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Will they ever give Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter a literal run for their money?

As we reported yesterday, 2020 is proving to be a banner year for EU tech startups. European tech firms are seeing massive growth in funding, and that is also fueling growth. The performance in this sector is particularly impressive in light the hurdles posed by the Covid-19 outbreak and the sometimes labyrinthine EU regulatory environment.

At the same time, some EU governments have implemented startup-friendly policies that have helped new tech enterprises gain a market toehold. In addition to these market changes, there has also been a shift in how talented young European graduates view entrepreneurship. They now have a more positive and risk-tolerant view of their career opportunities away from the tried-and-true large concerns that have dominated European industry for decades.

“Scale-Up Europe” – a French-inspired campaign to take on the US tech giants?

As part of the Scale-Up Europe initiative, more than 170 investors, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, researchers, and politicians gathered in recent months to discuss, debate, and come up with a number of recommendations on key themes of importance.

Not surprisingly, the initiative was launched by French President Emmanuel Macron, who presides over a country and a people not at all shy about challenging the monopolistic practices of American tech giants such as Google and Facebook. The movement aims to grow the EU tech segment by focusing on four core drivers: talent, investment, deep tech, and startup-corporate collaboration.

Can Europe catch up?

Despite the recent efforts to make the EU a tech startup paradise, Europe continues to lag behind the United States and Asia in sectors such as investment and technology development.

The group is thus urging European authorities to provide a tax credit for European companies that invest in European startups. They are also pushing for the creation of a tech exchange program that would allow employees to seamlessly move between startups and corporations. They are also lobbying for implementation of a Small Business Act to specifically help startups.

The Scale-Up Europe manifesto itself admits there is a challenge. “If the region is ever going to close the gap and leverage tech innovation to develop its economies and pursue its social ideals, it needs to up its game another level,” they wrote.