This morning, I received a phone call from the French Consulate. I needed to be prepared, French Wink has been selected with 7 others start-ups to meet and have a little chat with….the President of the French Republic passing by New York!!!! It was an incredible experience, I only learned the day before the exact location of the meeting.
I found myself side by side with the greatest French entrepreneurs! Jonathan Benhamou and Clement Buyse, the two co-founders of PeopleDoc were the hosts of the meeting. PeopleDoc is a cloud-based HR Service Delivery & HR Document Management platform. Other big players, Alexis Le-Quoc for Datadog, Laetitia Gazel Anthoine, for Connecthings, and famous in the French Tech world in New York, Frédéric Montagnon was also there to present Secret Media. Coming from France, Gaël Duval, the organizer of The French Touch Conference and Sandra Rey, the founder of Glowee made especially the trip. Rey and her team created a biolighting living system without electricity consumption or light pollution emission, thanks to natural properties of bioluminescent living! [Sounds good for a dedicated post!] And Fabrice Sergent for Bandsintown, a unique platform for tour announcements, live concert news, interviews with artists and bands, live reviews, and for getting concert tickets. And myself, for French Wink.
The goal of French President Hollande was to prove that French expatriates entrepreneurs are actually created business in France. All of us around the table had a strong link with our home country. So I introduced French Wink to my president with a bunch of journalists on my back and above all, Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign affairs and international development JUST behind me. And I explain how we have created a path between the two countries to help French creative companies (from national heritage company to tech) to get into the US market and grow thanks to an omni-channel strategy based on sharing economy and combining logistics, digital branding and retail. Francois Hollande was attentive and listening. It was a very strange and fantastic experience at the same time.
What a day!