Now is the best time to launch a tech startup

Fiascos always present new opportunities for entrepreneurs. The dotcom bubble — which happened exactly 20 years ago — killed off companies like Pets.com but strengthened the likes of Amazon and eBay. Airbnb, Spotify, Uber, Dropbox, Adyen, Evernote and more all grew out of the economic downturn of 2008 (as many a venture capitalist likes to mention). 

Even smaller-scale crises have been catalysts for startups. In France, the Icelandic volcano eruption of 2010 and the more recent metro strikes fuelled the rise of alternate means of transportation, like carpooling platform BlaBlaCar and electric scooters. 

This is an opportunity — it’s time for the tech sector to seize it. 

Read More Now is the best time to launch a tech startup

Iranian Startups: Looks a lot like France to me

Disclaimer: since about 2012 I’ve been following Iran’s rising startup scene. It first started with a few Startup Weekend events here and there. But I’ve seen the ecosystem really take off – and to an incredible degree and sometimes in the most unexpected ways. So – even though I usually cover France and Europe on this blog – I thought I would share a big of Iran’s rising ecosystem with you.

Read More Iranian Startups: Looks a lot like France to me

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.

Read More No France, the problem is not Newsweek

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.

Read More Afterthoughts on Lunch with the French President

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*

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!

The day Google acquired in France (Oh wait, that’s today).

Rumors had been turning around the French tech scene for quite a while that French startup Sparrow (which also happens to be my favorite email client of all time) had been in acquisition discussions. And there were rumors that several tech heavyweights had approached the company, which still hasn’t celebrated its 2nd birthday (yes, à la Instagram). But France still got a pleasant surprise when the news broke today that it was Google that would be acquiring the company.

Read More The day Google acquired in France (Oh wait, that’s today).