The European Union is looking to its secret geek army to boost the region’s future economy, especially in the domain of designer apps for tablets and phones.
Britain has just announced it wants to teach computer code starting at primary school, but the EU recognises there are barriers to start-ups, like a skills shortage and strong global competition. It also notes only nine percent of the sector’s employees are women.
“If you do a start-up you have to be a bit crazy, and you’re always told ‘OK why don’t you get a real job?’, and I think we still have that kind of problem in Europe, that people don’t really understand why you would do a start-up, why can’t you just go and work for one of those big companies,” said Angry Birds’ Chief Marketing Officer Peter Vesterbacka at an EU news conference to launch the startup initiative.
The ‘Angry Birds’ team had its share of flops before striking gold, but tax laws and bureaucracy in many EU countries make it hard for young entrepreneurs to take the plunge. The EU wants that to change.
It says the mobile phone app economy could more than treble in the next four years, employing millions of people, a bonanza the EU can ill afford to miss.