December 5, 2016—After two successful New York editions in 2015 and 2016, the French-American Digital Lab//Connecting Cultures, is kicking off its first Paris session, December 12th through 17th, 2016. Both a creative and economic development program for startups of the cultural sector, the French-American Digital Lab was created by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and co-produced by Business France. The program enables new cultural startups from France and the U.S. to adapt their products across the Atlantic. Through workshops, conferences, and networking events, the Digital Lab provides participants access with new ecosystems and leaders of the local creative industries. This edition is supported by the City of Paris and the Institut français, within the framework of the Paris-New York Tandem 2016, a program that aims to strengthen the relationship between both cities. The French American Digital Lab is also supported by FACE Foundation, Vivendi, and Flipboard.
The French American Digital Lab’s Paris session offers young U.S.-based entrepreneurs access to France’s rich, diverse cultural landscape and the leaders that shape it. An international capital of culture, the city of Paris boasts thousands of cultural venues, from museums and theaters to national monuments and music conservatories. France hosts to countless culture-tech events including Futur en Seine, International Innovation Awards (Grand Prix de l’innovation), and Hacking of the City Hall (Hacking de l’Hôtel de ville).
In the tech arena specifically, the country excels in the area of Virtual Reality and hosted the first festival in Europe entirely dedicated to the medium at the Forum des Images in June 2016. The field holds stakes for the industrial sector and strong French-American ties have recently developed in this sphere. In France, French Tech reflects on the government’s active role in supporting the tech scene through a 200M€ (over $213M) investment to foster the creation of private startups in France. Over the past years, Paris has witnessed an increase of the numbers of incubators to over 35 in the city, including Le Cargo, one of Europe’s biggest incubators, as well as 104factory, l’incubateur du CENTQUATRE-PARIS, Créatis, and Station F, a 34 000m2 soon-to-be-open incubator which will host over 3,000 offices for over 1,000 startups. France shines across tech industries and is home to leaders in music publishing for instance, web-based music streaming; video game publishing, and cinema production, among other fields. France has emerged as an ideal destination for tech startups looking to expand their businesses abroad and a major hub on the European cultural landscape.
Axelle Lemaire, Minister of State for the Digital Sector and Innovation, attached to the Minister of the Economy and Finance, said: “The cultural and creative industries are one of France’s strongest and account for 4% of the GDP. This makes our country the best option for U.S.-based cultural startups that wish to settle abroad. As the French American Digital Lab has already proven to be an efficient program for assisting French startups with laying down roots in the American tech scene, the Paris edition will surely provide young American entrepreneurs in the cultural field the opportunity to discover the dynamic French ecosystem while benefiting from the expertise of some of the best incubators in France and leading French companies.”
The Digital Lab offers American startups unique access to France’s booming market—the second largest in Europe—and a getaway to expand into the European, Middle Eastern, and African regions. As the third largest economy in the European Union, France sees the greatest number of new businesses founded per year, with more than 550,000 created in 2014. Venture Capital investment in France-based startups grew significantly in early 2015, with an increase of more than 70% in the amount of funds invested, and the country is furthermore ranked second in Europe for Venture Capital by number of deals.
The following startups have been selected to participate in the program:
Holojam is a technology platform that’s changing how people experience virtual reality together. Made for in-person collaboration, it enhances in-person experiences by giving people who are in the same room the ability to move seamlessly between the real world and an immersive virtual world.
Emerging Market Media is a firm dedicated to journalism, production, content creation and other forms of media and special events involving the emerging and frontier markets, BRIC nations. Through innovative methods and custom API’s the firm seeks to target and deliver the most relevant and actionable journalism and content to a niche audience.
Bluecadet is an Emmy winning strategic innovation company that partners with leading museums, cultural institutions, universities, and nonprofit organizations, inventing technology solutions that enable them to bridge that gap and connect with, inspire, and educate a new generation of visitors.
DreamAI is a digital AI powered platform that delivers engaging and educational multicultural storybooks, audiobooks, music and video/animations that addresses the lack of global distribution and access for African content.
Over the course of the 6-day program, these four startups will discover the French ecosystem through an intensive program of meetings, seminars and creative sessions, crafted with the goal of providing tools to adapt their products to the French market. They will also receive individualized mentorship with experts from the cultural and digital sector and will have the opportunity to develop their network at major cultural institutions.
The French-American Digital Lab is an exchange program created by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and co-produced by Business France. A program of French Tech New York, the Digital Lab is presented within the framework of the Paris-New York Tandem, produced by the City of Paris and the Institut français, in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and the United States Embassy in France, with support from the City of New York.
The French-American Digital Lab is developed by the Cultural Services and Business France. The program also benefits from a network of institutions and major French incubators (Paris&Co, 104factory, l’incubateur du CENTQUATRE-PARIS, Créatis), and l’Institut Français; world-class cultural institutions; and leading French companies including Havas, Orange, and Vivendi. For more information: http://frenchculture.org/digital-cultures/grants-and-programs/french-ame…
The French-American Digital Lab
The French-American Digital Lab, co-produced by the French Embassy and Business France, aims to enable new startups 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 investment.
This intensive 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.
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, digital innovation, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, intellectuals and innovators to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts. www.frenchculture.org
Business France North America, the French international business development agency, accelerates the growth of French companies in the US and Canada, through personalized services allowing entrepreneurs to efficiently adjust and thrive in one of the most challenging markets in the world. Business France offers the following services: market opportunity analysis, go-to-market strategy, marketing and positioning strategies, organization of BtoB meetings with potential partners, lead generation, coaching and mentoring. With a workforce of 110 multilingual collaborators spread across 10 offices in North America, Business France North America works with close to 1000 French companies yearly, and handles about 100 B2B events in more than 32 cities in North America. http://www.businessfrance.fr/
Institut français is the agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international Development for cultural action outside of France. As an agent of cultural diplomacy, the Institut français is a unique brand throughout 96 countries and in France. It is responsible for the promotion of artists, ideas, works and industries that contribute to presenting an innovative and dynamic picture of artistic creation in France. It encourages dialogue between cultures and gives life to professional communities in each sector it is involved in, while supporting the French cultural network abroad. www.institutfrancais.com/
French Tech New York
New York City was named a French Tech hub in June 2015. A French Tech hub is an “entrepreneurial ecosystem” structured to accelerate the development of French startups wishing to expand internationally and increase the attractiveness of French Tech to foreign entrepreneurs, investors, and local media. In New York, the French Tech network is made up of nearly 80 French entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, designers, developers, groups, associations, media, public servants, and research institutions, among other entities, that actively work toward the growth of startups and for their international development and recognition. http://nyc.lafrenchtech.com/
Tandem Paris-New York 2016
Tandem Paris-New York 2016 is a large-scale transatlantic cultural exchange between Paris and New York. From June through October 2016, cultural institutions in New York and Paris will present an extraordinary selection of events in a variety of cultural disciplines including music, dance, cinema, literature, theatre, the visual arts, language, gastronomy, and digital innovation from the partner city. Tandem Paris – New York 2016 is organized by the City of Paris and the French Institute, in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and the Embassy of the United States of America in France, with the support of the City of New York. http://www1.nyc.gov/site/paristandem/index.page
FACE Foundation is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. In partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, FACE promotes artistic, literary and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries. With additional corporate, foundation, and individual support, FACE administers grant programs in the performing and visual arts, cinema, translation, and secondary and higher education, while providing financial sponsorship to French-American festivals and other cultural initiatives. FACE focuses on new and recent work of living artists and the promotion of bilingualism and the French language. FACE Foundation (French-American Cultural Exchange) is a 501(c)(3) organization chartered by the state of New York. www.face-foundation.org
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