The private sector drives influence in European tech

The pulse of progress beats strongest in the private sector, and this holds true across the European tech influencer community. Our recent 2023 Tyto Tech 500 research, which compiles the top influencers from five European countries – the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Sweden, reveals an interesting dynamic in the realm of tech influence.

Understanding the power shifts: 2023, the year of the private sector

Business leaders play a significant role in shaping the European tech landscape, comprising 57% of the individuals in the overall Tech 500 (the combination of all country lists). Entrepreneurs also have a notable presence, accounting for 7% of the influential figures identified in our Tyto Tech 500 this year. These two categories, business leaders and entrepreneurs, occupy the top and third positions, respectively, in the overall Tech 500.

This year, the increased prominence of business leaders and entrepreneurs in the European tech influencer landscape can be attributed to various factors. Primarily, the ongoing growth and innovation within the private sector thrust business leaders into the spotlight. Frequently at the vanguard of groundbreaking technological advancements and essential digital transformations, these individuals hold particularly influential insights and actions, especially in times of crisis, global political unrest and the imperative for innovation —both in tech and across all facets of societal life.

Additionally, the growth of the Entrepreneur category can be attributed to an enhanced recognition and acknowledgment of their pivotal role in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. Entrepreneurs have become more crucial as a response to the high demand for novel ideas and innovative approaches, as highlighted above. Despite a decline in startup creation, Europe continues to be a fertile ground for tech innovation. Consequently, it’s only natural that business leaders and entrepreneurs have taken centre stage in our tech research this year, underscoring the growing influence of their innovative ideas in shaping the technological landscape.

However, it’s also worth noting that there has been a slight reduction in the prominence of these categories compared to the previous year. Business leaders have seen a decrease of 1.5 percentage points, while entrepreneurs have experienced a decline of 1.1 percentage points in the overall Tech 500.

Journalists, the second most prominent group among the influential figures identified in our research, make up 21% of the overall Tech 500. This group has shown the most significant growth over the past year, with an increase of 2.2 percentage points. This data underscores the vital role played by journalists in shaping and reflecting the technology narrative in Europe, across all sectors of influence analysed.

The foremost influencer in the business leader category is Richard Branson, the British entrepreneur behind the Virgin Group. Other notable figures in this category include Daniel Ek, the co-founder and CEO of Spotify. The top entrepreneurs in the Tyto Tech 500 encompass individuals like Carl Pei, founder of Nothing; Daniel Korski, CEO of PUBLIC, and Verena Pausder, founder of venture capital firm Pausder Ventures.

Regional Tyto Tech 500 trends: What’s happening in each country?

The influence landscape varies by country, with some compelling patterns emerging. In the UK, France, Germany, and Sweden, private enterprise individuals occupy the top positions of influence. Business leaders take the lead in these four countries, closely followed by other professionals from the world of tech media – a consistent pattern that emphasises the overarching role of the private sector.

France stands out as the country with the highest percentage of business leaders within its Tech 500 country ranking, representing a remarkable 70%. Germany (64%), Sweden (62%), and the UK (51%) also see business leaders constituting more than half of the total influencers in their respective country rankings.

However, the Netherlands deviates from this prevailing pattern among the five countries. Here, journalists take the lead, constituting 42% of the total influencers in the ranking, while the business leader category finds itself in second position, but nevertheless representing one in four of the country’s influencers. This first-place distinct deviation highlights the unique dynamics in the Dutch tech influencer community, included for the first time in our Tyto Tech 500 in 2023, and shows that tech journalists hold significant sway in shaping the technology discourse in the Netherlands.

In the European tech influencer landscape, the private sector, particularly business leaders and entrepreneurs, continue to dominate. Nevertheless, as we have highlighted, in some countries journalists are gaining prominence, emphasising their equal importance in shaping the tech narrative.

The overwhelming influence of private sector personalities in the tech industry at European level is just one of the findings of this year’s Tyto Tech 500. If you want to explore the rest of the highlights of the report, you can read this summary blog and in the coming weeks we will continue to delve into the main findings in other blogs. If you’re curious to know more, download the full Tyto Tech 500 report.