Pursuing Scale Up Europe a New Deal for Sovereignty at the French Embassy in Berlin, December 7th, 2022

On December 7th 2022, French Tech Berlin organized the event “Pursuing Scale Up Europe : a New Deal for Sovereignty” with / at the French Embassy in Berlin, in cooperation with Scale-Up Europe, Internet Economy Foundation (IE.F), La French Tech Community Fund. We started this event with 60 leaders from the French and German ecosystem, discussing in 4 roundtables about Quantum, Energy & Climate Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud and Digital Sovereignty. Then one of the two “table captains” of each roundtable presented their key learnings in the auditorium of the French Embassy in front of 200 members of the Berlin Tech ecosystem, followed by a cocktail.

Here are 9 key learnings for each of the 4 roundtables.

Artificial Intelligence & EU Sovereignty

  1. Many startups receive public funding in the US But it’s not just financing, it’s also PROCUREMENT Creating public finance funds is not enough We should also boost the capacity to BUY from AI startups. Many startups receive public funding in the US. But it’s not just financing, it’s also PROCUREMENT
  2. Use REGULATION to INCENTIVIZE the Tech Ecosystem itself. Companies that have to deal with basic problems like social welfare, climate change…to START USING AI
  3. We do have the best science here in Europe. We don’t have a lack of tasks to do with artificial intelligence. Question is : How to get AI to be COMMERCIALLY successful ?
  4. FINANCING GAP after Series A. Series A tickets that are too small for the big mega funds, too big for the normal venture capitalist
  5. BOOST OF MINDSET is needed. Need of “American attitude” towards marketing. “Be-less-afraid attitude” : try more, roll out better
  6. We don’t really have a problem in AI with GDPR. Even though that is publicly discussed very differently
  7. We have data. We can do a lot. Algorithms, deep learning are already dominated by the US. Let’s move to the NEXT LEVEL OF ALGORITHMS in Europe. Work with LITTLE DATA or NO DATA?
  8. We already have an ABUNDANCE of TALENT

Participants of this round table :
Arnaud Barthelemy Alpha Intelligence
Alexandra Begue SAP
Hans-Christian Boos Arago
Daniel Breitinger Bitkom
Alain Godard European Fund for Digital Sovereignty
Gunnar Gräf Deutsche Ventures
Curt Gunsenheimer Iris VC
Christoph Hardt Comatch / Malt
Niklas Huppman Kayrros
Bruno Maisonnier Another Brain
Melodie Müller Bpifrance
Nicolas Perard European Fund for Digital Sovereignty
Romane Raynal  Quantcube
Rasmus Rothe Merantix
Uli Schmitz Axel Springer

Cloud & Digital Sovereignty

  1. HOW can European cloud providers COMPETE against the HYPERSCALERS? (Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, AliCloud, IBM, Oracle). Cloud market bigger than Telco by 2030
  2. URGENCY to act now to keep DIGITAL SOVEREIGNTY. Policymakers should put European cloud providers forward to keep our European sovereignty
  3. DEFINITION of digital sovereignty : It’s not just the means of production (chips, hardware, supply chain). We should KEEP CONTROL of our IP & DESIGN
  4. Thankful for the European DATA ACT fostering INTEROPERABILITY. Companies increasingly use American Softwares-as-a-Service (SaaS)
  5. Cloud Vendor LOCK-IN RISK. American hyperscalers give $100,000 in free cloud services to European startups. This creates dependencies, hard to later on get out and switch to European cloud
  6. We need a BUY EUROPEAN ACT. Prescribe states, companies, people to buy European cloud services. Encourage Europeans to keep more data within Europe
  7. CTOs feel safer to buy American. “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM”. Big MINDSET CHANGE to take a risk and BUY EUROPEAN
  8. Provide a FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENT for European cloud providers to grow and hopefully become as big as the hyperscalers
  9. FUNDING : How can we get more capital in Europe, more liquidity in the capital markets. We should pull more European private capital into our own ecosystem

Participants :
Guillaume Aubin Alven Capital
Michael Brehm Redstone
Catherine Briat Atos
Osman Dumbuya Incari
Oliver  Grün Vorsitzender IT Mittelstand
Vincent Le Fort OVH Cloud
Jérôme Lecat Scality
Shiraz Mahfoudhi Consultant
Marie Theres Niedermaier BMF
Wolfgang Oels Ecosia
Clark Parsons IEF
Christina Schmidt-Holtmann BMWK
Claire Thirriot-Kwant Embassy
Emmanuel  Thomassin Delivery Hero


  1. We need to boost EDUCATION. EXPECTATION Management regarding quantum technologies towards all public and private stakeholders
  3. INVESTORS need to UNDERSTAND the technology and the timescales on which they can expect significant revenues
  4. With adequate LONG-TERM SUPPORT FROM ALL STAKEHOLDERS, the current excitement around quantum technologies can be maintained
  5. We need a UNIFIED EUROPEAN APPROACH in education and fundingWe don’t need national French or German champions, but European market leaders.
  6. We need MORE EXIT CHANNELS for European companies to prevent a drop of Venture Capital at some point
  7. Hard IP negotiations with UNIVERSITIES slow down the growth of university spinoffs
  8. Lack of talent in quantum space. We need MORE PhDs IN PHYSICS
  9. SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES need to be solved. Basic technologies still coming from US with hard regulations of from China. We need to become INDEPENDENT

Kevin Berghoff Quantum Diamonds
Axelle  Cheney Ambassade de France
Ulrich Eismann KEEquant
Raphaël Fauveau Pasqal
Philippe Huberdeau Scale Up Europe
Aurianne Legris  Quandela
Thomas Oehl Vsquared
Björn Pötter IQM
Marie-Avril Roux Steinkühler Mars IP
Iris Schwenk HQS Quantum Simulations
Philipp Semmer Earlybird
Peter  Soldan BMBF Leiter Quantensysteme
Roxaneh Tehran IE.F
Raphael Thomas Startup Lawyers
Olivier Tonneau Quantonation
Johannes  Verst Quantum Business Network

Energy & Climate Tech

  1. The REGULATORS have an important role to play in the creation of Climate Tech & Energy European champions
  2. UNIFY EUROPEAN LEGISLATIONS and standards to reduce complexity, fragmentation. Regulation is here to help accelerate the growth of startups all over Europe
  3. More TRANSPARENCY from the LOBBYING side, in particular to understand how and why laws are drafted
  4. LACK OF FUNDING for startups after early stage and before being a scale up, is an issue and has to be corrected. Difficulty to raise a Series A
  5. Lack of capital directed at HARDWARE startups hinders the development of impactful Climate Tech. To MAXIMIZE IMPACT, focus investment on the right objectives and recipients
  6. PUBLIC FUNDING can help reduce the funding gap to support European tech champions. Public funding should INCENTIVIZE the private sector to make riskier investments in climate tech and energy
  7. Technology transfer too long, expensive. Universities, industries, investors should be BETTER CONNECTED. We should STANDARDIZE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFERS between universities and companies
  8. Make entrepreneurship more ATTRACTIVE to engineers and scientists. ENCOURAGE TALENTS to found startups to develop the next climate tech and energy champions
  9. More INVESTORS WITH A TECHNICAL BACKGROUND are needed to facilitate the funding of highly innovative technologies that are currently being underfunded, but would have a greater impact on mitigating the climate crisis

Tim Boeltken Ineratec
Xavier Caitucoli Verso Energy
Clara Chappaz La French Tech
Pierre Decoussy Business France
Simon Dotzer Plan A
Heike Freund Marvel Fusion
Jan-Christoph Gras Planet A
Guido Houben Transmutex
Michal  Kurtyka Eiffel Investment Group
Lauren Lentz Revent
Yun Luo Rosi Solar
Giuseppe Sangiovanni Audacia / Exergon
Julian  Teicke Wefox
Emilie Vallauri Techstars
Danijel Visevic World Fund
Brigitte Zypries Bundesminister a.D.

We would like to thank the “table leads” who helped write this synthesis :
Alexandra Begue, Shiraz Mahfoudhi, Raphaël Thomas, Emilie Vallauri.

Discover 4 interviews of our guests and partners :

Clara Chappaz, La French Tech

Philippe Huberdeau, Scale Up Europe

Clark Parsons, Internet Economy Foundation

Maximilian Modl, Sendinblue

Design : André Pitié
Video : Maksym Vokhin

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