The Huge Dilemma: Is Europe a fantastic location to commence a enterprise?

Roxanne Varza, director of Station F, the world’s biggest start-up campus, reveals on The Massive Dilemma whether or not Europe is a superior place for expansion and shares her secrets for success.


The Big Concern is a model new series from Euronews Business wherever we sit down with marketplace leaders and authorities to talk about some of the most crucial matters on today’s agenda. In this episode, Angela Barnes fulfilled with Roxanne Varza, the director of Station F, to explore no matter whether it’s attainable to create a prosperous start off-up in Europe.

‘Well, if you like Begin-ups, you really should remain in Palo Alto’ is something Roxanne Varza has read a lot of situations.

The Californian, previously explained as the ‘queen of tech’ or the ‘young empress of start-ups’, has been managing Station F in Paris due to the fact 2017. Station F is the world’s biggest start-up campus, working a range of applications, a little bit like a university, to aid get get started-ups off the floor and has witnessed about 6,000 businesses move by means of its doorways due to the fact opening.

In 2022, Station F had its very first unicorn – a company valued at more than 1 billion U.S. pounds – termed Hugging Face. After its worth progress, together with a lot of other individuals, we sat down with Roxanne to inquire her the secret to good results in the earth of begin-ups.

Is Europe a fantastic place for begin-ups?

When Roxanne 1st moved to France in 2009 to do her masters, the start out-up ecosystem was extremely unique. Those wishing to launch get started-ups have been leaving the state and heading to California.

“It has maybe performed 360 degrees alter,” Roxanne tells Angela.

“And I would say now we are truly seeing persons seeking to shift listed here. […] France is form of increasing to the forefront of European ecosystems.”

In accordance to some analysis from McKinsey, Europe generates 36% of all formally funded start off-ups, but it results in only 14% of the world’s unicorns.

We requested Roxanne if she thinks US begin-ups are much more successful than their European counterparts. She laughed, telling Angela she “hates that.”

Roxanne goes on to clarify that the massive difference is the maturity of the industry. When the French government is doing the job really hard to guidance begin-ups, the ecosystem simply has not experienced enough time to blossom to the gigantic scale of the US.

There are 3 crucial regions even though which are really blossoming in France, in element, Roxanne claims, because of to the amazing local talent. The to start with is A.I. and the second is local weather. Roxanne characteristics this to Europeans staying “more local weather sensitive”.

And the 3rd area is quantum computing – a swiftly-emerging engineering which takes advantage of technologically innovative desktops to clear up hugely complicated problems. To set it simply just, if AI is the application, a quantum laptop is the cell phone functioning the application.

What are the major complications with the European get started-up ecosystem?

Irrespective of all the governmental assist, just one important challenge even now experiencing the get started-up marketplace in France is exits. Several corporations, when they get to the position the place they want to record on a public inventory trade, have opted for the Nasdaq or one of the US exchanges instead of remaining on residence turf.

“Our exit market is just not comparable to exit marketplaces abroad,” Roxanne clarifies.

She goes on to be aware that it’s not just in one field, but across all get started-ups and connects back to the sector in France just not staying as experienced.

“This comes back to also just educating the sector in typical and educating prospective acquirers, they just never have that lifestyle but. So I consider this is anything that the govt is looking to alter and actively functioning on.”

What is Station F?

Station F is an tremendous refurbished coach depot in central Paris. Inside there are 1,000 distinct start-ups doing the job at any just one time and just about every adhering to a distinct application to aid them development.

“We have 30 distinctive plans, so that is the equal of 30 distinct accelerators and incubators on campus and a range of other services,” Roxanne describes.


“We have 30 unique community companies in France. This is obviously a thing that you surely need. You will need to perform with authorities expert services to get a company up and operating.

“We have numerous activities, workshops, tons of mentors, tons of diverse benefits and instruments that we provide. So genuinely I feel this is a various degree of support that we’re delivering.”

To ensure these doing work at Station F are not just locals or these from privileged backgrounds, Roxanne has developed a range of initiatives.

There is the fighters software which can help to guidance individuals from underprivileged and underrepresented backgrounds to produce their business suggestions with a see to inevitably becoming a member of just one of the present applications.

They have also built a co-dwelling facility known as Flatmates which can home up to 600 entrepreneurs and is priced substantially additional moderately than numerous housing options in Paris.


“Living here in shared flats, […] I feel that also delivers jointly a closeness exterior of the workplace that a good deal of entrepreneurs neglect,” Roxanne tells Angela.

“We communicate about burnout. We talk about all sorts of points that folks working experience as business owners. They can essentially come across that guidance in the home by people who are dwelling identical matters or have lived them already.

“And we have a quantity of other facilities, which includes a restaurant we just opened. We also have a sports activities facility which is coming. So we’re also encouraging individuals to have a lot more balanced life.”

What is the important to a successful start out-up?

When questioned what advice she would give to somebody seeking to get into the globe of start-ups Roxanne’s overwhelming sentiment was passion and adaptability.

“The plan issues not as significantly as who is setting up it, why they’re undertaking it, what their driver is. What sets them aside from other men and women doing the correct exact same point?”


Check out the full episode over to understand extra about the world of European begin-ups.