I was invited yesterday to attend the opening of the French Tech in Taiwan. Since I’m signed up as a mentor for them, not showing up would have been a faux pas.
What is La French Tech?
It’s an initiative to show the world that French people are more prone to entrepreneurship than you think. At first fighting French clichés worldwide might seem like an uphill battle, but they made pretty solid points and as a French person living abroad, anything that can help is a good thing to take. If you feel like France isn’t the right country to start your business, you might want to reconsider. After all, we’re the greatest country in the world. Oui oui. Or maybe not. But we’re not too bad. On the top of that, la French Tech aims at creating an ecosystem of companies, investors, talents, etc centered, which is always a good idea.
The event itself
It happened during the MEET event in Taipei, which was surprisingly big. I was expecting a couple of tables and chairs, but I discovered an entire exhibition hall filled with dozens of hungry startups. We had the inevitable opening speech and various videos, but everything was pretty short and to the point, and all the participants had interesting stories. We even had a small introduction by Audrey Tang, a Taiwanese ministry who is also a top programmer. I wish all our government could speak English that well.
And for once, we did not have the usual “Paris is great” speech (for the record, I like Paris), but speakers focused on other, less famous French areas such as Toulouse or the Alps, which also have a lot to offer to entrepreneurs and might have a lower cost of living. The only big negative point was probably the lack of air conditioning of the venue, which turned everyone into a sweaty bouillon de culture in half an hour.
And of course, the Beaujolais
Coincidence? Yesterday was also the Beaujolais nouveau celebration in Taiwan. Thanks to Thomas (he will recognize himself), I managed to grab an invitation to the sold-out event. After seven years spent in Taiwan, it was the first time I attended it. In my mind, those evenings are often synonym of popular parties with cheap wine in the countryside. That was the second surprise of the day. Held at the very classy American Club in Taipei, the party was very upscale with great food and people. You still had to try the Beaujolais however. This year, I would say it has a nutty flavor with a banana and licorice aftertaste. Am I doing this right?