Ten Emerging Start-ups Selected for the French-American Digital Lab

September 23, 2015 | By French Culture

On September 10, a group of 10 French start-ups were selected to participate in the inaugural New York session of the new French-American Digital Lab // Connecting Cultures exchange program, established by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in August, co-produced with Business France (international French agency for business development), and supported by the Institut français. A creative lab and an economic development program for startups and content creators of the cultural sector, the French-American Digital Lab aims to enable new startups and cultural content creators to adapt their product to the French and American markets, while developing partnerships with local members of the culture industry. The intensive 10-day program will include networking sessions, meetings, seminars, and creative sessions with leaders of New York’s cultural and tech scenes. 

The ten selected projects were chosen based on a variety of criteria, and the final roster represents a diverse sampling of France’s most promising and innovative cultural ideas today. Quality of the concept, team, and business model; innovativeness; potential for international growth of the start-up; and pertinence with regard to the current session’s theme, Narration (including storytelling, transmedia, digital media, video games, journalism, and digital and paper publishing) each came into play. 

Selected Start-ups

· Actialuna is the developer of the first online comic book store, Sequencity, that provides readers with book ratings and instant messaging with expert booksellers. 

· Artips provides a free, daily dose of art by sending email subscribers a quirky and memorable anecdote about a piece of art that they can read in just over one minute.

· Booxup is a mobile application that provides a platform for sharing printed books.

· Interactive 4D and Transmedia Ready design educational games, transmedia experiences and creative services for cultural organizations, based on an interactive methodology and an innovative gaming platform.

· Keakr is an application that records and uploads musical content to online platforms to facilitate users’ interaction and competition (rap battles) with other musicians.

· Active in 60 cities, the Monument Tracker mobile app reveals the history of monuments in the user’s vicinity and offers themed walks, quizzes, treasure hunts, and accounts that let you save and prepare itineraries.

· SISSO develops virtual tours based on 360° photography panoramas and 3D modeling. This innovative digital medium helps our clients bring their audiences an immersive and lively experience.

· Sonic Solveig invents interactive music that communicates with creative listeners through a first high-level collection of digital musical applications.

· Theatre in Paris uses wirelessly connected eyeglasses to provide multilingual supertitles for cultural events.

· Update Marilyn is a transmedia project that aims to enhance our understanding of Marilyn Monroe. The platform encompasses a play, a travelling installation, a website, and two webdocs. It provides a reinterpretation of « Marilyn’s myth » for the contemporary world.

Launched within the framework of the French Tech New York City initiative, the Digital Lab also aims to boost the visibility of France’s creative and cultural industries in the global landscape.  Said Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, “The French-American Digital Lab is an innovative program that unites France and the United States around a common ambition: to promote the growth of French start-ups in the United Sates and U.S. start-ups in France. The digital revolution is an important element of our economic and cultural diplomatic policy, and we fully support innovative entrepreneurs; their work reinforces France’s attractiveness and competitiveness in today’s society.” 

The French-American Digital Lab
The goal of the French-American Digital Lab is to enable new startups and cultural content creators to adapt their product to the French and American markets, while discovering new ecosystems and developing partnerships with local members of the culture industry. Produced in partnership with the major partner incubators (Numa, Gaîté Lyrique / Créatis, Paris&Co, and Made in NY Media Center by IFP), the program is supported by the City of Paris, Institut Français, and Orange, as part of the company’s larger strategic plan to support open innovation. 

This intensive 10-day program includes networking sessions, meetings, seminars, and creative sessions. Participants will engage in themed workshops relating to intercultural topics and technological creation. These sessions will encourage participants to think deeply about the fundamental building blocks and value of their projects in order to view them from a new angle. In addition to the seminars, participants will benefit from individual mentorship with experts of the tech sphere and the opportunity to network with a large web of cultural institutions to enrich their knowledge: museums, operas, television channels, audiovisual production companies, publishing houses, brands, and music distributors.

For more information, visit frenchculture.org/digital-cultures/grants-and-programs/french-american-digital-lab

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