Last week Swapcard was used by more than 2.300 attendees who came from all over the world to Paris for the Hello Tomorrow Conference to showcase their disruptive innovations and explain how they are currently shaking the world and building our Tomorrow.
At Swapcard, we’re honored to have been selected by Hello Tomorrow team as their networking app. This conference is one of the greatest Science & Tech entrepreneurship events in Europe. During 3 days, Hello Tomorrow explored what the future is reserving us, in various areas such as healthcare, transportation, energy, agriculture, IT, hard materials, etc. through a series of conferences, workshops and an impressive start-up competition gathering up 100 startups selected through more than 3.600 applicants.
The leitmotiv of the conference was to connect leaders and experts with young and inspiring entrepreneurs to foster disruptive innovations and build a better tomorrow.
As partner of the Hello Tomorrow Conference, we were impressed by what we saw during these 3 days. Here’s a summary of these immersive 3 days in our Tomorrow:
BpiFrance, the French public investment bank financing innovation, welcomed in its brand new start-up hub more than 80 international start-ups and 170 international investor for 1 day of intense pitch sessions and one-to-one meetings.
The impressive opening speech was delivered by Emmanuel Macron, French Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs. He celebrated entrepreneurs and startups, calling them “modern, disruptive and optimists”, and concluded by highlighting the fact that “France is back” in business and eager to stimulate innovation in its territory.
Following this energetic and enthusiastic speech, the semi-finalists of the start-competition were given 4 minutes each to pitch their project in front of all investors, in order to secure funding to accelerate their developments.
Swapcard team members were present to increase interactions between start-up and investors. Investors were able to contact entrepreneurs they were interested in through the app by sending them their digital business card with a short message to arrange meetings in a dedicated zone.
We had a great time meeting all these entrepreneurs and investors and helping making the right connections.
Obi Felten & Steve Power Brown’s inspirational speeches
Obi Felten, Moonshot at Google [x], was the opening speaker of Hello Tomorrow Conference. Her job is to “help the inventors, scientist and engineers at [x] to turn science fiction-like technology into real world products and businesses”. Maybe one of the best job in the world, isn’t it?
Obi Felten told us about some of the most exciting projects being developed at Google[x], such as the self-driving car, project loon and smart contact lenses.
The common point that theses projects all shared is that they’re all about solving a massive problem:
Google wants to make our road safer and save millions of life lost every year in car accidents. That’s why Google decided to create the first self-driving car, allowing “everyone to get around easily and safely, regardless of their ability to drive.”
To bring internet connections to remote place and give access to public knowledge to the 4 billions of people living without Internet access, Google recently launched the Project Loon, a network of balloons designed to connect people in rural areas.
Finally, notwithstanding the dominance of the English language, a large percentage of the worldwide population doesn’t speak English and can’t then communicate with foreigners. Google Translate wants to tackle this issue and, help to “connect with people, places and culture across language barriers”.
Obi Felten further explained that too many people are scared by problems as it can be very risky and expensive to try solving them. She ended her speech with 3 important lessons to be learned and applied by all entrepreneurs, that we believe true at Swapcard:
Fall in love with problems, no technology,
Partner with experts who want to solve the same problem, and
Focus on the user, make sure you’re solving their problem.
On the 3rd day, Steve Power Brown, Chief Evangelist and Futurist at Intel, did the opening keynote. He focused on the future, raising a fundamental question: what do we want to build and what do we want to avoid?
He explained that the future is about bridging the gap between the physical world and the digital world. Computing, which is absolutely everywhere, can help us reaching this goal.
Steve Power Brown also described few examples of things that computing can make accessible:
Microsoft Holosens, an holographic computing that allow us to experience augmented reality ;
Nixie, the first wearable camera that can fly ; and
Replay technologies FreeD, a technology that capture reality in 3D and allow you to view it from any desired viewing angle.
Steve Power Brown’s lessons to be learned and applied in your business, are the following:
“Smart” as an ingredient
Philosophy before engineering, and
Go way beyond “product”
Biocarbon Engineering : winner of the start-up competition
Biocarbon Engineering won the start-up competition and the €100,000 Orange Grand Prize.
This US start-up, founded by a team of engineers, scientists and run by an ex-NASA, wants to “counter industrial scale deforestation using industrial reforestation”. Thanks to drones, Biocarbon Engineering is able to do precision mapping, planting and monitoring, and has the goal of planting one billion trees per year. Big goal, big dreams!
Susan Graham, engineering at Biocarbon Engineering, did a very dynamic and charismatic pitch to present the company that certainly seduced the jury. We wish them all the best with their project that can fight climate change and regenerate the Earth!
G-Therapeutics: winner of HTC’s last year competition
G-Therapeutics, winner of the last year competition, came on stage to present the progresses made by the project. This healthcare start-up is developing implantable stimulation system and a robot-assisted training program to help paralyzed people to walk again. A real game changer!
After positive results of testing on rats and monkeys, Gregoire Courtine who just landed from China on the morning, present to the public the video of a paralyzed man who was making its first steps by himself, after years of paraplegia thanks to his advance technology. It was really impressive and heart touching and half of the public tried to contain their tears!
He finally end up his speech providing a valuable advice from his last year participation: “leverage the connection you make during the event”. Indeed, he met the current CEO of G-Therapeutics during the previous edition of Hello Tomorrow.
This advice was made spontaneous by Gregoire Courtine, but, eventually relates to Swapcard, whose mission is to help you leverage your network and make the right connections at the right time!
A selection of other innovative and impressive projects
During the 3 days of Hello Tomorrow Conference, a lot of amazing projects were presented. Unfortunately, we can’t describe them all, but here are some that you will for sure be hearing about soon! Otherwise, you can visit the Hello Tomorrow Conference website to have the full selection of the 30 semi-finalists and the list of all the speakers.
Hyperloop: “the world’s next breakthrough in transportation”
Dick Ahlborn, CEO at Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, talked about the future of transportation and told us a little more about the hyperloop project. Hyperloop wants to move people at speeds never thought possible, meaning 800 miles/hour, moving passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than 30 minutes, instead of 6 hours in car or 1h20 by plane). Imagine going from Paris to Marseille in 35 minutes. That’s sound like the future to us!
The company is currently building a 5-mile-long test track in California, which should be achieved by 2017. Hyperloop goal is to “make the world smaller, cleaner and more efficient”.
At Swapcard, we are big fans of this project! Did you know that Dick Ahlborn is now on Swapcard? You can connect with him ;)
Biowatch: “secure your world”
This Swiss start-up, finalist of the start-up competition, is developing a wearable vein biometric solution. But what’s the hell does that mean?
It’s a bracelet that reads your vein pattern, which is unique for each person, and use it for authentication purposes. Via a dedicated app, you can set up the biowatch with your devices, and start using biowatch in your daily life.
You can now forget all your passwords and lose your keys, you don’t need them anymore! Biowatch will log you in all your apps, open your card, your flat or even pay your lunch.
Plus your biowatch hardware can be plugged to any watch in the world. Meaning your can mix old technologies like your expensive and luxury Swiss watch with cutting edge technology like biowatch.
What can we all learn from the Hello Tomorrow Conference team?
It’s amazing to realized that a bunch of kids under 30s (as Xavier Duportet, President of Hello Tomorrow self defined his team) was able to make Hello Tomorrow Conference as one of the most promising event in the Science & Tech world in less than two years!
They brought promising startups and key speakers experts in their domain like:
– Rob High, CTO at Watson, Ibm
– Qasar Younis, Partner at Y Combinator
– Nina Tandon, CEO at Epibone
– Noel Sharkey, Emeritus Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
– David Berry, Partner at Flagship Ventures
They ran these 3 days smoothly and pushed our imagination beyond its limits!
The Swapcard team had a wonderful time during these 3 days, and we would like to thank all the Hello Tomorrow Team, which has been incredible!
See you all next year, we can’t wait for the 3rd edition which promises to be even more impressive ; )