In Partnership with
&
01

Key Findings

CCE0B547-8741-413C-87E1-6A66D227929BCreated with sketchtool.
04

Investors

CCE0B547-8741-413C-87E1-6A66D227929BCreated with sketchtool.
07

Purpose

CCE0B547-8741-413C-87E1-6A66D227929BCreated with sketchtool.
09

Policy

CCE0B547-8741-413C-87E1-6A66D227929BCreated with sketchtool.
11

Appendix

CCE0B547-8741-413C-87E1-6A66D227929BCreated with sketchtool.

Strong Talent Base

There's a huge competition between cities and countries across Europe to position themselves as the most attractive place for founders to start up. Given that one-quarter of founders across Europe are migrants and have moved country to set up and start their companies, this appeal to founder mobility makes sense. As such, we wanted to explore the considerations that matter to founders when choosing where to start their companies. From a business perspective, the most important considerations are access to talent and customers. There is, however, observed variance in the responses from first-time founders and repeat founders with significant experience. The greater the level of prior entrepreneurial success, the more likely founders are to consider access to talent as an important consideration for location choice.

What were the most important practical business considerations for you when choosing where to locate your company when you founded it?

Source:

Legend

  • First-time founder
  • Repeat founder with limited experience in scaling company
  • Repeat founder with significant experience in scaling company
Note:
Founder respondents only. Numbers do not add to 100 as respondents could choose multiple responses.

Immigrant founders are significantly more likely than local founders to have considered access to capital as an important practical business consideration for choosing where to locate their company when they founded it. One way to interpret this is that there is a clear incentive for cities and countries to try to build a strong local investor base to ensure that local talent does not feel the need to migrate elsewhere to ensure access to capital and investors.

What were the most important practical business considerations for you when choosing where to locate your company when you founded it?

Source:

Legend

  • Founder (migrant)
  • Founder (local)
Note:
Founder respondents only. Numbers do not add to 100 as respondents could choose multiple responses.

I think the great strength of Europe's ecosystem is the plurality of industrial background we have. While Europe may not have the depth of pure technology experience that, say, the Bay Area does, I would argue we understand finance, fashion, food, manufacturing, aerospace and more at least as well, if not better.

I think the biggest challenge continues to be the lack of experienced talent, especially for later-stage companies and especially in the areas of sales, marketing and product. We just don't have the decades of large companies and start-up history that has churned out legions of people who've seen it and done it before. We will get there but some things are hard to accelerate. I think the great strength of Europe's ecosystem is the plurality of industrial background we have. While Europe may not have the depth of pure technology experience that, say, the Bay Area does, I would argue we understand finance, fashion, food, manufacturing, aerospace and more at least as well, if not better. As software eats the world, these skills and this know-how will become crucial in building companies that are about technology but also the context in which that technology will be used.

Suranga Chandratillake

Balderton Capital

General Partner

Europe has more than 6 million professional developers and has experienced steady growth in the developer talent pool, in contrast to the US, where the professional developer base has been static for the past two years.

Number of professional developers by region

Source:

Legend

  • Europe
  • United States

Germany and the UK are the two largest hubs for professional developer talent in absolute numbers, and together are home to more than 1.7 million professional developers.

Map of professional developer distribution across Europe by country

Source:

Legend

  • # of professional developers

The growth in the professional developer talent pool across Europe is a Europe-wide phenomenon, with all countries (except Luxembourg) experiencing growth in numbers in 2019.

Number of professional developers by country, 2018 vs 2019

Source:

Legend

  • 2018
  • 2019

Software engineering talent pool


6.1m
professional developers in Europe which represents an increase of 400,000 compared to 2018.

Source:

Europe's larger countries are, of course, home to the largest developer talent pools. It's useful, therefore, to explore the density of talent on a relative basis to the general population size of different countries. When looking on this population-adjusted basis, a number of smaller countries emerge as having a relatively higher density of developer talent, such as Sweden, Switzerland or the Netherlands.

Number of professional developers per 1,000 inhabitants

Source:

Legend

  • # of professional developers per 1,000 inhabitants
Note:
Calculated based on the total number of professional developers in the country in 2019 divided by the total population. World population figures taken from World Development Indicators using 2018 world population data.

The pool of tech talent in Europe is improving quickly in terms of quality and seniority, but there is still a way to go when you compare it to the pool in other larger ecosystems, like those in the Valley.

The pool of tech talent in Europe is improving quickly in quality and seniority, but there is still a way to go when you compare it with the pool in other larger ecosystems, like those in the Valley. We're attracting talent from the bigger, more established tech brands, and those bring with them experience and learning from more established markets. This is a good thing for Europe, but it will also be important to ensure European businesses don't become clones of those in, for example, the US. Europe has its own startup style, and I'd love to see that remain a strength.

Naren Shaam

Omio

Founder & CEO

There is also a wide variance in the distribution of talent in different countries. In smaller countries or those with relatively less mature tech ecosystems, there tends to be a larger concentration of tech talent in a single hub. Other countries, such as Germany, Italy and Spain, have a more distributed tech talent base, thanks to the strength of multiple large cities in those countries.

Share of professional developer talent (%) in the largest hub for selected European countries in 2019

Source:
Note:
% of total professional developers in city as share of country total.

Lower density can also make it more difficult to find sought-after talent. Portugal and Spain are seeing a rise in the % of hard-to-fill software engineer job postings, a reflection, amongst other factors, of the emerging strength of local tech ecosystems and, in the case of Portugal, a trend for larger international companies to build a presence to source local talent.

Change in share (%) of software engineer job postings that are hard to fill, 2018 vs 2019

Legend

  • % change YoY
Note:
%-point change in % of software engineer jobs that are hard to fill in 2019 versus 2018 by country. Hard to fill is defined as % of 'software engineer' job postings on the Indeed site(s) for more than 60 days.

The European ecosystem's greatest strength continues to be the quality of technical talent, particularly those coming out of some of Europe's world-class universities.

We still need to see more startups convert to scale-ups. One of the challenges is that as our companies scale there is a small pool of experienced startup execs in Europe, particularly those who have taken a startup beyond a couple of hundred people. Competition to hire experienced startup COOs and CMOs right now is fierce! The European ecosystem's greatest strength continues to be the quality of technical talent, particularly those coming out of some of Europe's world class universities. It's exciting to see more and more of these technologists consider a career as a founder, or in a startup, and this creates a bright long-term future for Europe.

Alice Bentinck

Entrepreneur First

Co-founder

The European talent pools searching for tech job postings are overwhelmingly looking for jobs where they live. Still, there are some differences in countries like Sweden and Portugal where talent is a bit more open to global mobility.

Share of searches (%) for 'tech' job postings by country ip addresses

Legend

  • Domestic
  • Europe
  • North America
  • Rest of world
Note:
'Tech jobs' included in the search for example: software engineer, programmer, application developer, UI/UX/graphic designer, web developer, frontend developer, backend developer, data scientist, business intelligence, it support.

Founders don't need to move any more to build world-class teams, because they're finding that talent at home.

There is now an abundance of talent across engineering, product, design and growth. Founders don't need to move any more to build world-class teams, because they're finding that talent at home - whether it be from home-grown successes like Adyen, Spotify, FarFetch or US tech companies who've expanded here, or from top engineering schools. It's advantageous and easier to hire from your network locally, and founders are playing to their strengths.

Ophelia Brown

Blossom Capital

Founder & Partner

A new form of mobility is emerging: flexibility. Europe has a much larger proportion of professional developers working freelance or part-time than the United States. CEE countries have the largest share of freelance professional developers.

Top 10 countries with the largest share of freelance professional developers

Source:

Legend

  • % of respondents by country
  • % of respondents by average: European and US

Freelance Developers


11%
of professional developers respondents in Europe work as independent contractor/freelancers compared to only 6% in the US.

Source:

As a result, employees are increasingly working remotely, which in turn lowers the need for mobility between hubs. It is a trend that appears to be materialising across tech companies of all sizes.

Has your company experienced any change in the number of employees working remotely?

Source:

Legend

  • Increase
  • No change
  • Decrease

Top 10 fastest-growing countries for professional developers, 2018 vs 2019

Source:

Legend

  • YoY growth (%)
  • European YoY growth (%)

Indeed data is able to provide a proxy for the volume of interest in US-based tech job seekers looking to move to Europe to take up positions working in tech. Looking at searches originating from the US, but scanning for jobs in Europe as a whole, Indeed's data shows a decline across two successive years since 2017. This, however, masks an important underlying trend. The decline is entirely accounted for by a reduced level of interest in UK-based jobs by US tech talent. In contrast, there have been two successive years of increase in the relative level of interest of US tech talent in finding jobs in the rest of Europe (i.e. anywhere else but the UK).

Share by destination country/region (%) of US-originated cross-border searches containing key 'tech' titles

Legend

  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
Note:
This data shows the % of total searches for key 'tech' job postings on the local Indeed country site that are originated from non-native ip addresses, i.e. from outside the specified country. 'Tech jobs' include: software engineer, programmer, etc.

Fewer people overall are searching for tech jobs in the UK, but elsewhere in Europe job searches are up 20% in many countries when compared with 2017. Huge growth in Belgium is supported by a sharp increase in capital invested in the country (+71%) over the period.

Change in number (%) of tech jobs searches per million by country, 2017 H1-2019 H1

Note:
This data measures the relative number of searches per country for tech related job postings as a share of every million searches on the local Indeed site for each country. 'Tech jobs' include: software engineer, programmer, application developer, etc.

The best part is that thanks to another 2019 milestone, we're open: When you join a French startup, our new French Tech talent visa can get you and your family here in a matter of weeks with a 4-year residence permit.

French Tech is leapfrogging the usual ecosystem development curve in 2019. Four years ago, serious capital was hard to come by. Today, our startups are raising mega-round after mega-round. Our total number of unicorns doubled in six months. And that was before President Macron announced €5B making its way into the tech ecosystem or that he grew the French Tech Mission 10x, making us the biggest (and baddest) pro-startup team inside modern government. The best part is that thanks to another 2019 milestone, we're open: When you join a French startup, our new French Tech talent visa can get you and your family here in a matter of weeks with a 4-year residence permit. À bientôt!

Kat Borlongan

La French Tech

Director

Share this article