So it has been just over a month since the Tenderfoot team made the 22-hour journey from Adelaide to Paris and we thought it might be time for an update on what we have been doing.
‘La France est un pays ouvert’ – The Welcome Ceremony
As you may have seen on social media, we were honoured to be welcomed to Paris by President Francois Hollande and French Innovation Minister Axelle Lemaire. It was an inspiring day – all of the startups from last year pitched their companies to top VC firms and the French media. It was also fascinating to hear (from all of the speakers!) some really impressive digs at the British as Mr Hollande declared the importance of Europe and bringing foreign talent into France.
Some interesting stats from last year, in which 23 startups participated:
– 50% have registered entities in France (either a company or subsidiary)
– 19/23 are continuing their businesses in France this year
– 2.8M EUR was raised during the year across 8 of the companies (most are seeking funding now)
M. Hollande also let us know that for this year, 2,700 entrepreneurs applied across more than 1,000 projects so we are definitely very proud to be here.
Paris & Co – Welcome City Lab
We have settled into our incubator and hit the ground running, setting ourselves some ambitious goals and planning some awesome new features for our users to enjoy. It is already mind-blowing to see how well connected some of the incubator leaders are and how helpful they are in putting our team in touch with the right people. There are 30 travel tech companies currently working out of Welcome City and we’re the leading travel innovation incubator in Europe. In fact, the meeting room had just been occupied by Marriott Hotels doing a session with the entrepreneurs. We are proud to be the first foreign company to join the incubator as they move towards a more international model. We’re the first step in their 3-year plan to have 30% of the startups as foreign companies. Hugely exciting!
Further, we have already pitched our product at two induction events and so far the response has been positive. Next step: Master the pitch in French.
Life in Paris
The bureaucracy is REAL. It’s taking us a bit of time to battle our way through the tonnes of paperwork. Be warned if you plan on moving here that you gotta be patient.
It’s been cold. A couple morning runs along the Seine in -3 degrees have been less than kind on the fingers.
Parisians speak fast, very fast. Either that or our French is slow. Combination of the two I’m guessing. One thing we have mastered is how to order a coffee. Thankfully, the specialty coffee industry in Paris is getting some serious traction (in no small part due to us). We have found and added all the best Parisian coffee spots to the App so you guys can all enjoy!
The Velib’ system here has proven extremely handy for getting around and exploring the city without being consumed in the overcrowded metro. For 30 Euros a year you can ride the city bikes anywhere you like. Spots we have cycled to so far include; The Eiffel Tower, Pois de Vincennes, Arc de Triomphe (scary traffic), Chatelet (more scary traffic) & the Canal Saint-Martin.
We told ourselves we would try and throw ourselves into as much as possible this year, so when we had no accomodation sorted and a few days before we started in our new office, we made the impulse decision to take on the French Alps. I was taught how to ski by my expert skiing compadres Mitch & Lucas. There’s nothing like -12 degree weather and 3,200m of altitude to wake you up after staying a little too late at the Apres-Ski. It was amazing couple of days and hopefully we can make another more “business-related” trip down there soon.
We will keep you updated on our year ahead. If you’re in Paris or coming anytime soon, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! Make sure you’ve joined our community on the App Store or Google Play.