100,000 visitors from 125 countries, including 9,000 start-ups, attended this third edition of the show.
It provided a good opportunity for sharing or discovering the latest trends, of which some already impact our daily lives or will very soon.
This edition is also exceptional for Luxembourg which had, for the first time, a national pavilion organised by Chamber of Commerce, in close collaboration with the Ministry of the Economy, Luxinnovation and the House of Startups. The pavilion was also supported by the Luxembourg Embassy in Paris.
A delegation of 50 Luxembourg companies
During the three days of the event, from 24 to 26 May, the Luxembourg stand was constantly busy. The presentation of the national ecosystem of start-ups arouse much interest from visitors, and Luxinnovation’s start-up team made more than one hundred contacts.
“Vivatech was a real success in terms of the number of participants and visits to the Luxembourg pavilion,” confirmed Jean-Michel Ludwig, Start-up Support & SME Performance Director. “A lot of follow-up work is now starting that we hope will result in participation in our Fit 4 Start acceleration programme and the creation of new businesses in the Grand Duchy.”
On the sidelines of the pavilion itself, about 50 Luxembourg companies of all sizes made the trip to the fair over these three days. And the enthusiasm is unanimous. “Discussions and networking with participating companies and organisations from Luxembourg were very interesting”, explains Olivier Chabin, Innovation Office at Cargolux. “I also had the opportunity to interact with many start-ups with whom we could work and to discover, through pitches and presentations, the different approaches related to innovation of large groups.”
It was not necessary to be a start-up in order to enjoy and benefit from the event. “It’s huge, we were amazed,” says Eddy Nicolas, Head of Project Management Team & Delivery Manager at the insurer La Mondiale Europartners. An insurance company is also interested in fields such as HR, operations, finance and so on. We were able to absorb the latest trends, especially on everything related to robotics and artificial intelligence. We made contacts that we now must explore further.”
“We will come back next year as an exhibitor”
Kevin Muller (Passbolt) also had a lot of exchanges and discussions during the fair with a specific goal: to prepare a next round of fundraising. “We pitched in different directions and established contacts with venture capitalists and business angels. This allowed us to gather feedback and identify weaknesses in our offer. Probably we will come back next year as an exhibitor.”
After tasting Vivatech, it is hard to go without. CarPay-Diem
already made a first appearance in 2017, at the invitation of equipment supplier Valeo. This time, the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires offered the Luxembourg start-up the opportunity to pitch its solution in front of a very large public. “Several leaders of big companies, and not only French ones, approached us to set up appointments in the coming weeks. Different investors also showed an interest in our solution. The audience was larger than the previous year, as was the number of start-ups. The event has become essential and it was important for Luxembourg to be present,” summarises CarPay-Diem CEO Frédéric Stiernon.
When Diane Tea, representing this year the Luxembourg Business Angels Network (LBAN), participated in the first edition in 2016, she was “illuminated” by the fair to the point of creating her own company a few months later. “Although there were many more people this year, we still found this great spirit of innovation and many opportunities to make interesting meetings and business,” she says, although not without showing some regrets: “Many of us could not attend the speeches of the great CEOs such as Satya Nadella or Mark Zuckerberg due to the lack of space. But the organisers have promised to rethink the configuration for next year. ”
“The importance of such events to promote our ecosystem”
Elias Chbeir (Executive Leadership Intelligence & Advisory Services) participated for the first time as a member of a delegation whose diversity he appreciated: incubators, investors and organisations such as Loic or the Business Club Luxembourg-France.
“There was perhaps a lack of Luxembourg start-ups in the fields of artificial intelligence, Blockchain, IoT or others,” he says. “But I was able to meet some interesting European companies, some of whom could come and pitch at LBAN for possible investments. I also discovered various technological advances during my visit and during the Executive Tour on Friday: a flying car, deliveries inspired from Uber, 3D projections on machines, etc. ”
Marc Lemmer, Head of Technology Transfer Office at SnT at the University of Luxembourg, also made some discoveries, despite his extensive experience in the market and in the innovation field. “I had some meetings already planned, both with players already established in Luxembourg and with companies that are not yet there. But the network effect set in and in the end I had many more appointments. I saw that for many, Luxembourg is not yet on their radar. Hence the importance of such meetings to promote our ecosystem.”
And he dreams with a smile of the development of a “killer application” by a start-up: “Innovation is also made of acceleration and patience. But if someone finds the way to digitise and model the queues to define which one will be the fastest, please contact me!”
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Luxinnovation contributes to the economic development of Luxembourg by fostering innovation, fuelling international growth and attracting foreign direct investment and is supported by: Ministry of the Economy, Ministry for Higher Education and Research, Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg Chamber of Skilled Crafts and FEDIL – The Voice of Luxembourg’s Industry.