The 2013 List: 20 Hot French Entrepreneurs Under 30

Alright everyone, here is the 4th edition of the 13 Hot French Entrepreneurs Under 30 list – except this year, it’s not 13…it’s 20. That’s right. I received nearly 60 nominations that qualified – so you can imagine that narrowing it down to 13 was not easy – and after mulling over them for a few days straight I decided, heck, I’ll just make it top 20.

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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.

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Orée: 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 Orée’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.

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Quick acquisitions: a new trend for France?

I’m sure I don’t need to remind any of you when Instagram was acquired for $1 billion by Facebook earlier this year. There were many things about the acquisition that made the world go crazy. But aside from the insane valuation for “a company with no revenue and 10 employees” and the fact that Mark Z was signing the check, the other tiny detail that had everyone going nuts was the company’s age; at the time of the acquisition, Instagram 551-day-old Instagram had not even celebrated it’s 2nd birthday.

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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