State of European Tech 2017 (spoiler: it’s male)

December 5, 2017

If you haven’t had an opportunity to review Atomico’s annual report on the State of European Tech, I encourage you to take a look. The brief is loaded with valuable insight into Europe’s innovation ecosystem, a sector no longer overlooked by entrepreneurs and investors globally.

Two incontrovertible conclusions leapt out at me from this analysis:

  1. Europe’s innovation ecosystem is booming. This has not been a secret among European insiders, but now global investors from the U.S., China, and even Japan are waking up to this opportunity.
  2. Europe’s innovation ecosystem is mostly male.

I’ll circle back to elaborate more on point 1 later. However, it is the second point which I suggest warrants more immediate attention.

Frankly, gender diversity in Europe’s tech startups and VC funds is abysmal. Furthermore, the perception and the reality around gender diversity in European tech are not aligned. Props to Chris O’Brien for pointing out this disparity among European startups.

I submit that the gender gap in European startups correlates closely with the gender gap within European VC funds. Atomico’s report depicts the under-representation of women in the UK’s venture capital industry, indicating that a mere 13% of VC decision-makers are women.

The situation in France’s VC sector is similarly depressing, and readers of my blog know that I’ve been railing about this problem for a while now. Here’s a reprint of an infographic on the topic I had published in 2016 (granted this needs an update but not much has changed).

In a separate section on macro events, the Atomico report observes how French insecurity seemingly vanished overnight into a “burst of positivity” upon President Macron’s election. People resist change yet are also capable of changing quickly when it matters. Gender diversity in innovation matters.

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posted in venture capital by mark bivens

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