Roxanne Varza, Américaine et « french start-up lover »

Standard

startups-microsoft-startups

Américaine de 29 ans, cette jeune femme s’est donnée pour mission de faire connaître les start-up françaises outre-Atlantique. Une personnalité rare qui mérite un coup de projecteur.

Classée parmi les 30 femmes de moins de 30 ans qui comptent dans les nouvelles technologies par Business Insider, site américain de référence pour l’information technologique, Roxanne Varza a déjà de nombreux accomplissement à son actif. Aujourd’hui responsable des relations avec les start-up françaises au sein de Spark, l’incubateur de Microsoft à Paris, elle est chargée de transformer les idées de ces jeunes pousses françaises en prototypes.

Ses multiples expériences professionnelles tant aux Etats-Unis qu’en Europe ont conduit à faire d’elle une « start-up lover », comme elle aime à se définir. Son aventure entrepreneuriale commence à San Francisco, où elle travaille pour l’AFII (Agence Française pour les Investissements Internationaux). Elle y accompagne alors les start-up de la Silicon Valley qui souhaitent investir en France. Puis en 2009, elle se lance dans la création d’un blog, Techbaguette.com, où elle s’applique à faire connaître les start-up françaises auprès des investisseurs anglo-saxons. Forte de cet investissement tant personnel que professionnel, elle devient rédactrice en chef de Techcrunch France (aujourd’hui fermé). En 2011, elle rejoint le continent européen, et cultive son expérience dans le e-commerce londonien.

Parallèlement à sa passion pour l’entreprenariat high-tech français, Roxanne Varza milite pour la promotion de la mixité dans les entreprises technologiques. Elle fonde ainsi en 2010 l’association Girls in Tech Paris avec Mounia RKHA, dont le but est de donner de la visibilité aux femmes dans les nouvelles technologies.

Luttant contre une culture économique française bridée par la trop grande importance donnée à l’échec professionnel, cette jeune américaine est également co-organisatrice de FAILCON à Paris. Ces conférences consacrées à l’échec entrepreneurial ont pour objectif de dédramatiser cette épreuve que connaissent souvent les start-up. Le prochain FAILCON se tiendra le 17 avril prochain, et aura notamment pour invités Olivier MATHIOT (co-fondateur de Priceminister) et Fred MAZZELLA (fondateur et président de Blabla Car).

Roxanne Varza nous prouve ainsi par son engagement auprès des start-up françaises que la France a encore un bel avenir devant elle, mais que pour cela, elle se doit de soutenir ses jeunes entrepreneurs bourrés de talent.

Collectif Au Top La France
#AuTopLaFrance

Advertisements

Some soul searching on French bashing !

Standard

Image

England has plenty of sports. We invented football and rugby, and we even enjoy cricket (which is, let’s face it, a feat…). But today’s most fashionable sport according to our citizens is bashing those French bastards. Personally, I think that frog hunting has become the national sport. There is no dearth of brilliant inspiration-seeking authors here who write books about our bloody neighbours. Being interested in this phenomenon, and being as cool as I could be as an Englishman, I tried to figure out why do we get so obsessed about France, which frankly, sometimes resembles a disguised love declaration. Could it be that we, the proud Albion, are jealous of our Gallic neighbours?

Being a scientist (I am a PhD in biology), I first wondered when did we first meet our neighbours, the origins of the relations between our countries. And I scratched my heard. And I recalled our boring (even off-putting) History of the United Kingdom and especially the Battle of Hastings. For those (Oh Lord, there are loads of them) who fell slept through their history classes, let me remind you the chapters. Armed with approximately 600 ships and 7000 men, William the Conqueror took over the English crown in 1066, thus putting an end to the Saxon lords’ reign, establishing a centralized monarchy devoted to a Norman King. So could it be true that Frenchmen can win battles?

Historians say, this conquest was the starting point of an astonishing wind of change for our precious island. The loss of the Battle of Hastings was, after all, a godsend. From the shambles of the Shires emerged a centralised administration modus, the backbone of our might. The Norman Kings made of our little island one of the Middle-Age’s greatest powers in Western Europe. This conquest also changed our culture. The face of England transformed in the 11th century, thanks to the building of cathedrals and fortified castles. To cut the long story short, our country wouldn’t probably have been the one we know without our best enemies.

This led me to wonder: what do we really owe to France? Googling some key words, I found even our language was a mix of Saxon languages and Norman languages. Not even remotely do we have a clue about the number of words that we “stole” from Old French. Rumours say that the Royal Family members might have been enthroned during a ceremony in French. And when the Queen demands, she does it “en français”.

Now, shall we talk about the economy? One of the most heard versions is that, to strengthen their might, the Norman lords returned back to their homelands. But a deeper study of the question reveals that the conquest actually fuelled our island’s economic development. For them, the recently acquired English lands were undoubtedly crucial to their will of power. Contrary to the widespread belief, the French did contribute to our development even though we are not a part of the Mainland.

What do we learn from this very little retrospective of our common history? Could it be that we are actually French in disguise? Are we, like Charles de Gaulle said, “a colony that went wrong”? As a proud Englishman, I couldn’t disagree more. The St George’s cross will always remain in my heart (and I hope in yours too). But, just as the French easily admit the Italian influence on their arts, maybe could we also accept that we are one of the greatest powers in the world and that those bloody snails influence’s contributed to our might to that….

“Honni soit qui mal y pense”

Collectif Au Top La France
#AuTopLaFrance

 

La Chambre des Communes semble apprécier le champagne français…

Standard

L’appétit des députés anglais pour notre champagne ne semble pas avoir été affecté par l’austérité chez nos voisins qui se complaisent tant à nous critiquer déclare le Huffington Post. Le stock de bouteilles va croissant chaque année. C’est tout à leur honneur mais aussi à celui du savoir faire français en matière de champagne !

Retrouvez l’article en suivant ce lien.

Should we highlight French success stories? Oh yes!

Standard

Image

Let’s face it, French bashing is trendy. Everyone is talking about the economic crisis, isn’t it? And we can tell: readers seem more interested in alarmist speeches than French success stories. The decline of the country, the closure of enterprises, the outsourcing of French talents, so many hot cakes the press is good at selling! After all, croaking crows have always been louder than cooing doves.

Nevermind! There is a France that wins. A France that is loved, not just at home but also abroad. A France whose international success stories make everyone proud and happy. And those success stories deserve to be better known everywhere.

This France has Veolia, bringing drinking water to more than 100 million people around the world. The Lumière Brothers were French and they invented the cinema in their little studio in Lyon. Then there is Saint Gobain, the global leader in sustainable housing. Let’s not forget, Gustave Eiffel and Auguste Bartholdi, the creators of the Statue of Liberty in New York, were French. “Dior J’Adore”, the world’s most favourite perfume since 2009 and do we need to say it’s French? Colas has been laying roads, miles after miles, thousands and thousands of them, all over the world. Perhaps you didn’t know it; “Intouchables”, the movie scored far better at the box office than “Superman returns”… although the latter’s was 26 times higher. There is Vinci, a global  leader in building and concession. Deezer, the world’s second best site for listening to music online, is Français. And well, if that’s not enough, let the world know that Carmat, the first artificial heart, is a French heart !!!

Oh, perhaps the world doesn’t know; France has a discreet breed of champions- entrepreneurs (which is a French word by the way!) and enterprises. We never see them in the media although they are global leaders.

Poult, sells 330 millions packs of biscuits on 5 continents every year. Mac Guff, 100% French animation studios, creators of the Minions in “Despicable Me 1 & 2”, having so millions of fans all around the world. There is Carbios, a pioneer in bio-recycling. The start-up BlaBlaCar has managed to impose its conception of car-sharing in Europe in less than 5 years. Citelum is a hidden hero in the field of urban innovation. Then there is the forgotten Legrand, global specialist in electric infrastructure. Also worth mentioning is Rémi Dangla who created a revolutionary platform of genetic analysis with his firm, Stilla Technologies. Ingenico stands first in the world on payment terminals. eBuzzing is the European leader in video advertising.  Sobiesky is America’s preferred vodka (including Brad Pitt, Madonna and Bruce Willis) and it’s… French! Acrelec, creates electronic terminals for ordering your menus at fast foods. Oh, you perhaps didn’t know that Rand Hindi, who prepares future cities thanks to his innovating start up : Snips is also French. And so many, so many others which we would like you to discover. And for sure, you are most welcome to add more names in the comments below.

We have to talk about all of them, so that pessimism gives way to optimism and a big fresh dose of trust replaces mistrust  in the capacities of France!

Collectif Au Top La France
#AuTopLaFrance