Successful bet for VivaTech | the echoes

VivaTech is back. After a fifth edition marked by Covid, the largest European technology fair, organized by Publicis and the group “Les Echos-Le Parisien”, was full: 91,000 physical visitors and more than 300,000 connected. “This edition exceeded all our expectations. When we started the organization, we were still in the midst of Covid. We didn’t know if people would come. In the end, yes, they wanted to be together”, celebrates Julie Ranty, director of VivaTech.

The President of the Republic, a regular at the event, shared his pride during an intervention on stage alongside four French technology entrepreneurs. “This show has become an extraordinary event, a bit like the transformation of the French ecosystem,” said Emmanuel Macron, who also set a new goal of 100 unicorns, including 25 “green”, by 2030.

An ambitious figure, although fundraising has slowed since the beginning of the year. “We are all going to lose companies within our portfolio. This recession is just accelerating the process,” Joe Schoendorf, partner at Accel Partners, said in a panel discussion. Many venture capital funds from around the world attended the fair, from the Norwegian Northzone to the Japanese Softbank and the Israeli Catalyst Investments.

VivaTech also attracted large international groups that competed in imagination for their booths. Google opted for greenery, LVMH (owner of the “Echos”) bet on an entirely dark blue decor and the cryptocurrency platform Binance stood out with its wheel of fortune that allowed you to earn sweaters, pens or even NFT, these traceable digital tokens​ on the blockchain.

A sign of the times, several automotive giants like Renault or Audi, which now regularly skip the auto showrooms, showed up at VivaTech with booths bigger than a Tesla that doesn’t have to go bad to seduce the “geeks”.

From Web3 to all runners

Web3 (crypto, metaverse, blockchain, etc.), which is driving the tech world crazy and beyond, also floated in the air at the Show. Essential, Meta offered to test a meeting – virtual, of course – at Horizon Workrooms. A convincing experience linked in particular to the synchronization of the hands, which guarantee a better immersion.

Who says metaverse says “NFT” and an unexpected innovation from TAG Heuer. The luxury watch maker offers, on its connected models, to display its latest NFT “Bored Ape Yacht Club” in the same way as on Twitter.

Among the virtual reality trainings offered by startups Uptale or the Reality Academy that immerse the user of a VR mask inside an Amazon warehouse, one of the highlights was, without a doubt, the surprise hologram appearance of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Impressive, finally, is this screen by the Dutch start-up Dimenco that achieves the feat of displaying 3D content without having to wear special glasses.

The urgency of the ecological transition

“You must continue to help us participate in the great challenges of the century, be it digital transformation, ecological transition and health challenges,” said Emmanuel Macron. Precisely, VivaTech highlighted greentechs extensively. From day one, the government unveiled the new promotion of Green20, the French Tech program specializing in green start-ups. A total of 22 nuggets working on ecological transition, decarbonization, energy, agriculture or even industry were selected.

LVMH, BNP Paribas and EDF reach start-ups

Several dedicated stands revealed promising innovations, such as the “EDF low carbon park”, where the Spanish company Bioo, for example, presented its solution for the natural organic decomposition of plants transformed into an energy source.

VivaTech is also the fair that celebrates collaborations between start-ups – half of them foreign – and large groups. “The technology is more mature, the ecosystem has progressed deliriously. We’ve gone from ‘proof of concept’ (proof of concept, editor’s note) to real structuring partnerships,” notes Julie Ranty. “Why are we close to startups and technology? asked Bernard Arnault, the CEO of luxury giant LVMH, which manages dozens of homes whose roots are often more than a century old. Because we share the same values: creativity, quality, entrepreneurial spirit. We have the same energy, the same agility and the same will to grow”, he explained when presenting the LVMH Innovation Award to the start-up Toshi specializing in omnichannel solutions. BNP Paribas presented a complete expense report management solution integrated with the professional card, in partnership with fintech Expensya.

For all large groups in the midst of a talent war, VivaTech asserts itself as an increasingly important showcase. Welcoming start-ups at your stand helps to create bonds and professional days such as the day of the general public on Saturday are also an opportunity to show young graduates that large companies also know how to innovate.

“VivaTech’s particularity is that most startups that have a booth don’t pay for their presence like at other fairs. They are there, invited by large groups that selected them. This makes it possible to do a kind of qualitative screening, explains Vincent Ducrey, who directs the Hub Institute, the digital and impact think tank that organizes hundreds of visits during the Show for the management teams of many multinationals. VivaTech is a unique fair with round tables, presentations in Ted Talk format, debates”, he adds.

It was at VivaTech, for example, that we were able to hear Stanislas Niox-Chateau, founder of Doctolib, and Sumbul Desai, head of all Apple health activities, debate. They are convinced that to tackle the challenges we face, such as healthcare, digital will necessarily be part of the solution and can help revolutionize an industry that is just at the beginning of its digital revolution. “VivaTech is asserting itself as a show that demonstrates that technology will allow us to respond, at least in part, to the great challenges of society”, argues July Ranty, who leaves office this year to follow her own entrepreneurial adventure. And it is François Bitouzet, general manager of PublicisLive, who takes over.

Leave a Comment