Nicola Tessine (Alcoholia): “Silicon Valley will be the hub of technology”

Nicolas Dessiagne vient de rejoindre Y Combinator en tant qu'associé temporaire six ans après y avoir fait décoller Algolia.

On January 3, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

With him Search engine for business , Alcoholia is one of the greatest achievements of French technology. But after being born in Paris, the company moved to San Francisco to participate in the Y Combinator. A choice that changed its fate and its founders. Among them, Nicola Tessine. Now freed from his commitment to his business, the former CEO is now advising entrepreneurs on the world’s most serious project.

Two to three month plans mark the YC year, how did it come out in the Govt context?

Last summer’s block was completely remote, and the next will be even. For a long time, I didn’t know how this would develop, but this method was very inclusive in my opinion because it was difficult for some entrepreneurs to come to California and live there for many months. On the other hand, it does not have the coincidence of direct and interpersonal interactions.

You left Alcoholia last spring, why did you join this archive?

After appointing my successor as head of Alcoholia, I was given two years to spend more time with my family, return to the ecosystem, and invest a little. Then Michael Siebel, in charge of the shows, asked me to join them this winter. My role is to participate in the selection of companies and then to help them. After failing to join YC in 2013, we were able to sell our products to the social game, at which time Michael was running a social network with 200 million members. He was the one who gave us hope to try our luck again next year … now the circle is over.

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It seems that more and more French people are participating in this project, what is your opinion?

There are actually a lot of French people, but the public listing takes into account the registered office announced by the company, not the origin of the founders. Although Alcoholia is of French descent, our headquarters are in San Francisco, so in statistics we are considered Americans. So it is difficult to measure. Among the 100 most valuable companies in YC history, there are three companies created by French founders: Lead, Checker and Alcolia.

What do you remember from the time you started in 2014?

At that time, there were six of us in the company. We rented a house in San Francisco for three months, where we worked tirelessly. An idea sprouted at dinner time, the next day we developed it, and the next day it went into production for testing. This period created the company. Dinner with the successful founders who tell their story and some of them who came from far away than us were very motivating. When you left them, you wanted to go back to work.

There are legends surrounding the dinner organized with former YC members, is that an exaggeration?

In these moments, for example with the founders of Airbnb, everything said is within the network. This confidentiality makes it possible to create close exchanges for things that entrepreneurs actually experience. This is part of the commitment to be respected, which is a good habit. Failure to respect it exposes the exclusion from the network.

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With so many famous entrepreneurs leaving Silicon Valley, do you think this movement is becoming a fundamental trend?

Silicon Valley has long been the hub of the deck, but other ecosystems such as Paris, Berlin or London are being built elsewhere. It is important to have successful entrepreneurs who can reinvest in the ecosystem and share their experience. We have crossed this point of penetration in France. But you can’t change decades of experience in five years, and having an founder in San Francisco or New York will change the course of a business. Easy to learn with experienced entrepreneurs. The competition is fierce and the challenge is far greater than in Paris, which encourages entrepreneurs to outdo themselves.

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About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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