Sep 18, 2012

This is the last blog post I write...

...over here! Because I moved to

I invite you to continue reading my blog posts and to keep an eye on my upcoming book for startups.

Sep 4, 2012

Coworking Europe 2012 Conference - Paris, 8th-10th Nov

With 1800 coworking spaces world wide and 700+ in Europe established in only 7 years, it is obvious that the working styles are changing for entrepreneurs and freelancers, while those running the coworking spaces try to develop and offer better solutions.

Coworking Europe 2012 Conference will bring together European and global coworking space managers, entrepreneurship activists, nomad and innovation experts, collaboration gurus, as well as representatives from the public and the corporate sector. On the menu: best practices sharing and debates on the future of working in a more creative and sustainable economy.

The organizers expect 300 international participants for their 3rd yearly edition. Speakers from all over the world will address openly all topics related to the coworking model, like how to acquire more members, how to diversify revenues, how to design a successful space, how corporates embrace the model as well, how to create a community, how to collaborate with other coworking spaces etc. All these spiced up with a day of unconference and a tour to all the coworking spaces in Paris.

Meet below the passionate evangelist of Coworking movement, the organizer of this conference and the  founder of an ambitious future  coworking space in Brussels, Jean-Yves Huwart:

Aug 31, 2012

All Pirates aboard! European Pirate Summit is coming up next! AAARRR

Founders and funders with a sense of startup adventure (true Pirates, as defined by Michael Arrington) will gather on 10th and 11th September in very "piratesque" location in Cologne for an unconventional tech and entrepreneurship event.

Here are 3 reasons why you should come aboard, if you are not already planning to:

1) The crowd is carefully pre-selected. People can't just buy a ticket, but they have to submit an application for review. This assures a high quality of participants and you can expect to meet there only real pirate entrepreneurs, investors and tech and entrepreneurship journalists.

2) You will be inspired by innovative and disruptive business models, you have plenty of investors around you can pitch to, but most importantly: you will be among like-minded people in a casual and adventurous atmosphere. The program is filled with lots of useful learning, there are also some interesting satellite events, and the list of speakers is impressive. "Last year it was mainly the venue and the atmosphere that helped us become one of the best tech events from the scratch. This time it's two days, 500 participants, even crazier and it will be more hands-on, so people will also learn a lot." says Waldemar Hein, PR @PirateSummit

Here is a sneak peak from last year, so prepare for an even better edition promised for this year:

3) Because you read this blog post, you get some special benefits. Mention in "your message" the name of this blog ("adelinapeltea") and if you submit your application before 1st Sept you get 10% discount, or if you submit it after 1st Sept you will still benefit of the "normal" conditions from before (the early bird ticket price).

And if you are curious how does it feel to be a "captain" of this event, note that they seem to have a great experience with the preparations "It is simply amazing. We got to know people we never thought to be possible, all the thinkers and doers of the European startups scene and beyond. They are very helpful people, so it's good to know them." (Waldemar Hein, PR @PirateSummit) From October they are preparing to launch a new format "Piratize me" to spread the concept in more places. So keep an eye on them if you want to grasp the opportunity.

And if maybe you are also curious about why Cologne for such an international startup event, you might think about the potential of the area from two perspectives: one is talent (as many universities can be found around), and two is good geographical position (really close from Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and London).

So...see you there?

Aug 16, 2012

How DeRevolutione got 1.25M euro funding and why is August a good time for investments in Italian startups

Italian tech startups are set to break some records in investments lately. A Naples-based startup, founded by 26 years old Roberto Esposito, closed a deal a few days ago for an investment of 1.25M euro in DeRevolutione (DeRev)*.

How did the team manage this achievement?

Roberto and his tech co-founders (who actually quit their jobs to dedicate to DeRevolutione) worked on the beta product and the business aspects of it for a year before the first public presentation. Quite perfectionist, he wanted to be totally prepared for all potential criticism when starting to pitch and present DeRevolutione at different events, including at TEDx as speaker. "Especially in Italy where Venture Capitalists are relatively few and know each other, I always tried to earn the esteem of the startup scene and to maintain an excellent reputation." said the founder.

With a good previous track record in business and marketing, Roberto told the investors about the achievements he reached without spending a cent (mainly creating projects with strong impact obtained through unconventional marketing instead of financial investments), adding "Imagine what I can do if you give me one million euro! Because an investment can always accelerate the growth of a startup and open doors to larger markets, besides just being a validation of it."

This determination, previous success stories plus getting 50K users subscribed on the landing page of DeRevolutione in just two months seems to have convinced investors, and the team got 5 offers in the past 8 months, choosing Vertis SGR and closing the deal with them a few days ago. It was not an easy process to review and compare terms and conditions from different investors, and even with Vertis the negotiation process lasted 3 months "of up to 10 hours meetings and 50 emails per day to review and modify lots of conditions of a contract of hundreds of pages" from what the co-founders remember now as "fascinating times".

Now backed by this funding, as well as by a group of internationally experienced business angels from the internet sector that can provide valuable know-how (like Giulio Valiante and Michele Cassucci), Roberto, Fulvio and Antonio are preparing accelerate their growth, first on the Italian market and then on European one.

Why is August a good time for investments in Italian startups?

Usually not much is happening in August in business, as it is more a holiday month. But apparently in Italy there were serious investments going on, like this one and the 300K euro invested in Ploonge, that I previously covered here on my blog. Why is idea though :) I guess just startups never sleep.

*DeRevolutione (DeRev) is a social platform that allows users to turn their ideas into revolutions in order to improve the world we live in. It gives to communities tools to amplify ideas bottom-up, like a crowdfunding tool, a petition creation tool, a system to collect proposals - which can be used in many fields ranging from politcs and research to entrepreneurship and art.

Aug 13, 2012

Italian tech startup, Ploonge, got 300K euro investment to develop social platform

Two ambitious Italian co-founders tackle the social networks business and gain confidence of investors with their determination.

I have met Alessandro and Giorgio over a social dinning tonight in Berlin, where apparently they came to take the pulse of the city and to check what it has to offer to entrepreneurs (maybe establish office here?), as well as to promote their platform: Ploonge.

Very passionate and yet modest, they satisfied my curiosity about how they made it and what are their plans. And oh, by the way, they just signed a few days ago an investment of 300K euro from a VC fund, after another previous investment of 30K from a business angel. That is quite something for an Italian tech startup. Especially since they were not trying too hard (it was the first VC they got in contact for this matter, a VC that actually never invested before in internet startups, and they also received another offer from 3 business angels).

But for them that is not the biggest achievement and did not make a big fuss around it (so this is the first media coverage). They are so determined to do it that they think this would have come anyway sooner or later. After all, they did bootstrapped for a year already, living and working from their own savings and dedicating themselves 100% for several months to build the beta platform that was launched in May this year during Milan Food Week. And the whole story started in San Francisco where the two have met for a startup course. One of them already had a startup running (, one just quit a good job to start working on what he believes in.

Now their plans are to rework on the product, improving its design and user experience, and afterwards starting to promote it. The first niche they are targeting is social dinning, but after a while some other niches will be approached, building slowly a social network useful for offline situations when people want to expand their network (either when traveling to new cities, either in their own space when they want to meet new people).

They are really keen on building a great product, through customer development, while making profit doesn't seem to be a pressure (although they estimate the moment will come in about 3 years).

Was a real pleasure to meet so relaxed and yet determined entrepreneurs and I wish them all the best. Was a great dinner too, a great mix between good Italian food and a bunch of interesting international people.