A French Tech Club at South by Southwest

South by Southwest Interactive is now in full swing and this year it will be more French than ever thanks to the French Tech Club opening tomorrow at 311 E 5th street.

As I stated in an earlier post, French bands have been part of South by Southwest Music for years through the France Rocks initiative. But this is the first time French entrepreneurs teamed up to have a meeting place where they can gather.

I first mention the gathering place the French Tech Club represents, because it’s been an issue during the previous editions, when I needed to set up interviews with French entrepreneurs for my coverage of South by Southwest for FrenchMorning.com and other French-speaking medias.

But the main challenge for the French startups scene at South by Southwest is visibility.

French tech entrepreneurs and investors have an organization to share experiences and coordinate common actions. It’s called France Digitale (for “Digital France”). But since its inception two years ago, it’s been focused on building the tech community in France, not branding it abroad.

And Ubifrance‘s efforts to help young and small French companies to go international remain limited by the size of that French public agency’s budget.

The English-speaking blog on French startups Rude Baguette launched in 2010 did more to advertise French digital innovation abroad, enabling his founder Liam Boogar to be selected by SXSW with French Tech Club organizers for a conference on the Paris startup ecosystem.

If you’ve got a badge, note that it will take place tomorrow Sunday March 9 from 3:30PM to 4:30PM at Hilton Austin Downtown’s salon G. As a registered participant, you can also visit the French Tech Pavilion at the SXSW Trade Show. The stand has numbers 1229, 1231, 1328 and 1330.

If you don’t, you can visit the French Tech Club’s lounge from 2PM to 5PM and meet French startupers there after enjoying a brunch prepared by the French chef Rémi Fournier from Angers from 11AM.

Rémi is visiting Austin for the second time this year as part of the Austin Angers Music program, started in 2011 to create cultural exchanges between the capital of Texas and its new twin city in France.

Monday’s brunch (from 11AM to 2PM too) will be prepared by chef Rémi too, but is supported by the cultural services of the French embassy in the US. It will feature French startups:
– Azendoo (online collaborative working tool),
– Bobler (voice social media),
– Darjeeling (presenting a TV and gaming project on American writer Philipp K. Dick’s universe),
– Djehouti (online storytelling tool for journalists and other media professions),
– Evergig (sharing platform for music shows videos),
– Ex Nihilo (video game documentary Type:Rider),
– Honkytonk (interactive studio introducing its storytelling platform Klynt),
– Intuilab (interactive presentation tool),
– Lumento (audiovisual lab pitching its multimedia project Chasing Bonnie and Clyde),
– Meludia (interactive teaching of music),
– Moozar (an artist rewarding system),
– Openclassroom (Moocs website),
– Smallbang (transmedia studio presenting the CinemaCity app enabling film fans to see scenes of movies where they were shot, also selected by SXSW),
– Sounderbox (interactive jukebox),
– Whyd (music platforms agregator),
– and Wiseband (music selling platform).
But also French TV channel Canal+, that will announce its accelerator, CanalStart. Attendees will be able to pitch CanalStart for up to €100k in funding.

A total of twenty French startups made the trip to Austin. I listed them all for French Morning and invite you to meet them during the Startups cocktails at French Tech Club on Sunday, Monday on Tuesday, from 5PM to 7PM, before the French music shows scheduled on those three days at 8PM (7PM on Tuesday, that will be the biggest party).

“The demand has been overwhelming”, said French Tech Club organizers in an email. “We invite you to come early, especially for brunches and parties.” That way, you can learn about French digital innovation, not only party!

Here’s the French Tech Club’s agenda:

Sunday

  • 11am -1am: Brunch powered by French Chef Rémi Fournier from Angers.
  • 2pm – 5pm: Open Lounge.
  • 5pm – 7pm: Drinks with French Startups. Powered by Groupe La Poste.
  • 8pm – 1am: French Tech Club Opening Live Music Party. Live performances by Octopus Project, Hooka Hey and the French DJ Superpoze.
Monday

  • 11am -1am: Brunch with French Tech – powered by the French Embassy and Ubifrance.
  • 1pm – 4pm: CanalStart Speed Pitching. (Canalstart is an accelerator created by French TV channel Canal+).
  • 2pm – 5pm: French Tech Conference:
    • 2pm – 3pm: A conversation with French Ad Agencies
    • 3pm – 4pm: How do big brands work with startups
    • 4pm – 5pm: A double perspective on entrepreneurship, in France and in the US.
  • 5pm – 7pm: Drinks with French Startups. Powered by Groupe La Poste.
  • 8pm – 1am: Howdy, Mes Amis: Austins plays France. Live performances by Ben Ballinger Mrs. Glass and Bridge Farmers.

 Tuesday

  • 11am -1am: Brunch powered by French Chef Rémi Fournier from Angers.
  • 2pm – 5pm: Open Lounge.
  • 8pm – 1am: French Tech Party powered by the French Embassy and Ubifrance. Live performances by Lojo, Lys, La Femme.
You can find more details on www.frenchtechclub.com, follow the French Tech Club on Twitter using the #FrenchTechSXSW hashtag, join the Bonjour SXSW group on Facebook and watch their videos on YouTube.
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2 thoughts on “A French Tech Club at South by Southwest

  1. Pingback: French Cultures Festival is around the corner! | French in Austin

  2. Pingback: French-speaking showcase tonight at Speakeasy | French in Austin

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