As the dust settles after another whirlwind CES, the think pieces are pouring in. If you’ve spent any time on LinkedIn recently, you know what we mean. One thing is abundantly clear: the startup scene in France is booming.
The numbers don’t lie: 414 French tech companies exhibited at CES this year (up from 365 in 2018; 275 in 2017). That’s more than any other country, including the U.S.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Paris Region, the heart of the French tech ecosystem. This year, our delegation of 35 startups and 3 multinational giants focused on applied AI breakthroughs happening here and how they’re impacting everything from health and transportation to finance and security.
A powerful driver of innovation here is the close collaboration between established multinationals and disruptive startups. This mutually beneficial system allows large companies to quickly source and integrate new solutions for their business and provides entrepreneurs with the resources and contacts they need to succeed. That symbiosis was on display at CES this year, like when Devialet’s CEO tested out the new sustainable concrete speaker from Le Pavé Parisien, or when Total’s CEO remotely piloted a drone in France from Las Vegas via Uavia’s technology.
CES is an international gathering place where connections that might not otherwise happen are possible, and this year offered the chance to show off what’s happening in France to the world. Sport Quantum, the first high-tech electronic target, found its U.S. distributor. VideoLAN, best known for the open-source video player VLC (you know, the traffic cone app), hit the 3 billion downloads milestone and attracted a lot of attention. So did eSoftThings, which specializes in developing products and platforms for autonomous vehicles and smart devices (they also met with Michelin’s CEO… we’ll keep an eye on where that leads). Other startups, like XXII, shined a light on the applied AI breakthroughs happening in the Paris area.
The enthusiasm for our startups’ pitches was equally telling. There’s an insatiable demand — even need — to stay on the cutting-edge of innovation. It’s no secret that technological advancement is exponential, and companies that are able to efficiently collaborate with young, disruptive startups and weave their solutions into their business will have an advantage over the competition. More and more, companies are finding the talent, technology and drive they need in Paris. Will you?