According to the President of EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Business & Operations for Google, Mr. Matthew John Brittin, tech startups are sitting on a proverbial goldmine of opportunities, thanks to the doubling of the number of people with access to internet from around the world, by the year 2020. Mr. Brittin was speaking at Warsaw, Poland, on the occasion of the opening of Google’s latest ‘Campus’ hub for technology entrepreneurs and startups. According to him, “The connected population is going to double in five years. Five billion online. Everyone with the entire Internet in their pockets”, referring in all likelihood, to the proliferation in the number of people using the internet, thanks to the advent of inexpensive connected devices like smartphones. Poland’s new Minister for Development, Mr. Mateusz Morawiecki, was also present at the occasion.
According to Mr. Brittin, “That’s a huge opportunity. This is a transformational period. Five years where we’ll go from a minority to a majority of the people on the planet being connected. That’s why the moment is now for startups to look up and out and think about that market of five billion people that you can connect with in the next five years”. He went on to refer to Google as a “growth engine for entrepreneurs and for the economy”, and expressed his optimism at how he foresees the connected world, with a majority of the people on the face of the planet being connected to each other via the internet. Mr. Brittin further went on to say how he truly believes the internet has helped in making the world a global village, “Today we see millions of companies who are growing and exporting by accessing tools, talent, technology, sales and distribution around the world. We call them the ‘micro-multinationals’. Every startup can be global from its birth”, is how he put it.
Coming to the newly-opened ‘Campus’ startup hub in the Polish capital, it is the fifth such facility globally, after the initial one was opened in London, England, back in 2012. Other ‘Campuses’ are already operational in Tel Aviv, Israel; Seoul, South Korea; and Madrid, Spain. The American tech giant also says that it is planning to open the next such facility at Sao Paolo in Brazil, at some stage during the first half of next year. As for the Warsaw ‘Campus’, it resides inside a “renovated vodka distillery in a poorer area of the Polish capital”. as per AFP. The Campus initiative from Google provides free or low-cost office spaces for qualifying tech startups to work out of during their formative years, and is born out of Google’s own struggle in finding a low-cost office space when the search giant was just starting out. The company, then at its nascent stage, ended up working out the garage of the Menlo Park, California home of Ms. Susan Wojcicki, the current YouTube CEO and the eighteenth employee of Google overall. The company meanwhile, still had to pay as much as $1,700 per month as rent for the ‘office space’.