Exploring the Parisian startup scene
To date, I have experience working in multiple accelerators in RocketSpace, a tech-focused startup accelerator, and Founder’s factory, a multisector accelerator. I am an MSc Entrepreneurship student and have worked in business development as well as in product design. I was incredibly excited to discover different startup ecosystems abroad, so when I heard about the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Study Tour in Paris, it seemed like a great opportunity to learn more!
During the trip, we visited a range of different organisations. Most notably, we visited the British Embassy and Station F, the largest accelerator hub I’ve ever seen and even Vivatech, Europe’s largest tech conference. It was great to understand the nature of entrepreneurship in France from these different angles. I didn’t know France was such a leader in tech, deep AI and innovation!
The highlight of the trip was definitely attending Vivatech. At this conference, I managed to see a wealth of different tech innovations ranging from young startups in robotics to new AI coming from Google and Facebook. I even managed to see French President Emmanuel Macron and my personal idol Jack Ma!
Throughout the week I had plenty of time to relax and enjoy the city with my peers. I was excited to meet and connect with other students from different backgrounds and master’s programmes. I found myself travelling by electric scooter everywhere – I highly recommend! And of course eating my way through the week!
The study trip has not only changed the way I saw Paris, but also the way I see entrepreneurship! Previously having studied French, I saw Paris as a cultural hub, but now I understand that there is a growing and thriving startup scene.
Moving forward from this trip and looking at my future after I finish my master’s, I am now more certain that I want to work in the startup space, whether that means starting my own venture or being part of an early-stage startup. I am hugely grateful to Cass and the team that headed up this field trip. I believe I have got the most out of it and may have potentially found myself a job in Paris!
James Song, MSc Entrepreneurship (2019)