The better the question. The better the answer. The better the world works. У вас есть вопрос? У нас есть ответ. Решая сложные задачи бизнеса, мы улучшаем мир. У вас є запитання? У нас є відповідь. Вирішуючи складні завдання бізнесу, ми змінюємо світ на краще. Meilleure la question, meilleure la réponse. Pour un monde meilleur. 問題越好。答案越好。商業世界越美好。 问题越好。答案越好。商业世界越美好。

EYnovation takes Belgian startups on Go Global Mission to Paris

 

“This has been the perfect pressure cooker: in a few days’ time, you know whether the French market is interesting for your startup”
– Nikolaas Bellens, Kazi

The introduction of Belgian startups and scale-ups in the ecosystem of other countries, that is the main goal of EYnovation’s Go Global Missions. As part of The Factory, which is the innovation department of EY, EYnovation uses the international EY network to facilitate the introductions in foreign countries.

Our Go Global Mission to Paris at the end of May also served that purpose. From the 23rd of May until the 25th, our team accompanied a group of entrepreneurs through the heart of the French economy.

You would think that the average Flemish startup wouldn’t consider Paris the epicentre for startups. The image of an archaic culture and chauvinistic clichés does not really fire up the spark of enthusiasm to scale to France.

However, EYnovation was able to prove otherwise thanks to the Go Global Mission to the city of lights, leading to many inspiring encounters for our delegation of startups.

“Contrary to the bureaucratic image we have of the French economy, startups are greatly supported in France”
– Maxime De Roeck, Lancr

On the first day, after our arrival and the first introductions, we went to La Défense. In the EY office the startups visited the EY wavespace, attended demonstrations about cyber security and advanced analytics and learned about EY’s engagement for the collaboration with startups. Furthermore, a team of tax experts taught them the best ways to start up a company in France.

EY Wavespace
EY Wavespace

EY Wavespace

Relevant tips and tricks concerning entrepreneurship in Paris were provided to us by Brigitte Thito, a Belgian entrepreneur that recently launched her startup Family Selfcare in Paris.

Our group listened attentively to her eye-opening experiences. She gave us a no-nonsense testimonial about who to know and where to get your money (it’s all about the money, right?).

“Thanks to the session with Brigitte Thito, I had a very interesting introductive conversation with TERALAB on Viva Technology. Without Brigitte’s presentation, I never would have stopped at their booth!”
– Nikolaas Bellens, Kazi

Brigitte’s presentation was just in time because the day after Viva Technology kicked off, which is one of the largest tech fairs in Europe. Armed with a VIP pass, we went to the Porte de Versailles and discovered the most recent technologies and talked to potential partners and French startups that could help our startups enter into the French market.

“France is clearly putting effort in attracting foreign startups. Each booth was well documented and everyone spoke English fluently. Another thing you wouldn’t expect, right? Apart from that, we also engaged conversation with two crucial partners, which will definitely lead to follow-up conversations.”
– Maxime De Roeck, Lancr

While Mark Zuckerberg was again trying to explain Facebook’s business model on Stage One (what was the story again about the advertisers?), our group gathered on Thursday afternoon at the Pitch A stage, where Maxime pitched his startup Lancr for the Edenred challenge.

As the only non-French startup, he got the biggest applause. Of course, Maxime could count on support from the Belgian delegation.

EY - Viva Technology

Viva Technology

The great team atmosphere was definitely one of the greatest assets of the Go Global, according to the startups. The interesting mix of experienced and young entrepreneurs created a unique vibe that lead to long conversations on a Parisian terrace and a priceless list of tips & tricks on doing business as a startup.

Meeting the different entrepreneurs was one of the main reasons why Filip Tack from UnifiedPost joined the mission. Nikolaas Bellens can only agree on this:

“The unique combination of a diverse group of entrepreneurs, put together in a high-velocity environment like Viva Technology creates a very fertile cross-fertilisation.”

All fun stuff aside, we had to do some serious business as well. At the EY VIP Lounge, the startups got the chance to have a one-on-one conversation with Wouter Desmet, EY Innovation Leader for Western Europe and Maghreb.

They used the opportunity to improve their pitch and receive feedback on their business model. Wouter also evaluated if the startups could enter in a collaboration program with EY or EY’s clients.

On Friday, we gathered for the main highlight of the Go Global Mission: an exclusive lunch with important French VC’s. EY colleague Franck Sebag, organizer of the lunch, introduced each startup to relevant VC’s.

“The VC lunch was an excellent opportunity to have an informal chat with the VC’s.”
– Maxime De Roeck, Lancr

We can look back on a successful mission to Paris. The startups decided to change their opinion about doing business in France. They definitely see the potential of scaling towards Paris!

In the meantime, Eynovation™ is already in full preparation mode for a new series of Go Global Missions! In 2018, we will head for exciting destinations like Berlin, London (FinTech), Dubai, Lisbon and Helsinki. More information on our events page!.

EY - EYnovation takes Belgian startups on Go Global Mission to Paris

From the left to the right: Johannes Vermeire (POM), Filip Tack (UnifiedPost), Birgit Everaert (The Factory), Maxime De Roeck (Lancr), Jeroen De Prest (The Ledger), Pauline Bourgois (The Factory), Peter De Buck (Connecting-Expertise), Bruno Verbruggen (Cumul.io), Wouter Lachat (0smosis), Maarten Kesteloot (Influo), Nikolaas Bellens (Kazi.be). Not on the picture, but also present: Benoit Poncin (Stud), François Gerard (Helpper), Jo Dumortier (Partena Promeris), Hadrien Crespin (Cpark app) & Vincent Castus (Assisto)