Thoughts From Le Web
It snowed in Paris today and the cold was air was felt in the large spacious and beatiful event space in the 19th arrondisement where Le Web is being held.
Apparently the wifi didn't work very well in the event space either. But neither issue got in my way as I managed to have about a dozen 'meetings' with entrepreneurs and a few investors between 9am and 5:15pm when the venture capital panel started
Spending a day at Le Web bouncing from meeting to meeting is a great way to take the temperature of the european web startup world. The temperature was cold in the building and people tell me the funding environment is even colder
That's a shame (and an opportunity) because there are a lot of good companies working on building web businesses in europe.
There are some areas where europe has advantages over the US.
Linquistics/semantics is one possible area of advantage. Europeans have been living in a world with many languages and I believe they have a more native understanding of language structure and analysis
Energy and the environment is another. The 'green' movement has been alive and well in europe for a long time now and the european economies have been working on reducing their reliance on expensive carbon based energy for longer than the US has
Mobile is another area where the european consumer is ahead of the US consumer and where the carriers are more open to new technologies and business models
I am sure there are areas other than these but my point is that the european startup scene is not simply a poor cousin to what's going on in the US. Its a lot like the NYC startup scene except that its distributed across a big geography
And that's why Le Web is so great. It brought this startup scene together for a couple days in cold and snowy Paris. And I am happy that I could be there to catch the snow falling and re-open a lot of conversations I started this summer.