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It is sometimes difficult to find the right benchmarks to monitor the evolution of a sector. But Vivatech, the international trade fair dedicated to technological innovation and start-ups, could become a relevant measuring tool for evaluating the growth and dynamism of the Luxembourg start-up ecosystem. In one year, it has in fact grown by 4m2! The surface of the Luxembourg booth for the 2019 edition, which will be held on 16-18 May in Paris, will be 40m2, compared to 36 last year.

This development may seem derisory, but Vivatech is one of the main tech meetings in Europe. More than 100,000 participants, including nearly 2,000 investors and 9,000 start-ups, are expected, and this small increase in booth space shows that the national ecosystem is expanding.

This is the second consecutive year that Luxembourg will be represented at this innovation fair. Although this will only be the fourth edition of the event, Emmanuel Macron wants Vivatech to become the European counterpart of CES in Las Vegas. This year, Luxembourg’s presence is once again the result of a collaboration between the Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of the Economy, Luxinnovation and the House of Startups.

“The experience we gained during our first participation will allow us to improve the layout of our booth. We will use the surface better by separating different sections intended for the ecosystem and for professional meetings,” confirms Laurence Hulin, Advisor – Start-up acceleration at Luxinnovation.

“We will also select a dozen start-ups that will have access to dedicated space to exhibit their offer during the fair,” she adds. “It is important to make Luxembourg’s assets and the players of our ecosystem better known. We will also focus on better communicating about our presence.”

Contacts with large groups

Since its creation, Vivatech has not only wanted to establish itself as one of the major events for new technologies worldwide, but also to propose a concept that differs slightly from that of its competitors.

One of the special characteristics of the Paris fair is that it offers considerable space to large groups, such as BNP Paribas, LVMH, Thales and Oracle, who, in turn, select start-ups and organise their own pitching sessions.

“This creates a dynamism and a special atmosphere. We feel the energy of the start-ups, but also that of the large groups. The big companies will also pitch to increase their attractiveness and present their R&D and innovation activities”, said Maxime Baffert, one of the two managers of the event, to Paperjam last year.

“The additional advantage of Vivatech for Luxembourg start-ups, in addition to networking, is that it is a great opportunity to develop and strengthen links with France and internationally and to attract new partners to Luxembourg,” says Karin Schintgen, CEO of the House of Startups. “In addition, Vivatech takes place a few days before ICT Spring and the Luxembourg Accelerator Bootcamp (LAB), thus constituting an added value for foreign start-ups that want to benefit as much as possible from their visit in Europe.”

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