Three French startups received awards Monday evening for their products that could make everyday life better experience in the near future, joining previous winners of a national program designed to support innovative entrepreneurs.
The program, named Digital In-Pulse, was set up three years ago by Huawei France, in a bid to support innovative small and medium companies across the country and meanwhile reinforce cooperation between them and talents in Shenzhen, a coastal city in southern China where Huawei is headquartered.
Since 2014, nearly 30 French companies have benefited from the program, including financial support of up to 50,000 euros, business trips to China and personalized follow-ups from Business France, a government-affiliated business promotion body and Huawei's partner on this program.
Speaking at a ceremony in Bordeaux City hall for the three winners, William Lv, vice president of Huawei France, reasserted Huawei's promise to contribute as much as possible to the French economy and generate local jobs by supporting France's digital transformation.
"France should be proud of its innovation ecosystem and its high level education. FrenchTech is not only a label, but also an energy that France should support," he said.
This is the first time that the competition has been held in Bordeaux, led by Huawei in partnership with a bunch of local partners. A panel of seven professionals chose the three winning companies out of a total of 25 candidates.
GreenMe, a company established in 2012 in Landes, took the first prize, for its product that could continuously measure different factors of a workplace so as to make it more comfortable and efficient.
The company will receive 50,000 euros from Huawei and participate in the Digital In-Pulse Forum in China in October, an event that will allow it to discover the Chinese digital ecosystem and to build its own professional network in China.
The second and third prizes were awarded respectively to Cogniteev for its OnCrawl solution, which helps business operators discover errors on their website, and to Qucit for its mobile applications that calculate traffic flows in cities and predict congestions based on realtime data.
Alexandre Dugarry, president of GreenMe, said that the Digital In-Pulse program and his upcoming trip to China will accelerate the international development of his business. The chance to get a closer look at the Chinese market is especially valuable, he added.
Bordeaux Mayor Alain Juppe, who also attended the ceremony, thanked Huawei for organizing this competition, saying the program offers support to innovative French startups and link them to the international market and in particular the Chinese market.
The Huawei-sponsored innovation contest this year is staged in four French cities, including Lyon, Lille, Nice and Bordeaux, and 12 companies will be awarded.
The event connects the French digital industry with the Chinese one and the main topics covered by the competition, such as Big Data, smart technologies and connected objects are at the heart of research and development strategies of Huawei, a leading Chinese tech giant with branches across the world.
Chinese companies like Huawei have in recent years devoted great resources to developing innovative products or remodeling services based on latest technologies, but innovation is a buzzword beyond the business circle in China, as the country has been pushing to make technological innovation a new engine of global growth during its G20 presidency, observers say.