NEW YORK, March 4 2014 — A world-renowned event for the creative and digital industries, the South by Southwest festival (SXSW) has become one of the major events for start-up creators. Exciting and offbeat, SXSW gathers bloggers, entrepreneurs, investors, journalists and digital creators from around the world in Austin (Texas). Initially the biggest music festival in the US, then later associated with an independent film festivals, SXSW, with SXSW Interactive, became the main celebration of digital culture within 10 years of its inception.
This year for the first time, France makes its entrance at SXSW under the French Tech initiative at two emblematic places: the French Tech Club and the French Tech Pavilion.
Together, “Bonjour SXSW”, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US, UBIFRANCE, Cap Digital, France Digital, BUREAU EXPORT, Invest in France Agency and BETC Startup Lab are unified around this project: ensure and strengthen the presence of the French Tech (most innovative French digital professionals, start-ups, and digital content producers) at SXSW 2014. The goal of this initiative is to increase the French presence at this international event and to offer the tech world—a key sector for France—a window into French innovation, know-how and dynamism.
“Bonjour SXSW” will organize a French Tech Club at Trinity Hall from March 9-11 that will hold brunches, concerts, showrooms, meetings, hackathons, and other events aiming to gather digital communities and create favorable conditions for the development of business relationships. “Bonjour SXSW is an idea thought up by three entrepreneurs: Cédric Giorgi, Anthony Gongora and I were dreaming of uniting the France presence at SXSW, a key conference for understanding digital evolution in our world. This goal has been achieved: France will be at SXSW, in all its dynamism and digital mastery. We encourage you to join us for the debut of the French Tech Club” said Louis Montagne, CEO of af83 and “Bonjour SXSW”.
For the first time UBIFRANCE will be at the SXSW trade show via the French Tech Pavilion from March 9-12, where it will present 10 of the most innovative French start-ups, selected by a jury of experts in the digital field: Azendoo, Bobler, Djehouti, Evergig, Intuilab, Meludia, Openclassrooms, Sounderbox, Whyd and Wiseband. This initiative is created under a new policy of French Minister of Foreign Trade Nicole Bricq, who aims to support “better communication” between France and its business partners abroad.
The Group La Poste supports this initiative as partner of this two spaces and support of the 10 French Tech start-ups at SXSW.
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy will lead a group of French professionals from the field of digital cultural content production—Ex Nihilo, Small bang, Honkytonk, Lumento Films, Darjeeling, Moozar—that were hand-picked with the help of Cap Digital. They are also hosting two events to facilitate meetings between French entrepreneurs and international digital professionals.
“SXSW has become a major event for the international high-tech scene. It was important that the public system to support business and trade abroad be mobilized to make French excellence in this field widely known. The 2014 festival can count on a high-quality France Pavilion, thanks to the start-ups that will be here with “Bonjour SXSW” and Cap Digital. We are thrilled with France’s solid presence at SXSW 2014, unified in the French Tech initiative”, says Nicole Bricq, French Minister of Foreign Trade.
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 in the services of our companies. The project centers on the world-wide event that is South by Southwest and proves the digital world’s great potential to reinforce the transatlantic dialogue on this topic of the future. It allows us to accentuate the exchanges between French and American content producers, companies, start-ups, and incubators.”
Fleur Pellerin, Delegated Minister to the Minister of Productive Recovery, in charge of Small and Medium Enterprises, Innovation, and the Digital Economy brings her support to this initiative, “SXSW is a major festival where digital France should be strongly and effectively represented. Supporting our start-ups means also strengthening their visibility abroad. “
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.
CANAL+ Group will be present at SXSW from 7th to 11th of March through its structure CANALSTART. Created in December 2012, CANALSTART is an accelerator run by CANAL+ Group to support entrepreneurs and start-ups with innovative projects in the media area.
With the goal of expanding the sector, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes cultural industries and the digital economy, which is a priority among its areas of action. It develops new ways of encouraging the growth of these industries, bringing support to the entire French digital sector and highlighting French expertise and creativity. www.frenchculture.org
UBIFRANCE, the French Agency for international business development, is an industry and trade public institution under the administrative supervision of the Minister of Trade, Finance, of the Minister of Foreign Trade and the Treasury Department. UBIFRANCE has a network of more than 1400 multicultural agents in France and worldwide – 80 offices in 70 countries – dedicated to the support of SME and ISE for export activities. UBIFRANCE also runs the V.I.E scheme (Volontariat International en Entreprise). www.ubifrance.fr
The Invest in France Agency (IFA) is the national agency responsible for promoting and facilitating international investment in France. It also coordinates initiatives to promote France’s economic attractiveness. The IFA network operates worldwide, with offices in France as well as in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In France, the IFA works in partnership with regional development agencies to offer international investors outstanding business opportunities and customized services. In the US, Invest in France has close to 20 employees located in three offices (New York, Chicago, San Francisco). www.invest-in-france.org/us
BonjourSXSW is an entrepreneurial initiative (by Anthony Gongora of sounderbox, Louis Montagne of af83, and Cedric Giorgi of cookening) supported by organizations such as the Réseau des Cantines, Silicon Sentier, Atlantic2.0, and France Digital. Through the French Tech Club, it aims to unite French resources, make the French presence visible at SXSW, and create opportunities for representatives of the FrenchTech to shine in a new leading conference on innovation. www.bonjoursxsw.com
For 15 years, BUREAU EXPORT has been assisting the French music industry to develop its artists internationally, in all musical genres. BUREAU EXPORT offers a wide range of services in collaboration with professionals of the export industry including consulting services, strategic marketing assistance, event creation and coordination, and many other resources and services for French Artists and record labels. In addition to consulting, prospecting and development assistance missions in five strategic market territories around the world, the BUREAU EXPORT also offers financial assistance to both French artists and record labels. www.french-music.org
Cap Digital is the cluster of the sector of digital content and services. It has over 700 members including 620 Small and Medium Enterprises. Cap Digital is working to make the Île-de-France region one of the world digital references from both an industrial and strategic point of view. The development of R & D, business growth, member networking and their international member promotion are all among its goals to support the creativity and competitiveness of this important industry. With an average of 280 R & D projects received each year, Cap Digital has supported more than 1 billion research and development projects since its inception. www.capdigital.com
Austin Angers Music: since the partnership between Angers and Austin was founded in 2011, Austin Angers Music has relentlessly organized innovative projects and events to help Angers-based bands and businesses develop their presence abroad. Amongst such happenings are concerts, brunches, networking sessions… not only at events like SXSW and Austin Psych Fest, but all year round. Austin Angers Music is an organization backed by the 9rueClaveau business alliance and Chabada concert venue, and was set up to foster cultural and economic ties between Angers and Austin under the initiative of the City of Angers and Metropolitan Angers Loire. As part of this endeavor, in September 2013 Austin Angers Music initiated a French version of the renowned psychedelic music event Austin Psych Fest, branded LEVITATION FRANCE, which will take place for the second time in 2014. www.austinangersmusic.com