With the Traveling Geeks @ Paris Incubator
The Traveling Geeks visited one of the five incubators from Paris Development, a joint venture between the City of Paris and the Paris Chamber of Commerce.
Paris Development has been in place for 10 years and has two goals: have foreign companies settle in Paris and help local startups. All in all, they incubate 100 startups representing 600 folks. 200 work in the “rue des Haies” incubator we visited, one that is dedicated to digital medias. But the presenting startups came from all the incubators from Paris. Incubated companies pay for staying in the incubator, although it’s quite modest in comparison with normal commercial offices price. And it includes all services (network, phone, welcome desk, etc). They have a long waiting list of startups and welcome only 7% to 8% of the candidates. Companies stay in the incubator for a maximum 4 years.
Here are the companies who presented to the Traveling Geeks:
- Stribe (@stribe) is the winner of LeWeb this year, looks like it’s the first French startup winning this award. They add a generic social network on top of any existing site. Sold as a white labelled solution, it creates real revenue stream for the startup as well as a scale and network effect. You’ll find tons of comments on the company following their Leweb presentation and award. Below, their founder Kamel Zeroual with groupies from the Traveling Geeks (Eliane Fiolet, Amanda Coolong and Renee Blodgett). Kamel also did present his company at TechCrunch last September!
- int13 (@int13): a games developer for smartphones, using their own augmented reality technology, supposed to be the fastest around. Their Kweekies game adds animated characters on the table you’re watching with your phone camera. This is two companies in one: on one hand, a technology company building its augmented reality engine, and on the other hand, a games developer studio. Guys have to add a contact email with a real name on their site… :).
- Zoomorama (@gasi/zoomorama) provides a web solution for deep navigation on rich content, with zoom in and out of large set of pictures or graphics, including mix of vector and bitmap based pictures. It’s based on conversion of web based formats into Flash. Look for example at this amazing poster of the US federal budget (click the white square to go full screen and then zoom with your mouse).
- PathMotion (@pathmotion), is “Using the principles of positive psychology and proprietary semantic search technology, PathMotion has developed a career planning tool that guides job seekers from “What should I do with my life?” to “Getting the job—done!” PathMotion empowers students and alumni to make better career choices and find the job most relevant to their interests and motivations”. Uh oh, AI and semantics used for seeking a job? The guy creating this company comes from… New Jersey!
- Teacheo (@teacheo) provides an e-learning solution using videoconference and an innovative e-whiteboard where all sorts of documents can be shared. The site has a no-risk/no-engagement pay-per-lesson business model.
- Stupeflix (@stupeflix) provides real time creative videos editing, used for real estate, classified, dating, etc. It also mixing of videos, pictures, soundtracks and supports text to speech technology for voice over. The visiting geeks found out its web site had a very good UI and the created videos where impressive.
- MLState (@MLstate, created last week…) provides development tools, libraries and graphical database representation tools to somply create your SaaS applications.
- Gostai writes robot software. They have built an universal open source based operating system for robots (Urbi) targeting 15 different types of robots and applications like telepresence, home surveillance or kids entertainment. Their OS works on Spikee from Erector, Rumba, humanoid robots from Aldebaran Robotics. Open sourced, so what’s the business model? Probably services based.
- Scan & Target is providing a SaaS based moderation service which mines text, pictures and videos in UGC based sites, emails and SMS to identify illegitimate ones. It can be used both by any web site and also by law enforcement organizations.
- Rue89 is a social news media site with an interesting profile although they don’t intend to play a worldwide game. The founders are three former journalists (and foreign correspondants) of the daily newspaper Libération. They thought two and a half years ago that it was time to create another form of journalism. Their site is mixing journalist news and posts from “expert” readers including faculties, MPs, union leaders, etc. They have a very interesting writing style, explaining the whereabouts of news. They also run a specific Eco89 economical site. Their site showcase the best comments for all articles, which are selected by the journalist. The site runs on an modified version of Drupal. This French version of “The Huffington Post” is the first local news pure player and has 1,5 million uv/mo according to Nielsen Ratings. Below, one of their co-founders, Laurent Mauriac, being interviewed by TechZulu’s Amanda Coolong.
All in all, this visit did show us a great variety of companies with different business prospects. At least six of them have some worldwide business potential. Out of 10. Once they all get a Twitter account and a real person email for contact in their sites :).
Reçevez par email les alertes de parution de nouveaux articles :
Hi, I’m the CEO of int13 (lower case)
Could you explain why we should add a real name contact on the website?
About Twitter, well, we’re using this tool, but not much, it’s not really relevant in our case.
It shows that the company has real people behind it, makes it easier to get in touch with you as CEO. Anonymizing the company behind “email@example.com” is usually not a good practice. There are obviously cons to do that (real emails in about pages), but they’re offset by the pros.
I corrected your company name with lower caps.
Well, this is interesting, but we’re already receiving too much emails and business inquiries, this may seem absurd, but we have to say “no” to most of them.
Business guys are not that shy..
This remind me of the old “goto considered harmful” meme, while there is some truth behind it, I don’t think we should follow all those “simplistic” rules..
It also depends on the values you want to convey: approachable, open, transparent. Or not.
It’s not that simplistic. It’s about your communication and the image you want to create for your company.
You can also chose to have both: firstname.lastname@example.org for general inquiries, and real emails for CEO, PR person, partnerships, etc.
I think it’s a shame to be judged on these irrelevant details rather than what we do …
We choose to use email@example.com for some reasons and we don’t have to justify why, we’re not at school!
It’s not a “judgement”, just an advice! I didn’t say anything bad about your company. Your demo was fine. Shit, how susceptible you are folks! Get over it!
Btw, I corrected my point since you have a Twitter account.
I see, don’t worry 🙂
You know that french are susceptible, but hey, it’s hard to understand why the only feedback we have from Traveling geeks is about our Twitter account.
You know that it can’t be our focus!
In video games industry, forums, websites, youtube & Facebook are more important than Twitter. And also, we didn’t know that traveling geeks were here to discuss about our communication strategy.
1) I’m not a specialist of games. So I don’t dig specially here. We met 20+ companies in two days…
2) I’m just one out of 12+ TGs. So my feedback is individual, not that from a group. Other feedback may follow on. Particularly if you had 1/1s with some of the TGs after your presentation.
3) I do care about the way companies communicate and market themselves. It’s explaining half of successes or failures. You have to be prepared to be challenged here and not just with your products.
There is a pattern though… look at this rant: http://scobleizer.com/2009/12/10/world-brand-building-mistakes-frances-entrepreneurs-make/
Was mentionned in my previous post : http://www.oezratty.net/wordpress/2009/with-the-traveling-geeks-in-paris-12/