Wow. Julien Codorniou is one of the friends and business partner I have been the most impressed with, he gets shit done and everybody loves him. French title Challenges released a “confidentiel” and Julien wouldn’t officially confirm the news but I know it’s true.
Julien has been one of the key Microsoft employees for 6 years playing a major role connecting Microsoft to the startup and VC scene in the US and Europe, he’s been a VC, too and wrote a french book to help entrepreneurs launch their startup. Julien worked a few years in the US and France for the amazing dan’l Lewin and Marc Jalabert, both very good friends.
Julien was one of the main point of contact for Developers, startups and VCs at Microsoft and was the original program manager and the mind behind Bizspark which is the best example on how a large corporation interacts and helps startups. Enterprises around the World are looking at Bizspark as the way to go to connect to the tech scene and I always talk about it as what they should do when they ask me.
I can’t even express how Julien helped me over the years. Julien has been the first ever supporter of LeWeb when it was still less than a hundred people gathering around the blog phenomenon. He got Microsoft to back LeWeb instantly and never every stopped since then, LeWeb would not be what it is today with 3,000 participants and 60 countries without his support.
Julien isn’t corporate, he’s focused on results and gave a very human face to Microsoft, to a point of making it act and look like a startup. Microsoft had the coolest ever booth at LeWeb when in fact Julien organized a booth with… nothing in it. Have a look:
Julien Codorniou making Microsoft looking like a startup with his famous LeWeb booth, best conference presence ever for Microsoft.
See Julien giving the startup competition awards with French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde here.
Like he did for countless startups, Julien connected me to Microsoft in a way no one else did and he helped us, Seesmic this time, to completely rewrite our Seesmic Desktop into an open platform that now has more than 60 plugins using Microsoft technologies.
Julien gathered with Adam Seligman a team to help us: Julien (left) here at PDC with Nicolas Kardas, Daryll McDade and Jaime Rodriguez who worked day and night to help the Seesmic team, an occasion for me to thank again the incredible help of Microsoft. Microsoft is still helping us immensely, long term, our team talks to them daily with our releases of Seesmic Desktop and Windows Phone7.
He then got us twice in main keynotes in front of 5,000+ Microsoft developers and press at the Microsoft PDC and Mix conferences on stage with no less than Ray Ozzie and Scott Guthrie (PDC keynote and Mix keynote videos). Julien got us into Bizspark, too, we became Bizspark one and I spoke at countless events with the support of Dave Drach and Bindi Karia. I called Bizspark a concierge for your startup.
Those are just some examples of how Julien can connect developers and help them, I know he’s helped dozens of startups to raise funding, among other things.
Good luck with Facebook, Julien, I am sure you will do well. Julien will be based in Paris, head of partnerships in France, in my very good friend Ethan Beard‘s team. You can bet Julien will keep close connections with Microsoft and find a way to keep working with them and Facebook, always behind the entrepreneurs and developers.