1. The mood was tired and downtrodden. People weren’t necessarily in a bad mood but I’ve never heard more “I’m tired’s” than I did this year.2. Generally people were upbeat about the start-up industry. 2010 seemed to offer good prospects when listening to people talk about their plans. 3. VC’s were most concerned about raising future funds. Almost everyone noted how hard it is or is going to be to get future funds raised. Almost everyone saw the most hurdles for funds focussed on seed and early-stage in general. 4. Business angels are playing ever greater roles in the seed space and more have shown up. At the same time I started hearing a lot more complaining about their terms and behaviour. “Lifestyle angels” were seen as a burden at times. 5. In Germany, Berlin is where it’s at. London remains the European hotbed. Heard almost nothing about Southern Europe. The Scandics are coming back. 6. Mobile remains the space where people see the most opportunity. Still hard to tell though how many of the things out there will be monetized. 7. People are looking to raise a lot less money. This trend has been around a while but very few people actually said they were looking for a couple million or more. Actually never heard so many pitches for 100k to 500k deals. 8. Everyone had an iPhone. I’ve never seen more iPhones at an event than I did this year. Macs galore too. Surpisingly few netbooks though and I didn’t see one Droid even though I would of bet I’d see one before the event. . 9. Keynotes and panels were of lesser quality than past years. Networking was much better though. Best LeWeb I’ve attended so far. (Don’t care much for keynotes and panels anyway.) The venue (this year without any heating issues) really is a great space. 10. OK, as always, some fun gripes! Food was worse. Last year, I was shocked at the quality of food available in a very positive way. This year just cheese and coldcuts and some funky finger food? Loic, it’s Paris. You’re French! This is where you can shine with little effort! Further, I really have to stop working out. Guys, you all know of the urinal stalls in the toilet below the stairs! WTF, I know skinny chic may still be cool in Paris, but in my case “going for distance” is not necessarily a motivating factor when taking a pee! Still had a great time though. Thanks Geraldine and Loic for a fun event.
No great suprises for me to be honest. Only the food, maybe.