Scan Magazine, Issue 84, January 2016

Page 100

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The world’s tech scene is changing. Is Silicon Valley still the first option? As a result, the scene is changing and tech start-ups are increasingly looking elsewhere. Silicon Valley is of course still great for tech-heavy products, but less so for other industries which find better opportunities in other parts of the world: for fashion, they go to London, New York or Milan; for biotechnology, they go to Boston or Cambridge; and, for sure, they go to Hong Kong or London for FinTech (financial technology).

Silicon Valley has for many years been the number one place for tech start-ups. It has been the place to go to find eager and knowledgeable investors. However, when I visited Silicon Valley last April, it soon became obvious that starting up there is getting more and more challenging. It has become expensive, the investor pool is shrinking and the level of competition is probably tougher than most foreign start-ups ever imagined. 100 | Issue 84 | January 2016

London has seen a huge surge in the tech sector over the last few years and is now booming with forecasts showing that the sector will have boosted the economy by a total of £18 billion in 2015. London’s emergence as the most important tech hub in Europe is not only testament to the city’s incredible home-grown innovators, but also to thousands of migrant entrepreneurs. The richness of the UK start-up ecosystem is key to its success. The UK is now the unicorn (meaning a tech start-up company with a $1 billion market value) champion of Europe with eight firms hitting the $1 billion valuation mark. And let us not forget Sweden. It is the second most prolific tech hub in the world today on a per-capita basis, second only to

Silicon Valley, according to a recent report from the investment firm, Atomico. This is being fuelled by foreign venture capitalist investments pouring into the Stockholm tech scene – four times higher in 2014 than previously. Sweden has already produced five unicorns: Skype was Stockholm’s first when it sold for $2.6 billion in 2005, followed by Spotify, King, Minecraft and, most recently, Klarna. Success breeds success, they say, and Swedes tend to think globally when starting up – two good reasons at least for this great track record. One thing is certain: we are living in fast-changing times. It probably will not be long before we have big tech players, rivalling Amazon, Facebook and Google, coming out of the London tech hub – or even Sweden, if they can wait long enough before selling out! Annika Åman Goodwille, CEO of Goodwille Limited

Goodwille Limited

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