May 23 - For the next two days Paris, France will be the centre of the technology world as entrepreneurs and executives converge for the e-G8 summit. Matt Cowan reports.
An e-G8 summit is getting underway in Paris which is characterized as a clash of cultures - with leaders from some of the online world's most disruptive and successful technology companies gathering for a series of meetings led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, better known for his attempts to try to reign in perceived online excesses. The discussions will focus on ways that governments can fuel the digital economy. French serial entrepreneur Gilles Babinet, who advises the French government on how to support the fast-moving sector, says he thinks regulation will be a key talking point SOUNDBITE: GILLES BABINET, MXP4 FOUNDER AND CONSEIL NATIONAL DU NUMERIQUE PRESIDENT SAYING (English) : "There is a real concern that some governments would announce massive initiatives into regulation. The people from the internet believe it's been efficient so far because it wasn't regulated." Babinet has started several successful businesses in France. This is one of the more recent companies he's founded. MXP4 launched an interactive music format in 2009. It's now in the process of shifting its focus to music-driven social games that people can play on Facebook. Albin Serviant is the CEO of the company. SOUNDBITE: ALBIN SERVIANT, MXP4 CEO SAYING (English): "We had good R & D (research and development) but in terms of artist adoption, of product development, it was not up to our expectations. Basically, it failed. And then we had to iterate." The new service, called Bopler Games is a good example of Silicon Valley logic at work. SOUNDBITE: ALBIN SERVIANT, MXP4 CEO SAYING (English): "We are a startup based in Paris. Our R&D team is based in Paris. Most of our engineers are based in Paris but I'm spending most of my time abroad. Facebook is my country." Both Serviant and Babinet agree that the local technology scene is becoming more vibrant. SOUNDBITE: GILLES BABINET, MXP4 FOUNDER AND CONSEIL NATIONAL DU NUMERIQUE PRESIDENT SAYING (English) : "There is a complete sea-change. It didn't exist only 10 years ago. It was completely underground and it's now state-patented (meaning endorsed). So it's completely different and that's good." The hope is that Paris will not just be a place to talk about the promise of the digital economy balso a place that increasingly delivers on that promise. Matt Cowan, Reuters