The European Digital City Index has recently been launched to identify most entrepreneur-friendly cities in Europe and how well those cities support digital entrepreneurship. This Index was produced by Nesta as part of the European Digital Forum which took place a few days ago in Lisbon, Portugal. This Index is a good support for Luxembourg’s government – and its Digital Lëtzebuerg initiative – to encourage digital entrepreneurship in Luxembourg-city, and the country widely.
For startups and scale-ups, it provides information about the strengths and weaknesses for local ecosystems, allowing them to plan accordingly and consider where they may need to devote more resources. – EDCi
How Luxembourg’s digital environment is perceived?
Hereinafter are a few extracts of how Luxembourg is described on the European Digital City Index website. It appears that the digital strategy is under construction and Luxembourg is full of promise for the near future. The large corporations which have chosen Luxembourg to set up their headquarters in Europe form an effective base to support country’s ambitions.
Tax-minimizing arrangements offered by the city-state have attracted major technology corporations […] These and many others have chosen Luxembourg as their base for accessing worldwide markets.
The Luxembourg Government aims to develop six key domains – FinTech, Infrastructure, Start-ups and innovation, e-Administration, e-Skills, Promotion – in order to make Luxembourg a “Digital Nation”.
[…] the city is successfully persuading an increasing number of young startups, particularly in fintech, to set up their businesses in Luxembourg.
35 european cities screened and 10 reference themes
The Index covers all capital cities – i.e. 28 – in the EU with an additional non-surprising 7 non-capital cities that are important hubs of digital entrepreneurship – i.e. Barcelona, Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart, Oxford, Cambridge and Milan.
Luxembourg is playing with the big names and it is evident that London, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Paris, Berlin, Brussels or Dublin are monopolizing the first places. The size of those cities – and countries – are beyond compare, and the number of startups they generate – i.e. hundred as much – help them leading this ranking.
Of course, the more startups you have, the more investors you attract. If we have a deeper look at the “Access to Capital” theme, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm are the most investors-friendly cities in particular for early-stage funding, whether Luxembourg – which is the first european financial place among those 35 hubs – ranks 12.
The digital infrastructure is also pointed out as a weakness for the Grand-Duchy. We can now see that many construction works are in progress in town to improve the availability of fiber internet for example and this ranking should be better in the coming years.
A huge room for improvement for Luxembourg
For startups and scale-ups, it provides information about the strengths and weaknesses for local ecosystems, allowing them to plan accordingly and consider where they may need to devote more resources.
This Index remains a good basis for working as it provides information about the strengths and weaknesses of our local ecosystem and encourage the government, the public organizations and the local partners to improve each variable listed.
The Index is composed of the following themes. Among those improvements – and non-exhaustive ideas:
- Access to Capital should be better for early-stage startups. The new program Fit4Start heads in the right direction. LBAN – Luxembourg Business Angel Network – should have more active members. Early-stage funds should be set up. A full list of public aids and grants should be edited or updated. And why not approved equity crowdfunding platforms in Luxembourg?
- Business Environment need to be improved if we all want to turn the country into a digital-friendy country. Being ranked 34 leave a huge room for improvement. Launching new co-working spaces downtown might be an idea. Reduce the cost of office space is also necessary. Why not having a specific grant to help startups renting an office space for couple of years?
- Digital Infrastructure is a key point Luxembourg is working on for sure. We absolutely need a better Internet download/upload speed and Mobile Internet speed as it often is too low and really frustrating. The size of the city and the country should facilitate the improvement.
- Entrepreneurial Culture is also a mindset to develop to overcome the obstacles. Whether Luxembourg is in top position for some variables – multicultural diversity, trust, new-business density – the willingness to take on risk or the engagement with digital startup ecosystem should be improve. More and more programs, training sessions and coaching events are organized each year in Luxembourg. Jonk Entrepreneuren Luxembourg, Girls in Tech Luxembourg, nyuko or Code Club Luxembourg are really active associations.
- Knowledge Spillovers and the development of R&D intensity would benefit to Luxembourg’s digital-credibilty as not enough innovation centres are Luxembourg-based.
- Lifestyle. The standard of living is really appreciate and Luxembourg’s should brand it abroad to attract new talents. The Nation Branding initiative is working on. Luxembourg4Business just released “SurprisingLux” campaign to help in the country’s promotion as well.
- Market is mature and people a digital-friendly enough to experience innovation. The local demand for digital services or the local online transactions are spearheads.
- Mentoring & Managerial Assistance seems to be a lack in Luxembourg. A hundred of networking and mentoring events are organized each year in Luxembourg, which could be not enough compare to other cities, but, remember, 3 years ago we counted it one the fingers of one hand! Availability of early-stage assistance is also needed in Luxembourg as well as access to mentors.
- Non-Digital Infrastructure as intra and inter-city transport are good enough. The Luxembourg tramway will be another good point soon.
- Skills is one of the priority of Luxembourg’s government. The Digital4Education program announced a few months ago is a key initiative. Access to ICT employees is also what all european cities need and there is a huge competition to attract the talents. Why not creating an IT school to train new talents and offer new opportunities to young people?
You can check the European Digital City Index website to find out why and which other cities score highly. Should you have any further ideas to turn the country into a digital hub, please leave a comment below!