The French Connect with the New York Startup Community


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Brian Frumberg of Venture Out NY hosted, The French (tech) Connection recently at Greenhouse in SoHo as France-based startups pitched to an investor panel that included David Teten of ff Venture Capital, Christophe Garnie of Spark Labs, Jonathan Drillings of Comcast Ventures, and Phillipe Finkelstein of Cross Border Network.  Gaspard deDreuzy, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Kapitall and Alexandre Douzet, Co-Founder and CEO of The Ladders, were the keynote speakers and were on hand to listen to the pitches:

Cyril Hersch, CEO of Apila presented his user-friendly app that connects drivers through a social network. When parking spaces become available, drivers are alerted, and given accurate directions and suggestions in real time.

Hannah Oiknine, CEO and Founder of Babbler:  Owned and operated by two sisters, it is a social media network that connects media to advertised brands, honing in on target audience, activity, numbers, content, and press releases.

Jonathan Cherki, CEO of Content Square:  An optimization solution, Content Square has developed a range of connected solutions that test and optimize the user experience and browsing patterns to increase conversion rates for businesses.

Bastien Sannac, CEO of Meludia: An online game enabling users to experience music through emotion, deepening listening pleasure and awakening creativity by showing one how to learn to listening, thus enhancing the experience.

Alain Mevellec, CMO and Co-Founder of Sellsy: A CRM and sales management solution for tracking time, invoicing, business operation, and inventory control.

Charles Rachelson, President of Send Me Love:  The site allows one to donate money to their favorite artists by the click of a love button.  It is intended to give something back to the musicians and artists who have provided love to their fans.

Pierre Brouder, CPO and Co-Founder of Bobler: A voice messaging app that transforms how you communicate with others by sharing messages with friends and to celebrities.

Jean-Phillipe Bertin, Founder of Somhome:  This is a ‘dating’ site for people looking for apartments, sublets, and roommates.  Its approach is to give an introduction before the drama unfolds.

Francois-Alexandre Glaudet, CEO of Teemeo: An interactive tool that allows management staff to determine the activity of the office environment and to delegate tasks at hand.

Fred Bonelli, Co-Founder of The Art Place: A virtual community that acts on behalf of the artists as agents who promote and sell their work.

Anthony Yeremian, Partner of Javis Software: A management tool in managing a law firm with access to a client, tasks to be assigned by co-counsel, inputting appointments, or checking invoices, in addition to a slew of other services at a low cost.

The ten entrepreneurs offered a unique vision for the future of their services.  It was obvious the amount of effort behind the presentations and what ultimately hinged on garnering additional investments.

According to a report from Dow Jones, French based Startups attracted 405 million Euros in venture capital funding during the first three quarters of 2013, an increase of 13% from the previous year.  The challenge is not a lack of talent or commitment, but an absence of entrepreneurs in their respective country.  Many French startups are transitioning to America for the abundance and support of angel investing.

With numbers such as this parlayed with the ambition demonstrated from each pitch, the platform for French startups seguing to NYC looks promising for 2014.

About the author: Mark Michael Stephens

Mark Michael Stephens is a professional writer specializing in pop culture, technology, human rights, and trends.  Mark has contributed to numerous publications and is honing a novel on growing up in Nevada.  He has a BA with Honors from The New School and lives in Manhattan.

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