Europe is far less ‘hassle’ than US: Start-up

The U.S. may have given birth to a number of high-profile start-ups in recent years, but for some entrepreneurs the best place to start a new business is Europe.

Having studied business and worked in New York for a few years, Naren Shaam moved to Germany to found travel search engine GoEuro in 2013.

"It's different," Shaam told CNBC on Friday, explaining how he finds the business environment in Europe's biggest economy compared with the U.S.

"In Germany you always know where you stand, when somebody says I'll do it, it's done, you can move on to the next thing. In New York, it's slightly different, you're always hassling someone," the founder and CEO of the 20-month old firm said.

Berlin
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Berlin

Discussing why Europe trails the U.S. in the creation of big, game-changing start-ups such as Facebook and Google, Shaam said the environment for start-ups in Europe was changing.

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"You're starting to see that now – you have (music platforms) Spotify, SoundCloud," he said.

Patrick Flynn, CFO at Dutch bank ING, added that some new start-ups in Europe come to the market very quickly and with low cost.

"What we're trying to do is be available, anywhere, anytime for customers and give them want they want and how that want it -- with digital apps. How you enrich that means there are massive opportunities here," he added.

While Europe was "getting there" in terms of the innovation game, there were a number of factors that needed to come together, said Shaam.

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"Entrepreneurs need access to capital and that is starting to happen, much more in Europe than previously," he said. "Labour markets– you have to be flexible enough to go to a start-up and government regulation – it should be easier to invest in start-ups."

That's a view the European Commission shares. In a 2014 report on enterprise and industry in Germany, the European Commission said that the performance of small and medium enterprises has been exceptional since 2008 but one weak area is entrepreneurship.

"The level of entrepreneurial activity remains relatively low and the number of new start-ups is falling," the report said. "Existing businesses can offer young, well qualified would-be entrepreneurs excellent employment conditions and career opportunities, making it risky and therefore less attractive to be self-employed."

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