Paris: Le Web Conference... And European Startups
The Le Web conference in Paris was very good. Loic Le Meur and his team pulled off a great two-day show with lots of good content. It was better than last year's Le Web, imho because there wasn't as many Americans and European and other entrepreneurs were able to talk about their businesses.
The format was tight with very few panels and mostly one-on-one interviews. This made it more focused and with less chance that the conversation would stray into "spam" territory as often happens on large panels.
There is a broad surge in entrepreneurism in Europe (please see: Paris Diary: Putting "French" Back Into Entrepreneur ) thanks to various government programs that encourage startups via subsidized incubators, tax credits and other programs.
German entrepreneurs tend to copy-cat other successful Internet businesses on the basis that if it works elsewhere it will work here; while French and British startups tend to follow more original ideas. Either way, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between European and US startup companies and their teams because they all have similar energy, ambitions, and attitudes.
One key difference however, is access to startup capital. There are fewer angel and VC investors in Europe. But this is slowly changing. Fortunately, these days you don't need as much startup capital to get started. It's only when you get into the expansion stage that you need solid backers -- many European startups have yet to face that hurdle but it is a real one and a tough one.
Here is a short video from Le Web and my client Pearltrees, a French startup.
And here is a Pearltree that curates some of the content of Le Web. If you'd like to contribute to this Pearltree you can join this "team" - a new feature of Pearltrees that brings collaboration to content curation for the first time.
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