The New Way of Finding Work: Venturocket

I finally got my camera memory card back! I discovered several startups I’m very excited to tell you about, but let’s take this one at a time. First up: Venturocket.

Doesn’t their webpage look cool?!

First of all, these guys had a great, eye-catching display with an actual rocket (get launched into a new career anyone? Corny, I know, but I really wanted to type that!) Secondly, they came up with a very intelligent, practical way of helping recruiters and job-seekers connect.

Told you their display was cool ;D

These guys are no LinkedIn (not that they have anything against LinkedIn or any other tool–heck, they’d probably be interested in partnering!) Like a true startup, Venturocket innovates on several points:

  1. They get rid of résumé padding. All you see is the skills themselves, without all the nonsense to distract you.
  2. There’s no trivial features. No paying extra to put your résumé at the top of the list–which I honestly do not think does much good since recruiters aren’t going to keep you if you’re not what they need anyway. (Oh, and it just might make you seem a little desperate.)
  3. You only pay if you found what you needed. Job-seekers don’t pay to put a résumé up. Employers don’t pay to post a job. No one pays to look through profiles or ads. You only pay if you find someone. Have I mentioned this enough?
  4. Venturocket promotes honesty. Both the recruiter AND the job-seeker pay if there is a match (and they pay the same amount.) Would you pay to connect with an employer who wanted to meet you because of misleading information? On the flip side, I don’t think an employer would pay to meet someone who didn’t meet their criteria either, so I think it’s a pretty safe bet to say you’re getting an interview.
  5. The price is literally based on skills and demand. Candidates “bid” money on their skills (the amount goes up with the level of proficiency in each skill) and the employer only pays for the skills s/he is interested in.

I thought this seemed like a very intelligent, practical way of connecting people. But what do you think? Does it make sense to you? Would you use it?

Go on their website and try it out if you didn’t understand some of the things I mentioned (and make sure you come back to tell us about it!) Or you can always post questions here too =]

*** Read more startup interviews & news or stock up on job search & interview tips on my Job Search Toolbox! ***


Why Being Social Is Awesome (Check Out My Bike!)

I haven’t gotten my camera memory card back yet, but I couldn’t resist sharing one of the coolest moments from Jason Calacanis’ LAUNCH conference with you.

One of the things my boss wanted me to do at the conference was to go around and find judges and somehow entice them to come to our booth (we were just one of dozens of startups in the demo pit, but if one judge found our startup really cool they could have brought us on stage to pitch in front of the whole conference.)

That’s not a very good strategy though. Have you ever been hunted? For anything… a favor, money, even a homeless person trying to get a few coins? It’s NOT an enjoyable experience. So I had the following thought process: if I was a judge, would I get sick of entrepreneurs chasing me around trying to get me to go check out their cool SoLoMo startup? Um… yeah! I would! Would I avoid anyone making a bee line for me? Heh, well… I would be a little cautious. So why the hell would I do that to them?

The way I saw it, our best chance at success (and at my actually enjoying the conference–the first day was pretty boring since all I got to do was stand at the booth) was to just be my usual social, cheerful self =] so that’s what I did. I walked around the stands chatting everyone up, trying on costumes (no joke! Pictures will go up once I get my camera memory card back) and taking pictures… and lo and behold, I ran into judges!

So I just kept going =] One judge I ran into had an awesome bike! So what did I do? I asked for a ride ^^ and I got it!! He let me do several laps around the conference! Yeah… I was proud =D He had me film a little schpeel about how the bike rode for his blog too ❤ (I’ll post the link once I’ve got it.) And we did end up stopping by the stand so I could grab my camera, so he learned about Contract Live too.

Told you that ride was awesome! Can you see the peddals?

The coolest part though? Bill Warner (the judge in question), a famous entrepreneur and Angel investor, asked for my opinion on an investment he was considering. Oh was I proud then! I’ll have to save those details for another post though ;D I want to see what y’all think about the startup he was considering.

So? Are you gonna be even more social and awesome now that you’ve read how awesome it can make your day? =]

*As if that encounter wasn’t cool enough as it is, he told me I should go into tv =]

Sugar Rainbows and Flying Kittens

Wow, what an amazing day! Totaly has been amazerockome ! Um… amazing, rocking and awesome? I feel like a puppy high on rainbow candy (probably sound like one right now too.)

PS: no, I am NOT on drugs, just very excited and running an important sleep deficit.

The 5 reasons today is awesome:

  1. The internet wasn’t working when I got to work this morning, so I got to take my time and enjoy eating breakfast: a nutella sandwich =3 Oh those simple pleasures…
  2. The mayor came to visit our office building. No joke. There was a procession of cleaners (wish I was kidding ><;), reporters, city officials… even champagne and snacks =3 He didn’t come to our office, but he did visit Spideo‘s (they’re friends with my bosses–does that include me by extension??)

    Bertrand Delanoë, mayor of Paris, visiting Spideo's office at Paris Région Innovation Nord Express.

  3. Alex is arriving in Paris in just an hour and a half! I’m beyond excited to see him ^^
  4. There’s an AIESEC Alumni France Café at Café du Rocher de Cancale tonight, and we should be able to make it there, albeit a little late, after dropping Alex’s luggage off at my apartment. I don’t have my camera right now =/, but I’ll see if I can gather some pictures to post!
  5. It’s the last day of the BFM Académieentrepreneur contest quarter finals, so I ran around the whole PRINE incubator asking entrepreneurs to vote for us. I had tons of fun meeting everyone… I was on such a social high =]5 b. I’ve also been having a lot of fun getting people to spread my last blog entry around. (I created a prize drawing to get people to vote for Mathieu of Contract Live.) This is going to sound very obsessive, but I really enjoyed watching the number of views, comments and link clicks go up!5 c. I get to discover how many people voted for Mathieu tonight and pick a winner! I think I’ll have Alex help me to make sure it’s fair and random ;D

OK, time to go back to puking sugar rainbows and flying kittens until I head to the airport<3

Super Kitten to the rescue!

On Great Contest Ideas

I have to invite her, but where?

I stumbled upon something awesome today! Ben & Fakto (French startup I wrote about in my first Mash Up post) is giving away 3 bags of Deexies condoms for Valentine’s Day. Deexies is a social business that gives away a free condom to an NGO for each condom bought. With problems such as HIV and other STDs infecting millions in developing countries each year, what better way to enjoy some naughty fun than by having a clear conscience?

To help them in their selfless endeavor, Ben & Fakto will give away 3 10-count bags on Valentine’s Day to whoever posts the best photos. Here’s the deal: Fakto fell in love with a girl but has gotten trapped in the undesirable friend zone. Ben, loyal friend that he is, decided to help and is reaching out to all of you. He’s asking you to think up a romantic location where Fakto could reveal his affection to his beloved and snap a picture. Upload your picture here and get voting! The photographers who took the 3 most popular pictures will receive a cute bag of 10 Deexies condoms.

You can like Deexies on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Mash-Up 5 Startup Sneak Peek

I’m bummed I’m not attending Mash-Up #5 tonight, but I’m sick and need to rest and that’s that =/ It doesn’t mean I can’t be there in spirit though so, without further adieu… let me introduce you to the startups I thought had a little “je ne sais quoi”

The Ladies’ Choice: Cinélov’

They unfortunately don’t have a website, but boy did these ladies stumble upon a good idea! They organize outdoor movie screenings (nothing too innovative yet) where (wait for it!) viewers must pedal on bikes in order to power the projector. Neat!! I get to watch a movie AND burn off that ice cream? Sign me up ^^

For the Poor College Student: Voodiz

Don’t have the money to travel? No problem! Simply go on Voodiz, find a fellow student to host to make yourself a few $$, and then go get hosted yourself! And to get started on your adventure, like them on Facebook.










Socialite’s Dream: Wakizz

Dream in tweets and Facebook likes, posts and shares? Flustered by the modicum of modes of expression on Facebook? Fear no more, Wakizz is here. You can now play referee and give your “friends” cards: red, yellow or green. Like we really needed another way of expressing ourselves ><‘ ::facepalm::





For the Beer-Hungry (Thirsty?): Gallia

Did you know that, up until recently, Paris was one of the few European capitals not to have its own beer? Such was the sad, sad case when Gallia disappeared in the 60’s. Frenchmen everywhere can square their shoulders and hold their heads high once more though, thanks to these gentlemen.

For the Artist in All of Us: Sound Connection

Music is all about sound and performance, so  how are you supposed to find band mates without both of those elements? Sound Connection goes straight to the heart of the issue: once their site is completed, they will have a sort of visual, auditory Craigslist for the French music community. Neato.

Gotta Love Paris Entrepreneur Events =]

I’ve attended several entrepreneur events over the last few weeks, and I could not be more thrilled! The energy is great in the Parisian entrepreneur community and the atmosphere is always pleasant (probably helps that many of them are held in bars O=] )

Quick recap, I attended an Apero entrepreneurs happy hour in early January, then a Girlz in Web Twitter workshop last week, and finally a Start in Paris last night. I’ve been busy! And it’s been awesome =]

I won’t go into detail since I already wrote a post about the Apero entrepreneurs happy hour, but here are a few pictures from the Girlz in Web workshop.

Catherine Ertzscheid and Emilie Ogez

The women leading the workshop, Catherine Ertzscheid and Emilie Ogez were great! Here’s a quick recap of their best tips:

  1. Personalize your Twitter page. Use sites like Tweety Got Back, Themelon, and Twitter Mosaic to let your personality shine through.
  2. Don’t follow people so they will follow you. It doesn’t always work, and then you’ll just end up following a bunch of people…
  3. Don’t be too uptight. It’s OK to have fun and engage in conversations with your friends. Just make sure you don’t tweet anything you wouldn’t want the whole world to see (unless your Twitter account privacy settings make your tweets only visible to users you approve.)

One of the things I loved about the workshop was the atmosphere. Girlz in Web is an organization created by and for women because they feel a little less visible than their male counterparts, but they don’t victimize themselves or push men away. There were a few men at the Twitter workshop and they didn’t seem uncomfortable at all. They have such a healthy, open, optimistic outlook =] I love it!

Lastly, the location was pretty cool! 

I don’t remember what it was called, but it was a really cool home deco store!

You can follow Girlz in Web at!/GirlzInWeb on Twitter and like their Facebook page.

Now on to last night’s Start in Paris. Start in Paris is a monthly meetup where entrepreneurs come to hear someone give a short 15-20 minute speech about a topic of interest, and then listen to startup pitches that culminate in a pitch competition.

Last night, 5 very interesting startups pitched! I’m now going to very cleverly give you a link to Liam Boogar’s blog, The rude Baguette, since he wrote an article describing each startup (and because I just really like his blog and would love for him to get even more readers =])

I can’t let him do ALL the work though! A few cool things from last night:

Maxime Valette, creator of FML

I saw the creator of FML present last night. Live. Did you know FML was created by a French startup? It started out as Vie de merde.

Of the 5 startups that pitched, I especially liked 2: Ben & Fakto, a web site that sells eco-friendly and/or socially responsible clothing online, puts 10% of the money you spend into micro finance, and lets you choose which entrepreneur to give that money to. Pretty cool concept, right?

One of the founders of Ben & Facto

The second one is Le Petit Ballon. For 20 or 40 euros a month, these guys will send you 2 bottles of wine each month and you can find wine-tasting resources (videos to teach you, info about the wines, etc.) on their website.

Looks like I may start drinking more wine O=3

My Startup’s on BFM Académie!

Yup, Mathieu Lhoumeau (pictured on left), co-founder of Contract Live (where I work =] ), is on BFM Business Radio‘s entrepreneur competition BFM Académie this weekend. Each week, 2 entrepreneurs face off and listeners are invited to vote online until the following Thursday (January 12, 2012 for us.) This is where you guys come in!

As promised, I will volunteer if Contract Live wins this first round =] As of now, “giving little kids English lessons” is winning on my poll, but “organizing picnics/leading workshops for handicapped people” is a close second! I’m not cutting it off yet, so go ahead and vote there too if you would like.

To be completely honest, I’ll volunteer even if Contract Live doesn’t win. I really would appreciate it if you would at least check out the interviews here though and vote if you feel inclined to do so =] (there are videos on the “and vote” link too.)

Thanks everyone, and have an awesome weekend!

❤ Sophie