Viva Tech 2019
This year’s VivaTech Conference was from May 16th to 19th.
What is it?
VivaTech is the world’s rendez-vous for technology focused startups and leaders. This year’s festivities were opened up by Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and the President of the Republic of France, Emmanuel Macron. Another heavy hitter who gave a talk was Alibaba creator and CEO, Jack Ma. I personally would have loved to hear Tony Elumelu speak on business and how he uses business to give back not only to his country but the African Continent through grants and other initiatives. I know you were there Tony!
The event is superbly organized. The app which you can download to your phone, tablet or computer makes it easy for you to plan how you’ll spend your time at the event. It lets you see the program for each day but also for the entire conference. You can mark what you are interested in seeing and the app will send you notifications of when the events begin and where they are. The app has a map which is especially useful for the directionally challenged like myself. The map lets you see where your events are and how to get there as well as all the other event locations, toilets, press areas and places to find food.
The exhibitors were as varied and diverse as there are coffee flavors. I’ll mention the ones I found of particular interest. The Real Flash, Usain Bolt’s electric scooters were there heralding their launch the following week he was there for day 1. The scooters were available for visitors to test. They stand out from other electric scooters because they are canary yellow with a black lightning bolt on them.
Google had a whole house with various uses of technology in each room. You could also play the Google game by getting a paper and visiting all the partners on the list and having them stamp it, then returning to the Google house to receive a prize. Now, I love goodies so I made the rounds. Google also has the Google Impact Challenge where you can pitch your technology fueled idea to help a community and stand the chance to win seed money.
AT&T brought the BatMobil because they bought out Warner Bros. and the rights to all the franchises that fall under it.
Armani had a vending machine game that enabled you to test out lipstick shades virtually using facial recognition technology and the chance to win said product if you drew the lucky ticket.
Fendi unveiled its new baguette bags with a virtual game where you could clear away virtual make-up to reveal each new piece in the collection.
Of course, there were several information solutions exhibiting. Some of the solutions that interested me were Wisebatt: a solution that helps you find the best solution for your business needs, a solution that works specifically with cold and hot data. Cold data is basically data you collected a while ago. The solution enables you to convert that old data into hot data by extrapolating new or relevant information from it. It could save you the effort of having to collect new data… basically, don’t throw away your old data ‘cause it’s still useful.
The LVMH Pavillion was basically like the Place/Square of the entire hall with several big name brands holding real estate within it including LVMH and a jumbo screen.
African heads of state, Paul Kagame and Macky Sal came to talk about the types of technologies that are in use in their countries Rwanda and Senegal. They also spoke on looking to the future as to what new technologies could best suit their countries environments.
Startlers, an investment app focused on helping women understand investing so they don’t struggle after retirement grabbed my attention. A women-centric app focused on bringing women out of poverty gets multiple thumbs up from me. Click the arrows in the photo gallery below to see inside Viva Tech 2019…
Overall it was an incredible experience to see what different countries and companies around the world are working on to better their communities using technology. It was an excellent place to see innovation in action with the various start-ups showing off their capabilities. It was also a great place to just have fun at the gameathon areas, the hackathons and the live radio and television stations broadcasting live on site. Viva Tech gets better and better with each year that passes and is definitely the place to be if you want to find what’s going on in the world of tech in terms of envisioning the future of work and societal good. Can’t wait for next year’s edition.