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This article was published on March 12, 2009

Covering the Plugg conference in Brussels

Covering the Plugg conference in Brussels
Nicolas Mertens

Robin Wauters, organiser of the Plugg conference, decided not to host this years edition at the same plugg-logo1location as last year, instead it is now being held in the Belgacom Surfhouse, here in the heart of Europe. The event kick-off didn’t change, it was Mike Butcher of TechCrunch Uk again getting the conference going in his signature style.

The talks this morning were pretty good, although I had a feeling some of them got up on stage because they had their company-logo printed on all the promotional material.

The most interesting of all was certainly Inmaculada Martinez (stradbrokeadvisors), digital media strategist & Venture Capital Investor. Her presentation was well balanced between little jokes and delivering a clear message. She started off comparing Europe to Silicon Valley (as well as Lisa Sounio of Dopplr ). Europeans being great pioneers but lousy marketeers… but are we? She showed us this great movie made by crowdsourcing Europe led by the initiators wreckamovie. Inmaculada urges Europeans, known for their freedom of speech, to use their cheekiness.

As a VC-investor she wants to give some advice:
1) Starting up with friends is more than ok, but make sure everybody (equally) invests.
2) From the moment the development starts, you got to include a marketing strategy.
3) Don’t let R&D lead your startup. Put your product in the market and start making money, even if it contains imperfections.

Now I’m really looking forward to the startups pitching today!