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France: a land of innovation? Once again this year, a number of French startups made waves at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2016). Emmanuel Macron, the French Minister for the Economy and Finance, notably made the trip to represent France at the innovation expo in Las Vegas.

The French Tech edge

At this year’s 49th edition of the Consumer Electronics Show, which took place from January 6-9, France showed up in record numbers, with some 200 startups in attendance from every corner of France. Nearly a third of the young startups, 148 total, on the “Eureka Park” exhibit floor came from France! 

This strong showing by French small businesses is nothing new. In 2015, there were 66 startups from France present at the Las Vegas event. So what changed? French innovation has now gained a high international profile, notably through the “French Tech” ecosystem of entrepreneurs, investors, engineers and designers now crowned with success. One of its stars, Criteo, in particular, joined the NASDAQ index in 2013. 

French government in attendance

The French Minister of the Economy and Finance, Emmanuel Macron, also made the trip to show support for French entrepreneurs and meet with the various players in the electronics and digital industry. His agenda included meetings with the Executive Chairman of Cisco Systems, John Chambers, the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, and the director of Google X labs, Astro Teller. 

The meetings should lead to a new round of support for innovative French startups, whose expertise has earned recognition from some of the biggest American companies. Cisco and Microsoft both announced plans to invest massive sums in French connected object technology, $200 million and €83 million respectively.

L’Atelier BNP Paribas on the front lines

Based in Paris, Shanghai and San Francisco, L’Atelier BNP Paribas attended CES 2016 in Las Vegas as a privileged partner of “French Tech SF.” It is also a founding member of the West Coast arm of “French Tech,” an initiative backed by the French Ministry of the Economy and Finance to promote startups and connect them with international players and partners who can support their development. On the sidelines of CES, Nathalie Doré, CEO of L’Atelier BNP Paribas SF, took part in the official launch of French Tech San Francisco, whose ambassadors include the CEOs of companies like 1000mercis, Scality, Criteo and Tango, among others.

Along with Parisoma (a coworking space opened by Fabernovel in SoMa, San Francisco), L’Atelier BNP Paribas plans to offer organizational support to French Tech SF. L’Atelier will also host “meetups” bringing together influencers to discuss entrepreneurship and new technologies.

CES 2016 in figures

  • 18 days to set up stands for the 4-day event
  • 3,673 exhibitors 
  • 162,000 visitors 
  • 20,000 innovations presented 
  • 223,000 square meters of exhibit space 
  • 6,575 media outlets on site