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Le Web , a key event for Europe’s traveling circus of startup communities, ran a pitch competition alongside the main track again this year. It attracted 30 companies from Europe, and a few from the US, across a wide range of sectors and this year was handled by Europe-wide early-stage investor SeedCamp . Most of the startups were quite strong, although a few did make me wonder why they weren’t replaced with others – in particular, I would have loved to have seen some obvious startups from the UK or Ireland, neither of which was represented.
Bon soir from Paris. It's 3am on Wednesday morning and I've just stumbled back to my hotel from a MySpace-sponsored party at Palais Maillot and an after-party in a bizarre dive bar where water dripped from the ceiling and the DJ played nothing but Jive Bunny. I'm in town for LeWeb , Europe's largest web 2.0 conference, with 1,800 entrepreneurs from around the world each paying €1,500 to meet their peers, demo their startups and generally try to pretend that their businesses aren't completely and totally doomed. The conference ends in a little over 12 hours which, annoyingly, is about five hours after this column is due to be published.
EU-US "war" in 08