Roxanne Varza

Roxanne Varza

Roxanne Varza currently leads Microsoft's startup activities in France, running both Bizspark and Microsoft Ventures programs.

In April 2013, Business Insider listed her as one of the top 30 women under 30 in tech.

Prior to Microsoft, she worked for several European startups and was also the Editor of TechCrunch France.

She also co-founded the French and British chapters of Girls in Tech and is the co-organizer of the Failcon Paris conference. More recently, she co-founded Tech.eu, a European tech publication.

Prior to TechCrunch, Roxanne worked for the French government's foreign direct investment agency in San Francisco helping fast-growing startups develop their activities in France.

She has spoken, moderated, mentored and judged numerous startup events and programs throughout Europe and also helps European startups with content and communications. She has also contributed to other publications, including The Telegraph, The Kernel, Betakit and Business Insider.

Roxanne is trilingual, an epilepsy advocate, and holds degrees from UCLA, Sciences Po Paris and the London School of Economics.

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Latest from Roxanne Varza

  • Huh? Two 25-Year-Old Americans Launch A Groupon Clone…In France?

    I’m pretty sure I know what you’re thinking: Huh? Wtf ? Why would any Americans in their right mind want to leave the happiest business place on earth to launch anything in France?! Maybe the wine? Ok, maybe you’re not thinking that. But it doesn’t change the fact that 25-year-old American entrepreneurs Anton Bernstein and Joshua David hopped the Atlantic to launch… Read More

  • TechStars' European Affiliate Startupbootcamp Launches In Madrid, Berlin And London To Follow

    Is it just me, or is everyone and their mother talking about startup accelerators these days? I seriously feel like we’re in some kind of Paul Graham era. Y Combinator-made startups like Dropbox, Xobni, Loopt, AirBnB, WePay, etc. have gotten all kinds of attention and similar programs seem to be popping up all over the place, even in London. When I asked Graham, he didn’t seem… Read More

  • Eyeka Launches Its Crowdsourced Creative Feedback Platform In The US

    One year ago, French startup Eyeka announced that it had raised €3 million ($4 million) to take its online alternative to the traditional focus group international. The company had raised €8 million to date and had already opened offices in Singapore. Last year, the 40-person company set-up shop in the UK and now it’s officially launching in the US, with offices in San Francisco and… Read More

  • 3 French Internet Titans Launch A European Startup School

    In France, it seems January is always full of surprises. This time last year, new seed funds Kima Ventures and Jaina Capital were announcing their plans to fill a gaping void in the French investment landscape.  And now the same French internet titans (more or less) are announcing the launch of the Ecole Européenne des Métiers de l’Internet (EEMI), a European internet startup school… Read More

  • Italy's VCs Are Letting Their Best Startups Go

    Italian entrepreneur Marco Palladino is currently 22 years old – but he was only 19 when he first started looking for funding for his startup. For roughly 2 years, he and his cofounders met with every last investor on the Italian Peninsula and without any success. But despite their empty pockets, they weren’t ready to throw in the towel on their startup, an API marketplace for… Read More

  • French Groupon Clone Scores €1.5 Million to Conquer More French Territory

    Perhaps now that Groupon is happily being valued at $4.75 billion, investors all over the world are getting all the more interested in the local group daily deal platforms. Brand new Moroccan clone MyDeal is rumored to be raising a round and France’s Dealissime closed its first round of funding back in July. And now another French Groupon clone, Bon-Privé, is announcing that it has… Read More

  • Dating Site Ladieshoesme Lets Ladies Pick A Man Like A Pair Of Shoes

    Oh man, it’s going to be hard not to let my feminist side shine through writing about this topic, but I’ll try my best! Ladieshoesme is a brand new French dating site, launched officially on December 13th, where ladies pick a man as if he were a pair of shoes…literally. Members essentially have to identify themselves as a pair of shoes on the platform. That means, when you… Read More

  • Alven Capital Pumps €2 Million into Smallable's Designer Rag Dolls and Eco-Friendly Puzzles for Children

    It’s December 14th. The holidays are getting closer…and closer…And with only 10 days until Christmas, I am sure there are tons of parents still frantically searching for something for their kids. Hoping to avoid crowded malls, many are perhaps buying gifts online. So what better time to announce a €2 million ($2.6 million) investment in an online store with over 150 of… Read More

  • No, It's Not A Facebook Profile. It's Picasso (well, almost).

    If Pablo Picasso or Belgian surrealist, René Magritte, were alive and on Facebook, their profiles would probably be a terrific work of art. Yes, that’s right, Magritte is the one who did this painting. With a little inspiration from the Treachery of Images, I bet he’d also write something along the lines of “This is not a Facebook profile” or “Ceci n’est pas… Read More

  • French Fund ISAI Brings Together 70 Entrepreneurs to Invest in Commerce Guys

    The French entrepreneurs’ fund, ISAI, has just announced that its investing in Commerce Guys, a Franco-American company that develops open source Drupal e-commerce solutions. This is the third investment for the fund run by some 70 French entrepreneurs from these companies, which previously invested in carpooling platform Covoiturage and the high-class online marketplace, InstantLuxe. … Read More

  • Nothing Says "I'm Stuck in the 1990s" Like Lëkki's Motorola StarTAC in Hot Pink

    If you were one of those people that watched the iPhone4 v. HTC Evo Xtranormal videos made by Brian Maupin and caught yourself thinking that today’s mobile phones are just downright overcomplicated, you’re definitely going to like Lëkki. The brand new Paris-based startup launched in September is looking to bring back the good old simple portable phones of the 1990s – but in… Read More

  • Smartdate Takes Another €3.5 Million So You Can Stop Poking and Start Dating

    Smartdate announced a €2 million round in February of this year so that you could stop poking and start actually dating the friends of your Facebook friends. But now the company is kicking it up a notch and announcing that it’s raised an additional €3.5 million with the fonders of PriceMinster, Pierre Kosciuscko-Morizet and Pierre Krings. Oh, and just in case you forgot, French… Read More

  • Yakaz launches real-time social classified ads in 50 languages

    Pretty much everything is going social these days  and getting a kick of real-time – whether it’s for discovering music via Playlistnow or following stocks via StockTwits, etc. Everyone’s adding a social layer to their existing platforms and integrating some forms of real-time services- and one of the latest to go this route is Yakaz, who has just announced that its… Read More

  • Ladies, You Don't Actually Buy Men On Adoptaguy.com. You Just Pretend To.

    Seems like France is kind of full of dating sites. And that’s probably not so surprising given that the country is often considered one of the most romantic. Hopefully everyone has now heard of Meetic, the French online dating giant listed on the Euronext stock exchange since 2005 who scooped-up Match.com’s European division last year. And then there’s a couple newcomers… Read More

  • For Leetchi, Good Accounts Make Good Friends. And Investors.

    The first time we talked about Leetchi on TechCrunch was back in February – only 3 months after its official launch in November 2009. At the time, the young company created by 27-year-old Céline Lazorthes had just raised funding with Kima Ventures and 360 Capital Partners. Some of France’s hottest business angels, like Oleg Tscheltzoff and Xavier Niel, are also investors. And now… Read More

  • Better Get Ready Europe, TechCrunch Partybus is Heading Your Way

    On the other side of the Atlantic, TechCrunch events have been causing all kinds of disruption (yes, lame joke, I know) this year. Back in May, Disrupt unleashed the infamous linguistic talent of Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and just last month, the Bin 38 crew and MC Hammer rocked the show just prior to the announcement of our acquisition by AOL. From New York to San Francisco, Disrupt has… Read More

  • France Gives Startups Tax Breaks. And Now Wants to Take Them Back.

    So, that whole France.fr fiasco this summer was pretty embarrassing for France. But hey, at least the local entrepreneurs got the last laugh. Still, I would’ve thought France would be a little more careful about putting its foot in its mouth, but maybe not. And this time there’s unfortunately nothing particularly funny about the situation. Back in 2004, France introduced a special… Read More

  • Rising Open Source BPM Company Bonitasoft now has Offices in Oracle's Back Yard

    I’m not going to lie, Bonitasoft‘s success could probably give a lot of American entrepreneurs a run for their money. Based out of Grenoble, France, the 30-person team that that specializes in open source business process management (BPM) solutions is on its way to becoming France’s next “open source star”, following in the footsteps of Talend and ExoPlatform. Read More

  • Playlistnow.fm Does a Catchy Twitter Remix. Look out, Ping.

    For anyone that has ever struggled to string together a music playlist – whether it be for listening to at the gym, a party, at work or just casually – you may want to listen up. Playlistnow.fm, a brand new startup coming out of Paris, recently launched a microblogging platform that allows users to discover new music by sharing playlists. When we covered the startup in… Read More

  • Another Company Acquired in France Today, Let the Revolution Begin.

    Apparently today the French equivalent of Black Friday for the local hi-tech market – everyone’s out on a shopping spree. Ok, that’s perhaps a bit of an overstatement, but still.  After Liligo’s acquisition by Voyages-SNCF.com for some 20-30 million euros this morning, online publisher Commentcamarche announced that it is acquiring French Benchmark Group. Together, the… Read More