I had the privilege of joining the Monaco Media Forum in Monaco recently. It was a fairly star-studded event: opened and closed by Prince Albert, dinner at Hotel de Paris, Monte Carlo, great hotel etc. But to be honest it was the debates in the conference room that were the best thing about the event, and I had a lot of fun on my closing panel of the week: “Silicon Envy: Will Europe ever build the next new media giant?”
Now, admittedly with such a subject we had to run through the usual arguments, which I hope are now well known. Silicon Valley is the product of over 50+ years of history, Europe is only just getting going, America has one big unified market, Europe is splintered into many etc etc etc.
Luckily, however, I think my fellow panelists and I moved the debate on to what I call “New Tech Europe”. Namely, people in their 20s now coming out with agressive startups which go international from the word go and where the founders are not afraid to get out of their home markets and scale globally. Ironically this takes far less money than it used to, hence why VCs are having to adjust their model and Angel investors are being asked to step up to the plate.