If you are writing about the global startup scene you often come across the notion that all of the innovation happens to take place in the US whereas Europe, especially Germany, is going to clone the successful concepts, build a local version and hope that one day the US company is going to acquire its European clone in order to get its foothold on the other side of the pond.
And often this is true. The German Samwer brothers have built an entire global empire based on cloning US startups and here in France we also have our fair share of clone-startups that have been acquired by their US-based originals.
What always baffles me is how the tech press is making a difference between a clone and a “European version” of a startup. Especially when former founders who have been acquired are then invited and celebrated as European innovators. Sure, I am willing to give them credit that they figured out how to successfully select a concept to clone, scale and finally sell their startup but that is also the only thing they have achieved – therefore the only thing they should be allowed to speak about in panels.
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