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Entrepreneur Talks by STATION F

Entrepreneur Stories

STATION F is the world's biggest startup campus, with more than 1000 startups working on-site. Located in Paris, STATION F gathers all the services an entrepreneur might need under one roof, including 180+ VC funds, 30+
Latest Episode6/3/2022

Jeff Lawson (Twilio) on how to build a strong company culture

Season 1, Ep. 47
Did you know that Jeff Lawson, the co-founder and CEO of Twilio, sold his wedding gifts to kick the company off? Back in the summer of 2008, this strategy may seem risky but looking at what Twilio achieved since, it clearly was a winning choice. Twilio is now the leading cloud communications platform and became an international company.Despite its international growth, Twilio managed to keep its very strong company culture, focused on the well-being of its employees, and that’s something that Jeff is very proud of. He explains the concept of “Twilio Magic”, the company’s core values, and defines what is “blameless post-mortem”, an important mindset in the big Twilio family.This episode is hosted by Roxanne Varza, STATION F’s Director, and Laurence Benamran, co-founder and CEO of Pinpo, a STATION F company selected to be part of Future 40 in 2019. Pinpo is a leading tech platform specializing in lead qualification and a happy user of Twilio.Topics00:10 — Introduction with Roxanne Varza (STATION F) and Laurence Benamran (Pinpo)02:58 — The story behind Twilio’s funding. Spoiler: it involves Jeff Lawson’s wedding gifts!12:35 — Jeff about Twilio going international and its launch in France17:51 — How to implement a strong company culture, like Twilio does, on a large scale?22:30 — Jeff describes Twilio’s core values as “Twilio Magic”24:18 — The difference between a company culture and its values26:16 — Jeff explains the concept of “blameless post-mortem”32:30 — Jeff’s biggest advice for entrepreneursThis episode is supported byTikTok, hosted byRoxanne Varza, produced byCindy Yang, and edited byGrégoire Duhourcau. Art is byGaëtan Lefebvre.
6/3/2022

Jeff Lawson (Twilio) on how to build a strong company culture

Season 1, Ep. 47
Did you know that Jeff Lawson, the co-founder and CEO of Twilio, sold his wedding gifts to kick the company off? Back in the summer of 2008, this strategy may seem risky but looking at what Twilio achieved since, it clearly was a winning choice. Twilio is now the leading cloud communications platform and became an international company.Despite its international growth, Twilio managed to keep its very strong company culture, focused on the well-being of its employees, and that’s something that Jeff is very proud of. He explains the concept of “Twilio Magic”, the company’s core values, and defines what is “blameless post-mortem”, an important mindset in the big Twilio family.This episode is hosted by Roxanne Varza, STATION F’s Director, and Laurence Benamran, co-founder and CEO of Pinpo, a STATION F company selected to be part of Future 40 in 2019. Pinpo is a leading tech platform specializing in lead qualification and a happy user of Twilio.Topics00:10 — Introduction with Roxanne Varza (STATION F) and Laurence Benamran (Pinpo)02:58 — The story behind Twilio’s funding. Spoiler: it involves Jeff Lawson’s wedding gifts!12:35 — Jeff about Twilio going international and its launch in France17:51 — How to implement a strong company culture, like Twilio does, on a large scale?22:30 — Jeff describes Twilio’s core values as “Twilio Magic”24:18 — The difference between a company culture and its values26:16 — Jeff explains the concept of “blameless post-mortem”32:30 — Jeff’s biggest advice for entrepreneursThis episode is supported byTikTok, hosted byRoxanne Varza, produced byCindy Yang, and edited byGrégoire Duhourcau. Art is byGaëtan Lefebvre.
5/5/2022

Nicolas Julia (Sorare) on how to build a Web3 company

Season 1, Ep. 46
In 2018, only a few people knew what an NFT was and the term Web3 was far from being a buzzword. However, Nicolas Julia was convinced that it would be the next revolution in the tech space so he co-founded Sorare, global fantasy football game (or soccer game, for our American audience) that you play with NFTs.Sorare became a unicorn in less than four years, reaching a $4.3 billion valuation. It is the French startup that has reached the unicorn status the fastest. How did Nicolas know that NFTs would become the new hype? How did he convince famous business angels such as Antoine Griezmann or Gerard Piqué to join the project early on? How did he get Serena Williams on board? And, what are the next steps for Sorare? Tune in to this week’s podcast to hear Nicolas’ answers to all of these questions and more.This episode is hosted by Roxanne Varza, STATION F’s Director, and Clarisse Hagège, co-founder and CEO of Dfns (Founders Program, Future 40 in 2021). Dfns provides crypto custody as a service, enabling developers to deploy bank-grade custody infrastructure and turn their apps into safe zones for crypto. The company recently announced a 13,5M$ raise.Topics00:10 — Introduction with Roxanne Varza (STATION F) and Clarisse Hagège (Dfns)03:30 — How Nicolas Julia got into NFTs ahead of the hype in 201806:44 — How Sorare avoided the scalability problems that NFT platforms encounter on Ethereum09:07 — What Sorare is and how does it work12:22 — How Nicolas convinced their very first partner, the Belgian League, to join Sorare (the story includes an intern)15:28 — Sorare’s fundraising strategy (730M$ in total amount raised)17:05 — What’s next after soccer for Sorare? Sorare recently announced Serena Williams as a board member20:06 — How Nicolas convinced so many investors and notable business angels like Antoine Griezmann to join the project23:19 — The possible evolutions of Sorare within the metaverse26:58 — Nicolas’ career path28:06 — Nicolas’ biggest learnings from his entrepreneurial experiences37:04 — Nicolas on regulations in the crypto spaceThis episode is supported byTikTok, hosted byRoxanne Varza, produced byCindy Yang, and edited byGrégoire Duhourcau. Art is byGaëtan Lefebvre.
4/15/2022

Alexandra Fine (founder of Dame Products) on how to build a FemTech startup

Season 1, Ep. 45
FemTech designates all technologies addressing women’s health — including reproductive health, hormonal health, menopause, and a lot more. Last year, STATION F launched a new startup program to support innovation in this space because FemTech entrepreneurs have to overcome additional challenges on top of the usual founder hurdles: they have to deal with censorship, taboo, and difficulty convincing investors.In this first episode of Entrepreneur Talks, we interview Alexandra Fine, Founder & CEO of Dame Products, a leading SexTech company that has not only faced these barriers but also built a thriving business. Dame has led and won a three-year legal battle to have the possibility of doing ads in the New York City subway. Dame is also part of the first companies to be featured at Sephora in their new Sexual Wellness selection. It has broken new ground for FemTech startups at large and we are super excited to have Alexandra on the show to tell us about her stories and learnings from building Dame — starting with how to fundraise to market a product surrounded by taboo.This episode is co-hosted by Elin Øyre and Andrea Olsson, the co-founders of Bumpy, a startup in STATION F’s FemTech Program. Elin and Andrea are building a platform to support people going through infertility by connecting them together and helping them to find the right fertility provider.Find out what it takes to succeed in the FemTech industry. And, if you are building a FemTech startup, applications for STATION F’s FemTech Program are open until April 24! Learn more here.Topics00:10 — Introduction03:24 — How Alexandra Fine came up with the idea of Dame Products04:42 — The challenge of fundraising for FemTech companies08:41 — The problem with the term “FemTech” perceived as a niche rather than an essential11:09 —Alexandra’s tips for FemTech companies on how to address taboo14:13 — Elin & Andrea’s personal stories, which led to the creation of Bumpy20:20 — Alexandra’s three-year legal battle to run ads in the NYC subway26:33 — How Dame Products arrived in Sephora’s shelves and why it is a turning point28:17 — Tips on how to approach new partnerships and leverage the power of storytelling30:10 — Alexandra on making mistakes as a boss33:10 — The moment when Dame Products really took off: their crowdfunding campaignThis episode is supported by TikTok, hosted by Cindy Yang, and edited by Grégoire Duhourcau. Art is by Gaëtan Lefebvre.
1/24/2022

Deep Dive into the European Talent Landscape: Diversity, Salaries, Recruitment, and more!

Season 1, Ep. 44
“Talent wars”, “the Great Resignation”, “the hiring race”— you’ve likely seen these words all over the headlines of your favourite tech media. It’s no secret that recruiting for tech talent is becoming increasingly competitive and companies are looking for the secret sauce to win over top candidates. A few months ago, STATION F conducted a study on the European talent landscape in collaboration with more than 200 VC funds with the hope to serve startups worldwide in navigating this core element of their business.In this episode of the podcast, we discuss the findings with entrepreneurs and investors in our community:Pascal Gaulthier, CEO of Ledger,Salma Bakouk, co-founder & CEO of Sifflet,Bérénice Magistretti, VC-in-residence at Visionaries Club,Dhruv Jain, Investor at Bessemer Ventures.We dive into the current talent landscape, identify areas of improvement, and share best practices on all topics related to talent — from diversity to salaries, recruitment, and remote work.Topics00:23 — Intro with Roxanne Varza & Cindy Yang01:35 — Part I with startups: Salma Bakouk (Sifflet) & Pascal Gauthier (Ledger)05:10 — Gender diversity in the European startup ecosystem13:09 — Implementing diversity-driven policies in tech companies19:30 — The challenges of the recruitment landscape in Europe23:55 — The most difficult roles for startups to fill26:53 — How to build a brand that attracts talent30:20 — Key takeaways on the European talent landscape today34:30 — Part II with investors: Bérénice Magistretti, (Visionaries Club) & Dhruv Jain, (Bessemer Ventures)36:57 — Is being a solo founder a “no-go” territory?41:02 — The typical profile of European founders43:25 — Is there a best moment in a career to become an entrepreneur?46:43 — The impact of diversity in company performances49:40 — How funds approach the diversity question55:28 — The difficulty of recruiting sales and marketing talent58:47 — The importance of recruiting a Head of People very early01:01:40 — The tools and incentives (beyond financial) that startups can leverage to attract talent01:05:40 — Is remote work just a trend or a long-term change?This episode is supported by TikTok, hosted by Roxanne Varza & Cindy Yang, and edited by Grégoire Duhourcau. Art is by Gaëtan Lefebvre.
12/17/2021

Tackling Climate Change with Carbon Capture

Season 1, Ep. 43
Climate change is a global threat and, without a doubt, one of the greatest challenges of our generation.According to PitchBook, VC investment in climate tech companies this year has already exceeded the previous two years by 37 percent. At the beginning of this year, Elon Musk offered a 100M$ prize to find the “best carbon capture technology” able to achieve low cost at gigatonne scale.But what is carbon capture and how does it work?In this episode, we dive into the topic with Henrietta Moon, co-founder & CEO of Carbo Culture, and Talal Hasan, co-founder & CEO of 44.01. Carbo Culture is converting CO2 from plants into stable carbon while 44.01 is turning CO2 into rock.Topics00:22 — Introduction with Roxanne VarzaPart I with Henrietta Moon, co-founder & CEO of Carbo Culture01:33 — Henrietta Moon on what Carbo Culture does06:03 — The story behind Carbo Culture09:03 — How the company has evolved10:30 — Carbo Culture's business model12:10 — The different types of customers they have13:35 — How Carbo Culture's technological approach differentiates itself16:53 — The importance of reducing emissions18:21 — Examples of companies that should be recognized for their approach to carbon reduction20:40 — Carbo Culture's fundraising with True Ventures and Cherry Ventures21:40 — The advantages of being based in Helsinki, Finland23:59 — Clean innovations that Henrietta is excited about beyond carbon capture26:20 — Henrietta's vision for Earth in 50 yearsPart II with Talal Hasan, co-founder & CEO of 44.0128:03 — What does 44.01 mean?29:57 — The type of infrastructure that 44.01 uses32:44 — Talal's view on the best-case scenario for our planet33:48 — Why 44.01 is based in Oma36:12 — The customers of 44.0137:27 — Carbon credits provided by 44.0139:03 — How ClimateTech can seduce investors in this space42:18 — The KPIs that Talal tracks43:05 — Carbon capture companies and technologies that Talal is excited about46:03 — Talal's background: what brought Talal into the CleanTech space?This episode is supported byTikTok, hosted and produced byCindy Yang. Art is byGaëtan Lefebvre.
11/25/2021

Interview with Wade Foster, co-founder and CEO of Zapier

Season 1, Ep. 42
Wade Foster is the co-founder and CEO of Zapier, the leading automation tool in the ever-growing no-code space.Earlier this year, Zapier reached $5 billion in valuation and $140 million in recurring revenue — one might think of it as a standard Silicon Valley startup that has raised lots of money with VCs but, apart from having done YC, the company has in reality taken a very different path. Wade and his co-founder started Zapier in Columbia, Missouri. They have been running the company entirely remote before the pandemic made it commonplace. And, they have only raised a total of 1,4 million dollars in funding, which gives them a 100x ratio of ARR/funding.In this episode, Wade tells us the story behind Zapier’s growth, shares some invaluable tips for startups looking to scale, speaks about the company's long-term vision for automation, and a lot more.Topics00:22 — Introduction with Cindy Yang01:49 — Wade Foster's background and founder story04:48 — Surprising use cases of Zapier07:14 — Zapier's new product, Transfer08:17 — Wade's approach to VC fundraising09:31 — How Zapier reached 140M ARR in 10 years12:31 — The importance of defining your go-to-market strategy early on13:55 — Why Zapier does not have a Sales team16:17 — Full remote work and "de-location" packages23:28 — Technologies that Wade is excited about: Web3 and AI / Machine Learning25:47 — Zapier's vision on the long term27:48 — Wade's advice for early-stage foundersThis episode is supported byTikTok, hosted and produced byCindy Yang. Art is byGaëtan Lefebvre.