Episode 37 - Sharon Sofer - Teaching Entrepreneurship to the Next Generation
Episode 28 - Maeva Botrel - It's Complicated
Episode 15 - Eva Peris - Once Upon a Dating App...
Dating market has been around for a while, first online and then apps, but market has been evolving
Met Once founders soon after product developed
Once’s concept was based on addressing dating app inefficiencies, including wasted time wading through countless profiles & embarrassment of everyone seeing their profile
Once’s founders are French but launched in UK
Post-Brexit & following Macron’s victory, Paris became a more interesting place to relocate
Breaking into a crowded market requires something solid & a new idea
European markets more skeptical of the new and different, compared to US consumers
Breaking into a crowded market can initially sound like the worst idea in the world. You have to be crazy to even think such a thing, right? After all, there’s often a reason that a market isn’t crowded. A crowded market can actually mean that there’s a lot of attention and potentially money in addressing that particular market’s problems. Look at what our previous guest Edouard Aligand has managed to achieve with QuasarDB.
Eva Peris had already worked for happn, another dating app, so she had some experience in the market. While many of the online sites were past their prime and Tinder was the market leader, users were looking for something different. Swiping through so many profiles wasn’t for everyone and for many, the thought of exposing your profile to thousands of people didn’t sound like a great idea either.
The big question then was how to succeed in such a crowded market, where the competition has both market share as well as very deep pockets. Eva was hired as the Deputy CMO at Once to build out their marketing plan, and they’ve enjoyed considerable success both with building a customer base as well as raising multiple rounds of funds. In this episode, she explains how Once differentiated themselves from the competition and why they’re enjoying so much success.
What’s also interesting is Eva’s experience working in London both pre and post-Brexit, and Emmanuel Macron’s successful bid for the French presidency. London was once the undisputed leader in Europe for startup talent thanks to its international community, but the tide appears to be shifting and Paris is looking better than ever moving forward.
One of the perks of Paris’s fast-changing startup scene is that after three and a half years with a market-changing startup like Once, Eva was recently hired by Ironhack as the VP of Marketing. In her new role she will be overseeing the global marketing for the top coding bootcamp. This says a lot about the dynamics of the fast-changing Paris startup scene, where opportunities for internationally experienced professionals are increasing by the month.
Episode 12 - Anne Ravanona - Opportunity Loss: Closing the $300 billion global funding gap between men and women
Anne is on a mission to get more women entrepreneurs funded
Need to close the $300 billion funding gap between men and women
Help women understand the funding system, including the language, the biases and how to navigate the system
Change the funding system to provide fair and equal access to funding
After a successful business career, when Anne hit 40 she asked herself what she wanted to do with her life. The answer was a resounding “help female entrepreneurs.” This is when Anne created Global Invest Her.
We’ve all read the stories about low funding for women but Anne is stepping up to build a network of women to help other women entrepreneurs. The funding gap between men and women is a whopping $300 billion, which is enormous. Anne’s mission is to close that gap and teach women how to navigate this complex system: one with ever-changing players and rules.
Successful female entrepreneurs help other women who are seeking funding by explaining their own journeys and how they were successful in the process. Change is coming, but only slowly: we’re still a long way off from equal funding, despite women being 51% of the global population.
Anne walks us through some of the brutal statistics and why most of the investment world is missing out on so many great ideas. The “opportunity loss” numbers are not easy to quantify but it seems hard to believe that businesses are fully realizing their potential when so few female startup founders receive funding and even when they do, the amounts are generally lower.
While there are a few positive examples of existing investment funds, what’s really exciting today is the number of new funds created by women that focus on funding and assisting women.
As depressing as the current statistics can be, there’s good reason to be hopeful for something better moving forward. As Anne tells us in the episode, anyone wanting to team up to address this issue needs to talk with her so they can collaborate and create that better environment that we’re all demanding.
Episode 10 - Tamara Brisk - How to successfully break into the French market
Key take-away points:
Tamara was experienced in consulting, real estate & startup cultures
WiredScore was created in NY to highlight high end internet readiness for office space
French market is largest in EU, third largest in world
To succeed, it’s critical to study & adapt before jumping in
Commercial office space is highly centralized in France & well organized
Challenges remain: slow hiring process which might hinder growth
Global clients helped open the market, French clients adopted quickly
After working in France for years, Tamara Brisk was frustrated with her career options in France. So, she moved back to the US to join a cool new startup in San Francisco. Equipped with an MBA from a top-tier US program and a high-end consulting background, she wasn’t afraid of the risks associated with joining a startup the way she had seen in France. Tamara is North American, so shifting gears comes relatively easily to her.
But as exciting and fun as it was living and working in California, there was still a special draw for her to Paris. When the opportunity popped up to lead a hot new startup into the French market, Tamara jumped on it. The new company that would bring her back to Paris was only a few years old, but it fit with her previous experience in the real estate business, only with a tech angle.
The New York based startup, WiredScore, originated from a program started under Mayor Bloomberg, who was looking for something that would be a selling point for businesses in New York City. The point of the project was to provide a ratings certification system for high-end fiber networks in office buildings. A strong rating would make an office more attractive to global businesses who were looking for office space.
For any company operating in the office space market, France is critical: it’s the largest market in Europe and the third largest in the world. Despite its reputation for being a challenging market for startups, Tamara explains why France is extremely well suited to a company such as WiredScore, and why Paris in particular is so full of opportunity.
Like any smart business person, Tamara thoroughly studied the local market first before launching WiredScore here in Paris. The conditions in France are ripe for adopting this innovative tool, and WiredScore could not have found a better fit for building out the business.