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24 May 2023
VivaTech 2023: foregrounding FemTech and prioritising ROI in the year of efficiency

VivaTech 2023: foregrounding FemTech and prioritising ROI in the year of efficiency

Europe’s largest startup and tech event wants to have an impact in every sense, with its inaugural FemTech village and promise to create connections against a challenging background.

‘We need to highlight the European connection to the global tech ecosystem’ François Bitouzet, managing director of VivaTech tells me about the event’s decision to crown South Korea Country of the Year: ‘we need to make as many connections as possible’. He says they’re drawn to the country’s intimate connections between the startup ecosystem and corporations, as well as the central role government has played in fostering innovation – all things VivaTech is set on powering this June

François is also keen to stress the French nature of the event, explaining VivaTech is a pan-European event with strong French roots. ‘When we welcome people, we want them to feel unique and special’ – VivaTech wants to avoid the clinical, soulless feel of many events which can feel utterly transactional. 

As an accelerator of innovation and transformation, VivaTech will bring together startups, tech leaders, major companies, public organisations and investors from all over the world for four days to respond to the major challenges of our time and to propose decisive solutions for business and society. 


Evidencing the impact-focus of VivaTech 2023 is their creation of an inaugural FemTech village. Guiding this important project is Delphine Moulu who runs the young, non-profit Femtech France. Together with her co founders, Delphine’s aim is to accelerate innovation in women’s health in France. There will be two parts to FemTech’s contribution to the event – the first is that 20 FemTech startups will be present within the village. They will showcase their innovations which range from natural breast reconstruction to endometriosis diagnosis. The second takes the form of a challenge, which FemTech founders can apply for, with the prize being the opportunity to attend a bootcamp to train femtech entrepreneurs. This is made up of 20 hours of online class on three topics: gynaecology, the French healthcare system, and the FemTech industry.

Delphine tells me this challenge – and the bootcamp – is particularly important for FemTech specifically, given many of its founders don’t come from an entrepreneurial or healthcare environment. ‘Most of the time [in FemTech], it’s women who had a health issue and decided to leave their job as a lawyer or finance director, to launch their own tech startup and help women around them’. Delphine describes the training as a toolbox to empower women with the right knowledge to get their project off the ground. 

Tackling Tech’s Challenges

François doesn’t shy away from the difficulties currently facing the startup and wider tech ecosystem. But he wants VivaTech to be an opportunity ‘to create connections that didn’t exist before’, stressing the importance of opportunities like VivaTech that mix investors, corporations and startups. He goes onto tell me that half of all startup exhibitors at VivaTech 2022 realised a quarter of their annual leads just from the event. 

Allied to this sense of urgency is VivaTech’s focus on the present, rather than future-gazing or putting together a trend-forecasted line up. “We need to focus on what is very interesting right now: we are not focused on what will happen in 100 years. We want to be very effective for startups right now”. 

With this in mind, it’s no surprise AI features heavily on the line-up. AI already contributes to the majority of human activities (Generative AI, education, services, science etc) and represents a market share today estimated at $500. Some AI solutions presented at VivaTech include GoMicro (Australia), OrAigo (Italy), and Jumbo Mana (France). 

Climate Tech is an equally fundamental topic, with solutions being developed in all markets; helping governments, consumers and businesses respond to the climate crisis and reduce their carbon footprint. Some Climate Tech startups presented at VivaTech include Sweetch Energy (France) and Neoplants (France).

The future of sport 

With only a year to go until the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games, and just 100 days before the Rugby World Cup, VivaTech is taking over Hall 2 at Porte de Versailles in partnership with Global Sports Week. This collaboration aims to create a unique gathering in Europe dedicated to the positive transformation of sport.

The newly designed space will be an extension of VivaTech, offering visitors an experience that combines the tech ecosystem with the sports industry. As the sports industry undergoes significant cultural, technological, and environmental changes, innovation and technology present opportunities for improvement. 

These advancements range from enhancing athlete performance and well-being to enriching the fan experience and promoting diversity and environmental sustainability in major sporting events. Notable Sport Tech startups present include Sirius (Switzerland) and Orange Velodrome (France). 

For more information and to sign up, visit VivaTech’s website here.