French Startup Scales Up is Groupon for bootstrappers

Every now and then, European entrepreneurs love to complain about how investors. The typical complaint goes something like this: European VCs are risk-averse, there’s no money on this side of the Atlantic and no European equivalent of Sand Hill Road. But every now and then, entrepreneurs love to innovate their way out of this potential problem.

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France’s Twitter Problem

Yesterday as I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook, a rather intriguing status update caught my eye: Twitter lessons by Valérie Trierweiler. Shortly thereafter, I discovered that France’s first lady had done a little Twitter damage by openly supporting Olivier Falorni in the upcoming legislative elections – who is up against the French president’s ex (whom he openly supports), Ségolène Royal.

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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.

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

US press ignores French startup successes, and here’s proof.

Prior to the election of French President François Hollande on May 6th, successful French serial entrepreneur and investor, Marc Simoncini, threatened to leave France. Citing various issues primarily with France’s wealth tax (not to be confused with the 75% tax), the founder of Meetic said France could become the last place any entrepreneur would want to be. And guess what – the US press went wild.

Read More US press ignores French startup successes, and here’s proof.

The best France-related questions on Quora

As some of you may know, I used to be a very loyal fan of Aardvark. The famous question and answer service launched as “Mechanical Zoo” in 2007 was acquired by Google in 2010 for $50 million and very sadly shut down last year. I used to get some of the most amazing questions from other Aardvark users – including “what time is it now?” and “where is Paris?” – but you can see my all time favorites here.

Read More The best France-related questions on Quora

Does Europe’s tech scene enjoy self-bashing?

Recently, I’ve noticed a new flood of negativity building up in Europe’s startup scene. Sure, the Euro isn’t doing particularly well and France (and apparently Will Smith?) is a little uneasy with what François Hollande’s government has in store. And Europe isn’t culturally as over-the-top optimistic as its transatlantic neighbor. Still, sometimes it feels like Europe’s tech scene enjoys a bit of self-bashing, whether it be about entrepreneurs’ incapability to “dream big” or VC’s ROI.

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The 2012 list: 13 Hot French Entrepreneurs Under 30

For the last 2 years, I’ve been publishing an annual list of some of France’s hottest entrepreneurs under 30. You can check out the lists for 2010 and 2011. Usually I pick all the people for the list myself. However, this year, I decided to take suggestions from the crowd. I got an overwhelming number of suggestions and I want to thank everyone for their contributions. Just as a quick reminder, if someone has already appeared on this list in previous years, they unfortunately cannot be re-selected.

Read More The 2012 list: 13 Hot French Entrepreneurs Under 30