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Viva Technology 2021 is ready to start: discover the VivaTech Startup Challenges


Scheduled for June 16-19, 2021, the fifth edition of VivaTech will be the first in a hybrid version, live and online, and will offer many opportunities for participating startups.

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Viva Technology, one of the most important events in the field of innovation and technology on the globe, will be back on June 16, 2021, with its fifth edition and its first "hybrid" version, to be held both online and in-person.

The stage for innovation

Co-organized by Publicis Groupe and Groupe Les Echos and dedicated to the growth of startups, digital transformation and innovation, the international Viva Technology event - known as VivaTech - is not only a gathering of the world’s brightest minds, talents, and products: it is also a celebration of today’s innovations and tomorrow’s possibilities for everyone who believes in the power of technology to transform business and society.

The 2021 edition will take place on June 16-19 both online and in person in Paris, France. Participants will be able to meet new technologies, emerging companies, celebrity speakers and industry stakeholders both from their own desk or at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles convention center. Guests from over 125 countries around the world are expected to attend, with events broadcast from 3 different continents.

Opportunities for startups

In 2019, the event reached 231 million people worldwide, bringing together 124,000 visitors including more than 13,000 startups, 3,000 venture capital firms and 2,500 journalists. In the 2021 edition there will be many spaces and initiatives specifically aimed at young innovative companies (Open Innovation Lab, Hall of Tech, Accelerate Solutions, Startup Village, Startup Corner...), with opportunities to meet with investors and worldwide visibility thanks to online streaming.

"The heart and soul of VivaTech is helping the next generation of startups take root and grow", wrote the organizers of the event. "This year, that goal has gotten a big boost from President Macron of France, who has launched Scale-Up Europe, a program that brings together more than 150 scale-up founders, investors, researchers, business leaders and institutions to accelerate the creation of European start-ups. There will also be VivaTech’s Next Unicorn Awards, the competition which identifies which of 100 pre-selected scale-ups is likely to be the next to breach the $1 billion valuation".

The VivaTech Startup Challenges

For the sixth consecutive year, there will also be the VivaTech Startup Challenges, in which startups are invited to submit their innovative responses to the challenges proposed by major companies around the world. In the full spirit of Open Innovation, the VivaTech Challenges offer young companies the opportunity to meet the most important realities of their sectors at an international level and scale their business together with them. 

To date, four Pitch Contests launched in April are still open, until May 14, and all startups are invited to participate, both with projects in the launch phase or already established, aiming to be selected in the finals and start partnerships with the corporate sponsors of the challenges. Among these are:

  • Arianespace, the world's premier commercial space transportation company, is offering as a first prize a seat on a rideshare launch mission to take a satellite into orbit;
  • Intel, the U.S. multinational manufacturer of microprocessors and integrated circuits, is looking for new technological solutions for smart cities and is offering exclusive meetings, coaching services and visibility on the VivaTech stage;
  • Seedstars Africa Ventures, early-stage venture capital fund that invests in high-growth companies operating in sub-Saharan Africa, is offering a project investment and pitch opportunity to the thousands of investors present or connected to VivaTech;
  • UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is looking for new technologies to improve people's lives and address the challenges of sustainable development, offering stands, tickets and visibility at the fair as prizes, plus dedicated meetings and promotion on its digital channels.

The selected startups will then be included in the Open Innovation Startup List, the "hall of fame" of the projects chosen by VivaTech's partner companies in the last editions of the fair and from its activities in the Open Innovation field.