NEW YORK, September 24, 2015 – Ten French start-ups were selected on September 10 to come to New York to participate in the first session of the new French-American Digital Lab // Connecting Cultures exchange program. Both a creative lab and an economic development program for startups and content creators of the cultural sector, it was established by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and co-produced with Business France (international French agency for business development), and supported by the Institut français. The Program was launched within the framework of the French Tech New York City initiative and in connection with France’s objective to boost the visibility of its creative and cultural industries.
“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,” stated Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development.
The ten selected projects were chosen based on the following criteria: 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). The ten selected projects, listed below, represent a diverse sampling of France’s most promising and innovative cultural ideas today.
· 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.
Presided over by Thomas Michelon, Deputy Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy, the jury was composed of Emilie Friedli (Créatis), Anne Gousset (Paris&Co), Romain Amblard (NUMA), Sabrina Dridje (Made in NY Media Center by IFP), Ryan McLaughlin (Global Digital and Innovation Expert), Vanessa Goldstein (YouTube Spaces), Laurence Le Ny and Edouard Maignan (Orange), Florence Tison (Business France), and François Guern (Cultural Services of the French Embassy).
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 investment.
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
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy
provides a platform for exchange and innovation between French and American artists, intellectuals, educators, students, the tech community, and the general public. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the US, the Cultural Services develops the cultural economy by focusing on six principal fields of action: the arts, literature, cinema, the digital sphere, French language and higher education. www.frenchculture.org
the French international business development agency, accelerates the growth of French companies in North America, 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, strategic introductions, coaching and mentoring. Business France’s New Technologies business development experts advised over 100 companies in their North American development in 2014 and secured more than 1000 meetings with 200 US companies. Success stories include Algolia, ATEME, Contract-Live, Criteo, docTrackr, eNovance, eXo Platform, Followanalytics, Gutenberg Technology, Qosmos, Ivalua, Restlet, PeopleDoc, Sightcall, Squid, Sublime Skinz, Vade Retro. In partnership with Bpifrance, Business France organizes ubi i/o, a yearly 10-week acceleration program helping the best French startups to successfully launch in America.
Judith Walker –