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European startups: The views of different founders about this matter

Are the Germans too tired?

“The advantage we have is also a disadvantage,” says Cem Özdemir of Alliance 90 / The Greens.  “We are doing very well economically. This makes you feel full. “But that’s probably not the only reason why Germany lags behind in digital business models behind the US and China. “When it comes to growth and the question of where can I get the capital from, many of our companies are now forced to approach Chinese or American investors. We in Europe and Germany have too little venture capital to offer”, says CDU chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. It is all the more important for politicians like them, who are not digital natives, to hear about the founding generation about new approaches in the digital age.

Is money a deciding factor?

Alex Karp can look at the subject with neutral glasses – and maybe that’s just the reason. Karp is co-founder of Palantir and CEO of the Palo Alto company in Silicon Valley. Palantir analyzes data for FBI, CIA and also German authorities, as well as for companies from the private sector. In 2017, Karps company made 750 million US dollars in sales, according to media reports 2019 an IPO with a valuation of $ 41 billion is planned. “It can not be right that Germany is behind Israel in terms of founding, building and evaluating companies”, says Karp. “But money is not the deciding factor in my view. It is more important to say that we will start where we are strong. And what is especially strong in Germany? The industry, the people, the education and the creativity of thinking”.

Privacy as a business model

Which strategies could be further growth drivers for Germany and Europe? “More and more companies are realizing that it is also a business model to protect the data of their users, even before the overriding state”, says Cem Özdemir. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer sees opportunities for new developments especially in data security. The security of their own data must go into flesh and blood.

“I think the main problem is transparency. In retrospect, people learn: ‘Wait! My data has been sold to someone who has just done something? ‘And, secondly, many say,’ These big internet companies are making a lot of money. They have my data. They do not pay taxes and they think that everything is right because they donate to a private foundation. And that is no longer understandable for the people”, says US founder Alex Karp. That’s why he sees a great opportunity for companies that take the issue seriously, to get a real advantage.

Also published on Medium.

Published inStartups

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