Quick acquisitions: a new trend for France?

I’m sure I don’t need to remind any of you when Instagram was acquired for $1 billion by Facebook earlier this year. There were many things about the acquisition that made the world go crazy. But aside from the insane valuation for “a company with no revenue and 10 employees” and the fact that Mark Z was signing the check, the other tiny detail that had everyone going nuts was the company’s age; at the time of the acquisition, Instagram 551-day-old Instagram had not even celebrated it’s 2nd birthday.

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France-made Gadgets. Yes, there’s more than the minitel.

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 PrinterPebble 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.

US press ignores French startup successes, and here’s proof.

Prior to the election of French President François Hollande on May 6th, successful French serial entrepreneur and investor, Marc Simoncini, threatened to leave France. Citing various issues primarily with France’s wealth tax (not to be confused with the 75% tax), the founder of Meetic said France could become the last place any entrepreneur would want to be. And guess what – the US press went wild.

Read More US press ignores French startup successes, and here’s proof.

The best France-related questions on Quora

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

Does Europe’s tech scene enjoy self-bashing?

Recently, I’ve noticed a new flood of negativity building up in Europe’s startup scene. Sure, the Euro isn’t doing particularly well and France (and apparently Will Smith?) is a little uneasy with what François Hollande’s government has in store. And Europe isn’t culturally as over-the-top optimistic as its transatlantic neighbor. Still, sometimes it feels like Europe’s tech scene enjoys a bit of self-bashing, whether it be about entrepreneurs’ incapability to “dream big” or VC’s ROI.

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What the new French President means for startups

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?

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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.

Read More The 2012 list: 13 Hot French Entrepreneurs Under 30