Le Camping hosts Jason Calacanis’s TWIST Paris Meetup (www.twistparis.com) at the Palais Brongniart. The room filled up early and the atmosphere was charged with talk of innovation, trends and Jason’s most recent venture, Mahalo. Jason, an American entrepreneur and renowned blogger, entered Le Camping…
After a brief stint of introductions, he found himself sitting with OleaPark, Pictarine, and HereWeDate, each team explaining their project to him. He offered feedback and ideas to each of the Camping teams before appearing on stage.
The room was packed by the time Jason took the stage. The whole ecosystem was represented with startups from incubators like Balloon and Réunik from HEC and Witchbird from Science Po, as well as Camping mentors and other founders of startups from around Paris. FUGU, a futuristic furniture company even produced a sofa for the event.
Three teams pitched their startups and listened to feedback from Jason and his friend Tyler. Of them, two were Camping startups, PrepMyFuture, pitched eloquently by Richard Fielding, and Pictarine, introduced by Guillaume Martin. Jérôme, from LifeShow, also pitched an innovative way to share photos.
Jason and Tyler went through some key points on pitch technique as well as content. Many of their comments were helpful to the Campers in helping them think about their business model, user acquisition, and go-to-market plans. They assigned each team with a score based on their opinion of how strong the pitch and company were: 10 – sure investment, 9 – maybe invest, 8 – interesting, but need development, 7- has potential, etc.
After the pitches, began speaking about Mahalo and how his company has been developing over the past 3 years.
He insists that most companies take off around 3rd or 4th year of the development and is convinced that Mahalo has settled into an appropriate market. Jason strongly believes that Google’s Panda algorithm has significantly impacted his own business and the Internet in a large way. He is a proponent of transparency in Google search and believes that in its current state is largely unsustainable. The revolution in the way we access content will be through curated app stores like those of Apple and Amazon, says Jason.
After his discourse, Jason returned his attention to the community. He brought up HereWeDate and praised their model and approach to dating. Julien Hugon and Dan Podaru, the two founders were excited to understand his opinion and get feedback on their product. At the end of the afternoon, a couple of long-time followers of the TWIST events, Balloon and Réunik gave updates on their own projects. Jason encouraged and challenged them. He believes firmly that Paris has the potential to become a strong European ecosystem, drawing parallels with New York as so many Americans have recently.