September 19, 2016—After a successful first edition in fall 2015, six new French starts ups were selected to participate in the second session of the French-American Digital Lab//Connecting Cultures, taking place from October 17th through 26th, 2016. Both a creative and economic development program for startups and content creators of the cultural sector, the French-American Digital Lab was developed by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and Business France, in collaboration with their longtime partner, the Made in NY Media Center by IFP. The 2016 edition of the French-American Digital Lab has been produced in partnership with the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator (BF+DA), a Pratt Institute initiative, and within the framework of the Paris-New York Tandem 2016, a program of the City of Paris and the Institut français. The French-American Digital Lab is also supported by Orange, 18Havas.ios and the DESIGN studio by Dassault Systemes.
The French-American Digital Lab is an expression of the French government’s commitment to supporting French digital startups in their international expansion. On this occasion, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, said: “Cultural and creative industries are now responsible for 2.7 billion euros of France’s exports, with the digital economy being of primary interest. The digital cultural industries are therefore a powerful driving force. This year, the French-American Digital Lab is focusing on virtual reality, design, and fashion, all of which hold great stakes for the industrial sector and around which it would be vital to build ties between France and the U.S. This ambitious program thus helps to shine light on French expertise in digital innovation in the cultural sphere and highlight of our businesses’ potential on an international scale.”
Several criteria, including the international potential and the disruptive nature of each project, guided the jury’s selection process. The selected startups were chosen for their uniqueness in the US market, whether in the fields of music, fashion, the audiovisual sphere, or cultural tourism.
· has developed a unique technical solution that enables live concert viewers to have an unprecedented, immersive sound experience, customizable and flexible according to their tastes and listening profile.
· INDUO® develops high performance fabrics for fashion.
· Wakatoon creates coloring book pages which, with a single photo, can be turned into personalized cartoons.
· Wellcut allows brands, the media, and fans to share their favorite video moments instantly.
· Wonda VR enables users to create and publish interactive videos for virtual reality masks.
· 44screens creates singular interactive visiting experiences combining augmented reality, virtual reality, and games for cultural and historic sites.
Over the course of the 10-day program, these six startups will discover the American ecosystem through an intensive program of meetings, seminars and creative sessions, crafted with the goal of providing tools to adapt their products to the U.S. 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.
Chaired by Thomas Michelon, Deputy Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the United States, the jury was composed of Karine Bidart (Paris&Co), Valérie Senghor (104factory, the incubator of CENTQUATRE-PARIS), Franck Delpal (Institut Français de la Mode), Laurence Le Ny (Orange), Mike Woods (White Rabbit VR), Meredith Finkelstein (Print All Over me), Sabrina Dridje (Made in NY Media Center by IFP), Deborah Alden(Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator), Elisabeth Leontieff-Hirshon and Florence Tison (Business France), Daphné Lora (Cultural Services of the Embassy of France).
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 collaborates with top-notch host incubators (Made in NY Media Center by IFP and the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator (BF+DA), a Pratt Institute initiative) which develop the program of activities in collaboration with 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, NUMA, Créatis, l’Institut Français de la Mode, The Bridge, Imaginove).
The French-American Digital Lab is supported by the City of Paris, Institut français, FACE Foundation, Flipboard, 18Havas.ios, Orange, and DESIGN Studio by Dassault Systemes.
For more information: frenchculture.org/digital-cultures/grants-and-programs/french-american-digital-lab
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.
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
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.
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