Young old geezers .. France’s next generation of entrepreneurs ?

This is Sam's Town - young old geezers ?

Some provocative title here ?

Maybe … Certainly.

I came to attend a networking night yesterday evening (soirée networking “100% Entrepreneurs”), organized by Dynamique Entrepreneuriale, a (great) French magazine targeting entrepreneurs (or entrepreneurial-minded people) founded by Julien and Olivier Nishimata.

Great evening, huge attendance (they were expecting 600 entrepreneurs and I would assume the figures are right), some renowned French entrepreneurs with the likes of Pierre Tremolières (, Augustin Paluel-Marmont (Michel et Augustin), Natanael Wright (Wall Street Institute), etc … . What else then ?

Well, with this great set of entrepreneurs, one could have expected them to give more, in some way.

They were speaking on the topic of basically “becoming a CEO” (and not remaining a startup founder). Mind you, I consider it a truly good one as I have often said that this is knowledge or experience that startup founders do usually miss.

They have to learn how to become the Boss.

Yet, these serial – or, at least, experienced – entrepreneurs did only scratch the top of the topic providing very general insight in my regards. Just go to the university next door, attend a basic business lecture and you will get the same points and tips.

Like you have to manage people, to hire skilled people, learn that you need to delegate, etc … .

I am a lover of the “back to basics” mantra but when having such great people on stage then it is still frustrating to have them deliver just the standard messages. It feels like not making the most of them.

Anyway, I am still impressed by the strong set put together here by Julien and Olivier (and their team) and the amazing figures when it comes to attendance.

Now moving on to the socking/frustrating part; from my point of view that is.

From discussions with people – that is networking night after all so chatting is why people are out there – I did feel like something was missing.

Reminder; a lot of young entrepreneurs, a cool networking night, nothing to fear, yet, the flavor is missing. The entrepreneurial spirit, this eagerness to move on, fail – or not – fail again and succeed at some point is not there.

Some guys, in their early 20s speaking like retired bankers or wondering whether they should go for a standard employee job (e.g. set hours, fix salary, peace of mind, …) rather than pushing their ideas forward, that does make for a sorry bunch in the end.

I can but only compare (once again, blame me for that) with my recent i7 Summit experience where any of the American startups presenting did display power, energy, passion, all the right ingredients of entrepreneurship.

The difference it makes, easy to call : the eagerness to walk the path of entrepreneurship.

Whatever the idea, any idea can be foundations for a startup (I will develop further in an upcoming post) but what makes the difference, the success (or the failure) is the spirit. And the spirit basically is the people, be it one, two, more working on a project.

Having doubts is ok but sticking to them is road to sorry failure. One from which no lesson is learned and no path built for another startup experience and another and another … .

I do still think that France does have amazing talents out there and the startup scene does show a huge amount of potential for success (the guys at “Rude Baguette” certainly do say it more than often – and they do have the experience and the educated insight in the startup scene) but there is still an extra mile to walk to come on top.

Competition is all over the place. The same idea is born everywhere, every second.

Founders, entrepreneurs, make the difference !