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Bear, 2017 Creative Lab Startup, Answers 3 Questions

During the weeks leading up to the third edition of the French-American Creative Lab, we invite you to learn more about the 8 French startups selected to participate in the program. This week, let us introduce you to the creators of Bear, an augmented reality solution that allows publishers and brands to grow their audiences significantly and to quickly reach the tech-savvy user who wishes to connect the physical and digital worlds.

Bear stands out thanks to its pioneering augmented reality platform dedicated to connecting print to digital content. It enables professionals to increase market shares by making the most of their print content, and it allows them to facilitate the conversion rate from print to digital and gather precious data about the print audience.  

Bear’s co-founder and CEO Pierre Addoum graciously agreed to be interviewed:

- What does your daily life look like as an entrepreneur working in both Montpellier and Paris? 

Since Guillaume Pineau-Valencienne, co-founder of Bear is based in Paris we have always had offices in both cities. Currently most of the tech and R&D teams are based in Montpellier while the sales and account management teams are based in Paris. Our offices are both close to train stations and thanks to the TGV we are at a three-and-a-half-hour long distance from each other, which allows us to do round-trip over a day. I usually try to visit our Paris office at least once a month and I join Guillaume for important meetings. We also get the sales team in Montpellier every two months to make sure our product roadmap is perfectly aligned with our clients’ needs. It’s also a good opportunity to demonstrate last developments of our R&D team and keep them updated with the last features of our image recognition system.

- What differentiates you from competitors in the field?

Augmented Reality has been a very hot topic in 2017 with GAFA introducing new products almost every quarter. Bear is not just a technology−it is a platform. When a client (Nathan, Groupe Revue Fiduciaire, La Poste) wants to augment hundreds of thousands of visuals or offer content that need be updated in real time in an augmented reality context  (RATP connected bus shelter in Paris) there are few solutions available in the market. At first Bear built its platform around the needs of the publishing industries, but now, thanks to the powerful API that we developed on top of our recognition system, we facilitate the deployment of very complex augmented reality scenarios for all industries (publishing, print, urban development, transport, and retail for example). Before anything else, it’s important to keep in mind that Augmented Reality is a new media. We have developed the tools including a mobile engine, a web platform, advanced statistics and a smart notification system to help our customers to take full advantage of it.

- What are you expecting to take-away from the French-American Creative Lab?

We learned from our recent experiences with the US market that our products and services need to be adapted to the American consumers. We are confident that thanks to its comprehensive program, the French-American Creative Lab will help us define the appropriate strategy to prepare our launch in the United States. We are very excited to be part of this adventure and to meet the other startups that have been selected.

Pierre Addoum and Guillaume Pineau-Valencienne will be in New York from November 6 - 10 and in Los Angeles from November 12 – 15, 2017. If you would like to meet with him, contact us at creative-lab@frenchculture.org.

Click here to find more information about the French-American Creative Lab.