beyond. Act now so your business can get a slice of the eco-friendly action. Colorado however gains the top spot for investment; much like California’s Silicon Valley in years gone by. With the highest concentration of software engineers per capita, it has become well placed for tech start ups, producing six times the national average. Innovation and entrepreneurship thrive here with two 3( 3£38!&3Z9 $-;-'9T 38; 3££-29 !2&3<£&'8T!132+1'8-$!Z9ˆ‡ most innovative tech hubs. Com-


Office of Economic Development !2& 2;'82!;-32!¡8!&'j  kis well-integrated within the business community, providing new companies with the resources needed to succeed.

peting on par with coastal cities and traditional gateway markets, Colorado is a real fdi host contender. A robust labour market and an unyielding inflow of newcomers provide Colorado with one of the most dynamic economies in the country. According to the Economic Innovation Group’s 2&'?3(;!;'@2!1-91, dynamic economies tend to be more prosperous and competitive on the global stage. Colorado is the second most highly educated state in the nation, where the University of

3¡38!&3, the Colorado School of Mines and Colorado State University attract funding and talent. The state offers a peaceful, affordable alternative to the bigger cities and thanks to Denver International Airport and its 25 international destinations, businesses can stay connected. Denver has become a breeding ground for start-ups, helping propel the Switzerland of America into the investment limelight. ';>''2 ‰‡ˆ‹ !2& ‰‡ˆŒT (&- -2 Denver more than doubled, reinforcing the strong pull of the Centennial State. The 3¡38!&3

Colorado’s energy industry is flourishing and employs approximately 150,000 staff and pro&<$'9 !£139; ‚ˆˆW‹ #-££-32 !2nually. RES, a UK company and the world’s largest independent renewable energy firm with a 12 638;(3£-3T9';<6#!9'-23£orado, and is testament to the growing number of success stories located in the state. Showcasing its commitment to renewable energy, Colorado passed the first voter-led Renewable Energy ;!2&!8& in the nation in 2004, calling for electricity providers to attain a minimum percentage of their power from renewable energy sources. Colorado wants to get 30% of the state’s energy mix from renewable sources by 2020, a move that gives it the 2nd highest renewable energy standard 3( !2@ 9;!;'T $31-2+ -2 /<9; #',-2& !£-(382-!Z9 ŠŠ¦ 8'7<-8'ment. Colorado’s energy sector is well, full of energy! Labelled the ‘Happiest Place to Live’, this state is a magnet for business, individual and household relocation and Colorado’s OEDIT’s office can support entrepreneurs and businesses make the transatlantic transition stress-free. In Winston Churchill’s ‘The Sinews of Peace’ speech in 1946, he describes the close political, cultural and economic relationship between the UK and the US. Look no further than Colorado to see this special relationship at its very best.

ChooseColorado.com

europeanbusinessmagazine.com 39


Colorado Insight

Colorado, our lead focus in this edition for FDI in the US, has been attracting huge attention. With more software engineers than anywhere else in the US, Colorado is becoming a breeding ground for tech start ups. With many companies moving to Colorado for the positive business climate as well as lifestyle, Colorado’s energy industry is flourishing and employs approximately 150,000 employees and has the world’s largest independent renewable energy firm based in Colorado. European Business speaks to Stephanie Copeland,-

40 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

Executive Director of the Colorado Economic Development and International Trade Office (OEDIT) on why Colorado has so much to shout about.

Can you tell European Business Magazine readers why you think people and industry relocate to Colorado? Innovators, makers, large corporaধ329 !2& 38;<2' Œ‡‡ $316!2-'9 9<$, !9 !££ '8396!$'T 3$0,''&


!8ধ2T !2& !=-;! '!£;,$!8' have already discovered that Col38!&3 &3'9 #<9-2'99 #'ħ'8 !2& have made Colorado their home. As a global hub for successful businesses, Colorado is built upon a 2!ধ32!££@ 8!20'&T ,-+,£@ 90-££'&

and educated workforce, with a $3££!#38!ধ=' #<9-2'99 $<£;<8' !2& ,-+,7<!£-;@3(£-('W Colorado’s strong economic posiধ32 !2& 9;!#£' ;!? 9;8<$;<8'9 !£low for businesses to proposer and plan for future growth, and our in-

;'+8!;'&T $<ষ2+f'&+' -2(8!9;8<$ture helps businesses reach markets across the country and world 7<-$0£@!2&'ă$-'2;£@W Also, Colorado has one of the ,-+,'9; 6'8f$!6-;! $32$'2;8!ধ329 3(('&'8!£8'9'!8$,(!$-£-ধ'9-2;,'

europeanbusinessmagazine.com 41


2!ধ32 $8'!ধ2+ ! 8-$, { $31munity. When companies choose to do business in Colorado, they know that it means they’ll be able to tap into our invigorated workforce, 6!8;2'8>-;,-223=!ধ=''?'$<ধ='9T reach global markets, and collaborate with a business-friendly gov'821'2;;,!;,!9;,'-8#3ħ31£-2' in mind.

3>1!2@-2;'82!ধ32!£ companies have located to Colorado in the last 2 years? Attracting, retaining and ex6!2&-2+   -2 3£38!&3 -9 ! core function of my office – the Colorado Office of Economic Development and Internation!£ 8!&' l  mW -;, ! (3$<9 32 $8'!;-2+ /3#9 !2& (39;'8-2+ ! more globally competitive Colorado, OEDIT staff has conducted several trade mission trips in the past 2 years, including visiting Japan, China, Turkey and Israel to connect and create deeper ties with global business and innovation leaders and explore innovation networks. Just last month, I ;8!='£'& ;3 8!2$'T 2+£!2& !2& ;!£@ >-;, 3<8 £3#!£ <9-2'99 Development team to enhance the visibility of Colorado’s business environment to current and potential investors.

38'-+2 &-8'$; -2='9;1'2; l  m 639-ধ='£@ !ø'$;'& 3£38!&3Z9 economy in 2016 with a com1-;1'2; ;3 $8'!ধ2+ ¤T‡ˆ‡ /3#9 !2& -2='9ধ2+ ‚Š¤¥W¥ 1-££-32 -2 capital investments in the state. Many of the companies indicated that they chose Colorado for the 9;832+ ;!£'2; 633£T ;,' 7<!£-;@ 3( £-('T!2&;,'9;!;'Z98'6<;!ধ32!9 ! $'2;'8 (38 -223=!ধ32W ' 8'$'2;£@ $'£'#8!;'& ;,' 2'> ‚ˆWŠ 1-££-32+£3#!£{$'2;'8-23<£der by Envision Energy, a Chinese producer of wind turbines and 91!8;>-2&(!8193đ>!8'W

42 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

;Z9!£93-1638;!2;;323;';,!;V j A total of 33 companies invested in Colorado between January 2015 and December 2016 j

3đ>!8' {  9'8=-$'9 !$counted for the greatest per$'2;!+'3(683/'$;9

j

Companies from the UK had ;,'139;2<1#'83(683/'$;9 during these two years.

What are the main industries that are thriving in Colorado would you say? ,-£' 139; 3( 3£38!&3Z9 1!/38 industries are thriving – we have the #1 economy in the country – Cybersecurity and Cleantech are +83>-2+!;9-+2-)$!2;8!;'9W The growth of the Cybersecurity industry in Colorado has been


3ÂŁ38!&3 >!9 32' 3( ;,' )89; states to recognize the value of a balanced energy economy that in$ÂŁ<&'9 $ÂŁ'!2;'$,W ,' -2;'+8!ধ32 of renewable energy and Coloradoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rich energy resource base puts the state at the forefront of energy development for the naধ32 !2& ;,' >38ÂŁ&W 3ÂŁ38!&3 ,!9 2'!8ÂŁ@ Â&#x2030;Â&#x2021;Â&#x2021;Â&#x2021; $316!2-'9 36'8!ধ2+ in the cleantech space and is #4 in the US for cleantech employment $32$'2;8!ধ32W 3ÂŁ38!&3 -9 8!20'& #1 in Wind Energy Manufacturing and Colorado has 2,000 wind turbines with more coming online in the near future. Within the United ;!;'9T3ÂŁ38!&3-9!2!ধ32!ÂŁÂŁ'!&'8 -2 !&36ধ2+ $ÂŁ'!2 '2'8+@ ;'$,23ÂŁ3+-'9 !2& 9<6638ধ2+ ;,' '$3system of individuals, businesses !2& -29ধ;<ধ329 (<'ÂŁ-2+;,' 9;!;'Z9 cleantech industry. What in your opinion are the leading industries prevalent in Colorado? 3ÂŁ38!&3 ,!9 Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2039; 1!/38 -2&<9;8@ 9'$tors that are thriving, including 7 STEM-based advanced industries. <8 &-='89' 638Ĥ3ÂŁ-3 3( -2&<9;8-'9 contributes to a robust and vibrant '$3231@W 831!'8396!$';33<;&338 8'$8'!ধ32T 3ÂŁ38!&3Z9 0'@ -2&<9;8-'9 thrive because of strong business network, a stable and growing economy and business climate, and access to highly-skilled and educated talent.

9-+2-)$!2; &<' -2 6!8; ;3 ;,' $8'!ধ323(;,'!ŕŁ&#x2026;32!ÂĄ Cybersecurity Center lm -2 3ÂŁ38!&3 68-2+9 in 2016. The NCC provides collab38!ধ=' $@#'89'$<8-;@ 023>ÂŁ'&+' !2& 9'8=-$'9 ;3 ;,' 2!ধ32W ; !ÂŁ93 will help develop a cybersecurity workforce, collaborate with the private sector, military and federal agencies, and support and educate ;,' 6<#ÂŁ-$ 9'$;38 ;3 #'ħ'8 683;'$; 3<8 $-ধ'9T 9;!;'9T !2& 2!ধ32W

Cybersecurity payrolls across the state have grown to 85,000 workers, including 13,000 cybersecurity experts in Colorado Springs area alone. Several Colorado-based cybersecruity startups have raised 9-+2-)$!2; ='2;<8' $!6-;!£ !2& CyberGRX recently received fund-2+ ;3 !$$'£'8!;' !&36ধ32 3( ;,' @#'8  ?$,!2+'T ;,' >38£&Z9 )89; +£3#!£ ;,-8&f6!8;@ $@#'8 8-90 1!2!+'1'2;lm'?$,!2+'W

3ÂŁ38!&3 -9 ;,' 2!ধ32Z9 9'$ond-largest aerospace economy with top contractors including 3$0,''& !8ধ2T !@;,'32T 2-;'& !<2$, ÂŁÂŁ-!2$'T 3'-2+T ';$W ÂŁ32+>-;,1!/38WW'6!8;1'2; 3( '('29' (!$-ÂŁ-ধ'9 !2&  { !$ধ=-ধ'9T ;,' 9;!;'Z9 <2-='89-ধ'9 !8' !132+ ;,' >38ÂŁ&Z9 #'9; for aerospace engineering. Advanced manufacturing is also vital to Coloradoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy with nearly 6,000 manufacturers across a variety of business sectors such as elec-

europeanbusinessmagazine.com 43


tronics, energy, aerospace, biomedical, and food and beverage. Colorado is also home to a vibrant and growing cluster of research in9ধ;<ধ329T8'23>2'&9$-'2ধ9;9!2& more than 1,700 bioscience-related companies that are developing breakthroughs in life-saving drugs and devices. 2 !&&-ধ32 ;3 !'8396!$'T !&vanced manufacturing and bioscience, Colorado has one of the 2!ধ32Z9 ,-+,'9; $32$'2;8!ধ329 3( $8'!ধ=' 3$$<6!ধ329 !2& $32ধ2<'9;3!ħ8!$;6'36ÂŁ'!2&$316!2-'9(3$<9'&32&'9-+2T)ÂŁ1!2& media, heritage, literary and publishing, performing arts, and visual !8;9!2&$8!Ä&#x2018;9W Coloradoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s food and agriculture industry is a also force to be reck32'& >-;,U +'2'8!ধ2+ 138' ;,!2 Â&#x201A;Â&#x152; #-ÂŁÂŁ-32 -2 '$3231-$ 3<;6<; !2nually, with local companies exporting their products to more than 100 countries worldwide. The Denver Metro area is one of the few areas outside of the 238;,'!9;>-;,!9-+2-)$!2;)2!2cial industry in three key market 9'+1'2;9V #!20-2+ !2& )2!2$'T investments, and insurance. This was the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second-fastest growing industry in 2015.

-2!ÂŁÂŁ@T 3ÂŁ38!&3 '?6'8-'2$'& Â&#x201A;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x160;WÂ&#x2030; #-ÂŁÂŁ-32 -2 $329<1'8 96'2&-2+ 8'ÂŁ!;'& ;3 3<;&338 8'$8'!ধ32 ÂŁ!9;@'!8T1!0-2+3<;&338$8'!ধ32 and tourism a vital industry for Colorado. What about the lifestyle in Colorado. What is a typical weekend available to say a family who have moved oversees and want to explore the outdoors for the weekend. 3ÂŁ38!&3 ,!9 93 1<$, ;3 3ø'8 families from hiking in Rocky 3<2;!-2!ধ32!ÂŁ!80;3>38ÂŁ&f $ÂŁ!99 -29ধ;<ধ329 (38 ;,' =-9<!ÂŁ arts, performing arts, music and

44 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

,'8-;!+'W 3ÂŁ38!&3 -9 ! 2!ধ32!ÂŁ leader for arts funding! And our food scene is to die for! No mat;'8-(@3<!8'!2!&8'2!ÂŁ-2'/<20@T foodie, art lover, nature seeker or );2'99 (!2!ধ$T @3<ZÂŁÂŁ )2& 931'thing to do in Colorado. And our best kept secret is our climate. With mild winters, low-humidity summers, 300 days of sunshine and four temperate seasons youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be energized to get outside and explore. 8';,'8'!2@96'$-)$ government schemes or tax -2$'2ধ='9(38-2;'82!ধ32!ÂŁc 2!ধ32!ÂŁ$316!2-'9>,'2;,'@ choose to relocate to Colorado? As a business looking to expand or relocate in Colorado, we want you to get the most out of what our 9;!;',!9;33ø'8W 2!&&-ধ32;3! $3ÂŁ38(<ÂŁ#!$0&836!2&!2'2'8+'ধ$ workforce, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve also have several performance-based tax incenধ=' 683+8!19 !=!-ÂŁ!#ÂŁ' (38 7<!ÂŁifying companies. We have the 3# 83>;, 2$'2ধ=' !? 8'&-;T which is a performance-based program for businesses pursu-2+ /3# $8'!ধ32 683/'$;9 ;,!; !8' $316'ধ2+ >-;, !; ÂŁ'!9; 32' 3;,'8 9;!;' !2& >,'8' ;,' -2$'2ধ=' -9 ! 1!/38 (!$;38 -2 ;,' &'$-9-32W ' !ÂŁ93 ,!=' ;,' ;8!;'+-$ <2& 2$'2ধ=';,!;683=-&'9!$!9,-2$'2ধ=' $311-;1'2; ;3 #<9-2'99'9 ;,!; ,!=' 1'; $'8;!-2 8'7<-8'ments under the Economic Devel361'2;311-99-32Z9l m;8!;'+-$ <2&W <8 2;'868-9' 32' !?8'&-;9683=-&';!?-2$'2ধ='9 to businesses that locate and expand in designated economically distressed areas of the state. Does the region itself have 1!2@9$,'1'9(3868313ধ2+ entrepreneurship and -223=!ধ32S Colorado is No. 5 among the states (38 (39;'8-2+ -223=!ধ32 ;,83<+, -2='9;1'2;9-2'&<$!ধ32T8'9'!8$, !2& #<9-2'99 $8'!ধ32T '96'$-!ÂŁÂŁ@

in highly specialized industries, according to a study by WalletHub. ' 9<6638; -223=!ধ32 ;,83<+, our Advanced Industries Acceler!;38 +8!2; 683+8!1 !2& 8'$8<-ধ2+ top tech talent. 3<83ÂŁ38!&3$-;ies rank in the top 10 metro areas -2 ;,' 2!ধ32 (38 ,-+,f;'$, 9;!8;<6 &'29-;@ $8'!ধ2+ !2 -223=!ধ=' !2& $3ÂŁÂŁ!#38!ধ=' $311<2-;@ ;,!; fosters openness and access. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget Colorado is the birthplace of TechStars and home to the )89; !2& ÂŁ!8+'9; ;!8;<6 ''0 -2 North America. 8';,'8'!2@96'$-)$1!80'ধ2+ !$ধ=-ধ'9@3<<2&'8;!0';3 promote Colorado as a world $ÂŁ!99$-;@(38-2;'82!ধ32!ÂŁ)819 to relocate? ChooseColorado.com is a comprehensive online resource for companies looking to locate in Colorado, or current companies >!2ধ2+ ;3 '?6!2& !2& +83>W 2 ChooseColorado.com you can research Coloradoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s key industries, learn about tax credits and -2$'2ধ='9T &-9$3='8 ;8!&' 36638;<2-ধ'9T !2& 6ÂŁ!2 (38 @3<8 (<;<8' success. We also have a dedicated team of economic development professionals ready to assist companies with their goals and to help them be successful. What are the key factors that @3<#'ÂŁ-'='!ħ8!$;92!ধ32!ÂŁ companies to Colorado? '$3+2-A'&!932'3(;,'2!ধ32Z9 best business climates, Colorado is highly desirable for business and talent alike. The Centennial State remains relentlessly pro-business <2&'8;,'ÂŁ'!&'89,-63( 3=W3,2

-$0'2ÂŁ336'8 !2& 3ø'89 +ÂŁ3#!ÂŁ investors access to a business climate that fosters entrepreneur9,-6 !2& 68313;'9 -223=!ধ32W Access to a highly-educated and skilled workforce, low taxes and business costs, and a fair and accessible regulatory environment are hallmarks of Coloradoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s robust business economy.


Huntington County -Indiana

Your Region For Success In The USA

A

Profitable Business is waiting for you in Huntington County, Indiana! It’s an exciting time to invest in Huntington County, Indiana. This region is as vibrant and dynamic as ever and you will find a development and governmental process that is as pro-business as anywhere in the world. European Business goes stateside to get a closer look. The truth is, year to date, businesses have committed to creating 19,802 new jobs and investing $5.5 billion in the State of Indiana. The truth is Indiana is #1 in the mid-western United States and #5 nationally for the best state in which to locate your business. It’s second nationally for the lowest cost of doing business and fourth nationally for the most reasonable regulatory environment for businesses.

President Trump’s successful efforts and the dynamics which caused him to be involved in Indiana are well known, however, the good news about Indiana extends to Huntington County too. The progress made in this small market in northeast Indiana, in the Great Lakes Region of the United States, is simply not as well known. For example, just over $300 million of new capital has been invested by the private sector in Huntington County over the last ten years through 101 industrial expansions and start-ups in this small County named after Samuel Huntington, a signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Huntington is located near Fort Wayne, Indiana, served by Interstate Highway 69 and U.S. Highway 24, also known as the Hoosier Heartland Industrial Corridor and the Fort

to Port Highway connecting to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway network. In contrary to some of the biased news that has come with certain elements in Indiana namely the Carrier Corporation and their supply chain vendor, UTEC, the region has been booming business wise and there is no better time to relocate your business than now . The County is proud to be associated with “declarations of independence.” Those 101 industrial projects created or retained nearly 3,000 jobs in a local workforce of approximately 20,000 people. The Community has recovered from an industrial vacancy rate of nearly 50% - meaning nearly 50% of the existing industrial buildings were once idled. Today, less than 3% are vacant. Not that long ago, the unemployment rate in the County europeanbusinessmagazine.com 45


was 14.3%. Today, it’s 2.9%! Home sales are vibrant and the number of new homes being constructed is also on the rise. In addition to nearly $300 million in new capital being injected into the County’s industrial base there are dozens of other major revitalization projects underway. The County, through a grant from the State of Indiana, is building a $30 million highway connector to Interstate Highways 69 & 469 near Fort Wayne. The City of Huntington is investing millions of dollars in downtown revitalization projects, gateway corridor improvements, multi-use trails, and neighborhood enhancements. With nearly 90 aircraft based at Huntington Municipal Airport, the facility is completing a $4 million ramp project and has just completed construction of 2 new corporate hangars. The local school corporation is replacing two, fifty year-old buildings by renovating a third building and building a new facility too. And now, Huntington County is announcing a new industrial development site utilizing the State of Indiana’s PRIME Site Certification Program. The 80+ acre site has the State’s official stamp of approval acknowledging the successful completion of all relevant site due diligence. The designation will hyper-accelerate development interest in the location at I-69 Exit 278, just hour from the northern Indianapolis market. The Huntington County story is one of courage, tenacity and hard work. The Community boasts a world-class workforce. Tejin of Tokyo’s Continental Structural Plastics (CSP), Huntington facility, is completing a $33 million investment. The company is among the global leaders in developing and manufacturing light weight body panels for the automotive industry. Iconic cars such as the Chevy Corvette, Lincoln MK series vehicles, Ford Raptor pick-up trucks and others rely on CSP’s Huntington workforce. 46 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

Northeast Indiana has a very aggressive regional development effort as well. The Northeast Indiana Partnership has organized eleven counties in the northeast corner of Indiana in order to better facilitate opportunities for growth and the creation of wealth.

The “Partnership” as it’s fondly known throughout the region, was successful in encouraging the State of Indiana to fund a quality of place economic development program called the “Regional Cities Initiative.” Three “regions” were awarded $42 million each


to conduct economic development projects based on the idea of attracting and retaining talent to the region. Huntington County has two major projects under construction as a result. An $8 million downtown revitalization project known as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;UB/

ODD Fellows Blockâ&#x20AC;? will ultimately create market-rate loft apartments and retail space in a formerly blighted section of the downtown. And the City is building multi-use trails and making improvements in its parks network in order to facilitate the eventual development of a regional trail system.

The economic machine of the State of Indiana is alive and well in northeast Indiana. A world-class workforce, employer base, and commitment to economic growth and profitability are just a phone call or email away. Visit Huntington on the web at http:// www.hcued.com. europeanbusinessmagazine.com 47


P

Executive Learning Scandinavia Style

lans for global hiring remain steady as most companies aim to hire MBA alumni this year, indicating healthy employment opportunities for business graduates, according to a new report from the Graduate Management Admission Council. Furthermore, graduates from the top 100 MBA courses were paid annual salaries of approximately $142,000 last year, so it comes as no surprise that business-school admissions officers are kept increasingly busy.

you apart. However, it’s not just the academic experience that makes postgraduate study here so special. The renowned standard of living, pioneering business landscape and strong workers’ rights all make it a desirable study and employment destination. For all these reasons and more, there has been a rise in the number of MBA students arriving, and staying, on its shores and it is anticipated that Sweden will witness a further increase in the wake of Brexit.

Companies look for employees with international outlooks, ones that can offer a global perspective, providing the skills to work with colleagues, stakeholders and customers from around the world and the typically shorter and more thought-provoking European MBA courses are appealing to time poor students, gaining traction over their American rivals. Sweden in particular, with its forward thinking culture, acclaimed further education system and creative nuance, inspire postgraduates to think independently, aligning their studies with industry trends.

The Copenhagen Business School tiered 4th in the world in the Corporate Knights’ Better World MBA Ranking 2016

Sweden is one of the most innovative countries in the world and the birthplace of companies like IKEA, H&M, Ericsson, Spotify, King, Mojang, Skype and Klarna. The country has invested heavily in its education sector and its influence has long been felt far beyond its borders. With 69% green cover, a clean environment and a tranquil lifestyle, Sweden is a valuable location to study and work. The country’s desire to engage foreign students and enhance internationalism and research mobility is seen in a rise in the availability of academic scholarships. This northern European country is getting even more popular with postgraduate business students, not least because of the prominence that the business schools place on sustainability, innovation and creativity. With a strong focus on rationality, allowing participants to combine theory with practice, gaining an MBA in Sweden sets 48 europeanbusinessmagazine.com


and the Stockholm School of Economics was named as the leading business school in the Nordic Region by the Financial Times. The SSE skyrocketed from 28th to 16th place in the FT Masters in Management 2016 ranking, making it one of Europe’s top business schools. It attracts the very best participants with diverse backgrounds, ages, nationalities, industries and positions for the much-admired MBA programme. The rise in MBA applications reflect the value that an increasing number of people see in the Scandinavian approach, and at SSE you will build a strong and significant network that will last a life time.

five Masters Programmes, as well as globally renowned MBA, PhD and executive education opportunities.

Sweden takes sixth place in the Global Competitiveness Report 2016–2017, 1st place in Forbes ranking Best Countries for Business 2016 and the capital, Stockholm, is ranked among the world’s top 50 student cities. It is only logical that such a strong economy would play home to globally acclaimed business schools. Founded in 1909 by leading members of the Swedish business community, the SSE has maintained its close ties with the business community ever since, ensuring that the research and teachings remains current and relevant. Among the school’s Corporate Partners are some of the world’s leading companies such as H&M, Ericsson, ABB, Scania and Sandvik. This top business school offers two Bachelor and

Stockholm opens its doors to international visitors with English-language films and theatre, while the beauty of its surrounding archipelago with over 24,000 islands, speaks for itself. It is a hot spot for students, businesses and innovators, and holds 20th place in Mercer’s 2016 Quality of Living Rankings, which has a huge impact on the overall MBA experience. Head to the SSE, a European leader in education and research, if you want to increase your knowledge, develop your network and enhance your career.

The SSE’s strong focus on sustainability compliments current trends, with CSR developing from a ‘nice-to-have’ add-on to a vital strategic priority for businesses, this emphasis is increasingly relevant. Superior postgraduate business education is essential in a world that is more competitive, more universal and more uncertain than ever, and students choose the SSE because of its outstanding reputation, international perspective and close relationships with Swedish and international industry.

The popular phrase - Världen kommer till Sverige - the world comes to Sweden – has never rang so true. https://www.hhs.se/mba

europeanbusinessmagazine.com 49


Anders Richtnér

Executive Education With the Stockholm School of Economics Robert Nobel

S

wedish entrepreneurship and creativity has long been praised internationally. In an increasingly borderless world, an understanding of how leadership and organizations in the Swedish context work may contribute to your firms’ competitiveness. SSE Executive Education at the Stockholm School of Economics is now proudly contributing to this development with a new focus on training for managers and leaders who work in international organizations, whether it be in Swedish multinationals or in foreign-owned firms in Sweden. The Executive Management Program International Edition launches in November 2017. Talking about “Swedish leadership” is a bit like talking about “Swedish

values.” We all know intuitively what it is, but if we’re asked to explain then it becomes trickier. For SSE Executive Education, Swedish leadership often entails embracing an inclusive approach, a deep faith in one’s own ability and a genuine focus on sustainability. “In the past, as a manager you could get a pretty good overview of your company as well as your competitors and the society you operated in. Today, developments move faster and are more multi-faceted than ever before, so there’s no way you as an individual can keep up – you’re simply forced to rely on others. This is where traditional Swedish leadership steps into the picture, a leadership style that has always been rooted in the faith in human capacity,” says

Facts Executive Management Program International Edition Start: Language: Price: Venue: All dates:

November 27, 2017 English SEK 140 000 (Excl. of VAT and full board) The program will be held at SSE Executive Education’s conference center Kämpasten outside of Stockholm, Sweden November 27-30, 2017, January 29-February 1, 2018, March 5-8, 2018

https://exedsse.se/en/program/executive-management-program-international-edition/

50 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

Anders Richtnér (pictured) CEO of SSE Executive Education and associate professor at the Stockholm School of Economics. To meet the demand for understanding managing in the Swedish context, SSE Executive Education is now launching its Executive Management Program, EMP, in an international version. The program is designed for experienced managers who want to make a strong impact and push their organization to work smarter, create greater value and stay ahead of the competition. And of course are interested in “the Swedish way”. “The power of SSE Executive Education’s programs lies in their close link to research at the Stockholm School of Economics. Using science as our starting point, we sift out the models that actually work. And our participants do not test these models on theoretical problems and scenarios, they do it on their own real challenges. This approach makes us unique in Swedish leadership development, and is the reason why year after year, we are ranked number one in the Nordic countries in executive education by the Financial Times,” says Robert Nobel, (pictured) program director for the Executive Management Program at SSE Executive Education.


Innovative Learning With The SSE MBA

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he Swedish School of Economics (SSE) MBA Executive Format is an Executive MBA from Sweden. One of the most innovative countries in the world and birthplace of companies like IKEA, H&M, Ericsson, Spotify, King, Mojang, Skype and Klarna. The Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) is a private university founded in 1909 by leading members of the Swedish business community and among the school’s Corporate Partners you find some of the world’s leading companies such as H&M, Ericsson, ABB, Scania and Sandvik. The school is situated in the center of Stockholm, known as one of the most open and beautiful cities in the world, surrounded by water and green areas. The city is also a creative hub where innovation and smart business thrives. It is the second most successful tech hub in the world, only beaten by Silicon Valley, and the unicorn capital of the world, all per capita. One of the unicorns, Klarna, started at SSE Business Lab, the school’s world class business incubator. Ranked as the leading business school in the Nordic Region by Financial Times, the school offers high quality programs and attracts the very best students. In the Executive MBA participants have a truly diverse background when it comes both to academic background, industry and position, and 46% of the participants in the SSE MBA 2017 come from outside Sweden. “A great mix of different people, professional backgrounds, approaches, opinions and cultures”, says Stéphane Egret - MBA, Packaging Innovator, The Coca-Cola Company Europe, Brussels. It opens up for broader discussions, more perspectives, better learning and an interesting long lasting network.

The SSE MBA Executive Format is delivered part-time, enabling you to continue working while studying. It has a focus on sustainability, and electives in Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Financial Management, all strong features of the school. Swedes are well known for their informal management thinking and team problem solving nature. This is an advantage when applying the MBALive® pedagogy when participants work on real challenges in real organizations. It enables them to go deeper, implement changes and present findings directly to organizations during the program, and learn hands-on at the same time. “There is a tremendous aspiration towards learning and personal improvement at the SSE MBA, and a genuine search for best practice. It’s not just about “career chasing”, because the participants are already pursuing successful careers. SSE takes a long-term perspective on business and teaches you how to adjust to an ever-changing environment”, says Sébastien Leutwyler, MBA, Managing Director & CIO, CAPITALIUM ADVISORS® SA, Geneva.

Facts SSE MBA Executive Format Start: Language: Price: Venue: Web:

January 22, 2017 English SEK 465 000 (excl. of VAT) Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden www.hhs.se/mba europeanbusinessmagazine.com 51


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Spotlight Focus on SSE’s MBA Programme

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uropean Business takes excerpt’s from a recent interview from Kirsten Jensen Quas who completed an Executive Mba from Stockholm School of Economics Kirsten Jensen Quas is a trained psychologist with long experience within neuropsychology. But also of leading teams, projects and developing business. In agreement with her manager she applied for the Executive MBA at Stockholm School of Economics and both are very happy with this decision. BOMI is a private brain damage center in Roskilde, Denmark. The clinic has around 80 employees with specialist competence within neurology. Two years ago the clinic was under pressure. There was a need for more research, product development was

undertaken, and international cooperation was intensified. The SSE MBA is a quite expensive education but have we got pay-off? Definitely. We both got a thorough strategy plan implemented during the program, and as a bonus an academic spin-off in the whole management team and much better communication and dialogue with our Board, says Henning Olsen. He went also on to add, “I did not expect that Kirsten’s education would contribute this much to the development of our company, says Henning Olsen, CEO at BOMI.The Executive MBA at Stockholm School of Economics was an injection for the whole company” Kirsten, who is Head of R&D at BOMI, was looking for a rigorous academic education yet connected to international business with concrete tools for how to lead and develop organizations.

What were the major benefits of undertaking the MBA with SSE? We had incredibly skilled teachers with high academic level and close relations to business life. You get things adopted to your needs and the teachers also take advantage of the fact that there are 50 experienced working professionals in the class room. I’m impressed of how they managed to reach both me, the psychologist, the engineer and the IT-architect. During the project done at my organization we got invaluable coaching and I was

also given time for important reflection during my studies. The studies were integrated in my daily work which minimized interruption in our daily operations which was also important for my company. The benefits of the network is also another plus. At the moment we are developing new products and business areas and I can still go into dialog with my network from the SSE MBA and get advice.

Quick Facts The SSE MBA Executive Format prepares the participants to build, lead and develop organizations and provides new knowledge, new perspectives and a new network. The international program given in English is aiming towards ambitious leaders and high potentials. It is delivered part-time over 18 months and starts in January. europeanbusinessmagazine.com 53


Coaching to Contentment Business, life, and executive coaching is bang on trend this year and considered one of the best ways through which productivity in personal and professional life can develop. Once seen as a potential embarrassment, hiring a coach in 2017 suggests career status, highlights commitment, and extracts the maximum potential from both staff and higher-level employees.

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ith roots in the sporting world, and integrating influences from adult education, psychology and management, coaching is now typical in many successful medium to large sized organisations, and is a growing industry across many sectors. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, advises business leaders to invest in a coach, and former Intuit CEO Steve Bennett remains convinced that coaches are crucial to ongoing professional development. Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama have all reported using coaches to identify their strengths, and, more importantly, to recognise and avoid the habits that sabotage them. More and more people are looking to professional coaching to help distinguish how they can be the best versions of themselves, allowing them to excel, both personally and professionally. In the last decade the coaching industry has exploded, but just how effective is it? More and more businesses are looking to instil a strong coaching culture that impacts not only the organisation but also the personal lives of its employees. According to Building a Coaching Culture with Managers and Leaders, a 2016 research study published by the International Coach Federation and the Human Capital Institute, organisations with strong coaching cultures report higher employee engagement and higher annual revenue compared to peer organisations, than those

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without strong coaching cultures. The rising buoyancy in the economy, alongside the growing numbers of overstretched managers with increasing stress levels, has led to a surge in the number of corporations investing in executive and leadership coaching. Though time and money were the traditional hurdles to coaching investment, budgets are now specifically set aside and earmarked for developing high potential leading senior executives, aiding the continuous evolution of business practice. A culture of coaching also helps staff to reach new ambitions, teams to realise better synergy, and corporations to accelerate overall productivity. Executive coaching has become one of the tools to achieve effective leadership in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fluctuating corporate culture. Modern managers and directors recognise that those companies that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take the time to reflect on and learn from past successes and failures, lose their competitive edge, and in recent years the focus has shifted to encourage learning and development throughout the workforce. This transformative thinking has allowed businesses to thrive in the European market and has also seen a growing need for qualified coaches to provide the skills and support necessary to gain full value from this business savvy resource. According to the 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study, there are approximately 53,300 professional coach

practitioners worldwide and Western Europe accounts for the largest share (35%). Helping to improve confidence, communication, and create vitality in the workforce alongside assisting in big career changes, start businesses and develop confidence, coaching has become a sought-after service and therefore a popular career choice for many. The European network for professional coaches is going from strength to strength and as the coaching industry isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t currently regulated,


with other coaches encourages sharing of information and knowledge, opening up further career prospects. Accredited Coach Training Programs offer different areas of speciality and are readily available in both virtual and in-person formats in Europe. Each coach graduates with their own coaching niche, choosing to specialise in Leadership Coaching, Business Coaching, Transformational Coaching, Systemic Relationship Coaching, Success Coaching, Coaching for Coaches, or Life Coaching. The accessibility of this distinguished accreditation points to an increasingly professional, rigorous, and evidence-based industry.

many coaches are integrating coaching skills into their current role. However, it is vital to get the correct accreditation to gain an edge in this prosperous, but very competitive, landscape and the coaching infrastructure in Europe is sound and reputable. The three main professional bodies with a presence in the UK are the Association for Coaching UK, The European Mentoring Coaching Council, and the International Coach Federation. It has become obvious that credibility is important to coach

practitioners, with 89% of coach practitioners who responded to the 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study reporting that they’d attended accredited or approved coach-specific training. The same study revealed that coach practitioners who hold one or more credentials from a professional coaching association reported above-average revenue from coaching compared to those without a credential ($52,000 USD compared to $48,400 USD, for a difference of 7%). There are hundreds of programmes to choose from, and anyone serious about starting or sustaining a coaching business should begin by finding a coach-specific training programme accredited by a professional coaching organisation. The ICF has established rigorous standards that all schools must adhere to in order to receive this prestigious accreditation. The benefits of being part of the ICF network are simple – community and credentials. The ICF community has never been stronger, and the opportunities available to its members have never been better. Connecting and networking

The ICF has over 25,000 members in 130 countries, with membership almost tripling in the last ten years, and adding 2,000 new members annually, it allows coaches to share local and global perspectives. In addition to adhering to the stringent ICF Code of Ethics, all ICF members must complete at least 60 hours of coach-specific training that meets rigorous standards. As a result, clients can have confidence that ICF member coaches are well-trained, well-prepared, and well-versed to offer their services. It offers a free searchable directory of ICF-credentialed coach members, the Credentialed Coach Finder, to help businesses find the right coach for them. Providing independent certification and a worldwide network of credentialed coaches, the ICF is the first port of call for any individual or business looking for a coach and for those looking to become one. Albert Einstein once said: ‘Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.’ These words can ring true for those who currently feel trapped, need a fresh perspective, or for those that are not getting the results they want. Coaching will teach transformative techniques that empower individuals to generate sustainable change. Coaching, as a profession and a service, is gaining global importance, and while it may be advanced in Europe, there is still a lot to be done. Stand still, and you will soon be left behind. https://www.coachfederation.org/ europeanbusinessmagazine.com 55


Coaching – Good For Business

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n modern business, the responsibility to constantly improve and build on results is challenging, relentless and sometimes near impossible. The ‘war for talent’ is on, and to stay on top of their game, companies need to find ways to appeal to the most promising graduates,

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support current employees and retain the top players. Patricia Cullen reports on the benefits of Executive Coaching for Business. Between 25 – 40% of Fortune 500 companies use coaches, and with a proven track record of bolstered

resilience, self-awareness and creativity for staff, whilst enhancing company growth, productivity, and market share for business, it is clear to see why. Coaching is proven to be a highly effective way of developing not only the individual, but also organisational performance, by


that the coaching ethos permeates the entire business and is not just reserved for the top dogs, organisations can truly reap the benefits. Coaching turns traditional ways of working on its head. Instead of telling staff and teams what to do, it introduces an ambiance of autonomy for employees, and with modern workers looking for more than just a job and a pay packet â&#x20AC;&#x201C; seeking out opportunities beyond career progression â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a culture of coaching can offer that something extra. Results include a happier workforce and a healthier balance sheet. Coaching will improve overall job performance, taking the whole business to the next level, giving workers and bosses greater determination, efficiency and commitment, while encouraging a deeper underlying mind-set change. Creating a coaching culture helps develop and retain top talent, which translates into success in the global marketplace, generating improvements across-the-board. It makes sense therefore, to offer coaching at all levels of the organisation, but for it to gain enough traction and make a strong enough first impression, it must start at the top. Luckily, coaching is increasingly being intertwined into the culture of businesses and organisations across the globe, making an impact at every level. However, creating a culture where staff and managers are willing to be vulnerable and admit shortcomings may be easier said than done. For effective implementation it is worthwhile to use a hybrid method utilising both external and internal coaches, and for a strong and successful coaching culture, everybody in the company must buy into, and project, the coaching principles, allowing it to permeate throughout the whole workforce. unlocking capability and building confidence. Unlike previous efforts to increase corporate efficiency, it is not a top down programme imposed on drained employees; coaching encourages people to cultivate their own solutions to problems, increasing the likelihood of positive action.

To uphold a competitive advantage, deal with new government protocols and an increasingly multi-generational workforce using state-of-the-art technologies, many superiors have decided to build a strong coaching culture within their organisation. By instilling a coaching culture, ensuring

A word of warning - if the business is not fully dedicated to putting a coaching culture in place, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t start. The outcomes you will get will be unreliable and any benefits will fade out sooner rather than later. Nonetheless, done properly, coaching can be transformational for the individual and the organisation. europeanbusinessmagazine.com 57


European Business Magazine talks to

MAGDALENA MOOK CEO of International Coach Federation our front cover story and lead interview for our special edition on Executive Coaching

Some of our readers may be familiar with you but many won’t, so can you tell us when the International Coach Federation (ICF) was first established and what its main objectives were? ICF was founded in 1995 as a nonprofit organization for fellow coaches to grow what was, at that time, an emerging profession and to support one another. How far has ICF come since its inception? How many countries does it operate in globally and how many members are there to date? In the 22 years since ICF was established, the coaching profession has grown dramatically, and so have we! ICF now has more than 25,000 members in 137 countries. We exist to lead the global advancement of the coaching profession, and our vision is for coaching to become an integral part of a thriving society where every ICF Member represents the highest quality of professional coaching. Why do you think there has been such an incredible rise in the growth of professional coaching? The reason for professional coaching’s global growth is quite simple: Coaching works! Individuals who partner with a professional coach practitioner report positive impacts including increased productivity, improved communications skills, 58 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

increased self-esteem and self-confidence, and optimized work performance. Organizations with strong coaching cultures consistently report higher employee engagement and revenue in relation to peer organizations than those without strong coaching cultures. The global director of the leadership and team coaching practice for EY (formerly Ernst & Young), one of the finalists for our 2017 International Prism Award, says that people who experience coaching in their organization call it a “gamechanger.” Why do you think ICF has had such a huge increase in numbers in the past two decades? According to the 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study, professional coach practitioners cite untrained individuals who call themselves coaches as the No. 1 obstacle for our profession. To be eligible for ICF Membership, a coach must complete at least 60 hours of coach-specific training that meets ICF’s high standards, and agree to follow our rigorous Code of Ethics. ICF Members gain credibility by identifying themselves with the world’s largest community of professionally trained coaches. By committing to high standards, ethical practice and coaching excellence, ICF Members present a unified voice in the conversation around coaching and its future.

Our individual credentialing program has also grown dramatically, signifying the desire of numerous coaches to take their professional development and credibility to the next level. There are 22,257 coaches in 120 countries who hold an active ICF Credential. ICF offers the only globally recognized, independent credentialing program. ICF Credentials are awarded to coaches who have met stringent education and experience requirements and have demonstrated a practical application and a thorough understanding of the coaching competencies that set the standard in the profession. Achieving credentials through ICF signifies a coach’s commitment to integrity, understanding and mastery of coaching skills, and dedication to clients. Where do you believe the key benefits of being part of a coaching federation lead to a success for either a business or an individual? I love the African proverb that states, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” The ability to go further, together, is one of the greatest benefits of membership in a professional organization like ICF. ICF members benefit from being part of a community of coaches who understand and share their challenges and joys. As I mentioned earlier, the credibility piece is also crucial. In a crowded


marketplace, ICF membership and credentialing help set individual practitioners apart by demonstrating their training and commitment to ethical practice. Our members have access to cutting-edge research that can be easily translated to a marketing position or support development of a business plan. What is also important is that the members offer input and feedback to products and services that ICF offers—that way we remain fresh and relevant to their needs. The value ICF offers businesses and organizations is the ability to confidently invest in coaches who can help their organizations thrive. I always encourage decision-makers seeking coaches for their organizations to visit CredentialedCoachFinder.com, a free, searchable directory of ICF-credentialed Member coaches. Have your objectives/mission changed over the years? Have you got redefined goals after twenty years in business? Since 1995, the coach profession has grown and evolved, and so has ICF. As I mentioned earlier, we began as a support and networking organization, but have extended our mission to lead the advancement of the profession. Currently, we’re in the process of expanding our framework so that we’re better positioned to serve multiple stakeholder groups and accomplish strategic initiatives. To continue leading the advancement of not only professional coaching, but the growth of coaching cultures and spread of a coaching mindset, we must be nimble, adaptable, thoughtful and curious. Can you tell us a bit more about the Prism Award that you adopted back in 2005 and what it means? The ICF Chapter in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, developed the Prism Award to celebrate impactful coaching initiatives in businesses and organizations. ICF Global adopted the concept in 2005 to celebrate coaching in organizations on a global scale.

Since 2005, the Prism program has evolved significantly. In 2013, we shifted to a blind review process and unveiled the four scoring criteria that we use today: impact, standards, strategy and sustainability. The Prism Award is no longer just a celebration of successful coaching initiatives. It’s now the gold standard for organizations with strong coaching cultures that offer employees at all levels the opportunity to grow their skills, enhance their value and reach their professional goals. Last year’s winner, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), created a global Coaching Centre of Excellence that standardized coaching throughout the organization. Coaching at GSK has increased by 2,900 percent within the last half-decade and has been credited with an ROI of $66 million USD. One of our 2016 Honorable Mention recipients, CocaCola HBC Russia, adopted coaching to facilitate the shift away from a topdown management style, and found that coaching decreased turnover, increased employee engagement, and enhanced employees’ knowledge and practice of organizational values. Coaching is so embedded in the organization’s culture that they leveraged it as their change management modality of choice to adapt to challenges posed by Russia’s economic downturn.

These examples, and many more from previous Prism honorees, serve as great case studies and an inspiration for other organizations to adopt a coaching culture and mindset—in addition to helping individuals reach their potential, coaching is a business proposition! You are also becoming increasingly well known for your global research programmes. Can you elaborate on this also and what it means for business? CF is committed to providing thought leadership for the profession by conducting and disseminating coaching research. Since 2006, we’ve partnered with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to conduct research into the size and scope of the coaching industry and the minds and motivations of coaching consumers. Last year, we published the 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study, which included responses from more than 15,000 coach practitioners and managers and leaders using coaching skills and provides an up-to-date picture of the coaching profession. The study revealed that there are approximately 53,300 coach practitioners worldwide, working in an industry that was responsible for europeanbusinessmagazine.com 59


The ICF Foundation, a nonprofit that’s separate from ICF but bonded in relationship with us, is committed to working with nonprofits and NGOs to advance social good through powerful coaching partnerships. Much of the Foundation’s work is aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Coaches believe in making a difference in the world. According to the 2016 ICF Global Coaching Study, more than 84 percent of coach practitioners said they believe that coaching is able to influence social change. With that in mind, I think we will see a greater use of coaching in this sector as well. How do you see the future of business coaching and the role of ICF especially in Europe?

approximately $2.356 billion USD in revenue in 2015. At our August 2017 global event, we will unveil findings from the 2017 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study, which offers insight into consumers age 18 and up from 30 countries. Our ongoing research partnership with the Human Capital Institute (HCI) is especially relevant for businesses and organizations. Since 2014, we’ve been working together to discover the markers of strong coaching cultures and develop recommendations for to build strong coaching cultures in your own organization. (You can learn more about this research at Coachfederation.org/ coachingculture.) ICF also conducts research into coaching science, supports scholars and practitioners who are doing the same, and disseminates coaching research through our online Research Portal. The research portal is home to 60 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

thousands of documents, including journal articles, doctoral dissertations and white papers, that offer insight into many aspects of the coaching field. How do you see corporate coaching going from traditional corporate coaching to the sectors of not-forprofit and community development? Will there be a big rise do you think? We expect coaching will continue to grow in for-profit organizations and government, and we’re already seeing coaching drive social change in nonprofits and NGOs. Last year, for example, one of the honorable mention recipients in the Prism Award program was Beyond Emancipation, a nonprofit organization that uses a coaching approach to support young people who are preparing to age out of the foster care system in Alameda County, California, USA.

In the 2016 Global Coaching Study, 63.4% of European respondents identified a Business Coaching specialty as their main area of coaching. We expect that Business Coaching will continue to be a mainstay of the profession in Europe as a growing number of organizations integrate coaching into their talent development portfolios. Europe is a unique market for ICF, because it’s home to countries where coaching is highly established (the UK is ICF’s third largest country by membership) and to countries where coaching is still very much an emerging profession. This means that practitioners are facing diverse challenges and opportunities depending on the specifics of their market. We recently overhauled our regional staffing model to better address these diverse needs, ensure a consistently positive experience for ICF Members and Credential-holders, and be truly strategic about our work. At the heart of this work, we’re continuing to advocate for the highest ethical and professional standards so that individual coaching clients and organizational purchasers of coaching in Europe turn to ICF as their go-to resource when they’re making an investment in professional coaching.


All You Need to Know About The FinTech Industry

However, as the chart below indicates, the evolution of this change in financial services is still at an early stage, even in the United States, one of the world’s most advanced digital economies. Globally, fintech represents less than 1% of the global financial services industry, versus ~10% for eCommerce and ~40% for digital media.

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Investment in fintech is growing, with VC investment in the sector reaching $13.6 billion in 2016 though still a very small amount given the $11 trillion global financial service industry. To put this into context, Facebook alone raised $16 billion in its 2016 IPO to compete in the $2 trillion global media industry. While early signs are promising, we are still early in the lifecycle of the fintech industry.

he financial services industry is increasingly acquiring the “tech” suffix as Silicon Valley takes aim at one of the world’s most profitable and highly regulated sectors. This change not only brings with it new technology, but a need to attract and develop talent that have the skillset needed to operate in this changing environment. Organizations are also grappling with how to simultaneously foster innovation and entrepreneurial risk-taking while also ensuring stability and financial prudence. European Business Magazine looks into the ever expanding world of Fintech where RAJEEV JEYAKUMAR tells us exactly where we are at.

What Is Fintech? How should we define “fintech” and what can be considered actual versus forecast? Fintech is the popular label for an emerging market sector that uses technology to make financial systems more efficient. It is a similar phenomenon to disruptions in industries like media, communications, and retail, where the application of technology has created a unique set of companies and services that are taking a share from legacy players. It is also ushering in a new set of capabilities from large data analytics to trading algorithm development that is reshaping the talent market.

We spent more than $9.5 billion in technology firmwide, of which approximately $3 billion is dedicated toward new initiatives. Of that amount, approximately $600 million is spent on emerging fintech solutions— which include building and improving digital and mobile services and partnering with fintech companies.” – Jamie Dimon (CEO of JP Morgan), 2016 Letter to Shareholders

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Fintech Verticals There are five traditional areas of financial services that are seeing a lot of innovation: Payments and money transfer: Verifying identity and creating accounts in which to store money (e.g., bank accounts), tools for depositing and 62 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

withdrawing money (e.g., checks and debit cards) and systems for securely exchanging money between different parties (e.g., ACH). Borrowing and lending: The consumer institutions that collect money from savers and then provide credit to borrowers (e.g., credit cards, mortgages, or car loans)

Wealth management: Advisers, brokers, and investment managers who provide advice on and execute transactions related to financial investments (e.g., investing in the stock market) and retirement and estate planning (e.g., pensions and annuities). Insurance: Both property and casualty insurance (e.g., car insurance,


homeowner insurance, or health insurance) as well as life insurance policies. Currency: Nation-state-backed stores of value, unit of account and medium of exchange (e.g. US dollar, Sterling, Euro) Traditionally, these services have been offered as a bundle by large financial institutions. But fintech startups are leading the “unbundling” charge, selectively targeting and specializing in services in order to achieve differentiation and scale quickly.

Winds of Change — Fintech Is Coming Fintech bulls believe this sector is facing a unique confluence of technological and behavioral change. On the technology front, we are seeing the digitization of money as financial transactions are increasingly happening over the internet. This in turn giving rise to vast amounts of data along with the tools necessary to mine it for valuable heuristics and algorithms. The proliferation of mobile is deepening and broadening access to consumers in a way that is unprecedented. A digitally interconnected user base is allowing innovations like the blockchain to fundamentally challenge the architecture of trust and verification systems. Consumer behavior is also evolving, driven by the growing millennial workforce and the recent financial crisis. Traditional financial brands are losing trust and struggling to meet the needs of consumers for authenticity and meaning in the brands they use. Consumers are also taking greater responsibility for their financial decisions, willing to do their own research and go directly to online services instead of relying on “trusted advisers.” Finally, consumers’ financial needs are changing, as the desire for asset ownership (e.g., cars and vacation homes) is being replaced by a desire for unique experiences and instant access (e.g., AirBnB or Uber).

Payments “I think what we came to the realization of is that the war is really against cash and against waste” – Dan Schulman, CEO of PayPal This is where we have seen some of the earliest and largest success stories in fintech with competitors like PayPal, Stripe, Square, Hyperwallet and TransferWise. They have built superior user interfaces on desktop and mobile to acquire customers and quickly build large peer-to-peer payment platforms. Their cloud-based and digitally-delivered services gives them what McKinsey estimates is “a 400 bps cost advantage over banks, because they have no physical distribution costs.” As they collect increasing amounts of purchase and payment information, they will also be well positioned to develop consumer behavior analytics

teams to predict purchase needs and pre-emptively meet them. One of the main challenges they face is that of security and fraud prevention, and they will have to invest in capabilities to stay ahead of digital bank robbers targeting them from basements (and government facilities) around the world.

Lending Much of the initial success here was in peer-to-peer lending where players like Funding Circle, Lending Club, and SoFi would use an online platform to directly connect retail borrowers with lenders, providing better rates to both parties by cutting out the bank middlemen. Some also claim to use unique data (e.g., social network information) to develop superior credit scoring algorithms and, while this may become a unique competitive advantage in the future, the predictive power of current datasets is still unclear.

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While some are underwriting their own policies, the majority of the risk is still being offloaded to traditional reinsurers. However, as datasets increase especially to cover the lifetime of a policy, we could see startups with big data and AI talent making inroads into the underwriting business. Companies like Zhong An (valued at $8 billion) are already collaborating with players like Alibaba to tackle new digital economy insurance needs (e.g., phone/drone insurance), while at the bleeding edge, Synerscope is looking at how IoT data on cars and other devices can be incorporated by insurers.

Recently, institutional investors have begun piling into these platforms and buying up whole loans (see image below) and the concern is that they are cherry picking the best loans. In addition to being left to invest in the riskier loans, retail investors do not have the traditional government protection (e.g., FDIC insurance) since P2P loans are considered securities. As concerns grow about loan delinquency rates, these companies will have to develop strong credit assessment and monitoring capabilities to maintain the trust of their retail lender base and not become simple loan origination and servicing portals for traditional loan underwriters.

Wealth Management This is the area that sits most squarely at the intersection of the two trends I described above. Millennials are now over a third of the workforce but, faced with decreasing job security and economic uncertainty, are looking for smart solutions for generating passive future income. At the same time, they are losing trust in traditional investment advisers whose track records have been less than impressive over the past decade. Companies like Learnvest are approaching this from the financial education angle, looking to build trust with customers through more 64 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

transparent engagement and educational resources. Robinhood and AngelList are examples of services providing greater access to investments and reducing the transaction costs of making them. Finally we have robo-advisors such as Wealthfront and Betterment who use algorithms to automatically manage customer portfolios at a fraction of the cost of traditional portfolio management services. Success of these offering has forced traditional players like Charles Schwab, Fidelity, and TD Ameritrade to follow suit. Going forward, financial literacy and algorithmic investing represent significant opportunities where technology and talent with an understanding of online education and machine learning are proving they can play a big role. Concerns will be around how “fake advice” is regulated and the dangers of flash crashes caused by systematic errors in the algorithms.

Insurance Here we see parallels to what has played out in the lending industry: A number of players like Zenefits, Lemonade, and Oscar have acquired large customer bases (including new insurance buyers) by building superior online user experiences and customer acquisition tactics. This has helped them effectively carve off the origination and servicing part of the value chain.

Incumbents are also seeing the opportunity as signalled by the recent partnership between IBM and Swiss Re to develop “underwriting solutions that rely on the cognitive computing technologies of IBM’s Watson.” The main risks (especially in the US) will be around regulatory change and how that will impact initial beachheads that have been established.

Digital Currencies In 1976 Friedrich Hayek (Nobel Prize winning economist) published the Denationalization of Money, in which he advocated the establishment of competitively issued private moneys. With the advent of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and the underlying blockchain technology, there is again a push to make Hayek’s vision a reality. This area has the largest and most uncertain potential for change as it challenges the traditional monopoly of governments and the ecosystems that have grown around those monopolies. We are seeing these alternatives gain attention, with Japan recently allowing Bitcoin as a legal method of payment and new regulations being developed by Europol, Interpol and the Basel Institute to protect Bitcoin exchanges and users. Here is where talent with experience working with multiple stakeholders from governments and regulators to consumer


groups are proving valuable in helping to shape the rules of the game. Given the potential for the privatization of the currency industry, it’s also not surprising to see strategic corporate investors eager to ensure an early seat at the table: You may think this is already a whirlwind of innovation—and, dare I say it, disruption—but there are a few more changes wafting over the horizon:

Nation-states Are Looking to Make the Jump to Cashless The Indian government has stated that one of the main goals of its flagship Digital India program is “promoting cashless transactions and converting India into [a] less-cash society.” Many other emerging and developed markets are also actively steering their societies to using digital payments. In emerging markets, the benefits are clear, as it allows governments to promote financial inclusion without having to make heavy investments in physical banking infrastructure (e.g., branches). It also allows governments to crack down more easily on tax evasion and fraud while reducing administration costs. Even in advanced economies like the UK, one of the implications of Brexit has been a greater focus on the opportunities fintech provides for London.

“Fintech will transform the way we live and do business. Whether it is cashless transactions between friends sending remittances to family in other countries or apps that automatically invest savings at the best rates fintech provides consumers with better services, more choice, and lower costs.” – Philip Hammond, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer

Behavioral Fintech The recent advances made in behavioral finance are already being applied in the fintech space where the ability to quickly conduct A/B testing and precisely control user experience make it an excellent testing ground. Startups like Payoff look to understand your financial personality as a way to provide you with the tools needed to curb any non financially prudent traits. Qapital gamifies spending with users setting themselves “fines” for any guilty pleasure spending. While still in the experimentation phase, the psychologist’s mindset may have a large role to play in shaping better systems and products for consumers.

Incumbents Putting More Than Their Toes In Goldman Sachs, the poster child for elite financial services, is developing internal fintech startup capabilities,

recently launching an online lending platform called Marcus (named after its 19th century founder Marcus Goldman). Others, like MasterCard, are developing partnerships with players like Coin to expand payments into the realm of wearables. Large retail banks like CitiGroup and Spanish bank BBVA are setting up completely separate groups that are looking to reinvent these banks “from the outside.” The challenge will be building the consensus to allow cannibalization of proven, stable legacy services, systems, and skillsets with smaller and more uncertain new innovations that have greater momentum. Torres Villa, the CEO of BBVA, articulates the challenge as “the inertia around how you’ve always done it, including the money associated with it. If things are going well, why change? Why do it in a different way if we’re making money?” “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” – Pablo Picasso The fintech future is certainly exciting and looking increasingly inevitable. How it plays out will depend on harnessing the talent who balance the cognitive dissonance of simultaneously having an intimate appreciation for the legacy system while being able to see new possibilities with untainted eyes.

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The Digital Impact of Instagram on Purchasing Decisions

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n 2012, Instagram was purchased for $1 billion by Facebook which is led by Mark Zuckerberg. Since then, it has evolved into a marketing tool for many businesses and many influencers have started to rake in serious money because of their ability to get their followers to buy products they recommend. Christiano Ronaldo has been reported to earn over $250,000 per post for by some of his sponsors.He is now the most popular football figure on Instagram and has over million followers .He is also the highest paid male on Instagram .Instagram has now over half a billion active users uploading photos daily and is steadily being seen to become an advanced form of window shopping. Argee Laya reports. A recent study commissioned by Takumi (a Japanese app that connects brands with Instagram influencers),

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revealed that among the various social media platforms, Instagram is the most effective. It used to be that influencers were big time celebrities, but a lot of niches are driven by non-celebrities who still wield great influence in a specific niche. They are referred to as micro-influencers amongst the Instagram community. If your business is targeting millennials, it is an absolute must that you have an Instagram presence and really you should be tapping Instagram influencers in your niche as they are very responsive to what is being shared in their feeds. 68% of 18 to 24 years olds said in the survey that they are more likely to buy something after someone they follow on Instagram shared it. Data research by LendEdu verifies this trend. an important fact is that now 52.9% of Millenials say that Instagram influences their online shopping the most.

But why is Instagram having such an effect?Perhaps one reason Instagram is effective in influencing purchasing decisions is that it is a very narcissistic social media platform. As such, when people go through their Instagram feed, they are receptive to brands promoting products and services that will improve their lives. Certain industries such as fashion, beauty, fitness and retail are doing exceptionally well on the Instagram platform. Digital marketing budgets are set to rise in the short and longterm. This means that more marketing dollars will be flowing towards digital marketing and therefore into Instagram because of its effectivity. Instagram ads can be used to target a specific group. As such carefully crafted Instagram ads beat mass media advertising like TV or newspapers. According to Liz Dunn, founder of CEO of Talmage Advisors, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Consumers trust the opinions of those in their social media group, including friends, bloggers, and celebrities, more than messages they are getting directly from brands. As a result, retailers and brands are trying to cultivate relationships with influencers to gain consumer attention.â&#x20AC;? As Instagram and other social media platforms become more saturated, it is important that influencer marketing remains authentic or else there will be consumer cynicism and this could lead to the demise


For example, some brands are leveraging it to deliver offers and coupons that direct followers to a landing page where they can redeem the one-day special offer. First-time followers can be given compelling exclusive discounts to encourage them to try out the product. Brand building can also be developed by giving behind the scenes stories of the operations. Instagram as a social tool is used by marketers to drive contests which can increase foot traffic to the actual brick and mortar stores as well as boost engagement and brand awareness because of the awesome prizes that different brands can offer.

of influencer marketing. Consumer trust is based on authenticity and honesty and brands and influencers that fail to be real and honest will become irrelevant. Earlier research performed by consulting giant, McKinsey, showed that at the point of purchase, recommendations played a critical role and a secondary influence was through social media because it created initial awareness of the product. Travel is another area where Instagram is having a considerable influence. People are driven to visit places that travel influencers promote or share in their Instagram feed. Real estate agents are taking amazing photos of the properties they are selling to influence property hunters to buy them. With Instagram installed in the smartphones, it is easy to get updated on property listings just by following Instagram active real estate agents. Simon Atterbury, head of Kristall Spaces, said, “With today’s ever-growing social media platforms, a picture really is worth a thousand words. Good photography must not only showcase a nice property but capture the lifestyle and essence of the property’s destination. Creativity is key.”

Artists are also benefiting from having a social influence on Instagram. For example, Gordon Stevenson, known as Baron Von Fancy to his 30,000 plus thousand Instagram followers, said, “Being accessible has been very helpful to me. Every image I post of my art is instantly seen by a wide audience, and people who like the work often repost and spread it even further- this gets the conversation going and leads to sales.” He adds that very often corporate emails that inquire about purchasing his work come from views from his Instagram account. Another reason why Instagram is such a powerful medium of advertising is because human beings are visual creatures. Instagram leverages this well by focusing on one picture at a time. The different photo effects and edits can enhance an ordinary picture dramatically. Carefully crafted creative photos can evoke emotions that can trigger people to buy or even donate to a cause.

The ease of use of Instagram’s platform allows people to search for specific content quickly and share it to their network. This allows many posts to become viral and this boosts sales even further. As such, user-generated content is marketing gold for businesses because users can feel more connected to the brand and at the same time the experience is very authentic which boosts trust even further. Brands can also project specific personalities on Instagram which can boost engagement. For example, they can be playful and funny. This can attach customers to the brand and build loyalty over the long term. Instagram continues to innovate especially with its analytics and functionality to both businesses and consumers. As such, we can be fairly sure that it will retain its dominance as more people embrace the platform to shop.

Instagram recently introduced Instagram Stories. These are photos and videos that only last for a day and can be enhanced with filters and drawings. Brands are coming up with creative ways to use it to drive sales. europeanbusinessmagazine.com 67


Under section 7.10, Google goes on to crucify “unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.” 7.10 Examples of Lowest Quality Pages: Lowest: Deceptive page purpose – unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.

Google And YouTube Target “Conspiracy Theories” In New Quality Control Update By Aaron Kesel Google continues to make George Orwell’s book 1984 a reality by censoring free speech and free flow of information. On July 27, 2017 Google updated their quality raters guidelines. The latest update to its rating guidelines brings many changes, but the biggest are focused on conspiracy theory websites and query results in the non-English language and satirical pages that don’t make it clearly known they are satire. Months before, Google updated their guidelines for raters twice – once on May 11, 2017 with some smaller changes, and then again on March 14th with bigger controversial changes classifying what “offensive, upsetting, inaccurate and hateful web pages,” defines. The new guidelines giving a search giant so much control over the free flow of information is extremely worrying. 68 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

The guidelines instruct raters to directly confront “unsubstantiated conspiracy theories” by looking for a source that debunked them, The Sem Post reported. The Post noted that the rules don’t specifically target and go after all “conspiracy theory” websites, only those that present a “conspiracy theory as factual information without basis.” However, who decides what is and what isn’t real? Who are the companies behind this valiant effort to police Google’s search engine, and who watches the watchers? Well according to Search Engine Land, “Google contracts with over 10,000 search quality raters worldwide to evaluate its search results. Raters are given actual searches to conduct, drawn from real searches that happen on Google.” None of the companies it contracts with were named.

Google added an example of “unsubstantiated conspiracy theories” choosing the most wild and crazy ones out there but also labeling “the existence of aliens,” to be low-quality content. The example they used was the alleged existence of the Sumerian 10th planet Nibiru and the conspiracy the Vatican knows about its impending crash into Earth. But then, after that, the document defined what it considers “unsubstantial conspiracy theories” which includes those challenging “well established historical facts.” But the connotation of what those historical facts would entail is not included. Meanwhile, YouTube a Google parent company, is planning on crucifying anyone who doesn’t upload fuzzy cat videos and puppies; in other words, all their controversial content creators under the guise of getting rid of “extremist content.” These organizations to police YouTube’s content include the No Hate Speech Movement, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, and the Anti-Defamation League. But don’t worry, Google won’t ban controversial conspiracy content altogether only if you’re not looking for it. As the document noted, “unless the query clearly indicates the user is seeking an alternative viewpoint.” We are further witnessing the YouTube, Google and Amazon adpocalypse against the alternative media and it’s far from over. Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post and is Director of Content for Coinivore


Charming for tourists… even more Attractive for Businesses ©A.Lamoureux

In spite of the current unpredictable business and political climate, foreign investors are still attracted to Europe, though the mood remains cautious. One thing’s for certain, investors who wish to grow their presence in Europe need to choose their business location wisely. European Business heads to Western France to find out why companies are attracted to this charming part of France.

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ith 56% of investors planning to expand their activities in Europe by 2019, the fundamental question is where is the best location to put down your commercial roots? The

internationalisation of the French economy last year shows that all national records were broken and the Pays de la Loire region was no exception, experiencing a powerful growth phase, both demographically and socio-economically.

Exhilarating, sophisticated and picturesque, Pays de la Loire’s 450km of coastline is varied and diverse, featuring long sandy beaches, quiet bays, lively fishing ports and charming seaside resorts. This region is not only visually charming, it has europeanbusinessmagazine.com 69


also seen significant development in both the number of foreign companies setting up in situ and direct investment in local companies from abroad.

Attraction What attracts foreign companies to Western France and more specifically to the Pays de la Loire region? The highly skilled labour force is a main attraction, and, excluding Paris, the Pays de la Loire province has

the highest employment figures in France, with 66% of the working age population employed, making it the fifth wealthiest region in the country. The attractive home-grown policy of international co-operation with Europe and the other major continents holds huge business appeal, and hosting events like the yearly 24h Le Mans car race or the Grand Depart of the 2018 Tour de France keeps Pays de la Loire in the public eye. Historically, this region in western France has always been

industry motivated and last year over 50% of foreign investment in Pays de la Loire was related to industrial production and business service, but industries (marine, manufacturing, renewable energies, agro-food, health, aeronautic, IoT, digital and smart grids) are also all ripe for investment. Pays de la Loire has intentionally positioned itself at the forefront of the growing wave of ICT, and is home to top-quality networks, companies and knowhow. Numerous high-tech companies including NEC Computers and Euro Connect have already established themselves in the area, and the Ocean Energy Europe 2017 Conference & Exhibition in Nantes in October highlights the regions commitment to boosting innovation in ocean energy. The tourism sector is also booming, welcoming approximately 18 million tourists annually. The region encompasses various cities and towns including Nantes, Angers, Le Mans, Laval, and La

ŠRÊgion Pays de la Loire / Ouest MÊdias

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©Région Pays de la Loire / Ouest Médias

Roche-sur-Yon, and the area is buoyed by the energetic urban dynamism that they each offer. The capital, Nantes, allows access to all major European hubs from the Nantes Atlantique Airport, the leading airport in western France with five million passengers annually, the Nantes-Saint-Nazaire Port, the largest European port on the Atlantic coast with connections to more than 380 ports on 5 continents and the TGV, the high-speed train. The city has changed from a provincial town to a buzzing city, a modern hub with excellent infrastructure and is well prepared for foreign investment. Nantes was one of nine cities identified by the French government as fertile ground for digital start-ups under a national scheme, the French Tech initiative, and digital tech in Nantes Saint-Nazaire includes large corporations and

innovative start-ups, with the fastest growth in tech jobs in France. The marine renewable energy sector is also very active, gearing up to welcome two offshore wind farms in 2018. GE-Alstom & STX, two key players, have set up their business in Pays de la Loire. Nantes was recently ranked the best place to work in France and the second best city for expats to live in, further boosting the FDI scene. The power of the Pays de la Loire region is obvious, attracting the most investment across the entire Atlantic coast. GKN, a Birmingham-based global engineering business invested €20 million in its Arnage plant near Le Mans, and the investment to upgrade its facilities producing spare parts for the automotive industry will also be used to fund a major training programme

for 520 employees and to create 25 new jobs. Cruise liners from SaintNazaire shipyards and Bénéteau ships made in Vendée sail the high seas, and companies already based in Pays de la Loire like Airbus, Accenture, and the manufacturers of Mayenne cheese like Lactalis are all known on a global scale. If you’d like your business to join these success stories, contact the Invest in Western France Agency and make the first move. The investment tide is turning, and thanks to Pays de la Loire’s industrial foundation, that has adapted and rejuvenated itself with the help of the entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and expertise of local and foreign businesses, it is time to hop on board. www.invest-western-france.com europeanbusinessmagazine.com 71


Just Why Do Millennials Love Polaroid? 72 europeanbusinessmagazine.com


Polaroid has made a quiet comeback across the world just when few would have given the iconic instant-print camera much of a chance in our digital age. It has got some new love, notably from the millennials.

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f the familiar consumer devices, only the gramophone – introduced in 1877 – might be an older survivor than Polaroid, which was released in 1948. Last year, vinyl records registered their 11th straight year of growth, hitting a 25-year high of 13 million units in the United States.

Polaroid numbers are harder to come by because the corporation is privately held and prefers to keep its cards close to its chest. But Fujifilm’s Instax cameras serve as a proxy for Polaroid’s popularity, as do Amazon’s rankings. Last year, the Japanese company sold five million instant-cameras; and in the last holiday season, the seven europeanbusinessmagazine.com 73


top-selling products in Amazon’s Camera and Photo category were all instant-film cameras and packs. One of them was Polaroid, suggesting a measure of popularity perhaps not seen since its sales peaked in $3 billion in 1991, just as the millennials were up and about. Not many might remember but the original Polaroid – 95 Land Camera – wowed America as much as the iPhone did in 2007. It drew fans such as pop culture icon Andy Warhol, who famously used a Polaroid to take what would today be called a selfie. Life magazine dubbed it the “magic camera” when it featured Edwin Land, Polaroid’s founder, on its cover, and Steve Jobs himself called Land “one of the great inventors of our time” who “saw the intersection of art and science, and business and built an organisation to reflect that.” But Polaroid has been a rocky business since the 1980s when Land failed with an instant movie system against competition from videotapes, and exited the company in 1982. In the digital era, Polaroid has struggled with two bankruptcies and the company has changed hands and heads too often to draw any confidence. So, just how good is Polaroid’s comeback? Polaroid’s recent popularity owes almost entirely to the millennials. Just why this mostly under-30 population has taken to Polaroid in the age of selfies and Instagram is mostly the stuff of speculation. But a 2015 survey by Ilford, a maker of photographic films, revealed some insights. In the poll, the millennials said they loved Polaroid because it is “fun,” “retro” and “I wanted to slow down.” The Impossible Project has been at the heart of Polaroid’s revival. It is run by Austrian entrepreneur Florian Kaps and Andre Bosman, a former employee of a Dutch factory that produced Polaroid films until 2007. Today, Polaroid Corporation offers over 10 cameras including the original SX-70 and the Cube, and a range of specialty films including black and white. It has stepped up innovation and licensed its brand to other makers, besides running smart campaigns on social media, notably the photo-sharing site Instagram. Only time will tell if Polaroid can sustain its innovation. Or if the millennials’ love affair with the instant-print camera will continue.

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Only You Boutique Hotel Madrid By Nick Staunton

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or the summer edition of European Business Magazine, our featured luxury hotel is the very charming and very unique boutique hotel situated in the Chueca district of Madrid. It’s not hard to hard to understand why this was voted Best city boutique hotel in Europe 2017 by our readers. Chueca is one

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of the coolest neighbourhoods in Madrid and literally, on your doorstep, you have access to the best cafes and terraced restaurants. You’ll also find late night clubs, which is a given as it’s a gay district, and with that comes the chic boutiques and cool shops. It really is a lovely part of Madrid - not too over the top but brimming enough

atmosphere to make you feel like you are in the heart of the city. On arriving at the Only You Boutique Hotel Madrid was a welcome surprise. Completely different to most hotels with its unique design and myriad of areas where guests can eat, chat or pass the day reading,


the hotel is a former palace but has been beautifully redesigned to what seems like a modern-day art piece. Each area, bar, room, and reception is completely different and with such unique design and detail, it would literally take you weeks to get you used to it. Each day you notice something new on the walls or the tiling, or

maybe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the different art hanging on the walls, or the different menus at each bar, or the designer clothing on sale in the reception area, all intermingled with the friendliest and very elegant staff. As I arrived from London mid-afternoon I was welcomed by the doorman

who showed me through to the main reception which seemed to be through a myriad of doors which was unique as most hotels simply donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do this. It has a labyrinth like feel to the different areas when you first arrive, with each space having its own unique cool factor. The lobby is bright and airy, with lovely high ceilings and europeanbusinessmagazine.com 77


has a very rich period but contemporary detailing giving it an airy and sophisticated setting. The Azul lounge which is at the front of the hotel although accompanied with a deep fire and chesterfield leather sofas comes complete with the classic Spanish look, while the super chilled El Padrino bar (a former bookshop) has the perfect ambience for light bites and refreshments. The first thing I asked, as I knew I’d be up late, was the breakfast times. The response should be universal as far as I’m concerned as all hotels are too early with their breakfast times. The hotel has breakfast 24/7, which means you can get jambon and scrambled eggs at whatever time you want. Just lovely. The breakfast option comes with three A La Carte options, an express, healthy type and then typical Spanish all served to your table by very nice staff. The restaurant offers Mediterranean fare, so no mistaking where you are. 78 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

Guests were a real cross section from family to couples and while staying a fashion photo shoot was taking place there which seemed perfectly normal. In fact, it seemed the whole downstairs was part of a fashion shoot. Massage treatments and facials are available in the Beauty Room, and if you need you can use the 24-hour gym. For the business executive, you have three meeting rooms while Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel. Rooms are modern, airy, simplistic but with very hip touches used with

great effect. Walls come upholstered in rich blue leather with contemporary art. Beamed ceilings and studded leather headboards are the norm and some face onto the street with long terraces. It felt modern and chic; minimal but not stuffy. Bathrooms are a little on the small side, more so in the deluxe rooms, but all are decked out with luxurious showers. For 2017, I can see why this was voted best city boutique hotel by our readers. And those who go will definitely return. Those who haven’t, well you know what to do.


Cape Town International Conference Centre:

The Evolution Of An Icon As steel and glass fuse in the construction of the expansion project of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), we take a look at the new venue spaces being added to this iconic meetings venue.


Flanked by Table Bay Harbour on one side and the buzz of Cape Town city centre on the other, the CTICC’s 31 148m2 expansion project, CTICC East, is taking shape – a fusion of stone, steel and glass. Opening towards the middle half of the year, CTICC East will be incorporated into the original building and the two facilities will form an event venue complex that will offer clients more options, new spaces, and greater flexibility for their events.

Orientation Attentive visitors will notice that CTICC East’s design is in keeping with its original counterpart to offer a seamless visual and event experience if you are running events across the CTICC complex. Conversely, a number of new design elements have been included to delight event managers. The most striking feature of CTICC East when standing in the luxurious 80 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

reception foyer, is its impressive 28m floor to ceiling height. Unlike the current building, CTICC East is built across 6 floors and will have 4 levels above ground and two subterranean levels. Exhibition halls will span across two floors with 3 halls per floor; the first mezzanine level will house meeting rooms and meeting suites; the second floor will have further meeting rooms and the second mezzanine level will house two terrace rooms. Subterranean levels will house parking bays, kitchens and service areas; and up-top a delightful rooftop garden. Thanks to its multilevel structure, CTICC East will offer views of the harbour and of Cape Town’s Foreshore area which is now undergoing dramatic changes due to a number of new infrastructure developments. Driving into Cape Town along the elevated freeways, you can immediately see that the centre is also making use of material that encourages the use and diffusion of natural light. A saw

tooth roof offers the ability to deflect direct sunlight while admitting natural light deep into the building. Extensive glazing across the Western façade will bathe the centre’s public spaces and reception with natural light. These measures as well as electrical sub-metering, energy saving devices, waste management and water conservation processes, have earned the centre a Four Green Star rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa. “The CTICC has always focused on sustainability as a core business practice,” says Julie-May Ellingson, the CTICC’s CEO. “Across the globe consumers and event managers are demanding companies to follow sustainable business processes. From an environmental perspective waste management, energy consumption, local sourcing, and water conservation are key areas of concern for convention centres. The expansion project always had to have serious sustainability credentials.”


Venue spaces Over the years, the Roof Terrace venue has become one of the CTICC’s most popular rooms, often used for cocktails and evening functions. Now, CTICC East will have two terrace rooms for such events. What’s more, event managers will be able to host informal network sessions, sultry cocktail sessions and magical functions on CTICC East’s 500m2 rooftop garden. Overall, CTICC East has more exterior balconies than the original building and a coffee shop opening up to the pedestrian thoroughfare. “These are exciting venues and new additions to the CTICC’s inventory. These features invite the outdoors in and will allow you to feel the pulse and rhythm of the city. It will create an inviting and lively atmosphere around this part of the Foreshore,” continues Ellingson. CTICC East offers 10 000m2 of multipurpose conference and exhibition space with halls numbered 5 to 10 running across the ground floor and second level. The exhibition halls on the upper floors will not only be

carpeted, but Exhibition Hall 10 will have acoustic panelling and an external balcony that looks onto the harbour and Cape Town’s pulsating traffic arteries. “The venue is not even finalised yet but has already captured the imagination our sales teams who have identified it as an ideal banquet hall,” reveals Ellingson.

East from 2017 for its tenth year at the centre. The event takes place in November this year.

Approximately 3 000 m2 of formal and informal space is being constructed in the new building. Corporate clients will be particularly interested in CTICC East’s meeting rooms and suites. These sub-divisible rooms face toward the city centre, and will be great venues for corporate meetings, training sessions and workshops. In keeping with current architecture and as an homage to the biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the centre’s meeting rooms will be named according to indigenous flowers. This design interpretation will also be applied on interior finishings in other parts of the centre.

“The World Ophthalmology Congress in 2020 promises to attract 15 000 delegates and is the largest event the centre has secured in its 13-year history. We would not have been able to secure this event without the expansion,” explains Ellingson.

Gathering support Sales and marketing teams have been working hard to create awareness of the new venue. CTICC East has struck a chord with international associations having already secured events up until 2022. The Global Evidence Summit in September 2017 will see all of CTICC East’s meeting rooms being used for breakaway rooms and Halls 8 to 10 for the association’s gala dinner. In addition, the 19th annual AfricaCom, will be expanding into CTICC

Finding solutions for feeding earth’s 9 billion people will be the focus of the Global Food Security Conference in December 2017 which will be completely hosted in CTICC East.

International experts in biomedicine will meet in CTICC East for the 18th International Congress of Immunology in August 2022. With a forecast attendance of 6000 delegates, the conference will be using both CTICC buildings. “Winning these bids show the potential of CTICC East and, overall, the important role the CTICC plays in developing the knowledge economy, supporting African participation in global issues while at the same time ensuring direct economic benefit to the citizens of Cape Town and the Western Cape,” Ellingson continues. Over the past 13 years, the Cape Town International Convention Centre has made a significant contribution to Cape Town’s reputation as a global meetings and event destination. CTICC East represents an exciting evolution of this influence. europeanbusinessmagazine.com 81


The Blue Frontier, Humanityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Next Home By Randolph Hencken

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hy are we not looking at moving out onto the sea? Why do we have programs to build habitation on Mars, and we have programs to look at colonizing the moon, but we do not have a program looking at how we colonize our own planet? The technology is at hand!” Oceanographer, Robert Ballard, discoverer of The RMS Titanic, at TED 2008 “It’s easier to float than fly. Sea stations are cheaper than space stations. If we want to feed 10 billion people by 2050 with a sustainable civilization, humanity needs to re-engage the source of all life, the ocean. Then the sky will be the limit. Ocean first, space second.” Joe Quirk, author, seasteader

2017 is the year it began Imagine ten thousand homesteads on the sea— “seasteads” —where ocean pioneers will be free to experiment with new societies. Residents would live in modular units which can detach at any time and sail to join another floating city; compelling ocean governments to compete for mobile citizens like companies compete for customers. A market of competing governments would allow the best ideas for governance to emerge peacefully while spurring technologies that will benefit the environment and humanity. The nonprofit Seasteading Institute was founded in 2008 by Google engineer Patri Friedman and venture capitalist Peter Thiel in order to promote the vision of start-up governments at sea. This year, seasteaders’ celebrate a major breakthrough. We will launch a pilot project in Tahiti in collaboration with the government and people of French Polynesia.

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On January 13, 2017, we signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding with President Édouard Fritch of French Polynesia to collaborate on developing sustainable floating islands with unique governing frameworks – The Floating Island Project. This is an unprecedented moment in human history and the beginning of a new seasteading industry. “I am honored that you have chosen us as your destination,” President Fritch wrote to us, translated from French. “Tahiti and its islands do indeed offer many strengths to accommodate such a project, which could truly become a vector of economic development in our country.” On May 15-18, we celebrated the First International Seasteading Gathering in Tahiti, which attracted experts from all over the world and included an extraordinary roster of speakers.

Prosperity The evidence that startup societies succeed is compelling. More than 84 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

4000 Special economic zones (SEZs) around the globe have successfully encouraged economic growth in otherwise stagnant economies. We are working with the government of French Polynesia to create the unprecedented “Special Economic Seazone,” designed to transform French Polynesia’s remoteness into an advantage. The Seazone will take the best practices of those 4000 experiments and apply unique rules and regulatory opportunities specifically designed to attract investors. After French Polynesia codifies the Special Economic Seazone into law, a new company we have just spun off from the nonprofit The Seasteading Institute will prototype floating platforms stationed near an anchor community on land. The pilot project is projected to cost between $30 million and $50 million.

Beauty French Polynesia is an excellent location for a seazone. It has beautiful waters and islands. Its Institutions are modern and stable. The people are

friendly and trustworthy – there’s little crime and no threat of war. Polynesians have already demonstrated that a system of connected island communities can successfully develop distinct cultures while working harmoniously together for the good of the region. But today, rising sea levels threaten the way of life in many Polynesian societies. As


Polynesians search for ways to adapt, floating islands will offer an option for resiliency. “We need to create new clean-tech and blue economy jobs for our youth, and this project has the potential to be a real game-changer locally,” said local Tahitian businessman and former minister of tourism Marc Collins. “This project could help us retain our

bright minds, who would otherwise emigrate for work.”

Sustainability We seasteaders are committed to creating sustainable communities. We hope not only to simply protect the environment, but to actively redress existing negative environmental impacts. Our Floating Islands

will be developed using the latest in cleantech solutions to model low-carbon living and symbiotic relationships to the seas. The Islands will be modular so neighborhoods and villages can grow organically and be rearranged as desired. Our pilot Islands will be appealing to pioneers from around the world. As we perfect the technologies and bring down the costs of development, we are launching a brand-new industry. This new industry will create homes for climate refugees in low lying regions around the world, and provide housing near crowded and expensive coastal metropolises. Our modules will be designed to withstand the elements for more than a century, making the floating islands a viable real estate investments spanning a wide variety of use cases, and addressing pressing issues that are only expected to get worse worldwide. Seasteading is an exciting solution. Randolph Hencken is the Executive Director of The Seasteading Institute. europeanbusinessmagazine.com 85


European Business Magazine talks to JASON OXENHAM CEO Rocket Languages

When did the idea of Rocket Languages come about and what was the primary objective of Rocket Languages when you first started? The idea for Rocket Languages came about in 2004 when a friend, Mark Ling, and I became frustrated at the lack of resources for learning Spanish and French.

European Business Magazine takes a short flight to Christchurch (New Zealand) where we interview CEO Jason Oxenham who has been steadily building his award winning online language business with his partner Mark Ling over the last 13 years. Jason who had been living in London for five years previous to that , had travelled all across Europe with his wife and on returning home to his native New Zealand , didn’t want to lose the mere basic language skill set he picked in Europe .However ,while looking online he found the online market place was severely lacking and so he went about setting up his own global online language business. We pick up the story from there.

We were already established internet entrepreneurs in the EdTech space and noticed a gap in the market for online language learning. We decided to fill it with our year-long creation of Rocket French and Rocket Spanish. Both of these were an immediate hit and paved the way for the creation of an additional 30 online language learning courses.

important that in-country language and cultural trends are kept up to date in the courses.

Rocket Languages is based in New Zealand - Does the time difference and geographic distance from Europe pose a major issue?

What is the biggest selling language and where is the biggest market for Rocket Languages?

Rocket Languages users have no issue with the time difference or location as all courses are available 24/7 online and on the Rocket Languages mobile apps. Since everything is cloud-based there are no performance issues for users either. Rocket Languages often uses language experts based in Europe as remote employees. This is because it’s 86 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

For example, one of the remote workers lives in a small village in Northern Italy. Working for Rocket allows her to use her degree in linguistics to further her career, without leaving her hometown. It’s a win-win all round.

The largest market for Rocket Languages is North America, making up 70% of sales. Europe is the second largest market with 20% of sales, and the remaining 10% spread around virtually every other country in the world. Rocket Spanish and Rocket French are our two biggest sellers. The reason for this being America’s Southern states and cities’ large Spanish-speaking

population, with as many Spanish speakers as English speakers. As for French, well, it is THE romantic language that everyone aspires to learn! Rocket Languages is an online award winning language course and indeed was just voted best online language course 2017 by European Business Readers. Was there a specific business model you had in mind when you first started or has it evolved organically? Rocket Languages’ business model is centred on aspiring to provide the best online language learning courses in the world while not losing sight of the key economic drivers. In reality this means that we spend a lot of time improving how well the courses work by utilizing the latest trends in browser and app technology. The courses have certainly evolved a lot since the original MP3 files and PDF downloads;, now


Rocket features true voice recognition, integrated motivational systems, progress tracking and more. Rocket also incorporates the methods that polyglots use to successfully master many languages. For example, spaced repetition is a key to remembering what you have already covered, and Rocket uses algorithms to automatically re-display phrases that the learner may need practice with. This model has proven to be very successful as Rocket generates a lot of interest through word of mouth from satisfied, successful users. How do you market the course online? The main economic drivers for Rocket are word of mouth and organic search marketing. While word of mouth marketing can be difficult to measure, we have an in-built referral system that we use to quantify this metric. Rocket provides a lot of free language learning resources that not only cover the languages’ vocabulary but also articles on the best methods to learn a specific language. These articles have proven to be extremely popular in the search engines. So much so that we are consistently ranked in the top 15,000 sites in the United States with regards to search engine traffic. What market share does Rocket Languages have of the online language learning marketplace?

Our market share is difficult to determine, however we do know that our courses stack up well against the major players in the market as these users have commented: I’ve used every language-learning product on the market, and Rocket is by far the biggest bang for my buck. The amount you can learn and internalize in a given amount of time is really quite astounding. You can spend years with some programs and never get up to the intermediate level. Rocket respects my time and delivers the language knowledge I need efficiently and effectively. Ryan Bilkie - USA I love it! Makes learning a language fun and enjoyable. I was very hesitant to go with the program. But found it to be better than Rosetta stone and others out there. Not only are you able to learn new language, but you are able to practice them in different ways. Each section has games, quizzes, spelling tests, speaking tests and more than enable you to learn the language. And you can

do it at your own pace. Plus since you can get an online version it can be done from anywhere you can get internet! Cindy Noll - USA As the CEO what are your day to day operations like- what do you concentrate on most? Day to day my focus is on our overarching philosophy of becoming the best online language learning company in the world. In reality this means making sure the team are focused on the tasks and projects that will make a positive difference to the learner experience. Personally, this means that I spend a lot of my time researching the latest trends in digital learning and linguistics, as well as actually using our courses so that I am fully aware of the effect of the improvements that we make. What’s next for Rocket languages? There are a lot of exciting developments in the EdTech scene. One that I am sure will have a long lasting effect is the use of augmented reality and virtual reality in online learning. While it’s early days yet, once mass adoption of these technologies happens we want to be well-placed to take advantage of it. In the meantime we will continue to improve on the learning experience for our users and take advantage of advances in technology to achieve our goal of being the best online language learning system in the world! europeanbusinessmagazine.com 87


Samsung Chooses Berlin Over London It was recently announced that Samsung chose London for it’s new European headquarters stating that London was “not a fun place to live unless you are really rich”. Berlin had been chosen instead due to the lower cost of living. We take up the story and look at the realities of living in both. 88 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

By Nick Staunton

S

amsung Next, a $150 million technology fund owned by the South Korean company, decided that after looking at the pros and cons of living in London and decided although with its many pros was not worth it .Unlike L’oreal , it’s managing director in Europe Felix Petersen told The Times in the UK it had become “increasingly hard for people to build companies” in London


expensive each year with more tourism and more foreigners starting to live there. Berlin you can quite easily buy a flat in city centre neighbourhoods for £200,000. You would probably be sniggered at if you were to search for a flat in London on this budget. Such are the differences in price. Mr Peterson continued: “In Berlin, you can do stuff without much money. You can bike around or sit in the park. There are uncommercialised zones. You can experiment and play around with technology in a more relaxed environment. In London, the cost of living, the cost of getting around and the infrastructure mean it’s not a fun place to live unless you are really rich, especially for young people.”London is a virtually impossible place to live if you want to have children, he added. On a quick analysis of course he is absolutely right and bang on the money here. It doesn’t take much if you were to do a quick comparison to realize this . London rent on average per room is £800 per month ,a flat is £1500 in the city centre while you can just about half that to get the same in Berlin and without the daily congestion. Eating out is cheaper in Berlin by about a third and drinking is about 50 % cheaper.

and that there were no reasonably priced neighbourhoods left. Of course once the story hit the press ,you had the normal London pressure groups and business groups hitting back at the claims, saying London continues to attract tech talent from around the world.All very well but when you look at the living costs in Berlin and the real costs of living in London it comes as no surprise that Samsung chose Berlin. We ourselves have been looking to set up office in

Berlin and it seems there are greater benefits in Berlin and make no doubt , it is a much cheaper to city to set up a business than in London.London was expensive enough 10 years ago however in the last five years the rents have gone up even higher with the costs of housing getting into the silly zone. Most young professionals and first time buyers cannot afford to buy in London and can only do so with help from their parents. This is not the case in Berlin where it is still relatively cheap although getting more

In response to the above statement’s made by Mr Peterson, Mayor Sadiq Khan’s press officials insisted London is “one of the best cities in the world in which to do business”. This is something we all know but actually living in London is possibly three times as expensive as Berlin. She went on to add, “London is Europe’s largest tech hub and is open to talent, entrepreneurs and innovation from all over the world. “Some of the world’s biggest companies are proud to call London their home and have made a commitment to the city. In the past year alone, Apple, europeanbusinessmagazine.com 89


Google and Facebook have pledged long-term investment into London, saying that the capital is leading place for technology and innovation.” However the Mayor’s office did concede that cost of living in London is “a problem”. Mr Petersen’s words also drew criticism from Russ Shaw, founder of technology trade group Tech London Advocates, who told the Times that London was among the most liveable cities in the world. Mr Shaw said that £1 billion had been pumped into London’s tech sector by investors during the first half of this year alone, adding: “Berlin has a lot of catching up to do”. In the grand scheme of things London is a wonderful city to do business and in the grand scheme of things , one of the best in the world but reality is you have to work harder, you have to fight twice as hard for the same pot of money due to sheer volume of competition but being very well connected is what will make 90 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

London work for you so it’s a question of commitment. Its also a question of faith and whether you wish to invest so much hard time and money to not only make your millions or your company successful but whether you have the bank account to afford it in the meantime. On a long term view it is also a question of how you wish to lead your life.

There is no question Berlin is more laid back , easier to get around , less busy and cheaper to live and is genuinely a real force in the start up scene amongst Europe’s leading cities with plenty of money and plenty of support. London in comparison is a monster but with possibly bigger returns -guaranteed for the few, however the question remains , what is it you want from your city?


Top Start Up Regions in Europe 2017 Europe has been catching up rapidly with Silicon Valley in startup development and according to the 2017 Global Startup Ecosystem Report, Europe has been outperforming the United States in some indicators. The European angel market showed an increase of 8.3% since 2013, while European investors have been steadily investing in areas technology such as Fintech but also in scientific start up projects such as Biotech and Life Sciences. We check out the best regions and startups in Europe. Looking at some of the leading regions in cities in Europe, we consider why they are leading the way in the startup ecosystems of Europe, and assessing points like early-stage funding per startup, market reach, talent, attraction for foreign startups, as well as key factors such as funding, investors and the overall ecosystem that is in place that will allow for steady organic growth.


Estonia

Barcelona Barcelona is one of the world’s leading tourist, economic, trade fair, and cultural centres. The region itself is economically the strongest region of Spain, so it’s no surprise that funding in the city of Barcelona is rife. In 2015, 56% of all euros invested in Spain went to Catalonia-based startups. The vast majority of this venture capital came from international investors, at 85%, but there is also a vibrant and continuously developing business angel community. Barcelona 92 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

alone is currently home to an estimated 900-1,100 tech startups. Barcelona had the third fastest exit growth rate of all ecosystems, behind only Montreal and St. Louis. This statistic favours a smaller ecosystem, but it is a strong positive signal nonetheless. Barcelona has the 2nd highest percentage of their software development team having a software engineering degree at 87%. Silicon Valley is at 81%.

Barcelona founders have the 5th highest percentage of founders over 30, at 89%. Only 9.9% of customers for startups in Barcelona come from outside of the continent—one of the lowest rates in the world—which correlates with a lesser ability to reach global markets.

Estonia Estonia has a tech-savvy government, a global-first mindset, and the ability to incorporate a company online in less time than it takes


Frankfurt

Helsinki

to drink a cup of coffee. Its unique e-residency program allows international founders to set up online businesses under Estonia’s laws — welcoming digital nomads who want a slice of Europe’s wide market, without ever needing to set foot in the country. Estonia does not rank close to the top of the index in terms of startup experience and performance, but early-stage funding inflows, strong global connectedness and low-cost high-quality engineering

talent indicate the ecosystem is on the rise. Estonian startups also have the world’s highest success rate when it comes to obtaining a visa for foreign candidates at 84.5%, more than double the success rate than the global average which is 41%.

Frankfurt Frankfurt is an emerging startup ecosystem with promising assets and performance, especially with regards

to talent, startup experience, and corporate involvement. Fuelled by an educated workforce that is increasingly turning to the startup scene as a career choice, Frankfurt’s ecosystem could become much more than just a reputable FinTech hub. Now Frankfurt has 200-300 currently active tech startups and is home to more than 80 FinTech companies. The Frankfurt ecosystem benefits from business and tech talent drawn from top class universities. This means Frankfurt has the highest europeanbusinessmagazine.com 93


Helsinki startups tend to immediately go global by targeting large innovation markets at a higher rate than nearly any other ecosystem. 66% of Helsinki startups begin by targeting the US or UK market — trailing only Estonia and Tel Aviv. Helsinki startups also report a high foreign customer rate at 43% (global average 23%).

Jerusalem

Jerusalem Jerusalem is a rising star on the global startup scene, with approximately 500-700 active tech startups at the core of its community.

percentage of their software development team holding a software engineering degree at 88% (Silicon Valley at 81%).

Helsinki Helsinki is a very cohesive ecosystem and a runner-up to this year’s

top 20 ranking. Helsinki ranks particularly well in the talent and market reach index. Because of its small community, Helsinki has the ability, as well as the momentum, to develop a position of influence and to produce the connective tissue that is needed to build and grow a robust startup community.

Jerusalem is a top contender that narrowly fell outside of this year’s top 20 ecosystem Index overall. The city’s weakest factor is performance, where interestingly its exit value is very strong but the total value of the pre-exit startups is weak — indicating strong performance with weaker fundamentals. However, with all the momentum gathering, we expect more record-breaking numbers and technological innovation from Jerusalem in the near future.

Lisbon


Barcelona

Jerusalem startups have the 7th highest rate of immigrant founders in the world at 34%, interestingly, more than double the percentage of Tel Aviv (16%). Jerusalem startups also display a relatively low percentage of founders with a technical background at 74%, compared with Tel Aviv and Silicon Valley at 93% and 87%, respectively.

Lisbon Lisbon is a lower ranked startup ecosystem, mostly due to its infancy. It doesn’t have many exits or people who have experienced exits before, but its valuation rank does outpace its other performance indicators, its early-stage investment is growing at a fast pace, and the ecosystem is integrating well with the rest of Europe. Lisbon currently counts more than 15 incubators, 20 acceleration programs, and a knockout community of business angels and venture capital investors. In short, it is not very surprising that Lisbon is already home to an estimated 200-300 tech startups. Lisbon has the highest rate of women founders in Europe, pointing towards inclusive growth,

which could become a competitive advantage over time.

Malta Malta is one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries. Its tech ecosystem especially booms in the gaming and gambling sector. The local ecosystem currently boasts of around 50-100 tech startups. 62% of Malta’s startups immediately target the large innovation markets of the US and UK. Malta has the 4th highest percentage of immigrant Founders at 39%, trailing only Silicon Valley, Berlin and London. Considering all the concerted efforts that are currently invested into the ecosystem, more success stories are expected to come out of Malta in the near future.

Moscow Moscow currently boasts approximately 1,500-3,400 startups. During the last couple of years, the Russian capital’s tech ecosystem has developed a strong support system for startups and investors alike. Over the last few years, as several

European and Asian ecosystems have achieved an important increase in performance, Moscow has been affected by political issues that led to a leakage of talent, capital, and investors, leading to one of the worst rates of early-stage funding growth among the 56 ecosystems measured. Now, despite its top talent and quality, it has a high output of startups, and despite its large economy, its ecosystem has been unable to produce many globally successful startups. This is reflected by the fact that 92% of seed rounds came from local investors, indicating a lack of capital attracted from outside of Moscow, making it more difficult for startups to access funding. Moscow engineers are some of the most experienced in the world, with 83% of engineers having at least two years of startup experience; this is just a tick behind the leader, Silicon Valley, at 87%. So, we can see that despite a global cool-down of startup funding in the first quarter of 2017, there is continued healthy development of startup ecosystems within Europe. europeanbusinessmagazine.com 95


What Can Tesla Autopilot Teach us About Business Process Automation? By Alexander Preston Managing Director and Founder of Intrepid

T

echnology is becoming more advanced every day. Not only can technology improve our personal lives, but also the way we operate our businesses. Due to the numerous benefits of business process automation (BPA), more and more businesses are choosing to automate internal and client facing processes. With an ambitious goal of releasing a fully autonomous car by the end 2017, Tesla has certainly shaken things up in the automotive industry. What can we learn about business process automation from the way Tesla approached their autonomous car?

attempt to build and release a fully automated car from scratch, Tesla prioritised the highest return features and are building and releasing them in order. This approach has demonstrated four main advantages. Speed to market. Tesla has a working vehicle on the roads today, gaining traction and mind share while the others are still prototyping and have not yet reached the market. This means, unlike Waymo and Uber, Tesla can test the automated features in real time with real drivers and collect data which can be used to learn the behaviour of drivers and about what they should automate next.

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no secret that Tesla wants to release a fully autonomous vehicle, but rather than spend years developing a fully automated car in a lab, they chose to quickly release a driver operated car. Subsequent models saw the addition of certain key features, such as lane steering, lane changing and adaptive cruise control - collectively known as Tesla Autopilot.

Data collection. As a result of this speed to market, Tesla has collected 1.3 billion miles of real world data from Autopilot equipped vehicles. Having this volume of data means Tesla can make more accurate predictions and decisions when it comes to developing new features and improving existing ones.

The currently deployed version of Autopilot canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t navigate a roundabout or junction, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very at home on a high speed or even a crowded motorway. There is no doubt that most miles are driven (and by extension, time spent) on these open roads and simultaneously these are easier conditions in which to create an autonomous experience. Rather than

A truly sublime driving experience. When you approach the car, the previously hidden door handles present themselves and the doors unlock; the seat automatically adjusts to your preferred driving position and any previous music or podcast you were playing will resume. Best of all, this all happens without your keys even leaving your pocket. With Autopilot

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engaged the car takes over from the driver, automatic full beam headlights dipping on the approach of another car and automatic windscreen wipers take all the mundane tasks away from the driver. This creates an amazing experience for the customer and once full autonomy is reached, it will mean that the energy and focus they once used driving can be directed towards higher value tasks instead, anything from online shopping to working on new business proposals. Buzz. Excitement is building with every new feature added on the journey to full autonomy. Once Tesla releases a fully automated car, they plan on taking the experience even further with the introduction of automated charging stops. The company promises a trip


from LA to New York with zero human interaction by the end of this year. Autopilot itself leads to safer travel as the driver is less distracted by having to maintain an appropriate speed and having to steer the car, freeing up their focus so they can be alert to any potential hazards further down the road. While using Autopilot, for all intents and purposes the car driver becomes a car manager or supervisor.

Can we apply Teslaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s approach to business process automation? You may have an ambitious goal of automating every process in your business or none at all, but like Tesla, it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be all or nothing.

You can automate simple, but high return tasks, such as repetitive manual processes used to collect business metrics from multiple sources. Then, you can take this data and analyse the impact that the automation had. By taking this steady, incremental approach to automating your business processes, you allow yourself the time to reflect on the data and see how the automation affects everything from time saved to employee engagement to customer satisfaction. This way, you avoid investing in the automation of low return tasks, which may end up being more cost effective or faster when done manually. You also get to enjoy the benefits of automation sooner and without a large investment.

Why automate a business? Each business is different and opinions vary, but in addition to reclaiming otherwise lost time, four key reasons seem to consistently appear when talking to business leaders. Fulfilment. You probably didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t start a business to deal with repetitive, mundane tasks every day. Not only does BPA result in time and cost savings, it can also improve employee satisfaction by relieving staff of mundane tasks, meaning they can focus on more creative and fulfilling tasks. Quality. When a business has solid, automated processes in place, it can almost guarantee a certain level of quality and consistency. This is because, when the human element is europeanbusinessmagazine.com 97


removed, every action will be performed in the same way. Consider a business which automates their customer on boarding process. With every customer going through the same experience, you can predict what support they may need as they go through their journey to becoming a customer with you, you can accurately predict how long the sales cycle will take and even give tailored support to common issues and objections that come up during on boarding. Speed. Needless human interactions within a process introduce latency 98 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

and reduce throughput. Consider an order fulfilment process that relies on someone receiving a notification and then manually triggering a further process in one or more downstream systems to fulfil the order. Processes with automatic triggers increase throughput which leads to higher profits. Clarity. There is rarely any additional incremental cost to executing an automated process many times. So, it is economical to have it run in near real time. Consider a business manager who spends 2 days compiling

business metrics for a report every month. They could reclaim that time and have up to the minute operational metrics.

How to automate a business Day to day operations typically involves many kinds of applications and software, performing various functions like accounting, customer relationships, expenses, invoicing, budgeting, project management, communication and more. Data accumulates and each application becomes an isolated silo of information. When


TOP AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS Pros

Cons IFTTT - www.ifttt.com

Laser-focused on simple one-step operations. Lots of pre-existing partner integration.

Very limited scope, each ‘applet’ can only look at a small piece of your data. Hard to chain applets together. Partner integrations are often very simple and only expose a small percentage of their capability. Cloud hosted only, can’t interact with private company services or data. No support for decision making - for example, no way to say, “Every new email with this word in the title, copy it to a new row in a spreadsheet, if it also has the phrase ‘Alert’ then post a message into a Slack channel”. Zapier - www.zapier.com

Able to chain several steps together. Lots of pre-existing partner integration.

Limited scope, a ‘Zap’ operates in isolation. Partner integrations are often very simple and only expose a small percentage of their capability. Cloud hosted only, can’t interact with private company services or data. No support for decision making. opi - www.beintrepid.co.uk/opi

Built to be business aware - multiple step operations with logic that can be customised for your business. Pre-existing partner integration with ability to quickly integrate with almost every modern service.

Is a service so isn’t ‘off the shelf’ - a consultant needs to tailor it to your business. Less partner integrations out of the box (as it’s easy to integrate them). The greater flexibility and scope comes with a higher price point.

Prometheus - www.prometheus.io the business is small, a set of manual processes that span these silos is manageable and maybe even cost efficient. However, as scale is achieved, the barriers inherent between applications limit throughput. Accessing, compiling, analysing or transferring the information becomes a laborious and time-consuming task. Microsoft Excel is often used as a temporary store to manually join data from different sources and the spreadsheet becomes yet another data silo. If this scenario or any of the examples mentioned are sounding familiar to you, then there are tools, platforms and help at hand.

Open source scalable tool Built by a technology company to scratch their own itch - now used by several notable companies

Creators don’t recommend it for mission critical applications Is only offered as a tool - Technical expertise is required to get anything working Works best when not changing the shape of the data with any frequency DRYiCE - www.hcltech.com

Factory grade automation - solutions from desktop to robotics. Integrates AI-based predictive metrics 40+ components - you don’t pay for what you don’t need.

Suited for very large-scale solutions Requires significant expert set-up

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have a greater long-term impact on the business and help predict what future automation requirements you may have.

When you start to automate a business, there are 3 points to consider. Return on Time. Like Tesla, you want to prioritise the simple, yet high return tasks where an empathising and critical thinking human adds no value. Calculate the potential return on time when choosing tasks to automate.

Vendor Support. Building meaningful, useful and robust automated processes is still a complex operation. Although you may be able to automate simple tasks in your business, the more complicated tasks can require additional help. Not only that, but an external partner can help you with the tasks that will

About the Author: Alexander Preston is the Founder and Managing Director of Intrepid Ltd. Having worked in the UK, the USA and the Middle East, Alex is now back in London focusing his mind on using modern technology to save others (and himself) time and effort. He specialises in using IT, Software and Process automation solutions to achieve these goals. In his personal time that he has freed up, Alex has been able to follow his passion for squash and is the current British Open Men’s O35 champion . 100 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

Culture. You’ll need to consider building a culture of automation. It might be a strange thing to consider, but a lot of employees are worried about automating themselves out of the job, so may be reluctant to adapt to the automation, and find fault where they can. Their fears, however, are quite unjustified. Often, good employees find themselves automating themselves up into “better jobs”. They can focus more on the fulfilling, high-value tasks that they want to work on, and become less held back by the manual, repetitive tasks. Employees are in effect promoted to process supervisors in much the same that the Tesla drivers become car supervisors. When you have this conversation with your employees, it’s important to explain how it will benefit them. For example, automating certain parts of the sales cycle means sales staff can spend less time chasing paperwork and dealing with on boarding issues and more time prospecting, setting up meetings and closing new deals for the business, earning themselves more commission. How can you apply the Tesla approach to automating processes in your business?


How Artificial Intelligence Is Affecting Us Regardless of how artificial intelligence develops in the years ahead, almost all experts agree that we will see consistent changes as a result Artificial Intelligence (Al).Bill Gates said that the â&#x20AC;&#x153;mindset of the government and people have not adjusted to view the future, even though technology is exploding this decade into a world of the Internet of Things and the propulsion into artificial intelligence. It seems that the greatest fear for many analysts, including Gates, is the number of jobs that artificial intelligence systems are poised to take over. In fact some estimate that up to 50 % of jobs in the states could be taken over by Artificial Intelligence.European Business Magazine looks into the deepest depths of AI and how it will affect us.


A

s more funds are flowing into artificial intelligence, we are going to see the continued evolution of artificial intelligence. For one, it is going to become smarter and in 102 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

turn become more useful.Amazon is investing in Alexa, IBM is investing $1 billion in its Watson, while Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are all using their research labs to study AI and robotics. Salesforce.

com is adding artificial intelligence into their business processes. They call it Einstein. Salesforce.com CEO Mark Benioff, said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The value of Einstein will be in helping people do the things that people are good


speed up the improvement of artificial intelligence. In the stock market, many brokerages and investment houses are using artificial intelligence programs like Kensho to crunch numbers and sift massive amounts of data daily. Kensho automatically analyses portfolio performance and predict market changes. Arria uses natural language generation software that simplifies and humanises the analysis of dataheavy reports. Arria’s Chief Technology Officer Robert Dale, said, “By emulating human behavior in software, you get technology that can carry out tasks that are more than just straightforward number crunching, with the machine exhibiting real intelligence. But you get all the benefits of this being done by software: it is incredibly fast, it is incredibly consistent, and it does not need to sleep or take vacations, so it is available 24/7.” Artificial intelligence can also help businesses dealing with massive amounts of data save time by scanning historical reports and compiling results efficiently.

Work and job threat

at and turning more things over to machines.” When a machine starts to perform “deep learning”, which means it can process sophisticated information

on its own, it will be able to perform complex functions like facial recognition and maybe even speech. As Big Data continues to permeate our lives, it will also continue to

Regarding work, artificial intelligence will now be tasked with deciding whom to recruit. Instead of a human being combing through thousands of resumes, a program can process massive amounts of information and sift through it to come up with a list of shortlisted candidates. A lot of time and effort will be saved and artificial intelligence might even lessen the human risk of choosing unsuitable candidates for interview. Juergen Mueller, SAP’s chief innovation officer, said, “Recruiters spend 60% of their time reading CVs. Why should a person read 300 resumes if a machine can propose the top 10?” europeanbusinessmagazine.com 103


Artificial intelligence can also play a positive role in helping employees remain engaged with their work. Programs can analyse the emails of workers and figure out if they are unhappy with their jobs so that management can intervene and help them get out of the unproductive and negative state. Programs can also analyse how employees spend their time online. It can raise red flags if the employee visits sites unrelated to work. The program can warn management of these unproductive employees, and they can take the necessary action to get them back on track to productivity. On the other hand, the program can also be used to track who is the most productive and efficient with their work and management can give the necessary rewards to achieving certain levels of productivity and efficiency. Celeste O’Keefe, CEO of Dancel Multimedia, uses a program called Veriato to track the productivity of his team. He said, “It has allowed us to be more streamlined and focused on the task at hand. We can see 104 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

what they are doing and guide them in the right direction.” Decisions as to whom to promote can also be made by artificial intelligence. It will remove human biases and may make promotion decisions more effective. The only problem with the potential benefits of artificial intelligence in the world of work is it needs massive data, and so there could be privacy issues and intrusion into private lives which people might not like. One of the key threats that artificial intelligence brings is a loss of jobs, mainly through automation. Artificial intelligence powers robots and technology that can do work more efficiently than humans. Many jobs could be lost, even professional work such as doctors, accountants and lawyers – most roles have the potential to be replaced by robots and artificial intelligence. According to a 2013 study by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne, around 47% of workers in America

had a high risk of potential automation. Those working in transport and logistics, office support, sales and services all faced a significant risk of computerisation. For Britain, the risk was 35%, while in Japan the risk is high at 49%. As such, there has been an increased call for a basic income. In fact, Bill Gates even wants there to be a robot tax if they replace a human being as labour. Former U.S. President Barack Obama said, “If properly harnessed, it can generate enormous prosperity and opportunity. However, it also has some downsides that we are


gonna have to figure out regarding not eliminating jobs. It could increase inequality. It could suppress wages.â&#x20AC;?

learn new skills more quickly and efficiently than in the past to be able to remain relevant in the job market.

While the risk of computer-related automation is real, history has shown that artificial intelligence is beneficial. Since it boosts corporate operations, it will likely spur new demand, and thus corporate expansion will be needed, which will require more human labour. So, in a way, artificial intelligence creates new jobs overall.

Society

The job effect is positive after the lost jobs are subtracted. The challenge for workers is to therefore

Elon Musk is channelling funds into a new venture to achieve his vision that one day the human body can interact with artificial intelligence seamlessly. For those with amputated limbs, artificial intelligence offers hope for them as robotic limbs can be implanted and work along with the human body. The stage is set for a cyborg society.

Sex robots are also on the horizon. As robots become more intelligent, intimate relationships between humans and robots are not far-fetched.

Automated transportation Google self-driving cars are already a reality, and the future is bright for automated transportation. Public transport like buses and trains will soon become unmanned, leading to pure artificial intelligence running an entire cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s public transport system. The Dutch government has already completed their test drive of driverless europeanbusinessmagazine.com 105


trucks operating across Europe. Uber has recently acquired Otto for $680 million. Otto is a startup that deals with auto-drive trucks. Consulting giant, Mckinsey, has predicted that in less than ten years, a third of all trucks globally will be self-driving.

Dangerous and unhealthy jobs One of the positive outcomes of artificial intelligence is that it can be used to do the extremely dangerous jobs. For example, bomb defusing can be done by drones. Drones can also be used by the police and army to attack hostage takers and terrorists who might have implanted booby traps for the police and soldiers. In some developed nations, robots are now the ones doing welding, which is a toxic job involving exposure to toxic substances as well as intense heat and noise. This makes welding a very hazardous job, but for robots, there is no issue to work under such an intense environment.

Caretaking for the elderly and sick is a difficult job and robots can be programmed to help the elderly and sick get better and meet their daily needs. If robots eventually learn to talk and have emotions, the human element needed for caretaking might eventually be met by artificial intelligence.

Impact on sales programs and departments Artificial intelligence harnessed by sales departments can also be beneficial. It can be used in customer relationship management functions. According to Uzi Shmilovici, a thought leader in Prescriptive Sales technology and the CEO of Base CRM, sales programs infused with artificial intelligence can provide excellent feedback to sales professionals to improve their craft and campaigns. Shmilovici, said, “Artificial intelligence programs can scan through millions of events to find patterns and correlations that we just would not notice on a day to day basis. So it might notice a

correlation between sending a specific pitch deck to prospective clients before calling them results in better conversions. Alternatively, it might notice that sending a weekly follow up email can yield results up to 8 weeks after initial contact. These are small practices that a sales professional might miss, but that can increase performance over time.” Artificial intelligence infused in sales programs and used by sales professionals can become a competitive edge for the company. Shmilovici asserts, “The impact of artificial intelligence on sales today is significant enough to qualify as a toptier competitive advantage. Every CRM company is actively working to release their Prescriptive Sales platform for that reason. This is the wave of the future. By combining Prescriptive Sales technology with a talented sales force, companies will be able to achieve growth at a much quicker pace. This technology could potentially become the future of sales and marketing.”


Disaster For Big Pharma As 50% Of People Report Quitting Pills For CBD According to a recent survey conducted by cannabis market research firm the Brightfield Group and HelloMD, nearly half of CBD (cannabidiol) users give up prescription drugs and over the counter medications in favor of the non-psychoactive substance.

By Carey Wedler

A

ccording to a recent survey conducted by cannabis market research firm the Brightfield Group and HelloMD, an online medical cannabis community, nearly half of CBD (cannabidiol) users give up prescription drugs and over the counter medications in favor of the non-psychoactive substance. The survey of over 2,400 respondents found forty-two percent of CBD users — whether they used marijuana-derived CBD or hemp-derived CBD — “have left their traditional medications behind altogether and now use cannabis instead.”

The survey summarized that roughly “66% of CBD users indicated that CBD products are either ‘more effective’ or ‘much more effective’ in relieving their medical conditions than are over-thecounter (OTC) products.” Further, “[a]pproximately 52% of this consumer group indicated that their CBD products are either ‘more effective’ or ‘much more effective’ in relieving medical conditions than are prescription medications.” Common conditions users have employed CBD to treat include joint pain and inflammation, insomnia, depression, and, most often, anxiety. Preliminary research on CBD shows

the cannabis derivative can be effective at treating some of these ailments. When given the option to list “other” uses, survey respondent frequently cited “menstrual cramps, skin concerns, diabetes, ADHD, and stomach issues (IBS, loss of appetite, etc.).” Respondents expressed satisfaction with the quality of treatment CBD provides: “When asked about medical relief, more than four out of five CBD users found cannabis to work either extremely effectively or very effectively against their various conditions. europeanbusinessmagazine.com 107


Each of the individual categories under the CBD umbrella fared well, with the vast majority (82-83%) of users experiencing effective relief with the use of hemp-derived CBD, CBD-dominant and marijuana-derived CBD-only products to help treat their conditions.” Ninety percent reported they were likely to buy plant-derived CBD products again, and many reported using a variety of products rather than just one. Most reported vaping as their preferred means of administering their medication. One of the chief complaints about CBD was that plant-derived CBD was more effective than hemp-derived CBD but that the former is more expensive than the latter (still, slightly more respondents said hemp CBD was more effective at treating nausea, whereas plant CBD was reportedly more effective at treating arthritis). Indeed, in the Los Angeles area, for example, a half-gram of plant-derived CBD can cost as much as $50. The higher the CBD ratio, the higher the price. 108 europeanbusinessmagazine.com

Even so, HelloMD notes that due to the “entourage effect,” CBD can actually be more effective when administered with other cannabinoids, like well-known THC (and vice-versa). One preliminary study of cannabis’ anti-tumor effects found the substance’s effectiveness increased when CBD and THC were combined. Cannabis, in general – not just CBD — poses a major threat to a variety of industries, namely Big Pharma. One analysis has found that the pharmaceutical industry could lose as much as in profits as cannabis continues to be legalized. Another survey of cannabis users conducted by researchers from UC Berkeley and Kent State University found that “Ninety-seven percent of the sample ‘strongly agreed/ agreed’ that they are able to decrease the amount of opiates they consume when they also use cannabis, and 81% ‘strongly agreed/agreed’ that taking cannabis by itself was more effective at treating their condition than taking cannabis with opioids.” If and when cannabis becomes part of the mainstream healthcare industry, the pharmaceutical industry could lose billions of dollars. Unsurprisingly,

pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics, which has profited off the powerful and dangerous opioid fentanyl, also manufactures a synthetic cannabis product and has lobbied to keep cannabis illegal in Arizona). Of course, the recent survey has at least one limitation in that it was conducted among people who clearly value cannabis enough to join an online cannabis community, meaning that the reported figures might be lower among the general population that has used cannabis. Even so, research increasingly confirms the survey’s findings, and as cannabis becomes increasingly acceptable and available, it’s likely CBD will continue to change the way people treat their health issues. All the while, the DEA continues to assert that CBD is illegal (even though hemp CBD is widely available online) because it is derived from the marijuana plant, ignoring the fact that it is non-psychoactive and is providing relief to a majority of people who use it — without the serious side effects that come with many government-approved treatments.


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27 European Business Magazine Summer Edition 2017  

Pan European Business Magazine Autumn issue

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