Double Whammy for Accel at Audemars Piguet Award

Two Accel companies left with the prizes at the “Entrepreneur of the Year” Audemars Piguet Award held last night at Dinemec studio in Swtizerland.

John Powell from Alfresco accepted the NextGem award.  The Open Source CMS company that used to be Activiti reinvented itself with great success from 2005 as open-source stalwart Alfresco and has been enjoying tremendous success ever since.  John communicated just a few examples: all our police records in Switzerland are held on Alfresco, so are our photographic records at US immigration or some of our MMOG profiles.  Good stuff.  Accel was the first investor in the Alfresco business, later joined by Mayfield and SAP.

Remise des prix Audemars Piguet Changing Times Award 2008, Gland (Suisse)

<— Our tech entrepreneurs are on the left, John Powell from Alfresco and Lars Bjork from Qliktech.

Qliktech took the main prize.  A classic case of European innovation that made it big in the US, the Swedish analytics and BI company has been on a fabulous growth curve for the past few years.  Qliktech started back in 2000 but really took off after 2004.  It was originally funded by local investors Swedestart, CapMan and IndustriFonden and later took money from Accel and Jerusalem Venture Partners, with Alex Ott (a fellow board member at KDS) helping with commercial strategy and operations in the US for the company.  It’s been a rocketship ever since.  Founder Lars Bjork was keen to emphasize the recipe for success: take complex query technology but package as a drop-dead simple consumer front-end.

<– Alex Ott, sales guru (no, not Rudy Voller !)

Two great examples of European software innovation adopting disruptive and ambitious business models and building proper companies.  Well done !

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