January 5 - January 10, 2014

Greenhouse, 150 Varick St, New York, NY 10013

The French (tech) Connection

in partnership with Effective Capital!

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French Tech Companies Make a Splash in NYC

We introduced promising French entrepreneurs to the NYC startup scene.

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On January 8, 2014, we hosted The French (tech) Connection, a showcase of French tech awesomeness and an opportunity for 10 innovative French tech companies to pitch an esteemed panel of New York venture investors.  This event was part of the 5-day New York market accelerator program we organized for French startups in partnership with Effective Capital.  These companies were immersed into the NY tech ecosystem to help launch their businesses in the US. 



During this program, the companies had the opportunity to meet with influential NY investors, including Effective Capital, Comcast Ventures, ERA Accelerator and ff Venture Capital.  We also toured some of NYC's great tech companies, including:

  • Etsy:  We met one of NYC’s most notable startups! Etsy, an e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items, as well as art and craft supplies, gave us a tour of one of the coolest offices around and took some time to answer question and tell us about the growing company.
  • TheLadders: The start-ups spent some time with the CEO and other key members of TheLadders team.  They told us their story and explained the reasons behind their success as the most comprehensive job-matching service for career-driven professionals.
  • Big Spaceship: We got some time to hang out with Big Spaceship.  They are one of NYC’s digital creative agencies, and viewed as one of the most innovative companies according to Fast Company.


And to showcase these great companies to the NY tech community, we hosted a pitch event featuring the companies as well as a panel of influential venture investors which we have detailed below.



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Event Co-Host

Effective Capital

Effective Capital is an innovative, full service financial advisory company dedicated to the prosperity, entrepreneurial spirit and capital preservation of a selected group of unique Entrepreneurs. They offer innovative financial solutions to entrepreneurs, including from corporate finance, international real estate structuring and financing, tax optimization, asset management and more. Effective Capital is dedicated to a unique focus: the development, funding and preservation of entrepreneur's professional & personal assets.

How To Make It In America, From France

Gaspard de Dreuzy

Co-founder & Chief Innovation Officer, Kapitall

Gaspard is a serial entrepreneur with experience in the entertainment industry, particularly as an executive producer of video game software. He co-founded three game production, development and consulting companies and produced titles for PC, Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Wii systems. He has worked with some of the world’s top game developers and publishers including Atari, THQ and Mattel on popular franchises such as Ready 2 Rumble Boxing. Gaspard was also a senior strategic marketing consultant at Warner Music. A native of Paris, Gaspard and his wife moved to New York in 2006. He received a Bachelors’ Degree in Economics and Finance from the University of Paris Dauphine.

Alexandre Douzet

CEO and Co-founder, TheLadders

As CEO of TheLadders, the premier online job-matching service for career-driven professionals, Alex is responsible for the company strategy, global business operations, and product development. He co-founded the company in 2003 with Marc Cenedella and Andrew Koch, and grew the member base to more than 6 million since inception. Alex holds an MBA from INSEAD, an MS from New York University, and a BS from the University of Lyon III in France. A competitive athlete, Alex finished the 2012 Ironman U.S. Championship in 12 hours, 12 minutes and 21 seconds.

Investor Panel

David Teten

Partner, ff Venture Capital

David is Founder and Chairman of Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York. He is a Mentor with Dreamit Ventures, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, Founder Institute (New York and Singapore), Lean Startup Machine, and the Startup Leadership Program. David was formerly Founder and CEO of GoldNames. He worked with Bear Stearns' Investment Banking was a strategy consultant with Mars & Co. David holds a Harvard MBA and a Yale BA, both with honors. While still in college, he built a technology consulting firm with 35 clients.

Chrisophe Garnier

Founding Partner, SparkLabs

Entrepreneur with strong track record in shaping and guiding organizational success in the digital commerce and new media industries. Been capitalizing on my expertise with start-up companies between Europe, NYC and Silicon Valley to launch e-commerce & m-commerce companies between Europe and North America. Vast experience in scaling start-up style businesses to corporate level operations, in both volume and global presence.

Philippe Finkelstein

Founder & CEO, Cross Border Network

After having creating his own company in 1988 and becoming a founder of the Altavia group, Philip Finkelstein now directs international expansion for Altavia, a marketing and communications business (with sales of €500M in 2009 and 1000 employees). For 20 years he has coordinated the development of Altavia subsidiaries in Europe and Asia. He also provides support to its customers in the regions in which they have expanded abroad.

Since 2009, he has lived in New York where he founded and directs Cross Border Network.

Jonathan Drillings

Senior Associate, Comcast Ventures

Jonathan invests across the technology spectrum, with a particular geographic focus on the New York market. He's tasked with finding and working closely with companies throughout the evaluation, due diligence and investment process, as well as leveraging his investment and operating background in assisting portfolio companies.

Prior to Comcast Ventures, Jonathan's background spanned various investment and operating roles. Jonathan spent time with Lake Street Capital before joining Investor Growth Capital (IGC), a growth-stage venture capital firm. After IGC, Jonathan joined BrightWire and then was the Director of Operations at Yext before joining Comcast Ventures.

Immigration Reform with Fwd.us

Luna Atamian

New York Regional Organizer, FWD.us

Luna Atamian is the New York Regional Organizer for FWD.us. Working to build a political infrastructure in the booming New York City tech community Luna brings to bear diverse experiences in community organizing, human rights and law. After graduating from Sorbonne Law School in Paris, Luna gained valuable experience working both in law firms for corporations in Europe. She decided to come to the United States in 2012 to study human rights at Columbia University and today is happy to call herself a (transplanted) New Yorker.

Startup Pitches


CEO & Founder, Hannah Oiknine

Babbler is an innovative PR agency that has created the first social network between brands and the media. In few clicks reporters can do advanced research of targeted brand contents (HR pics, video, press kits..); download, like, comment and share all content; order products online for their needs (shootings, etc.); stay in touch with the latest news of brands and companies; have access to a great working tool for free 24/7

Our clients can easily broadcast all their brand contents to their followers (reporters, bloggers, editor in chief…); know who visits their profile, the details of downloading (with planned publication infos); having live reporting of their PR; complete transparency; attractive prices


CMO, co-founder, Alain Mevellec

Who says sales management platforms have to be boring? Sellsy is an intuitive CRM solution that businesses can use for online invoicing, time tracking, purchases, inventory management, collaboration, help desk management and a complete POS system. By combining mobile tools that let salespeople work outside the office with real-time activity management features, Sellsy has been able to develop a sales platform for the modern workplace.

Content Square

CEO, Jonathan Cherki

Content Square has developed a range of connected solutions for testing and optimization that improve user experience, optimize a course's ergonomy and increase conversion rate.


CEO, Bastien Sannac

Meludia is an online game that allows anyone to learn music without theory or instruments, regardless of age or level. Resulting from 25 years of theory and experiments with more than 3000 musicians, Meludia reverses the learning cycle by addressing musical practice by emotions and sensations, before the theory. Meludia also enables people to quickly play an instrument "by ear ", to have more fun listening and to develop ones creative abilities.


CEO, Cyril Hersch

Apila is the 1st geolocated real time app for Smartphones, GPS, and connected cars that integrates functionalities that allows drivers to primarily easily find parking spots - on and off streets - as well as related solutions such as navigation and mobile payment.

Send Me Love

President, Charles Rachelson

Send Me Love allows people to donate to their favorite artists with the click of a (love) button. Similar to passing a musician on the street dropping some love in their basket, but virtually.

We began with the observation that songs, videos, and blogs are accessible for free on the Internet. So why not allow people to give something back to those who create cultural content?

1 click = 1 Love = 0,49€ to support an artist, an association...


Co-founder & CPO, Pierre Brouder

Bobler reinvents the way you address people. We make vocal messages relevant and easy-to-use in all daily situations, either when you're multitasking or on the go.

Bobler is a vocal messaging app. Record a Boble, an audio message of 2 minutes maximum and share it privately for one or several people, or publicly for the world to hear. It allows you to talk with your friends and listen to celebrities, media or brands you like.

Voice is the most natural media to communicate. Yet it hasn't been reinvented.
There is no easy way to record a vocal message and to send it to someone or to share it on social networks. We revolutionize the voicemail experience by making it simple and useful.


Founder, Jean-Philippe Bertin

Somhome is a real estate website meets dating website. The innovation is to introduce matching in the flat/apartment searches. We concentrate on renting, subletting, and roommates only. Thanks to our system we save time and money for everyone looking for housing solutions... Its totally free (no broker fees).


CEO, François-Alexandre Glaudet

To be well organized when you are a Manager is a challenge. You have to deal with lots of information coming from several sources and keep track of it all. This could take as much as 30% of even the best manager's time.

TEEMEO gives this time back through a unique and intuitive web tool. It allows managers to see instantly what needs to be done and what's happening in the environment. This tool speaks with all the entire environment and sorts the information with a focus on letting managers concentrate on what they value the most.

The Art Place

Co-Founder, Fred Bonelli

Most artists (painters, sculptors, photographers, and performance artists) bemoan the fact that they spend around 80% of their time selling and promoting their work (and networking), and are on average are only ultimately left with 20% of their time to devote to

The Art Place is the first community to have a universal, digital, and social vocation in the art market. Its mission is to open up the art world by creating a direct link between the different people involved.

Jarvis Software

Partner, Anthony Yeremian

Jarvis Legal is an all-in-one tool to manage a law firm. At clients' offices or on a plane, one can access cases, assign tasks to co-counsels, enter new appointments or even check on invoice statuses using a laptop, smartphone or tablet. Whether online or offline, there is always access to an operational and easy-to-use application, which will synchronize all information automatically as soon as the user is back online.

Jarvis Legal is an affordable, customer-friendly and ready-to-use SaaS software that manages contacts, cases, calendar, documents, communications, time tracking & billing, conflicts of interest and reporting. Jarvis Legal is 360° law firm management software that will help you bill more time, reduce costs, go paperless and greener, enhance payment collection and above all improve customer satisfaction.

Startup Selection Committee

Ilan Elbase

Founder & Managing Partner, Effective Capital

Ilan Elbase is the Founder and Managing Partner of Effective Capital since 2012. Ilan previously conducted numerous transactions as a Director at M&A boutique Financière Cambon for 5 years. He started his career in New York at Goldman Sachs and Calyon.

Ilan graduated from ESSEC Business School and the University of Richmond, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Finance.

Yohan Ruso

CEO, Priveal

Yohan has extensive experience in the field of e-commerce and international business relations. He is one of the Board Members of Prestashop, and is the former CEO of EBAY France.

Yohan graduated from ESCP Europe Business School.

Benjamin Hakoun

CEO, FittingBox

Benjamin is the CEO and Co-Founder of Fittingbox, a leading SaaS company in the eyewear industry. He is also a speaker at the Sciences-Po Paris and board member of start-up contest Petit Poucet.

Benjamin graduated from HEC Paris.

Jonathan Zisermann

Co-Founder, Mediastay

Jonathan is the Co-Founder of Mediastay, a web company that enables brands, media, and retailers to engage with over 25 million people through its casual gaming platform. He is also an angel investor and a member of the French startup accelerator 50 Partners.

Jonathan graduated from EM Lyon Business School.

Sebastien Mejean

CEO & Co-Founder, Sojeans

Sebastien is CEO and Co-founder of Sojeans.com, the first European e-shop specialized in jeans, and has raised more than 10 million dollars.

Sebastien graduated from ESSEC Business School.

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