After the IdeaMensch team spent some time in France, we wanted to dig deeper into these amazing interviews with French entrepreneurs. All of these founders identified a need or a niche and filled it when they created their companies. They range from developers to negotiators, software engineers to bloggers – and we are thrilled they are part of our IdeaMensch community.

Read more about their companies, how they launched, and the trends that excite them in this roundup of 7 French Entrepreneurs.

Fiona Adler, Founder of Actioned.com

Keeping time aside in your schedule to speak to several customers a week is time well spent.”

Location: Annecy, France

What is Actioned.com?

Actioned.com is an online productivity tool that teams of any size can use. It works on the simple principle of getting everyone in the team to enter their plans for the day (3-5 priorities that they will work on), and having that information visible across the team. Having a focus of just a few action items for the day, plus the accountability from colleagues means that people get more of the important things get done. It’s far more simple than project management software and it gets enormous productivity gains for almost all kinds of teams.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I really love that so many businesses are embracing remote work these days! It excites me that businesses are no longer restricted to finding talent in their local area and instead can truly choose the best person for the role. I also love the idea that smart people can be supporting their families and contributing at a high level – all while working in ways that suit their desired lifestyles. I think that long-term, remote work will be a great equalizer and eventually salaries across the globe will become more standardized.

 

Alexander Bregman, Co-Founder of invitly

“Take more risks early, change jobs often to keep learning and build a good network.”

location: Paris, france

What is invitly? 

invitly is a networking app that enables professionals to meet through invites for drinks or meals in order to grow their professional networks and unlock business opportunity. It all came from personal frustration when I was frequently having meals by myself in front of my phone during business travel. At the same time, I observed the explosion of dating apps like Tinder and started wondering why I couldn’t just as easily connect with people for professional occasions. I came to realize that professional networking is broken and is ready for a breakthrough. But the main turning point for invitly came when I was struck by the idea of connecting people through invites, which today is the main premise of invitly.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I’ve been really obsessed by social networks for a long time. I just couldn’t comprehend that while it’s so easy to connect with people online, it’s really hard to meet someone in-person and build real social relationships. Dating apps lead the way on this matter and I’m excited that with invitly we’ve created a way for the professional audience to meet as well.

 

Devon Smiley, Negotiation Speaker and Consultant

“You have to keep putting yourself out there… It’s the small, consistent ways you show up that will make a big difference in the long run.”

location: Paris, France

What is your consulting and public speaking business? 

I launched my negotiation consultancy after realizing that these skills and strategies are valuable to everyone, but that they weren’t accessible. Material is academic, or clinical, or only focused on multi-million dollar deals. There’s a lot more to negotiation! I was driven to help individuals, small business owners, startup founders and yes – even corporates – build their skills without going through programs and systems that are outdated and inflexible.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I love that firms are more open than ever to gig workers. When I first launched my consultancy I had a lot of potential clients insist that they’d only be able to work with me if they locked me into a full-time salaried role. There was little flexibility and a total blindspot to the value of independent negotiation insight. Clients aren’t in such a rush to lock me into a cubicle anymore thank goodness.

 

Marc Bouvrot-Parratte, Co-Founder and CEO of Bestrade

“Being an entrepreneur is like a marathon, not a sprint. It’s better to take your time and build something stable and solid rather than race headfirst into a wall.”

LOCATION: emagny, France

What is Bestrade? 

Bestrade provides small and medium sized businesses the online tools to support their strategic decision-making surrounding their participation in industry trade events. Bestrade collects and categorizes reviews, feedback and recommendations from event attendees from around the world on its platform and provides embedded survey tools for organizers to assess the satisfaction levels of their attendees. This data forms the basis of an analytics toolset and algorithms to assist companies in identifying which business events are best suited to their needs. The platform also enables event organizers and venue managers to communicate directly with exhibitors and visitors via its community features and network of qualified users.

What’s one trend that excites you?

A trend that excites me is open data, thanks to open APIs and data standardization. This trend allows us to greatly accelerate data collection and improve the quality of the analyses and answers we can provide to our users. Open data also allows us to focus all our resources on product features and the user experience, and we do not have to funnel resources to recreating tools ancillary to our products and services.

 

Elisa Subirats, CEO of World in Paris

“Put a lot of enthusiasm and passion on what you do. Work hard, and don’t be afraid of investing some money in useful tools and courses to work in the right direction.”

What is World in Paris? 

“World in Paris” is a travel blog about Paris and its surroundings. World in Paris wants to help independent travelers to enjoy Paris Like a Local through travel inspiration, information, and best tips. The idea of World in Paris started after my world tour. I spent a year traveling the world, exploring amazing places every single day. After some days of rest back in Paris, I felt that I needed to go on with visiting new things, and learning new things so I decided to explore “my own backyard” (the city of Paris) and tell people about my quirky findings and best tips. The blog World in Paris started as a hobby which later turned into a business.

What’s one trend that excites you?

People are getting curious about the surroundings of Paris and if they have a spare day in the capital they are happy to explore other cities or towns easy to visit on a day trip. That gives us more exploring opportunities (after all, we love to travel!) and more business opportunities.

 

Jonathan Benhamou, CEO and Co-Founder of PeopleDoc

“Always put employees first in any situation, before anything else including investors, customers, etc. That’s why our customers are happy: because our employees are happy.”

location: paris, france

What is PeopleDoc? 

PeopleDoc is the leading provider of cloud-based HR service delivery solutions that has revolutionized the HR profession around the world. PeopleDoc started as Novapost back in 2007 on the campus of the HEC Business School in Paris with the idea to replace postmail. We believed that every consumer should be able to receive, store and securely share daily life documents in a personal digital vault, rather than just with paper. In 2009 the HR community took notice of what we were doing, and how we figured out a way to balance flexibility and control with a consumer experience. As a result, we were asked to build a product that could do this specifically for companies. From then on, it was our goal to introduce fresh cloud technology that could improve efficiency, reduce operating costs and automate processes in the HR department.

What’s one trend that excites you?

As technology becomes a more integral part in our day-to-day lives, both inside and outside of work, I’ve become interested in how companies are working to assimilate into the 21st century. These transformations don’t just impact ROI and performance, but they change the way that businesses engage with their employees. Improved technology that leads to better employee engagement can enhance the overall relationship between workers and businesses, in a way that truly hasn’t been done before.

 

Tatiana Bonneau, CEO of AMAFeed.com

“You absolutely don’t need anyone’s approval to be you so don’t waste time trying to get it.”

location: paris, france

What is AMAFeed.com? 

AMAFeed.com is a search engine and platform for knowledge exchange in an Ask Me Anything format. The Ask Me Anything format itself is not something we have invented, it goes back to AOL chatrooms in the 90s and could possibly have been around even before. To have a platform focused around AMAs is just the most fitting way we saw to facilitate information exchange in a very open and honest format. You can manipulate news, you can pay to have great marketing materials for your company, you can present yourself as anything/anyone you like and the audience won’t necessarily be able to tell what’s real and what isn’t. But with the AMAs you are being interviewed by a crowd so everything is on the table. They are a real insight into the person, the company, the idea behind them. And at the same time, if you have nothing to hide and are open for a discussion they are a great way to engage your existing audience and connect with ours. Each and every one of us is a story to be told and we are making the storytelling easier as you don’t have to think about it – you just answer questions.

What’s one trend that excites you?

People realising the risks of the internet – not in a bad way, I think it was about time and as with anything new we, humans get over excited and don’t think much before jumping into it and overdoing it, now everyone is getting to terms with the responsibility we all have. I believe it will result in much better regulations, more responsible use, safer web based services and many new ideas.

 

How are you turning your passion into your business? Tell us about it at www.ideamensch.com/interview.

 

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