March 9, 2009

Parisian investors share valuable tips with startups

Ayelet NoffBack in January, when I attended Seedcamp Tel Aviv, I wrote about some of the priceless tips that investors shared with the startups there.  In a similar panel discussion at Seedcamp Paris, Parisian investors and VCs shared more valuable tips.  Among the investors in the panel discussion, which was moderated by Index Ventures’  Saul Klein, were Anne Gousset of Paris Développement (an incubator), Chipper Boulas of Boulas Ventures, Luis Courtot of Courtot Ventures, Xavier Lazarus of Elaia Partners and Philippe Colombel of Partech VC. It was interesting to hear what they all had to say.

The investors in Tel Aviv spoke a little bit about the current economic crisis. However, in Paris last month this crisis seemed to be a focal point of the investors’ discussion. Xavier of Elaia Partners brought up the point, right off the bat, that many companies that would have easily been funded a couple of years ago are now dealing with a much higher hurdle. Startups now not only need to show that they have a great product but also that it is sustainable, because nobody knows how much time it will take for the economy to improve.

Luis expanded on this, saying that now it is important for startups to demonstrate “proof of concept.” He said that a couple of years ago, as an investor you could simply fall in love with a product or service. However, he said, “today there is still love in the air but you need to demonstrate proof.”

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