CES Goes Global

MTB CEO Marco Marinucci Talks Transatlantic Challenges for Startups at CES 2016

Every January, the tech and media community descends on Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), a showcase for some of the most famous gadget unveilings of the past three decades (think camcorder in 1981, the DVD in 1996, and 3DTV in 2010).

But it’s not just the usual hardware giants like Samsung, Sony, and LG that the world was watching this year. CES has also become home to thousands of startups searching for their big break. And notably, it was a global show this year.

Here’s a breakdown of the countries (excluding the U.S.) that had the largest number of exhibitors at CES 2016:

 China – 1,127

France – 211

Canada – 92

Germany – 54

UK – 53

South Korea – 49

Hong Kong – 48

Japan – 40

Israel – 36

Sweden – 14

Italy – 12

Unsurprisingly, China led the pack of international booths with over 1,000 companies taking part in the show. A horde of French startups also showed up, sparking talk that France was taking over CES.

For many of the participating international startups, attending CES was simply about attracting media attention and maybe if they were lucky, potential investment. But for many others, it presented an opportunity to learn about the realities of doing business in the U.S.

Mind the Bridge CEO Marco Marinucci spoke to a packed audience of global startups, SMEs, and American investors on the topic of  “Enhancing Opportunities in the Transatlantic Market – Best Practices for SMEs and Startups” at The European American Economic Council Matchfest. He sat on a panel along with other top investors from TradeUp Capital Fund, DNA Partners Venture Capital, and Bank of the West to offer advice to EU companies seeking to go global, and insight on how to innovate financing.

U.S. investors should have an appetite for getting involved with Europe’s next crop of scale-ups. CB Insights estimates that European startups attracted more than $3.5b in 313 deals in the third quarter of 2015. Of the top 10 most active VC investors in Europe however, only one American firm, Accel Partners, made the top 10. And currently, total EU venture investment comprises only 1/5 of U.S. deals. Clearly, there’s a pressing need for more capital to finance future EU unicorns.

The daylong EAEC event also hosted keynotes from Thomas Guevara, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, and Kirstin Schreiber, the EU Parliament’s Director of SME Policy. A key theme they addressed was how to strengthen transatlantic ties. Guevara spoke of the $3.5 trillion of business annually between the U.S. and EU, yet recognized the need for more supportive policy for SMEs specifically. The day finished off with a “matchfest”, pairing investors seeking international opportunities with global startups and SMEs from 14 countries. For the international stars at CES 2016, it was an event not to be missed!

We’ll let you know about future matching events for startups seeking global opportunities. Stay updated by subscribing to our blog.