Today, we interview Camille Pene, Director of Futur en Seine Festival at Cap Digital. Futur en Seine is one of the main digital conferences in France, it will be held on June 11th-21st in Paris.
Could you briefly present Futur en Seine and its genesis?
FUTUR EN SEINE is an international digital festival taking place every year in Paris for 10 days in June. Everyone’s invited to test and exhibit the latest French and International digital innovations and discover the life of tomorrow.
The original idea was to rejuvenate the old international exhibitions around the digital scene. After all, The Eiffel Tower was built for the International Exhibition of Paris in 1889 as a symbol of innovation and modernism! Less known than the Eiffel Tower, the Seine river is yet one of the greatest symbol of Paris, gathering all its inhabitants, its bridges, each one with its own identity. Just like the Seine River, Futur en Seine is meant to be the link between the citizens and the inventors. That’s how the first edition was launched in 2009 by Cap digital, the French business cluster for digital content and services.
In 2014, Futur en Seine showcased 177 innovative projects by startups, big companies, research and design labs. In the course of ten days, 14 conferences and 45 workshops took place as well as 150 partner events. 25 countries were represented, and the event gathered 78 000 visitors.
What are the specificities of this year’s event?
The 6th edition will take place from June 11-21, 2015. The core of the event, the Innovation Village (June 11-14) will be located in three different venues in the heart of Paris (CNAM, Gaîté Lyrique & NUMA). It will comprise an exhibition of innovative products from all over the world – the best are awarded by the public; high level international conferences and workshops; a business area with specific networking events for startups and big companies; and of course, cocktails & parties to foster networking.
After the Innovation Village, the festival will spread out to the whole Paris Region from June 15-21.
This year program of conferences will cover 3 large areas of innovation: business, technology, society. The society conferences track will particularly look into innovations that effectively tackle climate change – from greenhouse gas monitoring and clean tech to sustainable city systems– as an echo to COP21, the climate conference hosted by Paris in 2015.
The demo area will showcase services and products from the following key markets : Media, Communication, Retail, Digital business and E-government, Education, Smart living, Tourism, Care, 3D and Immersive, Data, Mobile services, Gamification, Design IoT, Robotics, Green and Clean Tech.
What are you offering these startups during Futur en Seine?
Startups selected through our call for participation will benefit from a free demo booth in the Innovations Village (June 11-14), communication support (Futur en Seine website, newsletter and blog), access to the Business area (B2B meetings, pitch sessions with big companies and investors and open innovation workshops). There is also a possibility of becoming a speaker of the conference program for selected startups.
As organizers, we make sure to create lots of networking opportunities for startups, including the after party program of events and parties.
What is at stake for non-French companies?
Futur en Seine gives non-French companies the best opportunities to connect with a large innovation ecosystem. Last year, each participant to the demo area made 380 business connections on average.
It is also a great time to test a project of expanding to the European market. Futur en Seine specificity is to gather a crowd of companies, decision-makers and users within a defined time slot. Startups which consider soft-landing in France can profitably use this opportunity to find their first partners and customers. Entrepreneurs also really appreciate the exposure to a large audience as a way to test their product or service and get feedback from thousands of potential local users.
Last but not least, Futur en Seine boosts startups visibility. Last year, 150 journalists were present which led to more than 800 media mentions in the press, TV and online media. We hope to get even more media attention on the participants this year!