For Startups, NETVA Conference Means Business in U.S.
See more photos of this event on Flickr.
The Mission for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States sponsored a week-long workshop taking place both in Boston and San Francisco from September 10 through 15 for French startups, joining French technological innovation with American business expertise. The New Technology Venture Accelerator (NETVA), launched in 2010, coordinated the event with the support of several American firms and private enterprises.
During the conference, NETVA provided not only critical resources and advice for French startups but also a pairing with an American business partner, which acts as a mentor to its French counterpart. This system allows young companies to better understand the challenges they may face, with the specific focus on establishing business strategies, acquiring financing for various endeavors and advertising effectively.
The program didn’t shy away from discussing the potential fate of many fledgling businesses—failure. “If the business does not see concrete results after one year, it doesn’t mean that the business is failing. Rather, every business has different needs. You’ve got to work at it,” said David Boucard-Planel, managing the NETVA program for the Office of Science and Technology, Boston section.
Before being considered to participate, businesses must undergo an extensive application process. A panel of both French and American entrepreneurs and businesspeople then selects up to 10 startups to advance to the conference, where they receive individualized attention. Before arriving in the United States, the entrepreneurs congregate in Paris to prepare for the experience. Attending the conference opens the attendees to a vast network of American-based consultants and sponsors.
“The training, the contacts and the exposure offered through NETVA are already bearing fruits and definitely fast-tracked our technical and commercial development in the U.S.” said Bruno Tilliers, 2011 NETVA attendee.