The French Embassy in South Africa’s initiative to sponsor 10 Southern African start-ups to attend VivaTech, Europe’s largest innovation event, has presented a rare opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas on a global stage.
The selected start-ups will receive tickets to Paris, France, as well as accommodation and access to the event. However, to qualify for the programme, start-ups must fill out an application form by Tuesday, 21 March 2023.
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The top 20 applicants will be invited to pitch their ideas at the French residence in Pretoria on Monday, 24 April. The top 10 will then go on to attend VivaTech in Paris from Monday, 12 to Saturday, 17 June. The programme aims to foster innovative ideas and entrepreneurship in Southern Africa by providing a platform for start-ups to network and learn from the French innovation ecosystem.
The French Embassy’s VivaTech programme will offer participants a unique opportunity to interact with various stakeholders in the French innovation ecosystem, such as Station F, Station A, le Wagon, and incubators. The event will also feature B2B meetings tailored to start-ups’ activities, alongside participation in the exhibition itself.
While the embassy will cover the plane ticket, hotel accommodation, and access to VivaTech for the top 10 selected start-ups, participants will have to bear the costs of traveling to Pretoria for the pitch session. It is crucial for start-ups to actively engage in the accelerator programme including attending the pitch session in Pretoria, to avoid disqualification from the competition.
The French Embassy’s VivaTech programme has created a buzz among the Southern African start-up community, with many entrepreneurs seeing it as a chance to expand their networks and gain exposure to the global market.
This is especially important in light of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has significantly affected the global business environment.
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