weGrow’s Gernot Schwendtner on Europe’s startup scene in 2021 – Consultancy.eu

As we enter 2021 and look ahead to the current year, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic undoubtedly looms at the forefront of conversations. In a climate where uncertainty is the only certainty, how can startup CEOs and entrepreneurs future-proof their businesses, achieve growth in existing markets and win new ones? A discussion with Gernot Schwendtner, the co-founder of growth consultancy weGrow International. 

How has 2020 impacted the startup ecosystem?

2020 has undoubtedly been a tough year, and the crisis has had a significant impact on the startup ecosystem. Worldwide, venture capital funding fell in 2020, with many sectors struggling as cash flow depleted and many unfortunate but necessary layoffs were made. Since the start of the pandemic, 72 percent of the world’s startups saw their revenue fall, averaging a decline of about 32 percent. Startups in hard-hit sectors continue to be particularly at-risk, as they continue to be in the dark with no pathway to launch during this period.

However, the crisis has also spurred innovation. Encouragingly, startup communities came together in solidarity to support each other and collectively adapted in order to survive. From distant selling to remote working, new ways of efficient work and business operations were realised, leading to accelerated digital transformation. This led to new opportunities and business growth for those that were agile and able to ride the wave, such as GovTech, HRTech, many B2B SaaS solutions and e-commerce sectors. 

Gernot Schwendtner, Co-Founder, WeGrow

Although some sectors, such as tourism and

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