France, Is It The New Epicenter For Tech?

In a blog post last month, I covered the world renowned technology trade show, CES 2016. Thousands of professionals from around the world gathered in Las Vegas to showcase their latest technology. Of the 3,800 exhibitors at this year’s show, a substantial amount of those were startup companies. Eureka Park, the startup destination at CES, welcomed over 500 companies this year, compared to 375 in 2015.

Panos Petropoulos CES 2016

2016 CES showcased a number of startups from France this year, of the participating 500 startups, 130 of them were French. TechCrunch recently released an article reflecting on these companies, French Startups Are Also Taking Over CES. TechCrunch attributes the growth of these French startups to La French Tech, which is backed by the government to improve the startup community. Fortune.com released an article following CES 2016 claiming “France Is Tech’s Unexpected Powerhouse”. Of the 165 most innovative companies, from CES Unveiled, 45 came from France. So what did we see from France at this year’s show that has everyone talking?

10-Vins released their “Nespresso-style espresso brewing” wine machine at CES last month. The D-Vine “brews” single-serve pours of wine from specifically selected wineries by 10-Vins. Similarly to a coffee pod, the vial is placed in the machine and in 30 seconds pours a glass of wine at the proper temperature based on individual microchips. 10-Vins claims that the microchips on each of their vials signal to the machine how to decant each glass of wine, which to 10-Vins co-founder Thibaut Jarrousse, “is very complicated to get right.”

Another company at the forefront of the French spotlight, which I found rather resourceful, was Wistiki. Have you ever misplaced your wallet or perhaps keys while running errands? Wistiki has developed a more compact line of Bluetooth tags for those who tend to spend an agonizing amount of time in search of easily lost items. Creator, Philippe Starck, designed three different tags which can be attached to pretty much anything. The most enticing in the bunch is the Hopla!, a credit card shaped tag that can live in your wallet. In the event your item is misplaced, you can locate the item through the Wistiki App with a ringtone or the GPS coordinates, brilliant!

It’s rather exciting to see so many budding startups come from France. After this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, I think the question on most people’s minds is, is this merely a good run for French companies or will France become a competing international tech hub?  Only time will tell, however, they’re certainly off to a good start. For more blogs on emerging tech, check back at PanosPetopoulos.eu!