An Open Letter to Fleur Pellerin

Disclaimer: This is a letter on behalf of me, myself and I. It does not engage or concern my employer. And for those of you who do not know Fleur Pellerin, she is the French Minister of Digital Economy.

Dear Madame la Ministre.

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GigaOm’s Structure conference arrives in Europe (+ discount inside)

If you thought that all the big US tech blogs ignored Europe except for the occasional LeWeb conference, well, you thought wrong. Actually, if anything, they’ve all been vamping up their European activities recently. TechCrunch has got back up to speed, counting several Europe-based writers and is set to host an event in – yes, ITALY – on Septebmer 27th. It may be yesterday’s news, but The Next Web managed to lure back Robin Wauters as its European Editor earlier this year (though it may seem like events-wise they’re focusing more on rolling out in Latin America). And now GigaOm is rolling out conferences on this side of the Atlantic as well.

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Zipcar Founder: “France is leading innovation in transportation”

Last week, as many of you know, I hosted the first of a 3-part conference series on innovation called Les Matinales. We had some incredible speakers, from companies like Airbnb, Uber, Stardoll, Le Petit Ballon, Eyeka, Skimm! and more. And we’ve got 2 more editions lined up for September! Since the event was ever-so-slightly outside of Paris (Ivry-sur-Seine), many people tuned in via live stream to watch. But for anyone who didn’t manage to attend virtually, here’s a quick round up of what happened…

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Entrepreneurs, if you could change one thing about France what would it be?

Earlier this week, something amazing happened in London. Startup Caravan hosted a French startup competition – in London. Yes, London. 10 French startups were picked to hop across the English Channel and pitch for the London tech community. While there are numerous international and pan-European startup competitions that allow startups from wherever to pitch, this was one of the first times a clear effort was made to introduce some of France’s top tech startups to the UK startup crowd.

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Come on Europe, Startups are for Losers.

No matter how much we try to avoid it, people seem to always revert back to comparing the European tech scene with that of Silicon Valley. In many ways, it’s a bit silly and irrational. Like comparing apples and oranges. After all, the European market is highly fragmented in dozens of ways and faces numerous challenges that the US market does not. Then again, it’s a necessary step in understanding why entrepreneurship thrives in certain environments and not others. (By the way, I’ll be moderating a panel on this very topic at the Advance Conference in Germany later this month.)

Read More Come on Europe, Startups are for Losers.

Haha, the Oh-So-Silly French Startup Pitch

I don’t really know when it dawned on me for the first time that the practices of the startup world are actually, well, kind of silly. For people who aren’t in the industry, some of the lingo is probably just incomprehensible. Startup pitches, various business models, investment trends – most of the people I go to school with must look at my facebook status updates and think I’m on drugs. In fact, one person once thought I was talking about religion when I posted an article on the rise of European super angels. 🙂

So, if we’re so funny why aren’t more comedians making fun of us yet?

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