There is a digital battle brewing across Europe - a battle to generate interest and understanding of the Internet and its greater impact on society.
LeWeb3 is Europe's forum where the people who are engaged in this effort - Web innovators, entrepreneurs and bloggers - gather to discuss trends, debate issues and decide where the market needs to go next. Last year's crowd included 1300 delegates from 37 countries. In 2007 we anticipate 2000 people and hope to expand our reach around the globe as well.
A mission: grow the european Internet sector
When this conference began in 2004, Europe's innovation ecosystem was very disjointed. Geography, culture and technological limitations created an environment that lacked a cohesive vision or common principals. Over the last several years, the region has evolved, and while we do not yet have the Silicon Valley ecosystem, we are moving forward. At LeWeb3 2006, we began moving the conversation further by opening an exchange with politicians. This is a start. We need to talk to them and they need to understand us. Looking ahead we must continue to push the envelope. We need to encourage risk taking in Europe, teach entrepreneurship at school, make fiscal reforms to encourage creation of more start ups supported by investment from business angels and venture capitalists. The Internet creates millions of jobs in the United States. Why not in Europe?
The gathering of influencers at LeWeb3 creates an environment for impact - companies finding funding, key partnerships, great visibility. In the early editions of LeWeb3 Netvibes and Daily Motion found their first angel investors and key partners. By LeWeb3 2006, they were on stage making the news and going international. Tens of startups concluded strategic partnerships, got funding or even got sold following LeWeb forums. And the roster of speakers during this conference's short history is impressive. In the last three years speakers have included world leaders such as Shimon Peres and Nicholas Sarkozy; and globally recognized authors, bloggers and entrepreneurs such as Jason Calacanis, Joi Ito, Doc Searls, Yat Siu and Yossi Vardi.