Brussels and Antwerp In Top 15 European AI Hubs

Slush 2016 November 30th – December 1st Helsinki, Finland Photo: Jussi Hellsten
Brussels and Antwerp are in the top 15 hubs of artificial intelligence talent in Europe, according to a new report from the international venture capital firm Atomico. As Europe is becoming more and more focused on deep tech, this is a significant evolution.
(Author: Frederik Tibau, / Image Credit: Jussi Hellsten, Slush)

AI, machine learning, VR, AR, internet of things: Europe is becoming a real powerhouse in deep tech. Innovators from all over the world are turning to European excellence, while there’s a substantial increase in the developer base in these sectors.

This is one of the conclusions in ‘The State of European Tech’, a new report from venture firm Atomico and the Finnish tech conference Slush. Since 2011, the number of deep tech startups founded in Europe has grown by a factor of 3.5.

Nearly 2.3 billion dollars has been invested in deep tech in Europe since 2015, while just 1.7 billion dollars was invested over the four-year period between 2011 and 2014. 2016 was a bumper year with 88 billion invested in deep tech M&A, and more U.S. and Asian tech giants as well as European corporations and investors investing into, or acquiring, deep tech companies and tapping into a growing deep tech talent pool.

Not surprisingly to some, Brussels (12) and Antwerp (14) are also in the top 15 European hubs of artificial intelligence talent in Europe. London takes the number one spot here, followed by Paris (2) and – this is a surprise – Madrid (3). Other hubs where you might not immediately expect to find AI talent include Cologne (14), The Hague (13) and Copenhagen (9).

Atomico and Slush use LinkedIn data as a source for their conclusions. To be more precise, they look for the cities with the highest number of LinkedIn members with artificial intelligence skills. The following skills were considered: AI, machine learning, computer vision, deep learning, neural networks and natural language processing.

Proliferation of entrepreneurship

Other findings in the report suggest that more and more talented European entrepreneurs are building companies across European cities, also in lesser-known places. This proliferation of talent, entrepreneurship and ambition has sparked deep engagement in regions where there was previously only a minor tech presence. In other words: great tech companies can come from anywhere now.

It also turns out that Europe has many more developers than anyone thought, and those developers are increasingly engaging with entrepreneurs, or even becoming entrepreneurs themselves.

While it’s true that we do see a poor funding quarter here or there, luckily the overarching trend in venture financing is a positive one. Deal volume and capital inflows remain at record levels in Europe, across the major tech hubs as well as promising new hubs.

This article was first published in SILICON

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