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.

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Seeking: talented French entrepreneurs under 30 for recognition

So if anyone has bothered to read this blog over the last few years, you’ll know that I publish an annual list called 13 hot French entrepreneurs under 30. Some of the names who made the list in 2010 include the founders of hot French startups like Deezer, MediaStay, Spartoo, MyMajorCompany, Leetchi, Restopolitan and more. And last year’s list included similar startup stars, like the founders of JolieBox, Owlient, Jimmy Fairly, L’Usine à Design and more.

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Europe, Where Does Innovation Come From?

On Monday, I was hosted a track on creating a cool company at Gotocon (a developer conference) in Aarhus, Denmark. I was rather impressed by the geeky crowd, most of who paid around €2,500 per person to attend the 3-day conference. The price tag and the size definitely made me think of LeWeb – although most of the topics covered were way more technical. But if there was one thing that really caught my attention more than anything else, it was one of the questions that was asked by an attendee.

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Thoughts on Being Hungry and Foolish

As you can tell, it took me a while to decide whether or not to write something about Steve Jobs. At first, I thought it was perhaps a little cliché. After all, everyone is writing about Steve right now (yes, we’re on a first-name basis) – my words would simply get lost in the crowd. But then again, how could I not? Steve is one of America’s most celebrated modern visionaries – and the footprint he left will forever mark the development of technology, culture, business and much more. And on a much more personal note, he is one of the most inspirational people I have ever discovered.

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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.)

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The (new) 13 hot French entrepreneurs under 30

It’s funny – one of the more popular posts that I’ve written on this blog was the 13 hot French entrepreneurs under 30 list. It still gets hits and it was published over a year ago. So I figure it’s time to give it a little update for 2 reasons: first, because some of those people are no longer under 30 and also because there are definitely new names to add to the list! Yes, my friends, there has definitely been a dramatic increase in the number of young entrepreneurs in France. So in no particular order, here comes some names that I feel should be added to the list.

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The Father of Modern Venture Capital was F-R-E-N-C-H

Usually when I tell people I’m doing a Masters degree in International Political Economy, they look at me funny and follow-up with a “Huh, I guess that doesn’t really have much to do with tech.” And for a long time, I felt this way too. The IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, sovereign debt, currency crises, oil shocks, etc. didn’t really seem to overlap much with startups and innovation. But then again, startups and innovation are at the heart of economic development and growth. Therefore it’s almost impossible not to draw connections between the two fields.

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