The Startup Caravan is coming to London!

 

On May 28th, we are partnering with Le Bridge, French Digital London and ESCP Europe to bring 10 of the most promising Parisian startups for an action-packed full day of pitching, networking and partying in London! The entrepreneurs will meet the best that the London startup ecosystem has to offer.

 

Among other things, we’ll be:

 

– hanging out with our friends from Seedcamp and Springboard
– meeting iconic founders of hot startups such as Mixcloud and Crashpadder (the recent Airbnb acquisition)
– discovering London’s most dynamic co-working spaces, Campus London and Innovation Warehouse
– exploring Digital Shoreditch, London’s answer to SXSW
– schmoozing with the coolest VCs in Europe including ProFounders Capital, Index Ventures
– …and partying with the big cheeses!

 

The 10 startups caravan have been announced. They offer a good variety of what Paris has to offer with software, consumer communities, social platforms, etc., and what makes France strong:

 

The Caravaners:
La Ruche Qui Dit Oui. A platform for users to create consumer communities who can purchase agricultural products directly from the producers. website
Infinit. A software that allows access to all of your data across all of your devices, anywhere, anytime. website
Jimmy Fairly. An online optician which gives a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair sold on the site. website
Skimm!. A disruptive, entirely software-based mobile payment system that enables its users to pay in participating stores, redeem promotional coupons and process user-to-user transactions. website
• Neo-nomade. The first search engine for work spaces. The company provides a mobile app showing all the co-working space, wifi cafés, and business centers near your location that have been vetted by the community. website

Everfeel. An Emotion On Demand social platform for improv games and is paving the way for a new kind of entertainment. website

ForgetBox. A tool to send files (documents, pictures and video), really easily, with no limitations of size and without waiting. website

Chauffeur-privé. A mobile app that allows users to order a private car with a driver, straight from their smartphone. website
Moodstocks. An API and SDKs to build magical image recognition apps. website
Social Folders. Syncs Your Facebook pics, Google Docs, and other online media with your desktop. website

 

We are very excited about this event. Stay tuned on Frog Valley as we will broadcast the event live fron 9.00am

And the winner of the Startup Weekend Europe Battle is…

The Startup Weekend Europe Battle is an event which allows selected teams to present their Startup project in London in front of some of Europe’s top investors. This also provides them with an opportunity to win a networking trip to San Francisco.

 

 

The teams which were eligible to take part in the Battle had to have been founded or launched during another Startup Weekend Europe event. For instance, the team behind  GoWar  met at SW Venice while members of  Pocket Discount and Trawell  met at SW Skopje. Moreover, among all the startups which applied, only the 13 teams which received the most votes were invited to attend the  pitch competition which took place on September 13th in Club Workspace, Clerkenwell, London. I was also lucky enough to get a ticket and be part of the public and here is what I thought of it.

 

When I arrived, the first thing that struck me was the friendly and easy-going atmosphere in the room. Everyone there seemed to be having a good time. The evening started by the testimony of a former winner of a SW. In his inspiring speech, he emphasised the fact that the SW was only the first step in the process of creating a startup. He also warned participants not to get too « cocky » as he reminded them that it was just a competition. He added that there was still a lot of work that needed to be done and a lot of stress that would be involved in the process of creating a successful startup. He concluded by saying that starting up a business was more fun than the « average job » but could yet result in « having more moodswings than a pregnant lady », as some days would feel really good and others, really bad.

 

His speech was then followed by those of the members of the investor panel which comprised Rogan Angelini-Hurll (General Partner à ProFounders),Krishna Visvanathan (Partner à DFJ Esprit/Encore Ventures), Rob Moffat (Principal à Balnerton Capital)  as well as Christian Thaler-Wolski (Principal à Wellington Partners).

The four of them highlighted the importance of networks in order to get VC funding though they acknowledged that Venture Capitalists in the UK tended to be home-biased. When asked about the current « hot areas » for new startup ventures, services enriching individuals, e-commerce, social, mobile, location-based apps were mentioned several times yet one noted that there are very interesting opportunities in the healthcare and environment sectors.

 

The highlight of the evening nevertheless clearly was the startup pitches. France was very well represented in the Battle (6 out of the 13 teams) and there were teams from 5 other European countries (Macedonia, Greece, Poland, Italy and Spain).

 

The projects which were presented in front of the panel of investors were extremely diverse and ranged from various forms of travel guides  (MyGuidie, Trawell  to location-based games (GamorLive, GoWar and PlaceChallenge) and even a social busines SmartAgroa French startup which aims to collect and share farm data for developing countries.

 

In my view, the three projects which sounded most promising were unsurprisingly all French. Indeed, Sharypic (SW Paris), which enables to gather the best pictures for both public and private events (SW Paris) and  SponsoringSolution (SW Nice), a social network dedicated to sponsoring (SW Nice), which ended up being the runner-up, both appeared to be innovative and to be filling a gap in the market yet the last project presented to the panel, Appibabi.es, was clearly the most fun and creative of all…

 

Appibabi.es is basically a smartphone application which allows you to raise a baby with a fellow smartphone user. The presentation was very well done and highly entertaining and by the end of it, it really seemed that most people in the room were already addicted and could not wait to download it.

 

Appibabi.es clearly appeared to have a level of innovation, addictiveness and fun that was very hard to compete with and which justified it being declared the winner of the Battle by the panel.

 

I managed to have a few words with one of the members of the winning team, Amine Bellakride, a former Design innovation student at Stanford University, right before the results were announced. I was really impressed by his enthusiasm and very surprised to find out that Appibabi.es was only a side project for most of the team members. He confessed that they were all working on other startup projects at the same time and could only spend time on it during the weekends… I wonder what they could achieve if they worked on it 7 days a week!

 

All in all, this was really an inspiring event. I don’t know what will happen to all the participants’ projects in the future but I am convinced that they can all be expected to accomplish fantastic things!

 

Meet 3 French Entrepreneurs in London

In partnership with the French Club and the Entrepreneurship Club of the London Business School, Frog Valley is organising a panel discussion with three French entrepreneurs who will be sharing their experience of setting up a business in London.

The event is on the 24th of may from 7pm to 8pm, followed by a networking session, at this address:

London Business School, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4SA – Room: LT2

If you want to register for the event, you can do it here:
https://clubs.london.edu/french/rsvp?club=french&id=15652

Bio of the three entrepreneurs:

Jeremy Melul (Jogabo.com): Jeremy is the product guy at Jogabo and he will not stop talking about the long term vision if you get him started. He loves to build stuff and get them just right through continuous improvements. He worked in innovation and technology consulting at Altran before realizing that life was too short for that and decided to join Grassroot Soccer, an NGO that uses the power of soccer in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Jeremy has been involved in soccer since he was 7 and has been organizing local pickups, managing school leagues and clubs in many different countries. He is also the founder of the European MBA tournament « The GreenLaces Cup ».

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grégory Vincent (Sponsume.com): Gregory Vincent is a pioneer of microfinance, having set up Europe’s first crowdfunding website (Sponsume.com). Launched in August 2010, Sponsume revolutionises the way film-makers and artists raise the funds they need to make their creative projects happen. Prior to launching Sponsume, Greg worked as an investment manager in London and as an assistant tutor at Oxford University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stéphanie Bouchet (RougeFrog.com): Stéphanie is a marketing connoisseur with 11 years of experience in world beating European start-ups, such as Skype as well as blue chip corporations, such as British Telecom and Warner Bros. Steph is also the founder of RougeFrog, a boutique marketing company designed to help start-ups and medium size businesses with their marketing and brand strategy and implementation, at international level.
She’s an active member of the European entrepreneurship scene, avid photographer, extreme rally, raid and traveler and marathon runner.

Lulupapilon’s Poptastic Popup Restaurant Experience

The idea of cooking for a pop up restaurant first came about in a passing conversation in which I nonchalantly made the suggestion thinking that it would be a great idea but accepting that it would probably never materialize due to the logistical difficulty.

Contrary to my initial belief and thanks to LeStudio52 and my fiancée’s push to make things happen, an invite on Facebook was launched a week before the event and the next thing I knew, was that I would be cooking in 2 days time at LeStudio52.

Panic alongside an adrenaline rush overtook my psyche, which drove me into a much needed Project Management mode. Ingredients for the menu, which I scribbled down a few months ago were bought and my first lesson in cooking a set menu was learnt.

My suggested menu, which was marketed on the invite and therefore could not be changed, was victim to seasonality.  Aubergines, the staple of my main course were out of season but by paying a premium I was able to secure this staple. I was less lucky with the raspberries and I was forced to find a substitute as availability of this product was non-existent regardless of any amount of love or money.

The food was cooked in my kitchen and then transported with the help of a very good friend and her four wheels to LeStudio52.

My first guest arrived armed with the million dollar question – what was the concept of the popup restaurant and why now? I have always had a passion for food, enjoyed cooking and for some reason always naively dreamt that I would have a restaurant. The pop up restaurant is a great way to put that dream into motion without committing to any great capital expenditure (that’s the accountant seeping out in me J). More importantly it’s a vehicle in which I can road test my menu creations on objective diners. And why now? It’s now or never.

My diners provided great feedback. The first course of butternut squash and sweet potato soup went down well, with the diners spilt regarding whether or not I was right to have omitted cream from my recipe. I was lucky to have had a pot of crème fraiche, which happily made its way around helping to break the ice between the diners.

The main course of stuffed aubergine with minced lamb received the greatest accolade from one diner who ate all his portion despite previously disliking aubergine and also having had a full lunch prior to the pop restaurant. Most of the diners helped themselves to second helpings of this dish which only made me smile more.

The dessert was probably the most liked part of the 3-course meal as silence took hold of the room followed by words such as divine and amazing. Just goes to show that sometimes substituting ingredients works a treat.

All in all I absolutely loved the pop up restaurant experience and can not wait to do it again. The next pop up restaurant will be held at LeStudio52 on the 17th of April 2011. Watch this space for updates regarding the menu.

You can follow me on my newly created twitter account: @Lulupapilon

Tuesday was SeedCamp London

What is SeedCamp?
SeedCamp is an opportunity for startups to get feedback on their products/strategies, get in touch with the funding community and get a £50k investment to push their ideas further.

In order for a company to be invited for a SeedCamp event, you have to apply and present your team/technology to the selection committee.
20 teams were selected for this London event, coming from all over Europe.
You can find the full list and details over here.
Companies are judged during the whole event by mentors.
Mentors are selected amongst top notch EU Technologists, Investors, Product Managers and Marketing experts.

Discussing with the teams, here are what they were looking to get our of SeedCamp:
– Product strategy
– Go To Market strategy
– Network
– Growing teams

Morning was dedicated to pitches.
Startups were given 5 minutes to present their product/concept.
Most of the pitches were of high quality, some with an exceptional high intensity.

Eldar Tuvey shared the story of his company ScanSafe, recently acquired by Cisco.
A 10 years journey filled with ups and downs, scaling and re-scaling, but with a strong core team, able to evolve their product with the market.

Afternoon was focused on workshops with Mentors.
I followed MinuteBox as they had been participating in an evening conversation at #LeStudio52.
A good opportunity to share my Mentor skills with others.
The format was pretty simple:
– Teams at their table
– Groups of Mentors spending 45mins and rotating between teams.
The groups were made based on the Mentors’ expertise.

The pace was pretty intense and the feedback quite valuable.
I can’t go into details, but most of the teams were definitely given a lot of food for thoughts.
Validation, challenges and more.

Event ended up with a quick round up of the teams and their feeling about the day.
We then headed to the pub to unwind.

Thanks to SeedCamp for inviting FrogValley.
Looking forward to participate to that event in the future, either as a Team or a Mentor!

PS: Thanks to Julien from LeStudio52 for covering the event and writing this article.

[flickr-gallery mode= »photoset » photoset= »72157625909386042″]

LeWeb’ 10

From our reporter from southern France

LeWeb 2010 has been a great success. The massive queue on the first day to get registered and the palpable excitement of everyone set the remarkable atmosphere. Beside the stress and the commotion to get the Docks everything was organised to make you feel at home and free to roam wherever you liked.

The venue was amazing. 3 halls where at your disposition to fulfill your curiosity. The main stage was massive. The Startup hall was smaller, but good enough to meet people easily and interact with them. The last hall was the best on the first day for the wifi connection.

The dilemma was to choose what to do and where to go. I headed on the first day to the Startup hall and enjoyed myself with the Startup competition. The good thing was that big screen kept you connected with what was happening on the main stage (during breaks).

Startup Competition:

8th of December

16 Startups were represented:

Badgeville Inc
NETHERLANDS

Cauwill Technologies
IRELAND

City M
FRANCE

Desk.io GmbH
GERMANY

Sociabliz
FRANCE

Garmz
AUSTRIA

Greendizer
FRANCE

GreenPocket GmbH
GERMANY

Nuji
UNITED KINGDOM

Praized Media Inc.
CANADA

Smallrivers
SWITZERLAND

Super Marmite
FRANCE

Tagattitude
FRANCE

Tinypay.me
NETHERLANDS

Waze
ISRAEL

Work4 Labs
FRANCE/USA

The contest was organised in 4 rounds with 4 start-ups pitching one after the other at each round (Programme: http://www.leweb.net/startupcompetition/2010/presentation)

Lire la suite

The Europas : a self-rewarding event

We would like to thank Julien for this slightly controversial article.

The Europas TechCrunch event took place at The Paramount, an amazing venue at the top of one of the tallest London building… but also one of the ugliest: Centre Point.

The venue quickly filled with startups representatives and venerable socialites. It was all about drinks, infinite view and loud music (not really convenient for networking).

As the crowd shifted near the stage, Mike Butcher started his pitch, displaying his usual and inspiring vision of the European tech industry: we are all in the boat to define our own destiny, away from the Californian paradigm. He emphasised the need for politics to be more active in backing up start ups (this guy knows how to speak to his audience), before launching the awards at the speed of light….24 awards in an hour!

You will see the winners below. The votes were around 33,000 (how many where dedicated to the TechCrunch causes?).

What was noticeable:
Reshma Sohoni was quite ballistic against the people who think that Europeans don’t have an entrepreneurial spirit…that’s damn right Europe entrepreneurs Rock!
– The guys from Index Ventures were not there, what a shame nobody came to pick up the prize.
– The Angel investor Stephan Glazer received big cheers from the crowd, what a star!
– No surprise TweetDeck got the award for the best platform.
MoshiMonster had a lot of fans among the attendees.
– Of course Betfair got the award for the best exit. Everyone wished they had got such an IPO.
– A bit sad that GoCarShare and Shutl l didn’t get any awards.
– Finally, SeedCamp ended the session under a torrent of applauds.

The evening ended well and the networking was ferocious.

Next post to come for LeWEB in Paris…can’t wait to get there!

Link to the photos from Stéphanie Bouchet of RougeFrog

Foursquare event and launch of LeStudio52

Last wednesday was the evening of « premières » for Frog Valley with the first Foursquare event and the launch of LeStudio52.

The rendez-vous was given at The Book Club at 6.30pm for the second Foursquare event organised by the official Foursquare Appreciation Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The brief was to meet up at a pre-determined location in London and then go to places kept secret to « check-in » and win new foursquare badges. But the team had nice surprises in their bags for the participants. It is in a relaxed environment that the kick-off was given with a mini table tennis tournament. Frog Valley is proud to have won the tournament and got a nice collector edition of a Foursquare t-shirt. We thank Holger Luedorf, responsible for the business development and partnerships at Foursquare (www.foursquare.com), who graciously offered some t-shirts, stickers and badges for the participants and winners of the different games.

Lire la suite

Mini Seedcamp – a fantastic catalyst for entrepreneurs

Frog Valley has had the chance to attend Mini Seedcamp in London, at UCL, and the event exceeded all expectations.

After an initial networking session, where we felt great enthusiasm (thanks to the organising team), the day was followed by the teams’ presentations. They were all of very high quality and standard, making it quite difficult to identify a winner among the 21 teams which had been selected to present their project in front of mentors from various leading tech companies such as Facebook, Google, Huddle, around 15 venture capitalists (Index Ventures, Atlas Ventures, Accel Partners), and others.

Lire la suite