30 April 2012

Why the US is not like winter and the EU is not like spring…

…well, first and foremost because in the US there is this unmatched tendency of things to grow and develop, especially when we talk about business ideas and initiatives.

If in the EU we have just recently started to applaud the initiatives of various business incubators such as Beta Coworking or StartUP Weekend, the US is already in a phase where the business incubators themselves go through an innovation process. Taking the recent example of the San Francisco based “foundry“, the only prerequisite to receiving mentorship and capital for opening a new business is talented people.

No entrepreneurial experience or business idea required. But the foundry itself is not as powerful as the implicit statement that this new incubator contains, a statement which underlines the essential difference between two business mentalities, the US one and the EU one.

In the US mentality any human skill can be translated into a business initiative; it is human skill the strategic business weapon, while capital and advice have long become an implicit given. Second of all, turning our attention to the government initiatives towards supporting entrepreneurship and innovation, the US act “Jumpstart Our Business Startups”, has recently been passed. In short, the JOBS act “will allow entrepreneurs to crowdfund online to fund small businesses and startups. Plus, entrepreneurs can raise funds from non-accredited investors”.

There is obviously still much to learn from across the Atlantic, and we should well bare in mind some of the above next time we debate our modest European initiatives towards business emancipation. Horizon 2020 certainly deserves encouragement, but without the continuous support of national governments, communities, the private sectors and, above all, the active involvement of each individual in adopting a new strategy for prosperity, our Horizon 2020 will simply remain… a horizon.