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Thursday, June 10, 2010

French Innovation Meets Silicon Valley

Last evening I attended the 4th Annual French Tech Tour event put on by UbiFrance, the French agency for international business development. Out of many applicants, UbiFrance had selected an exemplary group of 15 emerging French companies to travel to Silicon Valley for the opportunity to engage the local Valley start-up ecosystem in a series of events and meetings. UbiFrance director, GaĆ«tan Gachet, and his team organize a great week for the selected companies, culminating in a Sand Hill Road reception attended by VCs, company execs and Francophiles. The evening’s program consisted of brief presentations by the 15 companies and a panel discussion featuring industry luminaries on what entrepreneurial foreign companies need to do to be successful when coming to Silicon Valley. This was followed by a reception where the participating companies informally presented and demoed their products. The panel was interesting, with good recommendations for entrepreneurs to be open, network extensively, listen and learn when they visit Silicon Valley. Among the participants, CRN Systems Editor, Damon Poeter, provided comments that most resonated with 3Point. “Get good PR. Make sure you engage the media in the right way. Be open, make friends. Tell a story and the whole story. Not only tell the technology story but the whole story of how you came to be and what you are all about.” 3Point agrees with Poerter that the story is key to any company's success and is why our focus is on helping our clients define and tell their stories through our Navigator process.
The 15 companies covered a wide range of technology categories. Some of my personal favorites among the companies included Lexip, which makes a very cool 3D mouse (CEO Eric Delattre pictured left holding his device), and Laster Technologies, which has a fascinating augmented reality solution (CEO Zile Liu pictured right explaining augmented reality). Other well represented categories included mobile -- Arkamys, which has developed technology to greatly increase the audio quality from mobile devices, along with MobileGov and Mobile Distillery -- and cloud computing -- LYaTiss and MLslate. Green tech was represented as well with EcoVadis, which took the top prize of the evening for its pioneering sustainable supply chain management solutions. Names the top start-up of the group, Ecovadis will receive a one-month, all expenses paid stay at the Plus and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley.
Check out all the companies participated: · ActivNetworks · AlphaUI · Arkamys · Avob · DelfMEMS · EcoVadis · LASTER Technologies · Lexip · LYaTiss · MLstate · Mobilegov · Mobile Distillery · Prim’Vision · Relaxnews · UbicMedia This representation of French innovation was fascinating and whets my appetite for a trip to France in coming months. For you readers out there, what other emerging French companies should we keep an eye on? Bon Weekend!

2 comments:

  1. David,

    Good article. Glad to see that US-French technology relationships are alive and well. Lot of great innovation happening in France with excellent local support.

    You asked about other emerging French companies. At the risk of promoting the company I work for, take a look at UShareSoft (www.usharesoft.com) which has already been mentioned previously on this blog.

    UShareSoft makes it easier and faster for large companies and ISVs to assemble, deploy and maintain software for any physical, virtual or cloud computing environment. In a nutshell, our platform gives them a faster ramp to the cloud for their software.

    We're based in Grenoble, France, with an R&D centre in Argentina and building up in both the US and Japan. Definitely one to watch as we're positioned in the fast growing software appliance market (IDC predicts a worldwide market of almost $1.2bn by 2012 up from $69mn in 2008), being driven by virtualisation and cloud computing.

    And while I'm about it, a few other interesting French companies with whom we work:
    - BonitaSoft, a Grenoble-based company providing business process management solutions, created by the founders of the Bonita open source project (www.bonitasoft.com)
    - Talend, based in Paris and a leader in open-source data integration (www.talend.com)
    - XWiki, a Paris-based start-up providing open source collaboration solutions for enterprises with teams in Sri Lanka, Romania and Russia (www.xwiki.com)
    to name but a few ...

    Gillian Gover
    Corporate Marketing
    UShareSoft
    twitter.com/usharesoft

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