Ideas & insights

VAT for European #SaaS founders: here's what you need to know

VAT for European #SaaS founders: here's what you need to know

Companies in EU or that have some of their customers in the EU have to know how VAT (Value Added Tax) applies to them. Keeping your business in good books with the VAT man is cruc...

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France Telecom CEO on Apple ("less arrogant") and Nokia ("no wow effect")

Stéphane Richard, the CEO of France Télécom who recently publicly lectured French publishers on how to deal with Google, has proven himself refreshingly open to reporters once again. Speaking to a group of reporters at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday, he talked about the situation of the European telecoms, and about Apple and Nokia:  Nokia: no 'wow' effect As far as Nokia is concerned, it's cl... Read more

Why Spain has an entrepreneurship problem (and why there's hope)

We wrote yesterday about the brain drain in Spain and Portugal, where highly educated graduates choose migration as a way out of the crisis. An alternative to migration would be to start your own business - and while we wrote about a few entrepreneurs who did just that, entrepreneurship in Spain is still not a popular choice. In fact, a report by the EU in 2012 shows that the level of entrepreneurship in Spain ha... Read more

"How do I validate my startup idea?" Here's how:

I'm in the middle of validating possible business models for Whiteboard (it's going great: every idea I have has been shot down in flames by people in the industry I tried selling it to. The good thing being that I hadn't built a single feature yet.) Anyway, I've just finished reading a few books on the subject of business models, among which Eric Ries 'Lean Startup' and Ash Maurya's 'Running Lean'. They both str... Read more

How to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in 4 steps (or: "get over Silicon Valley")

Moaning about the entrepreneurial community in Europe seems to be the thing to do in print and social media.  Too few entrepreneurs.  Poor quality of startups.  Timid (or worse, too-greedy) business angels.  Ultra-conservative VCs.  Misguided governmental support.  Berlin and London not living up to their expectations for replicating Silicon Valley in Europe. So I thought I’d weigh in on the discussion wit... Read more

EU wants to stop southern European 'brain drain'

With the crisis and unemployment still raging in Southern Europe, highly educated Portuguese and Spanish are packing their bags to find opportunities elsewhere. A lot of them are heading towards the north (Germany, Austria, the Netherlands), but tens of thousands are leaving Europe altogether. Between 25000 and 30000 Portuguese left for Angola in 2012, said Jose Cesario, the Portuguese secretary of state for emigr... Read more