Startup Life/Communities/Opinion/ Data reveals that meetups make for a thriving tech scene Atomico’s head of insights Tom Wehmeier gives compelling data that community meetups are a key factor in fostering innovation. By Tom Wehmeier 15 April 2019 \Startup Life The best newsletters to follow on European tech By Amy Lewin 27 September 2022 Startup Life/Communities/Opinion/ Data reveals that meetups make for a thriving tech scene Atomico’s head of insights Tom Wehmeier gives compelling data that community meetups are a key factor in fostering innovation. By Tom Wehmeier 15 April 2019 Community meetups are the secret to a flourishing tech scene. Or at least that’s the suggestion of the chart below, which looks at how cities with more startup events also have more venture capital backed companies. Today we at the Atomico insights team are filling in for Sifted’s data guru Ian Hathaway, and highlighting this chart from the State of European Tech report on the relationship between community and success. It shows a very high correlation (r-squared of 0.914) between the strength of tech community engagement within cities, as defined by the number of tech-related Meetups, and the rate of VC-backed tech company formation. This all makes sense: if there are opportunities for like-minded individuals to share experiences and ideas, innovation will follow. Take Berlin. The city is by far the largest hub in Germany by the level of capital invested, which represents more than 5x the level of the next largest Germany city. But in terms of the underlying tech talent pool, it’s only the third largest city in Germany, lagging behind the cities of Cologne and Frankfurt. Read more: It’s been a record quarter for European VC investment with €7bn poured into startups Read more: Silicon Valley VCs are investing more in European startups What sets Berlin apart? First, Berlin has been able to mobilise the local talent pool to direct its attention to tech entrepreneurship and startups. Secondly, Berlin has built an active and engaged community for those people to share knowledge. If you can get those two really working, everything else will follow organically, including company formation, capital investment, job creation and more. This is because when cities succeed in building active communities around their engineering talent, the data suggests that capital investment follows in larger volumes. The strength of tech community development is a critical leading indicator signposting the future potential of the European tech ecosystem. Tom Wehmeier is the head of insights at the London-based venture capital firm Atomico. He is filling in for Ian Hathaway. Related Articles Meet the 10 Tech Nation Rising Star Winners Sponsored by Tech Nation Click here to read more TechHub may be down and out in London, but not in Eastern Europe By Kit Gillet in Bucharest Click here to read more European tech events ploughing ahead despite coronavirus fears By Sam Shead Click here to read more Is ‘community-washing’ the new greenwashing? By Neil Barrie and Isaiah Wellington-Lynn Click here to read more Most Read 1 \Healthtech Is Daniel Ek’s new body scanner worth the hype? Sifted tried it out 2 \Venture Capital VC diversity needs to change — and white men need to take responsibility 3 \Venture Capital New €3.75bn European Investment Fund pot to back late-stage VCs 4 \Sustainability Counteract closes £15m fund for carbon removal solutions 5 \Mobility Was the $5bn that VCs plugged into escooters worth it?