Why European Startups Are Eyeing the U.S.

What does the United States have that Europe doesn’t?

For Peter Arvai, co-founder and CEO of Prezi, a developer of an online presentation tool that was founded in Hungary, the answer has to do with critical mass.

The United States has the market and the access to capital, Arvai writes in the upcoming issue of Venture Capital Journal.

“After we moved to San Francisco in late 2009, I understood more clearly the origin of the concept of capital markets.” Arvai writes. “I remember feeling positively surprised when I first noted that investors were thinking creatively about how to brand themselves to get to invest in the best startups.”

VCJ subscribers can read the full text of Arvai’s column here.

His column, which is in the March 2011 issue of VCJ but went live today as a treat for subscribers, mirrors a similar column in the February issue from Ilja Laurs, who is CEO and founder of the mobile store GetJar, and that raised $25 million from investors earlier this month.

In his VCJ column, Laurs, who founded his company in Lithuania, says: “Europe’s controlled business environment prohibits the level of experimentation necessary for VC-backed enterprises, particularly in regards to hiring and firing. While American employees who don’t work well in furthering the company’s goals may be terminated without warning, European employees, once hired, can rest safely in their jobs for an extended period.”

Another talking point on this issue is this news article from Reuters in which John Malloy from BlueRun Ventures says that the center of activity for innovation in the mobile sector is the United States and California in particular.

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And if you want to chime in on the Europe-U.S. debate, send an email to VCJ Editor-in-Charge Alastair Goldfisher.