“We welcome the continuity of the European commitment in favor of the financing of start-up ecosystems. But in our opinion, the subject of investment is not the only one”underlines Guillaume Buffet, president of U Change and administrator Number. This professional digital organization has just submitted measures aimed at consolidating the European ecosystem of startups and scaleups by getting closer to its German counterpart, Bitkom.
For them, the objective is to facilitate the signing of the first contracts and to support the development of their business. “If there is no turnover, fundraising is useless. Almost all the startup owners we interacted with share this observation. For them, a big contract is worth a fundraiser”continues Guillaume Buffet.
“A purchasing manager will tend to question the reliability of a startup”
However, innovative companies encounter various obstacles when marketing their products or services. Those who work with public actors are confronted in particular with the regulatory framework that governs calls for tenders and competition. “There is also a subject of concern and purchasing policies. Working with little ones is not always reassuring. A purchasing manager will tend to question the reliability of the company”underlines the administrator of Numeum.
At the same time, startups need contracting to be quick. This does not necessarily correspond to the policies of public organizations. “The European Union could therefore act to facilitate the signing of these contracts. One of the avenues that we suggest is to provide compensation to the client during the first months of the collaboration. So that he may be certain that society does not fail him.”, indicates the representative of Numeum, who suggests the creation of a “European guarantee fund”. For professional organisations, this support could also go through the implementation of a European preference strategy which would guide public purchasers in their technological choices.
A homogeneous legislative framework
More generally, Numeum and Bitkom believe that “The European Union must adopt an effective strategy”. The latter could consist of concentrating on a few champions, who would benefit from the 10 billion euros of funds provided under the “European Tech Champions Initiative (ETCI)” and European business support measures. “Thanks to a trickle-down effect, the entire tech ecosystem could then benefit”underline the two organizations.
According to them, Europe’s strategy should focus on three areas: a clear and homogeneous legislative and regulatory framework, levers that encourage major public and private players to become customers very early on, but also an attractive European work environment, which would make it possible in particular to deal with the shortage of talent.
Another challenge: to simplify the internationalization process for European companies seeking to set up in their neighboring countries. “Working in Europe today is more complicated than with China or the United States, there are obstacles everywhere. For example, we suggest setting up a European employment contract. If we want champions, they have to be international.”believes Guillaume Buffet.
70% of GreenTech and CleanTech startups are European
With more than 3,300 startups and scaleups in the GreenTech and CleanTech universe, Europe already concentrates 70% of global startups in the field, while it only has 64% of total startups and scaleups. “This demonstrates its lead in terms of climate and environmental transition. We can be very good in some areas. But for that, it is necessary to facilitate the order »insists Guillaume Buffet.