Earlier this week was the first European edition of the Founder Conference, the conference put on by Adeo Ressi‘s Founder Institute. And just as the Founder Institute made its European debut in Paris, so did the Founder Conference.
According to Alain Baritault, one of the organizers of the Paris Founder Institute, the organizers selected one of the hardest cities in Europe for the launch of the program – and was very pleasantly surprised by the results. Several companies had already been approached by investors and one even secured funding before the famous 4 months were up !
So to give you a taste of what happened at the event (aside from Adeo Ressi tearing apart a handful of company pitches as usual), Deezer co-founder Jonathan Benassaya kicked off the conference with an excellent look at the current state of entrepreneurship in France. He gave a rather detailed look at some of the cultural issues that local entrepreneurs face, for example the mere fact that wanting to make oodles of dollars à l’américaine is still seen as rather taboo. Still, he didn’t ignore the fact that the local ecosystem is developing rapidly, especially with the new super angels and seed funds. But larger French companies are still slow to adopt hiring practices like Google & Co, the exit market still has a bit of growing-up to do. Thus, being an entrepreneur in France – according to Benassaya – is both a dream and a nightmare, to put a bit of a dramatic spin on things.
Gandi.net co-founder, Pierre Beyssac also took the stage just before a panel of some of today’s rising stars in the French entrepreneur scene, including Submate co-founder Laurent Kretz, Leetchi founder Céline Lazorthes and Xtremgo founder Matthieu Lefort. Interestingly, Lefort, who is a graduate of the Paris Founder Institute, is based in the Principality of Andorra and came regularly to Paris in order to participate in the program.
All in all, the first European Founder Conference was definitely a great beginning to something that is likely to grow rapidly, especially given that the Founder Institute has just kicked off a new session in Paris as in Brussels.
And from what I’ve been told, Adeo Ressi also managed to commute to and from Paris without being arrested.