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8 talented women reinventing tourism!

#Startup

They are entrepreneurs, experts, or partners of the Welcome City Lab, Paris&Co’s tourism innovation platform, contributing their talent and strong expertise to develop and support innovation to create the tourism of the future!

On March 8th, International Women's Rights Day, Paris&Co launched its monthly top list of inspiring women's careers:  entrepreneurs, experts, mentors...: they all stand out for their commitment, passion and talent!
To start the new year off right, after a summer period marked by the usual high tourist season, we suggest you discover the fascinating career paths of 8 particularly talented and inspiring women who are bringing innovation to the sector.
Their very rich experiences also show that a diversity of paths can lead to entering the world of tourism through the exciting and energizing window of innovation.
 
1. Aurélie Toubol is the co-founder of Troov, the digital platform that allows people to find their lost objects anywhere in France. After studying at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and ENSAE, she worked for five years at the American strategy consulting firm Bain & Company  helping large companies with their digital transformation and realized the importance these companies give to their customers' experience.
Based on her observations and after losing an object, she was quickly convinced that it was necessary to digitize the outdated procedures still in place in ‘lost property’ offices. 
Having come to the same conclusion in the hotel and restaurant business, her best friend Grégoire decided to join the adventure. In 2018, they created the Troov platform, aiming to foster collaboration among all private and public players who find lost objects, and to change mentalities by proving to the French that it is possible to find something you have lost!  During their last fundraising in 2020, they are proud they were able to count on Caisse des Dépôts, who believes in their project and supports them, particularly in their development with local authorities.
Discover Aurélie Toubol on Linkedin
 
2. Sophie Lacour, an expert in innovation, created Advanced Tourism, a firm specializing in anticipating the future. Passionate about science fiction and history, in the field of tourism she finds the means to reconcile her interests with her taste for research and novelty. A tourism professional, specialized in mediation, holding a doctorate in Information and Communication Sciences, and a former academic, she advises local authorities and companies on their digital and innovation projects, including robotics and AI. As a lecturer, she conducts studies and workshops on issues related to the future of service, customer relations and communication.
 She is a member of the CFT Digital & Innovation Commission, has served on numerous incubator, competition and award juries related to innovation, and works regularly for Atout France, the BPI, Business France and, of course, the Welcome City Lab. Always seeking to imagine what does not yet exist, she created the first tourism delegation at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, then the second in 2020--the first educ-tour for professionals to gain a "tourism" perspective of CES. At the same time, she created the Innovation Village at the IFTM TOP RESA trade show, where innovations that can be tested in the field of VR, olfactory or neuroscience are presented.
Sophie regularly publishes articles in the national and specialized press and speaks frequently on national radio and television stations. She has been involved with companies, startups and destinations for several years, putting her expertise and her taste for innovation and futuristic solutions at their service. Whether it's about expertise, product development or challenging your imagination, she brings a resolutely avant-garde and out-of-the-box perspective.
She was named by Usbek &Rica as one of the 100 experts who will shape the world of tomorrow.
Discover Sophie Lacour on Linkedin
 
3. Geneviève Marais is the co-founder and CEO of AquaTech Innovation, a startup that offers solutions to preserve our water resources and limit its impact on the environment when it is used. Sensitive to climate change and our planet’s future, she decided to create THE project that corresponds to her values, to contribute to a better future for the next generations. Leading a company since her professional beginnings, with an atypical and self-taught profile, her activities of the last 25 years have successfully focused on the tourism, nautical and construction markets. Meeting research engineer Dominique Lassablière allowed her to capitalize on her experience to create the AquaTech Innovation project. Her skills make her the driving force behind AquaTech, carrying the vision and orchestrating the development of Dominique's innovations.
A leader at heart with a daily management style open to exchange, she leads each member of the team to achieve the best of themselves and to develop both professionally and personally. Thus, she allows each team member to make the most of their skills and suggest ideas based on strong common values:   protecting our environment.
Discover Geneviève Marais on Linkedin and Twitter
 
4. Elisa Elbaz is the co-founder of Team Break, designer and operator of immersive experiences in France.
A graduate of Paris Dauphine, Elisa started a career in finance before quickly moving into entrepreneurship. In 2010 she founded the first school for home governesses (l'Académie des Gouvernantes).
In 2014, her taste for puzzles and games took over and along with her cousin she created one of the very first escape games in France: Team Break, which quickly grew.
Today Team Break is present in 15 cities and develops immersive games with prestigious venues such as the Garnier Opera House, the Parc des Princes, the Grand Rex...
Discover Elisa Elbaz on Linkedin
 
5. Hyojeong Kim is CEO and co-founder of NomadHer, the app for female globetrotters that encourages safe solo travel.
After traveling solo in 45 countries, including a trans-Siberian train ride from Paris to South Korea, she was inspired to launch NomadHer, an app to help women be more self-sufficient while traveling.
Based in Paris and Busan, the platform was nominated by the City of Paris and the National Olympic Committee as one of the 24 most innovative social startups that can change the world.  Currently, NomadHer is incubated at Station F and Welcome City Lab in Paris. A graduate of SciencesPo Paris, Hyojeong is an ambassador for the G(irls)20, where one woman from each G20 country meets to discuss major issues around women's empowerment.
Born and raised in Busan, she is always happy to discuss women's empowerment, travel and social entrepreneurship.
Discover Hyojeong Kim on Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram
 
6. Marie-Pierre Vincent is the co-founder of We Go GreenR, the reference booking platform for sustainable tourism. After spending 10 years in marketing and digital functions for large French retailers, plus a bootcamp to learn how to code, it was as a couple that the ‘entrepreneurial’ light bulb went off in their heads! More than a desire, she felt the need to be useful and work in line with her personal environmental convictions.
Both passionate about travel, "we were well aware that in this area, more respectful consumption choices existed, but that it was very complicated to identify them and find the right fit" ... That's why two years ago, she and her husband Stéphane launched We Go GreenR, a nationwide booking and eco-responsible accommodation platform. 
Its mission: to offer travelers the best of responsible tourism, preserving the pleasure of traveling while also preserving the planet! Marie-Pierre and Stéphane are determined to accompany their ecosystem in its ecological transition and in 2021, they are launching a series of helpful, advantageous offers to aid their platform hosts as well as the regional territories.
Discover Marie-Pierre Vincent on Linkedin
 
7. Valerie Bakala is the co-founder of Bakup, the app that connects travelers with local health professionals.
Previously, Valérie was a retail specialist. For 20 years, she was a buyer in charge of cosmetic offers for brands including Marionnaud, Lagardère Travel retail and Galeries Lafayette. During her career, Valérie’s first experience in entrepreneurship led her to develop Inaya, a concept store specialized in ethnic cosmetics. The desire was already there to respond to a real consumer need!
Following an accident 5 years ago, Valérie realized how difficult it was to find a trusted health professional abroad for recurring conditions that could also occur during travel. From there she went on to co-found Bakup, incubated at Welcome City Lab, which allows travelers to find health professionals more easily during their trip and to consult in their own language. Plus it provides post-covid reassurance for those involved in tourism!
Discover Valérie Bakala on Linkedin
 
8. Marion Bordenave is Senior Advisor to the Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Tourism. Trained in tourism, Marion has been passionate about the travel industry for over 20 years. From face-to-face customer service to e-marketing to opening branches for major international platforms in Paris as well as regions throughout France, Marion Bordenave has become an expert in customer experience quality and marketing, both digitally and in situ.
In 2009 she joined Booking.com, which at the time was a subsidiary of the North American travel giant Priceline. She was in charge of territorial development, successively the North-East and the North-West of France, then elaborated the development strategy for the Grand Ouest. She also planned the opening of a Booking.com office, which took place in Rennes in 2013. In 2016, after taking a step back, she enrolled in a Master 2 at CELSA. She explores the links between Cultures, Tourism, Territories and Communication at the City of Paris to better understand the political stakes -- an experience that allows her to add some solid communication skills to her "business" profile!
Sensitive and committed to supporting the digital and structural evolution of those in the tourism sector (and to cultivate and reinvent this art of knowing how to be welcoming in the 21st century!), she joined GetYourGuide.com in 2017 to develop their French entity in Paris. Then in early 2020, she joined Nicolas Barret and Unigo, to bring her e-commerce expertise and support the digital development of tourism players. Described as visionary, passionate, welcoming, competitive and social by her professional entourage and teams, she places customer experience quality at the heart of all her actions.
After testing herself in entrepreneurship, and wishing to add a general interest dimension to her career in line with her values, she chose to join the City of Paris at the end of 2020 as Senior Advisor to Frédéric Hocquard, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Tourism and Nightlife. She stays closely linked to innovation as she accompanies innovative tourism projects as an expert and partner of the Welcome City Lab.
Discover Marion Bordenave on Linkedin

 

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