Start-up : the journey to the Elysée
The announcement of the reception of start-ups from Sophia Antipolis has turned the attention towards the new economy of the Riviera.
Ten start-ups from the Sophia Antipolis CICA invited to the Elysée on November 15th 2000 : the announcement published in Nice-Matin, along with a colour photograph, focus the attention of the general public on the new economy of the Riviera. It has been received as an evidence of national gratitude towards the start-up movement which has injected fresh blood into the technopole for almost two years. Many people also wondered how the link has been made between Sophia Antipolis and President of the Republic counsellors.The following episode of a first appointment at the ElyséeErick Kaspy was at the origin of this appointment at the Elysée. As he was one of the organizer of Cap Cyber, he explains. 'A month and half ago, as a member of Politique.org, I have been received during three hours by President Jacques Chirac with about fifteen other French Internet companies officials. At the end, we had a discussion with the president counsellors who did not seem to have a precise idea of what was Sophia Antipolis. I told them that I was ready to make them change their mind. This explains the idea of organizing a meeting with Sophia company managers who are on the front page of the current economic events of the technopole. 'The point,continues Erick Kaspy, was to present a panel with start-ups that are beginning, young companies which are rising and which are already working very well and start-ups which chose Sophia to settle and to grow up. From this moment, we corresponded by e-mails'. Then the date of the November 15th is decided. Erick Kaspy asks Alain André, C.I.COM organisation director who manages the CICA, to suggest a selection of companies to the Elysée (at the beginning 6 to 7 companies were scheduled, then the figure went up to ten).But as start-ups that we find at the moment in Sophia Antipolis are very numerous and very successful, it was obvious that whatever the choice, it could not include all scope of activities. The Sophia Start-up Club, which is defended by senator Pierre Lafitte, a club which is composed of remarkable young companies with a high growth as well, particularly wished to participate to this event-meeting. That explains a list of participants that has been modified and broadened.The new list has been made upAt the total , fifteen companies will participate on Wednesday November 15th at the Elysée to a lunch meeting on the theme of the start-up phenomenon in Sophia Antipolis. Erick Kaspy will be present with nine CICA start-ups (Dust, Castify, CM3, Ingénierie, Kéops, Médiasynthèse, New Eve, Viviance, Wimba, Web Time Medias) and with DreamUp (TV on Internet). Sophia Start-up will go there with five members (CommTime Cast, Cyberworkers, Esterel Technologies which is a result of a merge between Simulog and Espri-Concept, Opt(e)way, Realviz). All of these firms will speak for Sophia Antipolis at the highest summit of the State.Alain André, C.I.COM organisation director, as far as he is concerned, preferred to hand over to a CICA start-up , because of so many demands that already compelled him to eliminate several companies of the centre. However, Alain André should be received individually in November at the Elysée. Even if it accepted a broadening, The Elysée insisted on one point : the appointment has to focus on economic subjects. Another precision : every one will pay his plane ticket for a working meeting in Paris even exceptional.