Data partner, Indeed, provides interesting insights into tech job trends on a country-by-country basis across Europe. The data explores changes in the relative level of tech job openings, the relative ease or difficulty of filling those roles, and changes in the search volume by potential candidates for tech jobs.
The data highlights that the impact of Covid-19 has varied significantly across the region. In certain countries, the impact of Covid-19 led to a contraction in the relative supply of tech jobs and large spikes in search volumes for new jobs, helping to ease the challenge of filling vacant roles for companies that kept roles open and could tap into pools of demand. In other countries, notably in Southern Europe, there are opposing trends visible in the data.
Portugal has all the ingredients needed to create tech companies - besides being a country where people want to live, we have very good technical talent and universities. The limiting factor used to be capital and that changed in the last years.
The success of Talkdesk, Farfetch, Outsystems has inspired more people to create companies, captured the attention of investors that started paying attention to the local ecosystem and helped move the local investment landscape forward. We now have professional investors and independent VC funds like Indico, combining expertise and capital to help these companies scale.
Whilst we have offices in London, Barcelona and Munich, we have seen the most significant transformation occur within the Spanish startup ecosystem in the last couple of years driven by few notable developments. First, the Spanish market has seen an increase in companies maturing with large exits and IPOs, signalling to European investors to look more closely at Spanish opportunities with great potential. Additionally, there is a larger amount of capital available locally - more than ever before - which enables companies to raise Seed and Series A locally first, therefore, making it more appealing and less risky for international investors who feel more comfortable participating at Series B and beyond.
What’s more, there is a stronger pool of founder talent, top management and staff stemming from three waves of Spanish entrepreneurship in the past two decades. Each of these waves have strengthened the ecosystem and nurtured startups by supplying invaluable talent.
Successful Spanish enterprises have also inspired a new generation of founders with great international track record to return to the region, bringing knowledge, expertise, language skills and the ambition to succeed internationally. Indeed, all these factors have led to the increased interest from international VCs.
The pandemic has offered us a great opportunity to be more inclusive than ever, due to the remote work culture that it reinforces. We all could see and leverage the potential of multi cultural teams across the globe going forward. Our team at Future Females is distributed over 3 countries and 2 continents and we have always seen that as a big advantage. Now this is possible for many more companies and teams. So far I have not seen a lot of change but 2021 will be a completely new year in terms of structuring. We are hoping to see a positive trend of women starting businesses (partly due to COVID implications) and hence changing the landscape of business owners to a more diverse one.
I feel very lucky because everyone on the team is driven by this same desire to improve the way we produce food. We all have different backgrounds but each one of us wants to improve the society in our own way. It’s very motivating for the people who want to join our team. On the other hand, the agricultural sector and the R&D skills required at our stage of development are very specific (agronomy, robotics, mechatronics, etc.). Sometimes it takes a little time to find the perfect match, both interested in our mission, qualified and autonomous. As a woman aware of diversity issues and committed to promote it, I also regret having difficulty recruiting women into the team!
At this point, there is no denying the fact that Artificial Intelligence will continue to be a dominant force in how global competitiveness and productivity shapes out. Although Europe as a bloc has what it takes in terms of a robust expertise of some of the best scientific researchers in the world and a vibrant startup ecosystem, the continent is still lagging behind China and the US in its AI advancements. This is largely because the talent and resources are scattered across the various European countries. Thankfully, many European leaders are raising their ambitions to make the region more AI competitive. Creating ethical or ‘trustworthy AI” is a major objective here and I believe this is one area in which Europe will have an advantage over the others because it already has an effective regulatory system.
Being someone who works with start-ups, I can say that entrepreneurs in the tech industry especially those who incorporate AI technologies in their operations are well supported, even though there still exist some disparities along gender lines in who gets funding. But generally, Europe is poised to give China and the US a run for their money when it comes to AI and the startup ecosystem will be a significant contributor to the realization of that goal.