RealTime IT News

Europe-based Workshop Promotes Startup E-commerce Businesses

A multinational partnership of five European companies is sponsoring an itinerant workshop that uses the Internet to promote e-commerce startups aimed at, or created by, Europeans.

Coordinated by the French company Atelier de la Compagnie Bancaire, the Net Economy Workshop is holding one-day sessions in London, Paris, Brussels, Geneva and Berlin from Jan. 18-22, to hawk itself and its newest clients--six European online companies.

"We choose startups that are effectively using the successful U.S. business model created by companies like Amazon.com," said Laurent Edel, a spokesman for New. "Our plan is to do this tour with six new companies about every two months."

New's well-designed Web site broadcasts the events via Real Video (requires version G-2) hookups. Company representatives have 15 minutes each to present their businesses, followed by Q&A. Sound is adequate, but the picture can be blurry, especially when the camera is on the screen the speakers use for visual aids.

The site also provides text about the startups, in English and French, and links to their URLs, as well as to the sponsors. The inaugural promotion, last October, is also available for viewing. Companies interested in participating can apply on the site.

"We give companies a way to connect with analysts, venture capitalists, journalists and potential partners worldwide, without physically attending the conferences," said Edel. "For example, a venture capitalist from Singapore came to us through the Web. New also plans to work with American startups aiming for a European clientele.

The current promotion, "Information and Shopping--New Business Models," features Swedish, French, Swiss and Belgian companies offering products and services online, including music, multimedia, news, financial information, software and books.

For now, the promotions are free, Edel said.

"Paribas (the Paris-based multinational investment bank, Atelier's parent) and its partners are funding us for six months, and then we will see," he said.

New also publishes the hardcopy Journal de la Net Economy and monthly sector-based surveys on Internet business. It runs a mobile Web school and a software-testing garage.

The next tour, from March 8-12, will promote Internet companies that diffuse television technology, service and programming.