Is Paris taking the lead in the Digital Economy?

Following landmark meeting with Paris Region Lab – a vivid initiative headed by Jean-François Gallouin to develop Parisian incubators, and support start-ups in accessing city RFPs, and handle innovative experiments over the Greater Paris territory-  I had the chance to listen to Cécile Tevet, and discover another side illustrating how Paris has become truely digital.

‘Digital native’, Paris cannot be, due to its respectable age; but ‘digital friendly’, yes we can!

Cécile Tevet is International Business Development Director IT& Software at Paris Region Economis Development Agency. The Paris Region Economic Development Agency is a non-profit organization providing services to foreign companies to soft land in the region. Its experts can support in accessing the market, partnering with private and public research programs, finding premises, taking care of the environment, recruiting people, getting all the legal and tax information needed to set-up your activity.

Cécile is particularly active in the IT & Software field, promoting the Paris Region Business & Research ecosystem, and attracting inward investments: HQ & Sales offices, R&D centers, Strategic and Business partnerships.

Paris Region combines 4 key assets for digital innovation:

  1. a large adressable market: Paris region is third highest concentration of ‘Fortune 500’ companies in the world, and ranks first in Europe, with a GDP of $Md 845 in 2011; 11,7 millions people live in Paris region, and 42 millions people come to visist Paris each year;
  2. a region keen on innovation with partnerships with research centers CEA and Inria, an impressive number of 100 000 reserchers working in the area, and a tax rebate incentive for innovation investment;
  3. an amazing set of skills with top 3 schools both in Business and IT & Engineering; new type of digital schools are soaring; they are named  Web school Factory, Ecole 42, or Simplon, involving revisited ways of teaching; several Masters are dedicated to Innovation, crossing multiple disciplines such as design thinking or tech start-up approach (PIC, School Lab CPI, MTI and Telecom EMBA); Stanford has even launched with Polytechnique school a Parisian version of its famous Stanford Ignite acceleration program for innovators and entrepreneurs!
  4. active opinion leaders buidling a vision of digital transformative potential.

Cécile was presenting at API Days, and she developed her vision about the evolutionary path API follow from consumer web services to infrastructure, and business processes, giving examples of Parisian start-ups developing slick APIs:, a collective funding pot exposing a financial payment API, Box API for Nuxeo content management platform, or the API combinator, Webshell. Cécile focuses mainly on Cloud, API management, Open source, Embedded systems, and IT security.

Cécile also helps Entrepreneurs to start their activity in Paris region, a thriving place for tech ventures she says: ‘In Paris, we have a convergence of a very active development community, market traction for new usage in technology, and a real innovation-driven consciousness supported through public policies and private entrepreneurship. You can see this in the proliferation of incubators and accelerators here providing a strong support environment for new startups to operate in.’

Would you like to dig into Paris burgeoning digital activities, and dedicated support for start-ups? Check-out these links:

And get in touch with Cécile!

image credits: Paris Region Eco Dev Agency, Paris, Cécile Tevet Paris Region

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    future of TV - Leading by InnovatingNicolas is a senior VP at Orange Innovation Group. Serial innovator, he set-up creative BU with an international challenge, and a focus on new TV experiences. Forward thinker, he completed a thesis on “Rapid Innovation”, implemented successfully at Orange, and further developed at He tweets @nicobry

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Nicolas Bry

Serial innovator, Nicolas has set up creative units for new business at Orange, Club-Internet, and SFR. Nicolas created crowd platform, Orange Studio for Intrapreneurs, and edits Open Innovation blog International speaker, entrepreneurs & startups coach, innovation teacher at Telecom ParisTech, HEC & CentraleSupélec, and freelance consultant (ECC). Follow him at @nicobry.




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