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Day 1 at VivaTech | techUK member delegation to VivaTech Paris

techUK’s international team was proud to lead our first ever members delegation to VivaTech in Paris. The delegation included 11 companies, namely, Day OneVanessa GanguinKATLAS TechnologyYotiTrilligentVe3 GlobalUnmanned LifePlum ConsultingComplete CyberTrainline, and Larkspur International.

The atmosphere at VivaTech is extremely lively. There are a huge variety of country stands (as well as other delegations) across the two main halls, including a really strong presence from countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. Companies range from huge incumbents like Meta and AWS, all the way down to very early-stage startups that have span-out of French universities.

After the first-day delegation kick-off meeting, the techUK member delegation was given a guided tour of Hall 1 by techUK member and partner BusinessFrance, who took us to meet and hear from France’s key internal investment agencies including Choose Paris, Region Sud, and Metropole Lille. These three core regions of the French tech sector have different strengths.

Paris: the engine room of France

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The Paris region (locally known as Île-de-France) is naturally the engine room of the French economy, with 25% of French GDP emanating from this region of 12 million people. Our delegation was told about the R&D incentives available for companies investing in the region, as well as the skills. One of the most common misconceptions of this region is that English is not widely spoken. In fact, the region is very cosmopolitan, with 25% of the region's citizens being born abroad.

Lille: the post-industrial high-growth region

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Lille Metropole is a hugely exciting part of the French tech sector. As a post-industrial town in the North of France that now has a budding tech sector, the region has strong similarities to Manchester. 3,000 digital companies operate in the region, an increase of 57% since 2017, the year of the election of tech-savvy French President Emmanuel Macron.

Région Sud:  A strong climate tech focus

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Afterward, the delegation met representatives from Region Sud (South of France investment agency), who explained the benefits of setting up in the South of France. The delegation heard of the booking climate tech ecosystem in the Aix-en-Provence region, as well as how the AI ecosystem is going from strength to strength in Nice. The delegation also learned about the funding opportunities in the region, including increased aid for sustainable, 100% climate development projects through Sud Enterprises. There were 37 innovative startups from Region Sud exhibiting at their stand.

The delegation ended the (formal) day at a (techUK member) West Midlands Growth Company reception, where they interacted with the other innovative British tech companies that are exhibiting on the Department for Business and Trade’s stand.

This evening, the delegation has been invited to an invite-only ‘Tech on the Seine’ boat party for tech companies. We will report back tomorrow.

Spotted Elsewhere…

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, was present at Stage 1, discussing the plans of the European Council and the EU tech ecosystem. Founder of Anthropic AI Dario Amodel also addressed Stage 1 on how AI and emerging tech companies can ‘build at the frontier’. Stage 1 also saw Baidu CEO and Co-Founder Robin Li discuss how he sees the future of AI in China compared to the rest of the world.

On stage 3, there was a panel about how next-generation technologies can advance healthcare and drug development. Stage 3 also saw a discussion of ‘Quantum Computing 101’, where Manjari Chandran-Ramesh, Partner at Amadeus Capital Partners, spoke about the importance of investing in Quantum companies that can bring the benefits of quantum sooner, highlighting techUK member Riverlane as an example!

If you would like to attend future delegations including Washington DC or India, please contact Sabina Ciofu and Daniel Clarke.


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