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Archive for September, 2014

Welcome v0.4

This post was initially published on the StartUp42 blog on September 29th.

We’re absolutely delighted to welcome our 7 new startups: Jamseek, OptiMiam, FilmYourTeam, InnovOrder, Shotgun, Shyft and Swiper!

When we started in January 2013, there was no way I could imagine that 20 months later, we would have accelerated almost 30 startups, received so many applications and met with so, so, so many young entrepreneurs. This wouldn’t have been possible without the tremendous support of our partners: EPITA, of course, but also Econocom,, OpenDataSoft and our newest partner, Gemalto.

More information about our v0.4 startups will soon be posted on the Startups section of our website but I wanted to share some figures about our recent recruitment campaign:

  • We received exactly 40 application forms. While I’m of course disappointed that we didn’t reach 42 :), I’m definitely disappointed by the fact that we didn’t receive as many applications as our v0.3 batch (58). It seems to me that our summer recruitment campaign doesn’t work as much as our winter one. Would entrepreneurs go on vacation in August??
  • While we received less applications than our v0.3, we’re definitely in progression both in terms of quantity (compared to v0.2) and, especially, in terms of quality. I was positively amazed by the brain power and credentials of the 58 founders who applied. Also, with 63% of our applicants having a technical background, we’re definitely on track with our vision.
  • Funny enough, with 7 entrepreneurs coming from Ecole Polytechnique, the “X” was the most represented school within our applicants, even more than EPITA and Epitech combined.
  • Last, but definitely not least, 14% of our applicants were women. We definitely still have a long way towards equality in tech entrepreneurship but I’m really proud to welcome 2 women entrepreneurs in our new batch. I really hope these new additions to the StartUp42 alumni community will definitely encourage more women to start tech companies #heforshe

Joining Avolta Partners

I officially joined today Avolta Partners as a Managing Director to offer fundraising and M&A advisory to emerging technology leaders. While I have been casually advising tech startups on fundraising in the past, I thought it was better to structure my action and use the support of an established organization like Avoltat Partners to better serve entrepreneurs. Founded in 2012, Avolta Partners is the fastest-growing investment bank for technology companies in France with more than 15 operations undertook in 2014.

While I will now focus more on advising companies on fundraising and M&A, I will continue to be deeply involved in StartUp42 as well as in my teaching and consulting engagements.

Programming finally making sense for the masses

An Internet of Things startup, IFTTT (If This Then That), announced last week it had raised $30 million in funding, its largest round yet, from the venture capital firms Norwest Venture Partners and Andreessen Horowitz. Yet another IoT startup? Well, basically IFTT is more or less a giant switchboard to connect disparate services, anything from Facebook to text messages to telephone calls. Users can create “recipes” in which an action on one service can trigger an action on another entirely different service.

You can, for example, connect your Instagram and Dropbox accounts to IFTTT and make a recipe that uploads any new Instagram photo to your Dropbox online storage account. More interesting, IFTTT supports a list of connected objects which you can also include in recipes. Like connecting your Jawbone UP to Belkin’s WeMo to turn on space heater when you wake up.

Of course, anyone with a background in technology understands this is simple programming. You get two APIs and write a very simple program to trigger an action (If This Then That). What I find wonderfully clever with IFTTT is that it makes this simple programming not only understandable by the masses but also easily actionable.

This, for me, is the highest programming abstraction I have ever seen and and I can’t wait to see more and more similar applications.