Friday Inspiration is a selection of the latest innovative ideas we would like to share with our community every week.
On this week’s review: 2017 European tech ecosystem report, a revolutionary sustainable food truck, French ecosystem empowering businesswomen, and how the 2008 crisis benefited the development of the French tech movement.
The food truck that makes free lunch possible
Making food truck sustainable and modern was the goal of French Chef Ludo Lefebvre. Joining the STEM students, he created a revolutionary way of cooking and serving people on the street by using renewable energies and a recyclable system. The end-product provides carbon-neutral fuels and multiple sources of energy, such as the Pavegen system, a surface on the ground that converts pressure into energy. He managed to market the idea by challenging customers to dance/step on the platform to get a free lunch while the Chef is receiving free energy to cook. Check out the article about this French entrepreneur who made free lunch sustainable!
The growing tech ecosystem is killing pre-conceived ideas about France
“Entrepreneur” is linguistically and inherently French claims Pascal Cagni, President of Business France, the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy. For a long time, he thought France suffered from the burden of rooted misconceptions and a poor political support. Cagni points out that the French Tech movement, a community of support in French cities and abroad, contributes to the promotion of the dynamic French entrepreneurial culture. Moreover, the Talent Passport also encourages foreign talents to come do business in France. In this interview, he shares an optimistic and enthusiastic vision of the growing French ecosystem.
How the 2008 financial crisis started the French tech movement
2008 is commonly known as the year of the financial crisis, the year that caused France to experience its deepest recession since World World II. However, the financial crisis fueled the development of the French tech ecosystem. In a context of job scarcity, Business students started to turn to entrepreneurship and innovation, as it seemed less risky than large companies and banks. Entrepreneurship empowered those students shaken by the financial earthquake, and it has influenced the next generations to join the tech movement. Today, France is home to the largest incubator Station F, the cradle of successful businesses like Criteo or Blablacar. Following the study from CB Insight demonstrating that 700 new venture deals happened in France in 2017 compared with 251 in just 2015, it seems that France has a unique “momentum” to become a leader in the tech industry.
Entrepreneurship empowers French businesswomen
In France, entrepreneurship is the front door for women to have a dominant say in business! A recent Stripe study estimated that one out of four French companies created since 2015 was founded or co-founded by a female entrepreneur. Such ratio makes France the shining star of women empowerment in Europe. As a matter of fact, globally, women only account for 12% of board seats among the world’s largest companies, with 64% having one women director, and 13% with at least three. In the tech ecosystem, women find a supportive community (including both men and women) that enables them to create, build and lead their project. The following article features current leading female entrepreneurs of the French tech namely Marie Ekeland, co-Founder of Daphni; Fleur Pellerin, Founder of Korelya Capital; Marie Scheegans co-Founder of Never Eat Alone, Camille Rumani, co-Founder and COO of VizEat.
Just to build on that a bit, the list of the most active female business angels was released, including Catherine Barba, Founder & CEO of Peps Lab, a Retail Innovation Center based in NYC and Founder of the Women in Innovation Forum. We had the pleasure to listen to her inspiring talk at #LFTCNYC in June 2017!
2017, a successful year for the European tech ecosystem
The third edition of the State of European Tech is available! It draws an overview of the evolution of the growing ecosystem in the past year. The report states that the European ecosystem is defined by “deep tech expertise, incredible geographic diversification, and a uniquely collaborative approach with traditional industry.” It includes interviewees with 50+ tech actors, including Jutta Steiner, Founder of Parity Technologies; Xavier Niel, Entrepreneur at Station F, Elina Berglund Scherwitzl, CTO & Co-Founder of Natural Cycles.