French talent goes global

The ubi i/o 2015 acceleration program starts today, with the eight startups selected to take part arriving in San Francisco. Monday will mark the start of the 10-week program run by Business France, the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, and Bpifrance, France’s public investment bank. During this time, the eight startups will be immersed in the Silicon Valley ecosystem with a view to building a long-term presence in the American market.


Accelerating the development of French startups


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After the success of the first program in 2014, Business France and Bpifrance are welcoming this year’s ubi i/o acceleration program cohort to San Francisco. From autonomous drones and rich media to security applications, to optimizing application performance and 360° cameras, these eight startups are standard-bearers for the creativity and innovation of “La French Tech”. Some them have already made an impression in the United States, such as Giroptic at the CES in Las Vegas, while others have made themselves known through crowdfunding sites; Giroptic and Squadrone System raised US$1.4 million and US$1.3 million, respectively, through KickStarter, while Evercontact raised US$1 million before arriving in San Francisco, and Pradeo has just signed an agreement that will see its solution hosted on Samsung’s B2B platform.


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10 weeks of immersion in Silicon Valley to move up a level


For the eight startups, the acceleration program begins today. For 10 weeks, they will each receive on-location support from their own special Business France advisor, as well as from Bpifrance consultants. The first week will almost exclusively involve intensive coaching on the Silicon Valley business culture, before a customized action plan is drawn up and their offerings are adapted to the American market. “The business development done during ubi i/o’s 10 weeks was amazing,” says Adrien Gendre from Vade Retro. “We would have wasted a lot of time doing the same work ourselves.” “Before, we thought of ourselves as a French company,” admit Jean-Marc Pericone and Jerem Febvre, co-founders of Sublime Skinz. “Now, we are international. Just two months after the ubi i/o program ended, we’ve created a subsidiary in the United States.


While the going may have been very tough, the eight participants selected to take part in last year’s ubi i/o program certainly didn’t waste any time. At the end of the 10 weeks, all the startup bosses agreed that their ideas had been transformed and that they now saw the way forward for their business in a totally different light. Six of the eight businesses have already opened a California-based subsidiary, only four months after the program ended.