Startup Crush: Gemmyo

Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Pauline Laigneau, cofounder of French online jewelry startup Gemmyo. I’ll be totally honest; from afar, this startup looks an awful lot like US customized jewelry site Gemvara – but once I got to discover the story behind the French equivalent, I realized it was really something else. And I just had to add it to my Startup Crush list đŸ™‚

Read More Startup Crush: Gemmyo

Afterthoughts on Lunch with the French President

As many of you know, I had the incredible honor of being invited to a lunch with the French President earlier this week alongside some of France’s biggest names in tech. That’s right, little American me was invited to discuss the state of the French ecosystem. If you’re thinking “huh?”, don’t worry, I was too đŸ™‚ I was sat around the table with the likes of Jacques-Antoine Granjon (Vente-privĂ©e), Marc Simoncini (Meetic), Marie Ekeland (Elaia Partners), Fleur Pellerin (Minister of Digital Economy) and other people I beyond admire. Oh, right, and then there was the French President himself.

Read More Afterthoughts on Lunch with the French President

Startup Crush: JellyNote

So some of you may have realized by now that I have a list of my Startup Crushes, featuring the awesome likes of VoiceBunny, Augment, Wunderlist and more.

My latest Startup Crush – who recently won the startup competition at the Blend Conference in Lyon – is JellyNote.

Read More Startup Crush: JellyNote

How European Cities are Building Tech Capitals*

No, I’m NOT writing yet another article on which city of London, Paris or Berlin is going to be Europe’s leading startup city. I think that debate is well overplayed and quite frankly a pointless conversation to have. But – as many of you already know – what has fascinated me over the last few years has been watching how the European ecosystem is developing and how different cities are building tech capitals and in very different ways.

Read More How European Cities are Building Tech Capitals*

Oh French Startup Crowd, You’re Growing Up!

I thought I would poke my head up into the blogging world again. Clearly, it’s been a while. A long while. I realized this when I attended Paris Startup Weekend at La Mutinerie this past weekend. Honestly, it was the first time I could really see how much the French startup crowd is changing. The teams all pitched in English (and did brilliant, hilarious pitches), they had killer ideas. It made me feel like France’s ecosystem is starting to grow up.

Read More Oh French Startup Crowd, You’re Growing Up!

Which French Entrepreneurs Are Actually Leaving France?

When President François Hollande took office earlier this year, I wrote a brief post on what this would mean for France – or more specifically, French startups. As a result of the President’s proposed 75% tax, many of France’s wealthier entrepreneurs and investors were rumored to be planning their relocation to neighboring Belgium, Switzerland, the UK or even the US (for those who can secure a visa) – including Pixmania cofounder Jean-Emile Rosenblum, which I wrote about here. However, naturally not all of the rumored departures are true. So here’s a look at which of France’s top entrepreneurs are actually leaving the country.

Read More Which French Entrepreneurs Are Actually Leaving France?

OrĂ©e: The Wooden Keyboard Made in France

So after a period of quasi-silence, I’m back at the blogging wheel. And what better to kick it off with, than OrĂ©e’s wooden keyboard. I first mentioned it on Twitter on Monday and discovered lots of followers not only loved it but also had lots of questions: is it waterproof? Is a French “AZERTY” layout available? How do you clean it? Finally, I decided to get in touch with founder Julien Salanave and get your questions answered.

Read More OrĂ©e: The Wooden Keyboard Made in France

Pixmania founders: one to leave France, the other to launch local fund

From the moment that François Hollande became the President of France earlier this year, the international press has been waiting for entrepreneurs to leave the country. Hollande’s 75% tax rule caused quite an uproar in the French community – and even Will Smith said he found it unpalatable. However, this brilliant excuse for a little France bashing has led quite a few journalists astray, as they casually overlook the fact the entrepreneurs threatening to leave also happened to be raising massive rounds of funding to continue doing business at home (oops). I found all of this to be quite hilarious since I didn’t know a single French entrepreneur that was packing up and leaving the country. Well, until now.

Read More Pixmania founders: one to leave France, the other to launch local fund

Kima Ventures’ Jeremie Berrebi says no journalists wrote true Sparrow story

As just about everyone probably knows by now, Google announced its first France-based acquisition on Friday: Sparrow. I say “announced” because according to a few sources, Google has previously acquired France-based companies but chosen not to communicate. Anyhow, regardless of what the situation is, the Sparrow team is packing their bags and heading to Mountain View to join the Gmail team in what looks more like a talent-acquisition (another rare occurrence for France).

Read More Kima Ventures’ Jeremie Berrebi says no journalists wrote true Sparrow story