Yesterday evening, LeCamping kicked off its 4th season at Google’s Paris office, announcing 12 new startups. As with previous seasons, the startups will go through a 6 month program, during which they will shape their business model, put out a minimum viable product, and master their startup pitch. Startups receive 4500€ (without giving up any equity), receive 200 hours of mentoring from among 60 mentors, and get free office space at LeCamping’s Palais Brongniart office. Past season’s Alumni have included DocTrackr and qunb.
There were plenty of new faces and startups in this batch – a part from Pricing Assistant, who launched earlier this week, I really have never heard of these startups. I’m excited by the idea that these startups might usher in the next generation of startups in Paris; former young-guns are starting to hire, working on scaling up their team & product, and, frankly, Paris could use some new blood. Among all the startups, none seem to have more energy than Sportdub, who provide alternative commentaries to football matches. While, for the moment, they seem to be nothing more than an amusing YouTube channel, they may very well find themselves on the cusp of the “second screen” phenomenon.
Looking at the pitches & the teams, there were quite a few “just out of school” teams, who will definitely profit from what LeCamping has to offer; however, I didn’t see many superstar teams that looked like they were going to leave hot streaks in their wake. I feel there’s a lot of “we’re excited just to give this startup thing a chance” attitude, which is a huge shift in France from just a few years back; I feel the next step will be to begin promoting the strongest teams and helping them make more noise in an ocean of ‘we’re just happy to be recognized” startups.
I can’t say I’m particularly excited about any one startup from this season (beyond the two mentioned above) – there’s no Veezio in the group this season, no super strong super technical team that you know is on to something strong.Hopefully, over the next six months, I’ll get a chance to get to know the startups a bit better, and slowly but surely, but superstars will rise to the top.
This will be the first season of LeCamping since former manager Alice Zagury’s departure, and there will certainly be a lot of pressure on LeCamping to show that it can continue to create the same amount of buzz around its startups, and offer the same network and visibility. On top of that, LeCamping will have to prove that it is increasing the chance of success for startups who go through its program, something that will begin to become apparent now that the program has seen 36 startups come & go.
For a full list of the startups accepted, feel free to check out this article by Maddyness.