What makes Montreal so sexy for startups?

Eva Blue - Cupcake CampMontreal

What I love about conferences is the unofficial encounters and spontaneous discussions that are often more interesting than the official presentations – not to name names! At the LeWeb conference this is exactly what happened with John Stokes, partner of the Real Ventures investment fund. I’d often seen him around Montreal but it wasn’t until Paris that we had a real conversation.

I asked John about the differences between startups developed in Europe versus those in Canada. At first glance, projects are similar on both sides of the Atlantic. A pessimistic outlook would explain this phenomenon as a lack of creativity and risk taking, because it’s easier to adapt or copy an idea that works well.

We also talked about the advantages Montreal offers to startups. The multiculturalism of the city is a real asset, since it already fosters internationalization projects. Montrealers are also great connectors, which facilitates the development of partnerships or the search for clients.

From my experience with Seevibes I can confirm that these two points are completely true. This reminds me of a discussion I had with Fred Guarino about how in one direction Montreal is the first step towards Europe, and in the other direction the first step towards North America. I think that the program of the International Startup Festival which is held in Montreal demonstrates this reality.

Work4Labs: is Facebook the right place to recruit?

Work4Labs: is Facebook the right place to recruit?

While doing our startup interviews at the LeWeb’10 conference, Benoit and I welcomed Stephane Le Viet, co-founder of Work4Labs, creator of WorkForUs, a recruitment application that integrates into corporate Facebook pages.

Work4Labs is not the only company working on Facebook recruitment solutions. I’m connected to BranchOut myself; BraveNewTalent has similar functionality.

Considering that with 80 million users, LinkedIn has emerged as the standard network for professionals and recruiters, how can a Facebook application compete?



Your friends on Facebook or Twitter deliver your paper.li newspaper – Iskander Pols #LeWeb10

Your friends on Facebook or Twitter deliver your paper.li newspaper – Iskander Pols #LeWeb10
Paper.li is the winner of the startup contest presented at LeWeb’10. During the Inside LeWeb’10 series of startup interviews we spoke to Iskander Pols, co-founder of paper.li, the newspaper that delivers the best stories of your Facebook and Twitter friends.

Paper.li by SmallRivers is not the first service to aggregate and deliver news from the social network. Personally I prefer Twittertim.es and Feedly.

But the paper.li stroke of genius is the addition of a viral angle in a daily post to Twitter that automatically includes the names of everyone mentioned in the story.



Live question-and-answer session with the startups making the buzz @LeWeb

Benoit Descary and I invite you to ask questions of the entrepreneurs behind the most promising startups of the moment, live from the LeWeb’10 conference in Paris.

To find out more about these startups, follow the Ustream channel Inside LeWeb throughout the day, or read our Twitter streams @zelaurent and @bdescary. Look for the hashtags #inside #leweb.

Here is the list of the interviews we’ve done at LeWeb’10:

LeWeb: Why you should love startups!

LeWeb: Why you should love startups!
A few days before the opening of the LeWeb ’10 conference, Benoit Descary and I prepared an exclusive program to introduce the startups we think will stand out on the Web in the next few months.

Sixteen startups were invited to a contest organized by the LeWeb conference. Eight of them will be participating in an online Q-and-A live on the Ustream channel in 15-minute sessions presented by Benoit and myself:

Our goal is to give you special access to these exceptionally promising startups. It’s a rare opportunity to find out more about their processes, business models and technologies, and discover the motivations that inspired them to reinvent the Web.

It was this article by Cédric Giorgi – originally posted on Mry’s blog – criticizing France for having no pride in its startup entrepreneurs that made us decide to show you why you should love Web startups 🙂

Before and during LeWeb, Benoit and I will also be sharing the inside scoop about Europe’s biggest web conference of the year – the organization, the speakers, the events, the bloggers. You can follow us here:

It’s your time to ask questions to the startups!

NB: Alexandra Francon, Community Manager of Hellotipi, has graciously agreed to help us keep all these information channels updated throughout this two-day conference.