The French capital’s scope of innovation captured the attention of the International Olympic Committee: with 10,000 startups and more than 100,000 m2 of incubators, Paris has positioned itself as one of the most dynamic global metropolises in terms of innovation. In March 2017, to make sure startups were in the race, Paris&Co dedicated its 3rd edition of the Hacking de l’Hôtel de Ville to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. More than 1,000 startups participated, as well as major corporates such as AccorHotels, Air France, Elior Group and Orange. The event gave French startups a forum to identify new business opportunities generated by the Games, and to gain visibility. Many of these startups offer solutions to meet the challenges facing any major city that hosts this type of event.
Here’s an overview of the startups positioned to contribute to the Games and major urban development projects that are sustainable and inclusive for Paris:
One of the key challenges facing any host city is transport. You have to get thousands of athletes and spectators from one place to another, simply and efficiently, while respecting the environment. The startup Elo does precisely that, by making available to users a collaborative platform for sharing electric bicycles. To track biking itineraries and collect sports data, the startup Connected Cycle has designed a connected, intelligent pedal integrating a GPS. These transport solutions are competitive, eco-friendly and adapted to urban life.
This event is the perfect occasion for tourists to enjoy a unique sightseeing experience in Paris. For accommodations, the startup ParisByM.com helps visitors find a place to stay and features local activities and good deals across Paris. Appsmapper offers a service of bespoke sightseeing tours tailored to user preference and location, that could revolutionize the tourist experience in Paris.
Environmental concerns are at the heart of this event, and French startups are continually innovating to meet the high stakes of sustainabilty. The startup Glowee offers a system of organic lighting that reinvents the way we produce and consume light, without any electricity or infrastructure! For the stadiums, Natural Grass has designed a 100% natural turf rooted in an artificial substrate. As for waste collect and disposal, Wise Pack offers 100% edible natural packaging solutions that will considerably reduce the ecological impact of events like the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Finally, to put an end to the “empty stadium” syndrome, Seaters lets fans sign up on a digital waiting list for events announced as sold out: as soon as a seat becomes available, the registered fan receives a notification to attend the event.
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg: in total, several hundred French startups could participate in organizing the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, helping the Games to go smoothly. According to a study done by the CDES sports research center in Limoges, an estimated 250,000 jobs and 4,500 new lodgings will be created, corresponding to a 3 billion-euro infrastructure investment budget and an organizing budget (100% financed by the Games) of 3.2 billion Euros. The Paris 2024 Games therefore represent an extraordinary opportunity for economic development - especially for startups!