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Matt Turck will be part of our Thursday FACE roundtables on “Software” and “Financial Growth”.

Can you tell us more about Bloomberg Ventures?

Matt Turck: Bloomberg Ventures is the newly created venture arm of Bloomberg L.P. Most people assume that we’re a corporate venture capital fund, and we are, to some extent – we are certainly actively exploring startup investment opportunities. But so far, we have been mostly focused on creating our own startup businesses – Bloomberg-branded, wholly-owned ventures that we start from scratch; so we are as much an operating company as we are an investor.

What value do you see in FACE?

Matt Turck: The entrepreneurial spirit in France is much stronger than a lot of people in the US imagine. There’s also a lot of engineering talent. While many of the abundantly documented obstacles to entrepreneurship in France remain, some significant success stories have emerged over the years. A deeper relationship with the US entrepreneurial community can only accelerate this trend, and I think FACE is a great vehicle for this.

Any advices/tips you would give to nowadays entrepreneurs?

Matt Turck: There are many answers to this question, so let me focus on one aspect: I think it is a great time to start a company. When the economy is booming, each time you come up with a reasonably good idea for a new startup, you often find that there are already two or three entrepreneurs (or large companies) that had more or less the same idea at the same time, and are in the process of implementing it. A downturn decreases the immediate competitive pressure, and gives you a little bit of a time to focus on building a great product; if you execute well, you emerge from that period ideally positioned to ride the wave when the economy recovers. It is also a bit cheaper to hire (although, in my opinion, the competition for the best people is just as intense). Companies like Oracle and Bloomberg were created (or in their very early years) during a downturn. Successful startups like Facebook or LinkedIn were created in 2003 and 2004, at a time when venture capitalists had run for the hills after the bubble burst and were barely investing in any new deal. So my advice would be go ahead and start a new company! Or, if you have already started a new venture, to use the downturn as an opportunity to build an extraordinary product.