At January's international EdTech event Bett, multinationals outdid one another with demonstrations, presentations and games in an effort to attract visitors and tap into the education market. However, many small companies were also on hand to present their innovations.
To help its nearly dozen exhibitors stand out in Bett's annual crowd of nearly 35,000, France, among other countries, opted for a national pavilion. The 2017 French Tech pavilion was mounted by Business France, which supports the international development efforts of French SMEs.
"It was a great chance for us to make a name for ourselves," says Rodolphe Hospice. He and his brother Guillian co-founded the digital platform Utellme, which facilitates foreign language learning by connecting classrooms worldwide.
Anne Dessemond of Business France comments, "Many French decision makers come to the event." French corporations also scour Bett for the latest innovations. This year, Business France held a packed event where French exhibitors pitched their businesses in English. The surprisingly majority French attendance was seen as a boon.
Pascal Bringer, CEO of Maskott, creator of the digital learning platform Tactileo, also observed the French phenomenon at Las Vegas' Consumer Electronics Show (CES). He notes, "Half the contacts we made there were large French companies. The main problem startups have is visibility. Bett grants you a certain aura, thanks to the French delegation."
Go Big or Go Home
Many pavilion participants have received support from French institutions also in attendance at Bett. The country's strong showing is part of a strategy to promote France's brand image. Mathieu Jeandron of the Ministry of National Education explains, "When it comes to EdTech, France has both the technical expertise and a unique approach to education."
On a fast-growing market marked by stiff international competition, pragmatism is key. Bringer says, "France's innovative spirit is highly valued abroad. Yet we always hear, "French businesses think too small." Our competitors aren't afraid to tackle the global market.
Céline Authemayou, Translated by Nina Fink | Publié le