The Vivatech high tech show for professionals and the general public presented a preview to journalists and industry insiders last Wednesday, indicating a continued strong presence from Israel, and a focus this year on Africa.
Co-organized by advertising giant Publicis and Maurice Lévy, chairman of the supervisory board of Publicis Groupe, and the press group Les Echos, the Vivatech show, scheduled for May 24-26, will now feature at least nine country pavillons…Israel, Russia, South Korea, Morocco, Tunisia, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Last year, Israel's was the dominant country pavillon, along with Tunisia.
Maurice Lévy told the gathering at the Quai d’Orsay, the French foreign ministry (an indication of the high-level government support he has for this show), “I’m speaking with President Paul Kagame to ensure a strong presence from Rwanda.”
So far, more than 1,000 start-ups have signed up for the show this year, including 100 from the African continent. Levy said the Israeli presence would be strong, as it was last year. 40% percent of start-ups attending last year were from outside France.
“Vivatech has an ongoing love story with Israel,” he commented. This very strong statement drew no reaction from the preview gathering at the foreign ministry. Last year, in a ninety-minute session at the show devoted to Israeli startups, Maurice Lévy began with a tribute to Shimon Peres, and introduced Peres's son Chemi Peres, head of Pitango, a huge venture capital fund, who said, "My father believed that science and technology, and research and education, are the way to bring up standards in developing countries.”
This year, with the focus on Africa, preview speakers commented on changes there.
Rebecca Enonchong, founder and head of AppsTech, noted, “Currently there are about 300 tech hubs across Africa. In 2010, there were six. The challenge is the management and financing of start-ups on the continent. We underestimate their quality. The context is so difficult that those which succeed are very strong.”
More than 300 speakers will be featured this year, according to the Vivatech organisers. Key figures among them are Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO of IBM, Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco, and Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 19, 2018
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