This was a really great day. I have been involved in this event since 2017 in planning, and by running social media during the event (got the event trending in the Paris region in 2017). Now that I am one of the co-presidents of NextGen (the committee organizing the Startup work of AmCham) I took over a larger role in planning and running the event. Getting to present and emcee the event was so much fun. Plus it was a pleasure to work closely with Audrey Gouache, Maroiane Naami, and Anaïs Ballanger.
The 2019 edition was a bit of a re-imagining of the event. While still very much a pitch event we replaced the word pitch with startup in our promotional matterials. We also were very explicit that we were pivoting for more developed companies based in France. The way the prize package is setup is to help these companies expand into the US market. Many of the companies which had won previous editions of the competition struggled to take advantage of what the members of AmCham had contributed to the prize. This was a very good decision as it turned out some really stellar companies who could show off how far they had come. Most pitch events tend to favor or focus on younger companies.
The event took place out at Disneyland Paris with at least 400 in attendance. Disney really setup a great venue and space for us. We also added a space called the NextGen Showcase to allow startups which are members of AmCham to have a table, and be able to talk to those coming to the event. Many of the members of AmCham make it a point to attend, and this has been the largest annual event AmCham has hosted for the last 3 years. This was a great opportunity for them to network and meet future corporate partners.
We had great sponsors and great startups competing in the event. In the end it was MapWise which took the top prize, and the crowd favorite went to Euveka. Both of these are great companies with compelling services. MapWize has been around for years, and they a leading mapping platform. Euveka has made a biomimicry robotic dressform to assist in tailoring garmets. Each company has shown strong market traction, interest, and long term potential.
I was glad to have made a more proper looking typeface for the event. It is simple, but allowed us to have consistancy in the way the name of the event was presented to the members and the public.
There was also a simple promotional graphic that was shared to invite members and the public to attend. The background photo is from the 2018 edition of the pitch competition.
Photos from the Day
The Top Prize was a made up of contributions from members of the American Chamber of Commerce here in France.
- Round trip tickets to the U.S. courtesy of United Airlines
- Legal assistance by DLA Piper in France and in the U.S. thanks to its global coverage
- One afternoon of consulting with Grant Thornton.
- Private access to top French and American members of AmCham and the FACC-NY, as well as French incubators and FACC CoWork
- NextGen membership at AmCham and Active membership at the FACC-NY
- Video interview at the Les Echos studios
- Free translations worth 500 Dollars by MotaWord
- Your startup story featured on for-starters.com by SMG Agency