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Spotlight Interview: VivaTech's Nicolas Douchement

"This year feels more optimistic, like the beginning of a new era."

Nicolas Douchement, Chief Experience and Strategy Officer of VivaTech
Nicolas Douchement, Chief Experience and Strategy Officer of VivaTech

This week marks the 8th edition of Viva Technology, one of the largest and most anticipated tech conferences in the world. Held at the expansive Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, VivaTech brings together a diverse mix of startups, corporates, tech personalities, and enthusiasts from around the globe. More than 100,000 visitors are expected at the four-day event, which is organized by Publicis Groupe and Groupe Les Echos.

VivaTech has evolved significantly since its inception, adapting to the rapid changes in the tech landscape. On the eve of the event, we spoke with one of VivaTech’s founders, Nicolas Douchement, who is currently Chief Experience and Strategy Officer. Douchement shared his perspectives on the conference's evolution, the annual meetup's ongoing transformation, and his hopes for this year's event.

Q: Can you give us a bit of background on VivaTech? 

ND: VivaTech was born as a result of the open innovation explosion in France, a shift driven by a combination of factors, including the global rise of the startup ecosystem, increased collaboration between corporates and startups, and government initiatives aimed at fostering innovation. We launched VivaTech in 2016, with the aim of creating an event gathering together corporates and startups, and encouraging mutually beneficial partnerships. Since then, the event has morphed from a corporate/start-up meet-up into a more global tech innovation gathering. VCs coming to meet with LPs and looking for inspiration, companies coming to showcase their innovation, regions and countries looking to highlight their attractiveness…Everyone here has their own particular angle and all are both suppliers and clients to each other.

Q: Corporates continue to play a central role at VivaTech - as shown again in this week’s lineup (Group La Poste, Airbus, KPMG, Orange, Salesforce..). Why is that?

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