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The AI 100 by CB Insights: a challenge for Europe

CB Insight provides us again with one of their great lists. After their famous list of unicorns (startups worth more than $1bn, check it out here:, this time they came up with a list of the World's most promising AI startups.

There is an overwhelming domination of the U.S. in this list, with 65 companies, where Europe has only 15 companies, half of them in the UK. Germany has two, France one. China only has six, Japan one, India none. Is that a bias due to the fact that CB Insights is an Anglo-saxon firm and made their list based on their US/UK ecosystem of venture capital firms or does that mean something when the economies number 2,3,4,5 & 6 in the world by GDP have only 10 companies in that list? Probably a bit of both.

Even if there were a bias in the list, due to the fact that continental Europe companies have a hard time getting access to proper VC financing, for Europe, there is no doubt that this is a major concern. How can you pretend to remain what you are when you are almost absent from the hottest tech in the world? The one that will determine who holds the data, therefore who holds the power in the future, if "datacracy" happens to be the future form of power.

European countries have invested in AI lately with billion Euros investment plans in France or Germany, but they still have to improve their VC ecosystems to help financing their AI entrepreneurs and make them global companies and serious contenders. A challenge for the future if you don't want to be scrapped from the map...

Healthcare is the leading industry in that list, showing again how medical data are going to be key in the future AI landscape. It's another area where Europe is structurally different from the U.S., with a large public healthcare sector that is sometimes a bit slow - to say it gently - to foster IT innovation in the healthcare ecosystem. That is another key challenge for Europe: how to preserve and keep financing public healthcare systems and foster innovation by local startups in the healthcare industry? As we see it in the current U.S. - UK post-Brexit trade deal negotiations, there is a high pressure on the European public healthcare industry by U.S. companies - that are often more wealthy and more innovative - to enter the European markets. A gigantic challenge for Europe.

(AI 100 - CB Insight)

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