Spotify entrepreneurs call for Europe to ‘change its mentality’ towards tech start-ups

The founders of music streaming service Spotify have urged European governments to give more support to entrepreneurs so that they do not feel the need to leave the region and head to the US' Silicon Valley in order to achieve global success.

In a letter to The Telegraph, Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, said that while Europe has the policy infrastructure to produce world-class companies, it needed to change its attitude towards start-ups.

“Entrepreneurship - long the engine for US growth - has not been cultivated in an effective or systematic way over here in Europe. Boosting European start-ups requires more than just a change in policy. It requires a change in mentality,” they wrote.

“Despite the huge opportunity ahead, entrepreneurship is not the first choice career for many of our most talented people, and too many think they have to leave Europe to be successful.

“The truth is, there could be many more technology businesses that start in Europe and become globally successful,” they added.

Ek and Lorentzon are members of the Start-up Europe Leaders Club, an independent group of tech entrepreneurs who will provide guidance to the European Commission on what needs to be done to strengthen the environment for web entrepreneurs to start and stay in Europe.

The group believes that Europe has laid the foundations for the creation of major tech companies like Facebook, Apple and Google.

For example, in the UK there is London’s Tech City, and most recently, the government announced a £25 million Enterprise Capital Fund, called Episode 1, to support investors who back small, high-growth tech business.

“There is an emerging start-up culture across Europe, not a single Silicon Valley but a network of silicon hubs,” they said.

“There is an abundance of talent, ideas and energy and, already, some world-class companies that can inspire others to follow their lead. And, crucially, millions of consumers ready to use new products that help them in their daily lives.”

Other members of the Startup Europe Leaders Club include Joanna Shields from the Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO), Reshma Sohoni from Seedcamp and Kaj Hed from Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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