In just four years, VivaTechnology has established itself as one of the most prominent technological events in the world. In addition, there is no doubt that this recent 2019 edition was the place to be for everyone interested in innovation.

Jack Ma (Alibaba), Ginni Rometty (IBM), Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia) and even the most famous chess player, Garry Kasparov, spoke – among many others – at the many conferences organised around the event. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, and the Canadian Prime minister, Justin Trudeau, also made the trip.

In total, more than 124,000 visitors and some 13,000 start-ups attended the event, event which Luxembourg, only a 2 hours train ride from Paris, could not miss. Already present last year, the local ecosystem, represented by Luxinnovation, the Chamber of Commerce, the House of Startups and the Ministry of Economy, had a 40 m2 stand this year.

A new brand for the ecosystem

Surrounded by stands from Wallonia, Armenia and Taiwan, Luxembourg attracted many entrepreneurs. Many came with specific questions about, for example, access to the Fit 4 Start programme to give their start-up a first boost, or to learn more about the advantages of the Grand Duchy in internationalising their business.

This presence was also an opportunity to test the new brand given to the ecosystem through the website. An extensive communication campaign based on the video testimonies of four entrepreneurs  was launched prior to the event and showed very good results.

“The people who came to see us didn’t stumble upon us by chance. They had already heard about Luxembourg and wanted to know more”, explains Stéphanie Silvestri, Advisor – Start-up Acceleration at Luxinnovation.

“The contacts we had were very good quality and this shows that the reputation of our start-up ecosystem extends internationally.”

An observation shared by the Chamber of Commerce: “Our participation at VivaTech with a national pavilion has once again proved to be a success in terms of the contacts made and the satisfaction of the start-ups and other Luxembourgers in attendance. It is important for the Grand Duchy to be present at this exhibition, which has become a must attend in just 4 years,” says Jeannot Erpelding, director, International Affairs at the Chamber of Commerce.

Eight satisfied start-ups

This year’s major innovation was the presence of eight Luxembourg start-ups, each of which received a booth with their own logo. A godsend for BIM-Y, Clickbye, CoinPlus, Keexle, Moovee, MySardines, Startalers and Zero.1, who received very interesting visits, some of which could lead to closed business.

“We are really very happy with our presence, because we met several very large companies,” confirms Thouraya Meftah, CEO and co-founder of BIM-Y. “And unlike other shows, it was the decision-makers who came and with whom we were able to speak directly.”

Networking and guided tours

Another new feature this year: a networking reception was organised with the Belgian ecosystem to encourage exchanges and meetings between promising start-ups and respective institutional players, within the magnificent framework of the Wallonia-Brussels representation in Paris. This reception highlighted the solid understanding between the two countries, which cooperate closely on many levels and have long shared a common history.

For Luxembourg visitors to this exhibition, two guided tours around cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and security were also organised in partnership with Wavestone. These tailor-made tours have led to the discovery of 20 very promising start-ups, as they have been selected to exhibit in the “Innovation Labs” of major international groups.


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