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There is clear evidence of a strong desire from within Europe to build bridges between the tech and policy spheres. A majority of founders, investors and policymakers agree that there should be stronger ties between European tech startups/scaleups and governments.

European tech startups and scale-ups need stronger ties with governments

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  • Agree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Disagree

Only 24% of total respondents believe that regulation has had a negative impact on the European tech industry in the past 12 months. This varies, however, by occupation and region. Respondents from France are most positive on the impact of regulation, while founders skew slightly more negative than positive, but only by a fraction.

What impact has regulation in Europe had on the European tech industry in the last 12 months?

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  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Negative
Note:
Company size: Founder respondents only.

Six months after the implementation of GDPR, Founders across Europe view data protection and privacy as the most challenging area of regulation for their business.

Which one area of regulation do you view as most challenging for your company in 2018?

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Note:
Founder respondents only

There's a clear split in opinion within the industry on the question of whether European regulators act with the interests of tech startups in mind. Founders, most notably, are inclined to be sceptical of the motivations of European regulators, especially those from the DACH region.

Where relevant, do you believe that European regulators act with the interests of tech startups in mind?

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  • Yes
  • No

This willingness to build bridges is important since key stakeholders in the European tech ecosystem take a majority view that European regulation makes it harder to start and scale a technology business in the region.

European regulation makes it harder to start and scale a technology business

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  • Agree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Disagree

Opinions on whether startups/scaleups or large established tech companies feels the regulatory burden more keenly are split. Both founders of startups/scaleups and those who work in public tech companies both tend to think that they shoulder most of the regulatory burden.

Do you think the regulatory burden in Europe is more felt by tech startups or established tech companies?

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  • Established tech companies
  • No difference
  • Tech startups

A clear majority of the European tech ecosystem believes GDPR has been good for European consumers.

GDPR

60%
of all respondents agree that GDPR has been a good thing for European consumers, including 54% of European founders that are in agreement.

The European tech industry's sentiment around the impact of GDPR is more balanced than might be expected. Founders are more likely to agree it's had a negative impact on their company than disagree, but not by a large margin. Counter-intuitively, perhaps, founders of larger companies (100+ employees) are more likely to agree it's had a negative impact than founders of smaller tech companies.

GDPR has had a negative impact on my company

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  • Agree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Disagree
Note:
In company sizes only founders' responses included

Importantly, however, there is a very strong majority agreement across the board from all stakeholder types that GDPR has been a good thing for European consumers. One might say, therefore, that any perceived negative impact for companies is a justifiable cost of scaling more ethically.

GDPR has been a good thing for European consumers

Legend

  • Agree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Disagree