Posts Tagged ‘France’s’
France’s ANDRA developing a million-year hard drive, we hope our badly-written blogs live in perpetuity
Us humans have been quick to embrace digital technology for preserving our memories, but we’ve forgotten that most of our storage won’t last for more than a few decades; when a hard drive loses its magnetism or an optical disc rots, it’s useless. French nuclear waste manager ANDRA wants to make sure that at least some information can survive even if humanity itself is gone — a million or more years, to be exact. By using two fused disk platters made from sapphire with data written in a microscope-readable platinum, the agency hopes to have drives that will keep humming along short of a catastrophe. The current technology wouldn’t hold reams of data — about 80,000 minuscule pages’ worth on two platters — but it could be vital for ANDRA, which wants to warn successive generations (and species) of radioactivity that might last for eons. Even if the institution mostly has that pragmatic purpose in mind, though, it’s acutely aware of the archeological role these €25,000 ($ 30,598) drives could serve once leaders settle on the final languages and below-ground locations at an unspecified point in the considerably nearer future. We’re just crossing our fingers that our archived internet rants can survive when the inevitable bloody war wipes out humanity and the apes take over.
[Image credit: SKB]
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Navigating through airport security is hardly the most fanciful way of kicking off a vacation, but this summer, a handful of frequent fliers in France will take part in a field trial that aims to streamline the process and make it a bit more enjoyable. Fifty lucky travelers armed with BlackBerry smartphones will take part in a pilot study that tests the authentication technology recently developed by Orange and SITA. Upon their arrival at the Toulouse-Blagnac airport, the handset’s NFC-capable SIM card will serve as an access pass to the car park, the premium access zone for departures and even the private lounge area. Smartphone integration will provide travelers with real-time flight information, and it’s said that the handset will even remember the location of one’s vehicle in the car park. As the system is hardware-based, the identity verification technology will even work when the smartphone is turned off. The Toulouse-Blagnac airport aims to have a broader NFC implementation available by 2013-2014, which may allow users to board flights and pay for goods with their mobile device. To learn more about the vision, you’ll find the PR after the break.
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There’s a new trend in the French startup ecosystem: the rise of so-called superangels, often highly successful entrepreneurs themselves, who pool together funds and resources, and invest in the early stages alongside VCs.
This is obviously a good thing.
France doesn’t have a great reputation as a startup hub, and part of the reason is a lack of early stage financing, especially early stage financing from really experienced investors with an appetite for risk.
These new superangels all have very successful track records as entrepreneurs and business angels, have built companies that are the leaders in their markets, and are determined to take risks in the early stage and make it work.
Meet France’s New And Awesome Super Angels >
- The Top Angels in Tech
- New International Seed Fund Kima Ventures Wants To Invest In 100+ Startups
- 7 Kinds Of Angel Investors To Avoid
Marc Simoncini has pledged to invest 100 million euros in early stage web startups
Marc Simoncini is one of the most successful web entrepreneurs in France. After founding several IT services firms in the 1980s and 1990s, he founded i-France during the dotcom bubble, one of the first French community websites (think GeoCities), and sold it at the peak. In 2002, he founded Meetic.com, which is the leading dating site in Europe and went public in 2005.
He started his own fund, called Jaina Capital, with a pledge to invest 100 million euros in early stage startups.
Jaina Capital will invest lots of money at the seed stage
In an interview to FrenchWeb.fr, Simoncini has spelled out Jaina’s investment thesis:
- the fund will be a hands-on early stage investor, and is not afraid to invest at the idea stage, before there is a product or a business model;
- because they are hands-on, they will invest mostly in France, sometimes in Europe, but not outside Europe;
- they will build synergy around their startups, helping them pool resources and ideas.
Kima Ventures wants to invest in 100+ startups at the seed stage, all over the world
We covered their launch: Kima Ventures is an international seed fund that wants to invest in over 100 startups at the seed stage. Their launch went well: they received over 100 applications in their first 24 hours of operation.
Since then they’ve announced investments in group gifting service Leetchi and crowd-sourced iPhone apps developer Labotec, and have more yet unannounced.
The reason they’re so hot is because of the two talented entrepreneurs behind Kima.
(Full disclosure: I helped launch Kima Ventures.)
Meet Kima Partner #1 — Serial Entrepreneur And Investor JÃ©rÃ©mie Berrebi
Jérémie Berrebi founded net2one, a forerunner of Google News, in the 1990s and survived the bust to sell it to a big media group. He then founded create-your-own-online-shop startup Zlio. He’s an angel investor in a staggering number of startups. Originally from France, he now lives in Israel, and is well plugged in in both countries.
Meet Kima Partner #2 — Xavier Niel, France’s Most Successful Technology Entrepreneur
Xavier Niel, with a net worth clocking in at around $4.5 billion (yes, billion), is with little doubt France’s most successful technology entrepreneur.
He is the founder (and still the leader) of Free, France’s most successful ISP, which has always been a disruptor and an innovator in the market, being first to market with broadband internet, VoIP, triple-play offerings, and so on. Right now Free is building out its own fiber optic network so it doesn’t have to pay France Telecom, the main telco, for its wires, and has successfully lobbied for its own 3G mobile phone license. It is largely thanks to Free that France is perhaps the country outside Asia with the cheapest, most high quality internet access. Notably for a rich guy in France, Niel remains pretty popular thanks to his loud stances for net neutrality and against boneheaded French laws that try to regulate the internet.
Niel has also made a name for himself as an angel investor, investing most recently in Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey’s über-hot startup Square.
Meet ISAI, A Dream Team of French Entrepreneurs And VCs
ISAI works sort of like New York’s Founder Collective: several experienced entrepreneurs as partners, and a small full-time team. It’s a pretty star-studded team (and 3 out of their 4 partners are HEC grads like me, which gives me some hope).
Jean-David Chamboredon manages ISAI on a day-to-day basis. He’s a VC by training (a consultant before that), and his track record includes SeLoger.com, the leading French real estate website, which is now a public company, and other successful startups including PriceMinister. He used to have a really good blog, but it’s been mostly left in abandon.
PKM, as he is often referred to, is the founder and CEO of PriceMinister.com, the second biggest e-commerce site in France, and the European leader in guaranteed buying and selling (the Half.com model).
Ouriel Ohayon is the founder of AppsFire, which we’ve covered before. He is also the founder of TechCrunch France, Topify and Ludopia.
Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux
Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux made his name as an entrepreneur by starting The Phone House, a bricks and mortar phone retailer which was sold for a big number to Carphone Warehouse, an even bigger British retailer. He then started Virgin Mobile France, France’s first MVNO.
Stéphane Treppoz was the CEO of AOL France from 1998 to 2004 (talk about a roller-coaster) and is now chairman at Sarenza, the French Zappos.
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Props to Silicon Alley Insider
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