In 2016, the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs and Invest Atlanta launched the first Atlanta International Startup Exchange with Atlanta's sister city Toulouse, France. The two-week residency program provided selected companies a platform for global expansion as well as identify potential partners, investors, clients, and access to one of the world’s largest aerospace industry clusters. The program also provided an opportunity to showcase Atlanta and Toulouse as economically-sound choices for future international operations to the visiting Toulouse-based and Atlanta-based companies, respectively.
Four companies, two from Atlanta and two from Toulouse, were selected from more than 30 applications by local committees consisting of CEOs of leading technology companies, leading incubators and technology leaders, and city officials. Selected startups included Atlanta-based Carbice Nanotechnologies and Partpic as well as Toulouse-based Donecle and Uwinloc.
From October 3-15 the Atlanta-based startups executives conducted their residency at the Airbus BizLab, a global aerospace business accelerator, and the CapGemini Lab’innovation, a lab focused on co-creating innovative solutions. While in Toulouse, the executives met with entrepreneurs; European decision makers; heads of the aerospace, digital, biotech, and health IT clusters; investors; and executives within their respective sectors. They also attended EmTech France 2016, the largest conference focused on emerging technologies and business aimed to connect startups with venture capitalists from across the globe. The executives also pitched their technologies to potential investors and clients during a demo session hosted by IOT Valley, a European business ecosystem specialized in the internet of things and connected objects.
Provided its success, the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs and Invest Atlanta will continue the startup exchange program with Toulouse and to expand the program to two additional sister cities. Applications for the 2017 Atlanta International Startup Exchange will be accepted starting in June through July. For more information please contact the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From October 31 - November 12, the Toulouse-based startup executives fulfilled their two-week residency at the Garage at Tech Square and had the opportunity to engage in various activities with leading incubators, industry professionals, and potential investors. They attended the Atlanta Techstars Demo Day and the 2016 Venture Atlanta conference, which draws over 1,000 attendees and has led to more than $1.3 billion in startup investment since 2002. The executives also met with the Center for Innovation for Aerospace, MailChimp, and participated in a number of media interviews. Their visit concluded with the Aviation Innovation Demo Day where they showcased their technologies to executives at the world’s busiest passenger airport and Global Fortune 500 companies including Delta, Lufthansa, and Southwest. The Aviation Innovation Demo Day was specifically created for the Atlanta-Toulouse Startup Exchange and included four Atlanta-based startups.