A return of experience from Vivatech, the biggest startup conference in Europe
We attended mostly to meet with various companies and discuss about Stenusys Scrumboard but we also took time to attend few conferences and look at many awesome innovations. Here are few highlights of our visit.
Part 1: Vivatech as a startup
On our booth
We had a stand on IMT booth to present our product, Scrumboard.
They were many (many) stands like ours, and obviously visitors (academic, investors, executives, press) focus mainly on startups they already know about, so entrepreneurs should not expect to have all visitors stopping by.
Yet we had many interesting visits and discussions around our product and software engineering in general, like what we discuss in our series Scrum hoax.
Our booth at 7:30 am (!) on the first day
We had also visits of students looking for a job or an internship. Less so from more senior developers. So if your startup is searching for new young talents, Vivatech may bring some valuable contacts.
Visiting companies' booths
This is however not really how you make most connections at Vivatech. Most of them are coming by visiting the booths of the companies you want to meet.
It is our biggest take-away from Vivatech: the accessibility of the executives and the warm welcome startupers receive from very large companies. This is absolutely incredible.
A very popular option to present your startup is the pitch. There are many stages on which startups can pitch their products and services. The selection is done prior to the show by the organizer of the contest.
You can pitch either on dedicated stages or on the stand of some companies. The audience is rather kindly, which is appreciated.
There is a strong media presence at Vivatech. Many interviews are run directly on the booth or the stand of the interviewee. We have seen some journalists looking for a particular startup to get a pitch.
Some others are done on media booths, setup as real studios:
Afterwork: Viva on the docks
Networking does not stop at the gate of the venue. Nothing better than relaxing around a free drink on the Seine's docks after such busy days.
Part 2: Vivatech as a visitor
We took time to visit the tradeshow as regular visitors.
And for sure there are some great things to see from that angle as well !
Innovation of all sorts
For sure, innovation is not always about fancy demos and drones and Virtual Reality. But as sure as this is true, the more the innovation is visual the more success you get in such tradeshow.
Here are some of the most awesome looking innovations we have seen.
A flying car from Airbus:
A flying ... boat? from SeaBubbles:
The IBM Quantic computer (hard to tell how it works, but that is absolutely beautiful right?):
All sorts of VR experiences, here at Vinci
IA playing starcraft by Facebook
Nice talks from world leaders
Nowadays, the biggest influencers of the world are leaders of large companies. They are by far in majority among the speakers at Vivatech. There are as well great institutional leaders stepping in. Here are few people that gave a talk that time:
From US tech giants:
- - Satya Nadella - CEO of Microsoft,
- - Mark Zuckerberg - CEO of Facebook,
- - Virginia Rometty - CEO of IBM,
- - Stewart Butterfield - CEO of Slack,
- - David Gurle - CEO of Symphony,
- - Dara Khosrowshahi - CEO of Uber,
- - William Levi - CEO of Dow Jones,
- - Bill McDermott - CEO of SAP,
- - Chuck Robbins - CEO of Cisco
From French companies and institutions:
- - Emmanuel Macron - President of France,
- - Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin - Chair of CNIL,
- - Patrice Caine - CEO of Thales,
- - Bernard Arnaud - CEO of LVMH,
- - Jean-Paul Agon - CEO of L'Oreal,
- - Nathalie Collin - CEO of La Poste,
- - Cathering Guillouard - CEO of RATP,
- - Sylvie Jehanno - CEO of SNCF,
- - Octave Kabla - CEO of OVH,
- - Isabelle Kocher - CEO of Engie,
- - Mari-Noelle Jego-Laveissiere - CTO of Orange,
- - Denis Machuel - CEO of Sodexo
That is just an extract, from the biggest names. You will as well see very diverse profiles on stage to discuss tech in all possible ways.
However the biggest star this year was...
As the GDPR day was right in the middle of the conference, many talks were discussing that subject. From tech giants' point of view (Facebook) and from regulation one (the CNIL, the French Government). Very interesting indeed.
Few talks we attended to:
You can seize the opportunity to take selfies with famous people visiting.
We have seen many politics and leaders, but if this is not your taste, you can as well find some alternatives:
At Stenusys we did not enroll for the hackathon organized during Vivatech. But it looked pretty cool as well ! 1000 participants had 24h to tackle one among several challenges proposed by few companies. The winners of each challenge wins 5000e and recognition from their fellow hackers.
All in all Vivatech has been an awesome event. Very well organized (except food supply, nearly impossible to get food in a resonnable timing), with very good speakers, 9000 startups from the whole spectrum of the tech industry, 100 000 visitors, 2000 investors, many great large companies opening their doors and their minds to this ecosystem.
A must for startups, especially for B2B and B2B2C.
See you next year !