The Hottest Companies in Europe
"When you're looking for start-up capital, you get fat, not rich. Go into any Marriott in the country, and you'll see venture capitalists having breakfast with entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs are having bacon and eggs, and the venture people are having granola. That's why venture capitalists look so good, and entrepreneurs look like me."
-- Powersoft founder Mitchell Kertzman, a former Entrepreneur of the Year finalist who sold his company last February for $950 million and who now buys his own bacon and eggs* * *
Next month Europe will finally get its own version of the Inc. 500 as the founders and chief executives of its fastest-growing companies gather in Brussels for a conference designed to raise awareness of the importance of the growth-company sector throughout the Continent. The project is cosponsored by the European Foundation for Entrepreneurship Research and a variety of organizations such as the European Venture Capital Association and Ernst & Young. In conjunction with the conference, the sponsors have put together the first list of fast-growth European companies, based on the rate at which they have created jobs since 1990.
The conference is a milestone for Europeans who have deplored the widespread indifference toward examining the sources of economic dynamism on the Continent. In contrast, the study of job generation in the United States has led to the emergence of a whole new field of economic research and a lively policy debate. The sponsors of next month's conference are hoping to generate comparable interest in European job generation. The Financial Times of London is the project's leading publishing partner in Europe, while Inc. has the exclusive right to publish the material in the United States. Look for a major feature on your European counterparts early next year.* * *