The Rise of the European Technical Founder

Read our report about why the rise of the European technical founder means there has never been a better chance for Europe to build its first tech giant

Jack Davies

June 20, 2024
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One of the oldest questions in European tech is, why has Europe never produced a truly global tech giant? 

The common answers are a lack of capital, or too much bureaucracy. However, we think there is another answer that only comes to light when you look at the people behind the world’s biggest tech companies. 

We’ve looked at 1,000 founders of tech giants and tech unicorns in Europe and the US, and 60,000 founders that have applied to Antler’s European residencies. 

Our research shows that tech giants are built by technical founders. Building a tech unicorn is hard, let alone a tech giant. They succeed because they solve really complex problems with technology. Founders with deep technical expertise are much more likely to be able to do that. 

We believe a critical reason that Europe has never produced a tech giant is because Europe has never produced enough technical founders. 

But that is changing. Technical founders are now building tech startups across Europe. 

As a result of layoffs and the attraction of emerging technologies like AI, a new generation of technical founders is emerging in record numbers and with more experience than ever before. 

The result? There has never been a better chance for Europe to build its first tech giant.

View the report here

Jack Davies

Jack is a communications director working with Antler’s European locations, partners, and portfolio companies. He was previously GM at one of the UK's leading PR agencies, where he worked with VC firms, tech founders, and industry bodies. He studied at Oxford University and enjoys traveling, reading, and chasing after his whippet puppy.

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