🚵🏼♂️ 📍 Tour de French Tech: Week 1 Recap
The Half-Way Point: From Hauts-de-France to Occitanie
It's been a wild ride thus far and we're just getting started. Here's a recap of Week 1 of the Tour de French Tech!
We've covered quite a bit of ground, starting at the tippy top of France and trekking our way down the eastern coast and across the southern border. A few startups in each region adds up: 18 have been awarded yellow, red & green jerseys thus far!
I've been sharing primarily through TikTok (short-form 3-minute videos), but due to popular demand (read: my Dad doesn't know how to use TikTok), I've repurposed the content for YouTube — check out the Playlist and subscribe for daily updates. The first video is just below 👇🏼
Instant Replay: Highlights from the Tour
It's hard to pick out one or two highlights, each region has such a diverse and innovative group of startups solving a wide variety of problems. It's been fascinating to see how the regional culture, traditions and industry has shaped the types of startups that emerge in each region. But perhaps more telling is how unified the French Tech ecosystem is around a broader vision of purpose-driven, climate-sensitive solutions for a better future. Each region had a clear stand-out, but selecting the “Green Jersey” was a challenge due to the volume of Climate Tech startups on the scene, in virtually every stage of the tour. A few key moments if you’re short on time:
OVH Cloud is the AWS (Amazon Web Services) of France & greater Europe — if you open a business here, it's likely you'll use their servers. They are a champion for Digital Sovereignty, a strategic goal of the Macron administration that I've reviewed before here.
Venture Orbital Systems is launching mini-satellites (Cube-Sats) into space to usher in the next era of communications, surveillance, navigation & more. I talked about France's Space Tech industry here.
Prooftag creates highly secure authenticity seals for wine bottles (a bit on the nose, France), cosmetics & even government documents.
Verkor is building a giga-factory to produce highly efficient batteries for electric vehicles & charging stations.
Bodyguard is leveraging AI to eliminate hate speech, bullying & toxic content from the internet.
Swile is re-engineering the employee experience, starting with a sacred French ritual: the lunch break. I wrote an in-depth piece on them early on and it's by far one of my favorite stories — read here.
Thanks for tuning in! Keep following along as we cycle our way back up the central valleys & west coast of France. Here's where you can stay up-to-date on the leaderboard: