Startup countries in Europe



Neil Murrya @neilswmurray in Medium has explored the innovativeness of European countries from a different perspective. Instead of building a sophisticated index on the basis of theory, he compiled all the articles published in TechCrunch, The Next Web Europe and and distributed the articles mentioning concrete startups per country.

You can observe the result on your left.

Of course you can argue that TechCruch has a bias for UK because the main editor is from there and many of the editors are UK based. Being the biggest web of all three, UK could get a disproportionated attention that probably doesn’t reflect reality.

This is certainly the case because The Next Web was born in Amsterdam covering initially only Dutch startups while has an editorial stance of taking a wide European coverage.

Also, one has to correct also for events, which get a disproportionate amount of coverage. Slush in Finland, one of the hottest events in Europe where lots of venture capital is flowing is one of these cases.

By the way, this also shows the critical importance of locally rooted events as catalyzers of startups.

In order to correct for this, he weighted equally the three webs, obtaining the following result.


As you can see the top ten don’t change very much in terms or ranking order, although the actual numbers are significantly different.

Other corrections could be applied, for example an analysis at the level of city or region where most of these startups thrive and develop could probably be more appropriate in order to get a good picture of what is happening in Europe. This is particularly true in medium, large countries with a high level of diversity.

However, this analysis compared to the most common indexes such as the European Innovation Scoreboard raises significant questions because of the notable differences that evidences.

Still, although a bit crude and a far proxy, it feels “real” for explaining what is happening in innovation in Europe and maybe for the first time is based on Innovation output instead of capabilities.

Only a last note of caution, Germany is the biggest exporter of the world, so why it ranks second if competition in global markets is mostly determined by innovation? Well, please keep in mind that startups represent the kind of radical, disruptive innovation aimed at scaling fast.