“Our goal is to invest in 100 startups during our first 2 years.”

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Fitting to Lars Hinrichs’ stroke of genius for Europe’s aspiring tech entrepreneurs, the current edition of the Economist has a good overview of Europe’s budding startup scene (“Blooming”).

In the past months in London and on his visits to Europe’s leading tech conferences (German link), Exciting Commerce’s Jochen Krisch has held fruitful discussions with almost all of the large VCs (and several of the smaller ones) who have interest in continental Europe. Accel (Groupon, Etsy, Diapers, etc.) has engaged Sven Schmidt (verwandt.de, Dialo, Dealjäger) to be a scout for Germany. Phillip Möhring has switched from Dumont Venture to Seedcamp in London. In Berlin, evening events by international VCs for German entrepreneurs are piling up.

Particularly since Vente-Privée and Swoopo, Europe has been a source of exciting new business ideas for e-commerce. All this interest can be useful. The Economist writes:

“Even Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have been heard saying they would like to do something “like vente-privee”. In the tech heartland, this is the ultimate compliment.

You may joke that America is at last discovering Europe. But that reflects a change in European entrepreneurial potential more than in American attitudes.

In recent years, a lively environment for young companies has emerged in Europe, complete with serial entrepreneurs, experienced venture capitalists and the necessary supporting infrastructure, such as law firms and PR agencies.

And it is most visible where Europe has been considered weakest: the internet and other parts of the information-technology industry.”

While there is no lack of support, failure is still often to be suffered when looking for entrepreneurs who have the requisite bite. If you have what it takes and you want to start a company: the current timing will deliver almost ideal conditions.

Entrepreneurial types should get into early contact with angels and VC, even if they don’t currently have a burning business idea in mind. International VCs in particular often have fairly exact expectations and are constantly looking for motivated people with new ideas.

Whoever is interested to test out and grow new e-commerce business models to success are welcome to contact us via our Exceed Program (exceed@excitingcommerce.com). We have currently in the Exceed Program a dozen or so small and large ideas which are only waiting for the right motivated founding team. Contact us!

New e-commerce ideas are also welcome at the Ecommerce-Alliance, who are running their E-Commerce Challenge this summer. The website is in German, but the contest is open to non-German entrepreneurs with aspirations to break into the German market (parts of the prize package are useable only in Germany).

Acton Capital Partners (Zooplus, Glasses Direct, MyTheresa, Etsy) have recently closed a 150 million euro fund in May. This fund focuses primarily on strong growth (e-commerce) enterprises which are already on the market for a few years.

Not only is Germany seeing new and ambitious initiatives spring up such as Hanse Ventures (German link) or HackFwd.

In France, Jeremie Berrebi (Zlio) and Kima Ventures are raising eyebrows:

“Our goal is to invest in 100 startups during our first 2 years.”

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Warren Knight thanks www.optaros.com


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