A Taste of French Tech at SXSW

March 3, 2014 | By French Culture

This March, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy is launching a new initiative at the 2014 South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX. The Embassy will collaborate with UBIFRANCE, Bonjour SXSW, Cap Digital, BUREAU EXPORT and Invest in France Agency in order to bring together entrepreneurs and tech visionaries and ensure the presence of the most innovative French digital professionals, startups, and digital content producers at this world-renowned celebration of digital culture.

This initiative is created under a new policy of the French Minister of Foreign Trade Nicole Bricq, that aims to support “better communication” between France and its business partners abroad. 

Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, endorses the initiative: “The promotion of digital cultural content industries constitutes a great part of our economic diplomacy, one that I wish to fully support, and one that mobilizes our ambassadors and the entirety of our diplomatic network."

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy will gather a group of French professionals from the field of digital cultural content production—Ex Nihilo, Small Bang, Honkytonk, Lumento Films, Darjeeling, and Moozar—that were hand-picked with the help of Cap Digital.

For the first time, UBIFRANCE, the French agency for international business development, will be at the SXSW trade show via the French Pavilion, where it will present 10 of the most innovative French start-ups who have been selected by a jury of experts in the digital field: Azendoo, Bobler, Djehouti, Evergig, Intuilab, Meludia, Openclassrooms, Sounderbox, Whyd and Wiseband. Together, the French Embassy and UBIFRANCE will host events to facilitate meetings between French entrepreneurs and international digital professionals.

On March 10, a brunch at the French Tech Club, prepared by Chef Rémi from Angers, will present a unique opportunity to meet with entrepreneurs and content creators from both sides of the Atlantic, and to hear from the guests of honor, Kerry Trainor (CEO of Vimeo), Michel Reilhac (transmedia pioneer and producer of Melancholia), and Patrick Holzman (Director of CanalPlay at Canal+).  During the brunch, French channel Canal+ will present their new accelerator, CanalStart. Afterwards, attendees will be able to pitch CanalStart for up to €100k in funding and participate in startup speed-dating.

On the last night of its debut at SXSW, a party at the French Tech Club with feature live music by Lo'jo, Lys, La Femme and other bands from across the Atlantic, complete with an open bar, a surprise guest, and an Air France ticket giveaway.

These events are part of a three day program co-organized by Bonjour SXSW at The French Tech Club, including brunches, concerts, showrooms, meetings, hackathons, and other events aiming to gather digital communities and create favorable conditions for the development of business relationships.

Fleur Pellerin, Delegated Minister in charge of Small and Medium Enterprises, Innovation, and the Digital Economy brings her support to this initiative, stating “SXSW is a major festival where the French tech industry should be strongly and effectively represented. Supporting our start-ups, means also strengthening their visibility abroad. "

More information at the French Tech Club


This initiative benefits from the generous support of French Ministry of Productive Recovery, Institut français, INPI, La Fonderie, Region Ile de France, Austin Angers Music, Region des Pays de la Loire, DBTH, Group La Poste, af83 and Air France.

Other partners include: Canal+ Group, Radio France, Le Mouv, Ubergizmo, Bureau Export, BETC, DBTH.

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