Next Stop: La Halle Freyssinet

A few weeks ago, I announced that I was leaving Microsoft and mentioned that in the upcoming weeks I would be announcing my next move. Some people asked me if I was moving back to California (uh, why would I do that?) and some people asked me if I was launching my own startup (maybe one day, *sigh*). And no, I was not leaving Microsoft to join Google. When people would ask me what I was going to do, I would reply…

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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?

Read More The Evolution of the French Investment Landscape

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.

Read More Afterthoughts on Lunch with the French President

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).

GigaOm’s Structure conference arrives in Europe (+ discount inside)

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)

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.

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.

Read More Does Europe’s tech scene enjoy self-bashing?