Farouk Hemraj (Start-up Forum) : the life after the financial failure
'Many companies are interested in ailing start-ups of the new economy because they allow them to gain time.'
Is there a life after the financial failure ? What are the strategies and prospects for 2001 ? These are two crucial questions of the session of the second edition of the Start-up Forum late last week in Monaco. A first answer to such questions was already given through the participation : around two hundred French start-ups very carefully selected and an audience of more than 400 people. Far from lifelessness.-The future for start-ups ?Farouk Hemraj(38, HEC, Polythechnique, former CEO of Modulux), one of the three organizers, thinks that the setting up of this second edition ( the first one took place in August 2000) is the evidence that there are still start-ups and providers who want to meet in order to do business. 'It's certain that today the general result is divided : everybody realizes the limits of some types of B to C models (Business to Consumer), which are destined for the consumer with sources of income impossible to reach. During that Start-up Forum, there will be less e-business companies than firms which are developing technologies.''You also have to notice that those who aren't the leader in their field will be left behind. In the Internet industry, it's very important to be the leader, whereas, for instance, in the woman's press, you can carve out a place while there are already lots of magazines on that niche.-Is the American wave of bankruptcy filing going to take place in France ? Farouk Hemraj :on that point, we have the advantage of being late compared to Americans. Thus, we see things coming. I'm not sure this phenomenon will happen the same way in France. Moreover, it's important to notice that even a company who is going bankrupt has still a value. Some people are ready to pay millions to buy it. Moreover, there are great opportunities in the dot.corp industry with the takeover of customers, a savoir-faire and an experience.For the moment, there is a rationalization of the market, still the prospects remain good. Many companies are interested in start-ups of the new economy because they allow them to gain time.-Will you keep on going on the same rhythm of two Start-up Forum a year in Monaco ? Farouk Hemraj :there will be an alternation every six months with a different positioning. The July edition is international; the one of January and February is reserved for French companies. That allows us to invite more French start-ups. And, Monaco is an excellent choice as for marketing. When, last year, we said that the forum would take place in Monaco, we didn't need to add something else…'