Even if Paris distinguishes itself as a world leader in innovation and intellectual capital, the American dream remains no less an ideal in the minds of numerous entrepreneurs. Under the Paris- New York Business Exchange, Paris&Co, gave 10 Parisian startups the opportunity to test out their product overseas.
Leka, which offers an educational toy dedicated to autistic children is one of the happy companies selected for this exchange program. "Our goal when we arrived was to understand the difference between the specialised French and American educational systems. After just a few meetings in New York, we have seen professionals and parents show an interest in Leka. Americans have far more resources to support autistic children and it offers many opportunities for our company," says Ladislas de Toldi, its founder, who is now based in Kansas City with his team and has just launched their fundraising campaign on Indiegogo.
For Sequencity, the digital bookstore for comics which connects readers with passionate booksellers, this trip has concluded the French American Digital Lab, an intensive 10 day programme which the startup was also able to take part in last November. « The Paris-New York Business Exchange gives the perfect continuity of this first round of observation and reflection, to evaluate more concretely our ability to become international. We can in this way study the questions left unanswered, and give credibility to our approach with our prospects. “The presence of a co-founder locally is a prerequisite to convince them”, pointed out Denis Lefebvre, co-founder of the young company, which expects its fundraising in France to help it set up legally and commercially overseas.
For Alvyn Severien of Algama, which develops its food products from micro-algae, “This programme is a way to enter directly in the New York network, as we had already decided to move towards that country in a sustainable way in order to set up there. Our main expectation when we arrived? To have some support, to meet key people and enter into the right networks. And we think that this programme could be of great assistance for a young company which truly wishes to settle on American soil, even if a lot of effort still needs to be put in here! »