As mobile technology advances European cities are vying to be the next startup hotspot – helped along by a concurrent evolution in flexible work space.
The popularity of remote working – particularly in the tech industries – has catalysed demand for coworking venues.
The tech industry can thrive outside of Silicon Valley
European cities now have the means to nurture a variety of startups including many in the tech industry. Silicon Valley remains the hotspot for tech startups but Europe is a growing contender.
The appeal of coworking spaces and serviced offices is their flexibility and the fact companies aren’t committed to lengthy leases. But another huge benefit of remote working is that businesses can handpick from a larger talent pool, unrestricted by geographical boundaries. Thus companies have access to better employees with a lower budget allowing them to expand more quickly and compete with companies in Silicon Valley.
Investors are taking notice of the European tech scene for this reason. For example the German tech industry has just seen its biggest quarter in 4 years, generating 1.1 billion from VC backing.
Investors are looking to buy into the next brilliant idea and this is no longer restricted to Silicon Valley. As a result people are trying to think of the next big thing and creating more startups. This increases demand for flexible office space as it’s one of the key support structures for startup culture.
Expansion and innovation in coworking spaces is thriving in Europe
While big businesses like Regus dominate the mainland Europe serviced office market. Boutique companies are also seeing significant growth. In the UK, smaller serviced office providers such as I2 Office and Landmark PLC have made notable growth in recent years. I2 Office now have 15 serviced offices across London and a further 14 within the UK.
These smaller companies have thrived by responding to the demand for innovative co-working spaces.
Businesses like Remote Year are finding different ways of taking advantage of these spaces. They create working gap year type trips, taking remote working to its next level. Employees are able to travel the globe without losing their job, another innovation made possible through the rise of flexible office space.
Prague is one of Europe’s most popular destinations for this new breed of digital nomads. Other cities such as London, Berlin and Stockholm are also seeing major advances in tech startup circles – and an influx of mobile working to match. Though it is unlikely that European cities are going to outperform Silicon Valley any time soon, they are still seeing success and increased interest from investors.
The coworking space has become a major component of a young business’s success. This means several things. For office providers it means big business when expanding into the serviced offices market. There are also more opportunities for independent companies to create coworking spaces. Entrepreneurs now have a better chance at success without relocating to the so-called capital of their industry. Finally, it means that Silicon Valley no longer has the monopoly on the tech market.