Last week Cyrille & François have had the chance to attend the “TechCrunch Disrupt Europe 2013” event in Berlin. This event main topic was the booming new technological and venture opportunities that are materializing for european startups. EURA NOVA’s objectives were to take a look at the “big European picture” and exchange knowledge with brilliant entrepreneurs from all around the world.
Cyrille & François came back boosted by a lot of inspiring stories summarized in this discussion. Enjoy!
It seems like both of you came back with sparkles in your eyes. Could that image summarize your main feeling about the event organization?
Cyrille: The event took place in a warehouse. What a picture for symbolizing the boiling pot of technology these days! A permanent roar animated the event, the roar of smart brains (and mouths) exchanging about our future and its challenges.
François: This constantly exchanging eco-system has opened our eyes on Europe’s potential regarding innovation: we do possess the necessary foundation to build a bright future, let’s make it happen together! One regret though, so many interesting people to meet during a such short timeframe…
You assisted to almost 20 talks in 2 days with subjects ranging from founders stories to “Is Bitcoin the new Euro?”. Which one did you found the most interesting?
Cyrille: Dr Ijad Madisch’s talk. He is the founder of Researchgate, the first social network for scientists. Today almost 50% of the researches aren’t reached by Internet. He wants therefore to change the world by easing the global research effort. Funny anecdote: Dr Madisch presented researchgate to Bill Gates… on a Mac.
François: On my side, I really enjoyed the fireside chat with Aaron Levie, the founder of Box. I will above all remember his mindset: keep being yourself no matter the size of the company you are running, your young and innovative spirit will make the difference. It ensures a corporate culture that will efficiently compete with industries’ giants such as Google and Dropbox.
During the startups battlefields, you have seen 14 high-potential startups fighting for the first place of the competition: which one was your favorite?
François: We have had the pleasure to discover Shufflehub‘s team. Those 3 young people are offering a new and simple online shopping experience to e-shoppers. Their website provides the user with random shopping articles coming from various famous online retail shops such as ASOS. You don’t like the results? Just hit the “shuffle” button for new ones. A simple, dynamic, and yet customizable e-shopping solution thanks to a smart “filter menu”. I particularly enjoyed to see their “small investments-big results” approach that they illustrated with their “hungover test”: in order to test the simplicity of use of their product, they asked their hungover friends to test it. Simple but efficient…
Cyrille: I’ve been completely astonished by VoiceSphere. A smart voice recognition software presented by 17 and 19 years old boys, who were incredible on stage. Ease of speak and inspired by what they are doing, 2 incredible minds! They worked for 5 weeks without any funding and yet made it up to the battlefield finals. I have had the pleasure to meet them later that evening. It was really interesting. I even told them that they rocked my world…
After having had the chance to take a look at Europe’s disruptive potential at a global level, what would you like our readers to remember?
François: Europe is not dead! Of course the path to an European silicon valley is still long but there is hope. Firstly because startup’s mindset is spreading fast across Europe. Plenty of young and ambitious entrepreneurs are creating their place in today’s markets thanks to high-end solution they build upon their own expertise. Secondly, investors growing interest regarding European startups is providing us with the necessary leverage to compete at a worldwide level with corporate giants. Last but not least, the rise of new technologies has drastically reduced the geographical challenges faced by most industries. As a conclusion, while there is no single European valley, we do not need one as long as we keep focusing on our core competitive advantage: collaboration at a global level.
Cyrille: Ideas are popping up! 1800 attendees, hundreds of startups coming to present their beliefs. What a huge burst of fresh air! More and more people are ready to stand up on a battlefield to defend their project just because they think that it could change the world ! After having seen million dollars investors ready to invest in young people to change the game, I’m sure that the future is filled with hope. And I’m telling you: We will change the world!