Live From Paris: TechCrunchTalk – What Next For France 2.0?

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TechCrunch Europe recently hosted a Roundtable & Meetup in Paris. Despite issues getting a live video stream going, we recorded the event and have now been able to upload the videos. “TechCrunchTalk: What Next For France 2.0?” featured an afternoon of panel discussions with French startups and the investment community, and the kinds of things that were discussed were pretty interesting, and something of a metaphor for the issues continental European startups face today.

For instance, although the two panels we ran covered some of the drawbacks startups have in France (as on entrepreneur said: “In most companies outside France staff are considered an asset. In France [government regulations make] staff a liability.” But with recent changes to the law making it much easier to be a business Angel in France, startups are finding a much more ready source of seed funding. So things are changing for the better. And not before time – as Europe’s economy is hit by the global downturn, young people who can no longer rely on a secure job are increasingly looking to entrepreneurs for a ray of hope. Furthermore, who can deny that the architecture, especially in Paris, is not an incentive to inspiration?

Our panels consisted of:

Roundtable Discussion
Féral-Pierssens Laurent, Silentale
Cedric Giorgi, Goojet
Salman Malik, former founder of Firefly and France-based entrepreneur
Nicolas Celier, Alven Capital
Colette Ballou Lamotte, Ballou PR
Steph Bouchet, ex-Joost
Schuepbach Olivier, Wellington Partners

Roundtable Moderator:
Mike Butcher, TechCrunch Europe

Here are the videos of the panels:

TechCrunchTalk France 2.0 Panel 1 – The French Startup Experience part 1

TechCrunchTalk France 2.0 Panel 1 – The French Experience part 1 from Mike Butcher on Vimeo.

TechCrunchTalk France 2.0 Panel 1 – The French Startup Experience part 2

TechCrunchTalk France 2.0 Panel 1 – The French Experience part 2 from Mike Butcher on Vimeo.

TechCrunchTalk France 2.0 – Viadeo Presentation

TechCrunchTalk France 2.0 – Viadeo Presentation from Mike Butcher on Vimeo.

TechCrunchTalk France 2.0 Panel 2 – French Startups Going Global

TechCrunchTalk France 2.0 Panel 2 – French Startups Going Global from Mike Butcher on Vimeo.

TechCrunchTalk France 2.0 – Closing Remarks

TechCrunchTalk France 2.0 – Closing Remarks from Mike Butcher on Vimeo.

(Due to technical problems videos of the startups pitches were unavailable)

The event was sponsored by Viadeo
Viadeo is a business and social networking tool to development your business and career.

Founded in June 2004, Viadeo quickly established itself as the place to be for online professional networking in Europe and beyond. Since then, with almost 7 million members (as of January 2009), Viadeo is the reference for those who want to:
• Increase their business opportunities (Discovering new clients, partners, staff and suppliers)
• Enhance their visibility and their online reputation
• Manage and develop their network of professional contacts

Each day Viadeo attracts almost 10,000 new members; 20,000 new connections are made and over 60,000 profiles are viewed. Based in Paris (head office), Viadeo also has offices and teams in England (London), Spain (Madrid and Barcelona), Italy (Milan), China (Beijing), India (New Delhi) and Mexico (Mexico City). The company employs 200 staff worldwide.

Créée en juin 2004, s’est rapidement imposée comme LA plateforme de mise en relation professionnelle de référence, en France comme à l’étranger. Avec près de 7 millions de membres (données : janvier 2009), VIADEO est désormais incontournable pour qui souhaite:
• augmenter ses opportunités « business » (recherche de nouveaux clients, partenaires ou fournisseurs),
• accroître sa visibilité et sa « net réputation,
• gérer et développer son réseau de contacts professionnels

VIADEO, c’est près de 10 000 nouveaux inscrits par jour, 20 000 mises en relations & plus de 600 000 profils consultés quotidiennement. Basé à Paris (siège social), VIADEO dispose également de bureaux et d’équipes locales en Angleterre (Londres), en Espagne (Madrid et Barcelone), en Italie (Milan), en Chine (Pékin), en Inde (New Delhi) et au Mexique (Mexico City). La société emploie 200 salariés.

We’re holding a series of TechCrunch events in Europe this Spring and Summer, all focused on bringing together and networking the European tech community. If you wish to be on the mailing list for information about all the up-coming events, sign up on our Amiando account here. And there is lots more information here.

21st April: Geek ‘n Rolla – A Day for Tech Startups
Topic: A day-long event for UK & other European startups. More details to follow
Sign up for further info

27th May – Nordic and the Baltic states event for startups and VCs
Topic: Connecting Northern Europe – Where are the strong and weak links?
Sign up for further info

10th June – More details to follow
Topic: How does Berlin and Germany become a key node for European Tech?
Sign up for further info

9th July – TechCrunch Summer-Party
Topic: Party!
Sign up for further info


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    Anjali Spammersen

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      • mary

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  • nraynaud

    That’s funny to speak about France’s shortcomings.
    I just got on one of the startups job postings (silentale), and they are 1) based in Paris, in one of the most hyped parts, where the banks are 2) require a “Diplôme d’Ingénieur” (the hyped diplomas here in France).
    Not really what I would call a “west coast” culture. Show me your work/website/code/results, not the diplomas your granny is so proud of and not the famous shopping centers.

    Mes 2 centimes d’euro.

    • Startupwizz

      There may be elements of that sort of culture in France, but surely that just means that more nimble startups that don’t decide to rent offices in the financial district and only hire people with specific qualifications can out-manoeuvre the rest.

      • nraynaud

        that’s what I’m trying to do, but I don’t think it’s going well :)

        I’m not really good on the communication front and I don’t feel like raising capital and hiring people for that.

    • Laurent

      @nraynaud Glad you saw our job posting as we’re always looking for great people to join our team. But, it’s probably not the right one for you.

      We can’t really judge the company culture by one of it’s job postings, I suggest you look at the team instead. As for the location, we’re in the 9th of Paris. Where most Paris based startups like to be.

  • Roderic

    With such pro-active policies such as the new french law that wavers social charges to employers hiring new workers in 2009 on lower salaries there is evidence that the government appreciates the strain start-ups may be under.

  •, Sorabh

    But whats the outcome of the conference….can you please explain…. ?

  • Elinpa Hırdavat

    thanks a lot

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  • Shane

    Some really great insight here, thanks for branching out beyond the valley!


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