Here's What You Missed At Start In Paris

Start in Paris is the Parisian answer to the New York Tech Meetup. Each month, 5 startups get 5 minutes to demo a product to an audience, which then votes for the startups. Beforehand a guest speaker, most often an accomplished entrepreneur, speaks for 10 minutes, and afterwards there’s an open mic session.

Laurent Kretz and Jonathan Benoudiz, the founders of Submate, organise the event, which is already a huge success. Already startups that presented at SIP have gone on to raise venture funding, and this moved they moved to a new venue to fit all the attendees (it was still packed, standing room only).

It’s a great community event that gives a good look at the early stage web scene in Paris which, as we’ve noted, is growing very impressively. The event had to move to yet another venue this month as they had their first 200+ attendees night.

Anyone doubt Paris has the wind at its back? Here's how packed the place was.

The speaker was serial entrepreneur Jerome Stioui, founder of Ad4Screen

Back in the Bubble 1.0 days, Stioui and three friends founded Directinet, a direct marketing firm that managed to survive the bust and reach a nice exit in the tens of millions.

After selling, the founders each took time off to travel and recharge -- and then decided to start ad4screen, a mobile marketing company.

Interestingly, Stioui said that after the grind of his first company and cashing out, he swore never to do it again. But the entrepreneurial bug is not so easy to shake off. Once he saw the opportunity in mobile, most of his old founding team got together and decided to start a new company and go for a really huge exit.

Worst mistake the first time around? To not have a technical co-founder.

Company number one is Faveous, which wants to replace Delicious

Faveous is in invite-only alpha right now. (And it's pretty nice.) It's a social bookmarking service a la Delicious. What sets it apart?

Faveous integrates your favourites from all your other social services (Twitter favourites, YouTube favourites, Google Reader favourites...) without you having to do anything, saving you a hassle.

Most interesting about the company: its founder Arthur Monnet (pictured) is just 18 years old and decided to start his company instead of going to college. Kudos!

Next up Beansight, which is Twitter for predictions

'Predictions are really hard, especially about the future', Woody Allen said. Beansight wants to fix that.

If Twitter is about real time, Beansight is about the future -- people sign up for the service and make predictions about future events. People vote on how likely or not likely that is. Over time, users develop a reputation score over whether their predictions are accurate.

(We would certainly want to force every pundit -- including us! -- to go on the record there if it gets popular.)

Who knows if it'll be popular, but if it becomes popular, it could be really fun.

3: MobExplore, a location-based mobile game -- don't groan yet

MobExplore takes a page from Boston startup SCVNGR and offers local merchants the capacity to create and design their own mobile challenges (check-in here X times, etc.) for their customers.

Mobile social local gaming has been done to death you might think (and you might be right), but what we like here is the go-to-market strategy: going after the merchants right away and hoping to build their brand from there, instead of going for consumers straight away. It seems like a smart way to build a base in a crowded market.

We're biased because (full disclosure) MobExplore founder Ludovic Buzaglo is a business school pal of ours and a pretty talented guy. MobExplore is a pivot from his previous startup Kannelle, which was a mobile dating play.

Company 4, FoodReporter, works like Foodspotting

Food Reporter works like popular US app Foodspotting: take and share pictures of your meals. It's pretty neat -- as an amateur chef, we like taking pictures of our food.

Interesting: the company grew out of a Facebook page, of all things, called 'I like to take pictures of my food', which went viral. So they built a company out of it.

Vous avez choisi partners with fast food places to let you order your meal online and then pick up the order at the restaurant without having to wait. Restaurants win because they can serve more people faster, and because they can market to those people after they buy. Vous avez choisi sells the service as a white label solution for restaurant sites.

After the pitches come 5 minutes of open mic

Then people vote via Twitter or (free) text message for the winner

And the winner is...


Mobile social networking wins the day!

Here's MobExplore Founder Ludovic Buzaglo with his prize: an original cartoon by artist (and Paris tech scene fixture) ffixx, standing left.

Next step? BEER.

(Our memories are fuzzy starting from this point.)

Everyone at Start In Paris wants to be this guy

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