It is an exercise I usually like to use as an introduction to high-tech entrepreneurship: give me the name of 10 big sucess stories, and I mean (for example) the name of 10 public companies, which were founded as start-ups in the last 40 years. Usually, it is quite easy to give American names, and more difficult to find European ones. So the tables below give such names for IT first and for biotech second.
I had done the exercise in my book in 2007 but some companies such as Business Objects or Sun Microsystems have been acquired. Here I add the sales and profit numbers to the market caps and the number of employees.
What is striking I think, in addition to the difference in order of magnitudes is the difference between foundation to IPO year. Biotech is slightly different, though I am not sure it is fundamentally different… It is however interesting to notice that time to IPO is much more similar between the two continents in biotech than it is in IT.