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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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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France is Putting the “F” into “Failure”

A while back I wrote a post on how the French educational system isn’t exactly entrepreneur friendly. And this is just based off of my simple observations and personal experience at a French university. Now that I have attended university in the US, France and the UK, I can say with complete certainty that French professors are by far the harshest with their students when it comes to mistakes. One would think that they get joy out of making their students look ridiculous – even when they make the smallest of errors. I’ve even heard some “feedback” from professors that could make one borderline suicidal. Not exactly what I would call educationally encouraging…

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You Suck! Entrepreneurship and Elite French Education

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry¬†published an article in Silicon Alley Insider today on the negative impact of the hierarchical French education system on entrepreneurship. Let’s take a look at his argument for “Why France fails at start-ups”, shall we? Is “Grande √©cole” French for “Ivy League”? For all the Silicon Alley Insider readers that saw the term “grande […]

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