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).
If you thought that all the big US tech blogs ignored Europe except for the occasional LeWeb conference, well, you thought wrong. Actually, if anything, they’ve all been vamping up their European activities recently. TechCrunch has got back up to speed, counting several Europe-based writers and is set to host an event in – yes, ITALY – on Septebmer 27th. It may be yesterday’s news, but The Next Web managed to lure back Robin Wauters as its European Editor earlier this year (though it may seem like events-wise they’re focusing more on rolling out in Latin America). And now GigaOm is rolling out conferences on this side of the Atlantic as well.Read More GigaOm’s Structure conference arrives in Europe (+ discount inside)
On June 30th, France officially lay its infamous minitel network to rest. The box connected French households before the arrival of the Internet is said to have inspired Apple’s Steve Jobs – which shouldn’t be a shock to anyone who knows the country’s history of inventiveness and affinity for beautiful design. Now, as the rest of the world drools over gadgets, including BERG Cloud’s Tiny Printer, Pebble Technology’s E-Paper watch or Google glasses (thoughts?), you may be wondering what gadgets are left on the French menu. Well, here are a few noteworthy French gadget companies to keep an eye on.Read More France-made Gadgets. Yes, there’s more than the minitel.
Last week, as many of you know, I hosted the first of a 3-part conference series on innovation called Les Matinales. We had some incredible speakers, from companies like Airbnb, Uber, Stardoll, Le Petit Ballon, Eyeka, Skimm! and more. And we’ve got 2 more editions lined up for September! Since the event was ever-so-slightly outside of Paris (Ivry-sur-Seine), many people tuned in via live stream to watch. But for anyone who didn’t manage to attend virtually, here’s a quick round up of what happened…Read More Zipcar Founder: “France is leading innovation in transportation”
So the last few weeks have been insanely packed in terms of events. Europe’s entrepreneurs have been busy running around to all kinds of events in places like Poland, Portugal, the UK, France, Ireland and more. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the recent events I attended and spoke at, and the next ones to come – including speaking opportunities for entrepreneurs.Read More Paris Tech Event – Want to be a Speaker?
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?
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
Yes, that’s right, over the weekend France elected a new President, François Hollande. It came as a bit of a surprise to many, as the country has not has a Socialist President since François Mitterrand in 1995 – nor has a President only served 1 term since Valéry Giscard-d’Estaing left office in 1981. Still, clearly France made the decision to move on and turn a new page. So, what does this mean for startups?Read More What the new French President means for startups
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.Read More Thoughts on Being Hungry and Foolish
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.)Read More Come on Europe, Startups are for Losers.