Why Techstars is doubling down on Europe

There’s no lack of startup founders on the continent

As we get into our dive into Q3 2021 venture capital numbers, one region in particular has our attention: Europe.

While venture capital gains in markets like India, Latin America and the larger African startup ecosystem have proved impressive, Europe has posted strong results of its own. A string of recent exits from European startup hubs makes its performance all the more intriguing.

New data indicates that France’s startup market is posting record totals in terms of dollars raised. CB Insights counts nearly $8 billion invested into French startups in the last two quarters, with the totals roughly split between the two periods. For comparison, that two-quarter figure is billions more than French startups raised in all of 2020.

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Throw in notable IPOs, including Truecaller this morning, and you have to keep at least one eye on Europe.

Our perspective on the matter is hardly unique: Techstars recently announced two new programs on the continent, one in France and one in Sweden, indicating that it too sees lots to like in Europe.

The Exchange wanted to know why the global accelerator group picked those two markets over others, how the group is approaching the amount of cash it offers for shares, if there are enough founders in Europe to fill even more accelerator batches and whether the area has the follow-on capital that it needs to support pre-seed and other early-stage startups.

So, we got on the phone with Techstars CEO Maëlle Gavet to dig into her company’s decision. Let’s talk Europe!

Why Techstars picked Paris, Stockholm

According to Techstars, its Paris accelerator will operate two classes per year, while Stockholm will run once in 2022 and twice per year from 2023 onward. This comes in addition to the programs it already runs in other European cities: London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Oslo and Turin.