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At Le Web, tech offers hope

Thursday, December 08, 2011 - 02:39

Dec. 8 - Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt has pleased attendees of the Paris technology conference Le Web by suggesting Silicon Valley may soon face increased competition from Europe. Matt Cowan reports.

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(SOUNDBITE) (English) GOOGLE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN ERIC SCHMIDT SAYING: "Silicon Valley needs a competitor. Competition is good" In a difficult week for Europe, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt delivered a welcome message at the Paris technology conference Le Web - European cities can challenge Silicon Valley when it comes to creating innovative tech businesses that generate wealth. For French serial entrepreneur and Le Web organizer Loic Le Meur this was validation of his mission to encourage entrepreneurship in Europe. SOUNDBITE: Loic Le Meur, Le Web organizer saying (English): "There has been a tremendous change in Europe in innovation because a few years ago what I was seeing was a lot of, what we call, copycats. So European entrepreneurs were really focussing at Silicon Valley and how we can, you know, replicate sort of, successes there. I think in the last three to four years, it completely changed into a more 'we want to innovate' model and you can see that at Le Web. At Le Web where there are 300 start-ups candidates this year, 600 this year mostly from Europe." This event comes near the end of a significant year for the European tech scene. The multibillion dollar acquistions of companies like Skype and Autonomy are encouraging tech investors to widen their scope. France is one of a number of governments courting investment from the sector. Gilles Babinet has founded a number of successful ventures in France and now serves as an advisor to the government. SOUNDBITE: Gilles Babinet, Serial Entrepreneur and Government Advisor saying (English): "You know, during the six past months it's the first time that we have clear signal that they want to push very hard, that they understand that the first driver of the economy is the start-ups. That's the first time ever. So that's very positive and we want to make sure that it's not just only talk but it's effective action." But it's not all serious business at Europe's premier technology conference. Joseph 5.0, as he likes to be known, has dreamed up a new way of engaging viewers with events they can't personally participate in. SOUNDBITE: Joseph '5.0' Tame, Video enthusiast, saying (English): "This is the IRON, what I call the IRON, it's a live broadcast machine, it has four Iphones, two Ipads, a Macbook Air and an assortment of other technology. Basically I use this to live-stream events such as the Tokyo marathon. I had 14,000 viewers cheering me on via Twitter, whilst watching my stream. I wouldn't have finished it without them to be honest. So yes, basically this is the ultimate SOLOMO gadget with social, local and mobile built in." Whether for wealth generation or simply for the joy of the experiment, technology thrives through its ability to move things forward. Matt Cowan, Reuters

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At Le Web, tech offers hope

Thursday, December 08, 2011 - 02:39