The Evolution of the French Investment Landscape

France is not usually the first European country that comes to mind when it comes to investing in startups, especially since the arrival of socialist President Francois Hollande in 2012 and the ensuing Pigeon movement; France’s entrepreneurs revolted against government plans to double the capital gains tax to 60%. And of course, stories like the DailyMotion saga do not help. Still, France’s tech startups are not void of funding. In 2014, the top 10 investment deals amount to over €220 million. Furthermore, several French tech startups including Deezer, Blablacar andSigfox have announced $100 million rounds of funding in the last few years. So, if it’s such a bad place to invest, what exactly is going on?

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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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No France, the problem is not Newsweek

By now, just about everyone has heard of that Newsweek article that all the French are allegedly going nuts about. You know, the one that states that all the entrepreneurs are leaving France since Hollande took over as President because of the whopping 75% tax rate. You know, it’s that article that plays on that over-played joke that the French don’t have a word for “entrepreneur” and struggles to find a French equivalent for Bill Gates or Richard Branson. Yawn.

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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 🙂

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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 🙂 I was sat around the table with the likes of Jacques-Antoine Granjon (Vente-privée), 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.

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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.

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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*