“The dizzying rise of Facebook launched 7 years ago - valued today at more than 100 billion dollars, is just one of the signs of that a new era is changing the traditional economy as well as our way of thinking and interacting. Intangible and without boundaries, the power of digital creation is accessible by anyone with a computer and an Internet connection. With just those simple things, anything is possible.
Nurtured out of a core community in Silicon Valley in the United States, startup culture spread rapidly at the lightning speed of the Internet. But if information is shared, a general understanding is spread and standard models become more adopted, it is still true that a startup goes from being virtual to real becasue of its local environment. Europe boasts success stories like LastFM, bought by CBS Interactive or Skype by Microsoft - but there is room to develop an ecosystem between London and Berlin, cities renowned for their dynamism and the powerful forces of attraction exerted upon young entrepreneurs. Paris continues to fly under the radar and it is difficult to show that we boast our own encouraging success stories such as Ventes-Privées or Critéo.
French startuppers remain far off the pace of their American counterparts. Simply because the ecosystem is still young, the number of players is limited and the spirit of the community is only now coming into being. It’s all in the chain of creation, the access to markets, the culture of swift execution, or the ability to fund-raise that is perhaps less developed on this side of the Atlantic. Silicon Sentier, at the heart of this young ecosystem is all the while witness to the undeniable quality of entrepreneurs in new technologies in Paris. How do you support the international growth of these gems around us? What are the conditions that favor the acceleration of startups? These were the questions asked by Silicon Sentier during the conception of Le Camping, which was to become the most successful startup accelerator in Paris. The startup revolution had just begun; all it needed was a simple bit of encouragement.”
General Representative of Silicon Sentier
“The opportunity presented to Silicon Sentier was simple: a 240m2 space at the Palais Brongniart, the old Parisian stock exchange, a symbol of the 19th century economy. This opportunity arrived at the right time, a time when Europe, and France in particular, had not yet developed an acceleration structure similar to those seen in the US. Only a few rare investment funds were in existence like the incredibly active seed fund in London, SeedCamp, created in 2007, or the more recent StartupBootcamp in Copenhagen, launched in 2010. After a one-month trip, meeting European startups and an immersion in entrepreneurial communities, the team in charge of Le Camping project decided to undertake the task of putting in place an infrastructure for a Parisian startup ecosystem. The Palais Brongniart thus welcomed the first startup accelerator in France, Le Camping.”
Le Camping Manager