LeWeb Paris 2013 kicks off in just four weeks, and you can feel that things are getting warmed. Last week, the official LeWeb Schedule was announced, along with the 16 startup competition finalists, and, of course, invitations to evening events have already started to go out. Between December 10th and 12th, Paris will, for a short amount of time, become the center of the Startup ecosystem, and that means that Rude Baguette will be the center of the tech media world — or at least that’s what we like to tell ourselves.
There are plenty of things to pay attention to during LeWeb, and so we’ve tried to pack it all into one handy article for you.
Speakers – Highlights & Déjà Vu
If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration this December as to where the next 10 years will take us (the theme of this year’s LeWeb, the 10th edition of the event), you will be in for quite a treat with this year’s line-up of speakers. While they won’t share the same stage, Nest CEO Tony Fadell & Netatmo CEO Fred Potter will both be on stage during the three-day event, hopefully talking a bit about their connected home technologies.
In the category of Technorati – i.e: Technology celebrities – you can’t get closer than by having Evernote CEO Phil Libin, USV Partner & blogger at avc.com Fred Wilson, along with social media guru Guy Kawasaki & Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.
Given previous years’ lineups, there is a bit of Déjà Vu in terms of familiar faces gracing LeWeb again this year – though as long as they don’t ask Phil Libin what he means when he says he’s building a 100-year company, I think it’ll be OK. Some of my personal highlights include: Orange CEO Stephane Richard, Fitbit CEO James Park, as well as former Googler and current VP of Xiaomi (a Chinese phone maker) Hugo Barra, who made headlines earlier this year when he left Google under some curious circumstances.
With three days of speakers & competitions, you’ll want to plan out your speaker sessions in advance – although the event has a propensity for last-minute schedule changes, you can do yourself a favor and research ahead of time. One of my favorite parts of LeWeb are the ever-present LED screens in the main networking area that switch between video of who’s on stage currently, and a list of upcoming speakers, both on the main stage and at other parts of the conference.
The Startup Competition
LeWeb also announced the 16 startup finalists – 4 of which are French – and I must say that I only recognize one startup, and it happens to be one of my favorite startups (& founders) in Europe: Infogr.am. I’m already expecting that this Latvian startup will take the whole competition – and I’d expect some exciting news coming out of these guys. Nearly all of the other 15 startups feel like me-too’s and Solution X from Sector A applied haphazardly to Sector B – that being said, I have a propensity myself for being shocked, so I’ll be keeping one eye on the startup competition all week long.
Side-Events: “What’s happening tonight?”
Let’s be honest: whether you live in Paris or fly in from across the Atlantic (or just the Channel), what you’re really worried about is “What’s happening tonight?” Well, private or public, the event invitations have already begun to go out, and we’ve got as full of a list as the Rude Baguette name permits.
The Other Night – A night you’ll never Remember
The most important event, of course, is the event that Paris Accelerator TheFamily & Rude Baguette are organizing together – The Other Night. Sponsored by Facebook, Orange & PayPal, we’ve booked out le Club 79 just off of the Champs Elysées for you & 1000 of your friends – the event is open bar, goes until 5AM, and we promise that we’ll stay up as late as you do. We’ve already got a handful of people signed up since we opened up tickets earlier this month, including a fantastic “Guests of Honor” list which includes bloggers, CEOs, VC Partners, Lawyers & more, which will be updating regularly.
Given how ticket sales are going now, I very much anticipate that this event will sell out. Don’t second guess whether you want to attend this – I promise you that it’s a Night You’ll Never Remember.
While not every event has been announced, we’ve already seen word of a “Cut The Rope 2” launch party by Zeptolabs on December 10th, along with Index Ventures’ private dinner, which they host each year at Partner Dom Vidal’s Paris residence, on December 11th. There is also likely to be a dinner by Accel Partners on December 10th, an evening organized by Invest in France on December 10th, and, of course, the official LeWeb party on December 11th.
For now, LeWeb is shaping up to be quite the event – of course, the discussion this year has been around whether it will be able to maintain its status given its acquisition by Reed MIDEM last year, or for the more critical, recover from its loss in notoriety in the past few years, notably given that LeWeb London has not lived up to the high LeWeb Paris standards. LeWeb remains Paris’ top tech event of the year, similar to Dublin’s Web Summit, Vienna’s Pioneers Festival, and Berlin’s… well, I guess there’s still room for LeWeb Berlin, isn’t there?
Official List of All LeWeb Side Events:
Monday – December 9th
1) SeedCamp Paris Office Hours – held at Orrick’s Paris office
2) Silicon Students LeWeb WarmUp: traditionally features a few LeWeb speakers; a great way for locals to get a sneak peak at LeWeb – 25% discount on tickets with code “RudeBaguette”. They will be giving away two tickets during LeWeb
3) Evernote Meetup – meet the European Evernote team; starts at 19h30 at Le Loft.
Tuesday – December 10th:
1) “Cut The Rope 2” Launch Party – Atelier Basfroi 23 rue Basfroi 75011 Paris – 6PM-7PM
2) The Other Night after party – 10PM – 5AM – Le Club 79
Wednesday – December 11th
1) Official LeWeb after party – venue TBD
2) Index Ventures (private) Dinner
Thursday – December 12th
1) Apero Entrepreneurs – a free meetup for startupers. Starts at 7:00PM