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The Luxembourg startup ecosystem is gaining momentum. In the last two decades, entrepreneurship and the importance of SMEs have caught the fancy of mainstream business people. Not a month passes without the announcement or news on another support initiative for entrepreneurs. In StartupBlink’s 2019 report, Luxembourg ranked 53rd globally. It’s top city, Luxembourg City, ranked 203th globally.
Here’s taking a look at the startup ecosystem in detail:
Biggest success stories of Luxembourg
Here are some noteworthy success stories in the ecosystem:
There is Xavier Buck (@xavierbuck) the never tired Internet visionary. He wondered what people would need in the Internet age and he came back with domain names, hosting platforms and VoIP to further engage in the Mega adventure as well as assisting many local projects as an angel.
Not to forget the media business with tycoons like Mike Koedinger (@mikekoedinger) and Eric Busch(@ebusch) for having stuck to and believed in independent media and services. One drinking media since the early days having started out by distributing photocopied tracks and the other having turned IT entrepreneur to the recruiter and covering the IT community.
The inspirational and admirable Norbert Becker who has an unbelievable as well as an unparalleled wealth of knowledge and expertise in many industries and sectors. He is a board member, chairman, angel investor in high demand. His name is inseparable from e.g. Mangrove VC, Skype, Paypal
Taking over the event industry is SponsorMyEvent (@SponsorMyEvent) which is linking event organisers with sponsors and is actually going abroad.
Strengths and weaknesses of Luxembourg as a startup destination
Luxembourg has a wealth of well-integrated nationalities and cultures. It has a strong economy which is thriving, stable and adaptive I.e. having moved from an agricultural country to an industrial leader in the steel industry to become one of the financial centers of excellence in media broadcasting and finance.
What’s more, its small size allows an open ear government which is supportive of business. Added to that the wealth of skilled resources entering the country on a daily commuting basis from Belgium, Germany, and France.
The buzzing startup community has been giving a push by the successful role models mentioned as well as by importing best practices from abroad.
A major weakness could be the cost of living as well as the aversion of failure.
Biggest players in Luxembourg’s startup ecosystem
- A main driving force for putting the international spotlight on Luxembourg are the people behind Mangrove VCe. a sought after skilled and trusted early stage investor. Their hall of fame includes the likes of e.g. Skype, Wix, Helpling, Freedompop, Rdio, Nimbuzz. Each of them is a role model and serial entrepreneur on his own.
- PwC’s Accelerator, in order to grow your business internationally
- Technoport, an incubator supported by the industry association
- KPMG Hub for Entrepreneurship, aimed at fintech companies
- Nyuko, a co-working space supported by the business associations
- Silicon Luxembourg, a website dedicated to startups
- Luxinnovation, the government supports innovation agency
- Chambre of Commerce, offering a wealth of information and services as well as support to SMEs
- FirstTuesday, an informal meeting place for the ICT players
The spotlight has turned away from “old school” industrial behemoths towards smaller companies serving niche markets. Those who have succeeded the school of hard knocks are more and more willing to assist and give back i.e. becoming role models and supporters. Nonetheless, a culture of failure is still missing.
About the Author:
Steve Glange launched the first Tuesday network in Luxembourg and became a board member of the global network. He is also a founding board member of LBAN and served as a board member of EBAN. He assisted in launching and developing emerging companies. He is country advisor [International Accelerator Austin], curator [Startup Digest], Chapter Director of Startup Grind Luxembourg, Hub Reporter of StartUs Magazine and advisor [True Global Ventures]. Steve is an experienced networked solution broker.