The last edition of Big has never been more international

Bpifrance organized its annual edition of Big on October 7th at the Accor Arena, Paris.  Renowned as the biggest meeting of entrepreneurs in Europe, the successful event has gathered people from all over the world, in person and digitally.

With Le Bang stage broadcast in English on YouTube and workshops available live on the official website, Big has reached no less than 47 countries in the world. If the digital public offered a real international representation, the audience on site was not left out: Big welcomed this year delegations from Senegal, Ivory Coast, Togo, Rwanda, and Morocco – which represent more than 300 African political figures and entrepreneurs.

 

Big, another way to meet and network

As the biggest meeting of entrepreneurs in Europe, networking and new partnerships was a must, either between entrepreneurs or between institutions: Bpifrance and #Ci20, which represents the excellence of Ivorian start-ups, took the opportunity to sign a tech partnership to bring together Ivorian and French tech ecosystems together and encourage cooperation between them. France also partnered up with Germany around a club dedicated to healthcare, with a name to “emphasize the societal aspect of the club”: Tech & Fab for Good. “We are coming together as a group of companies to share our experiences and make recommendations to improve the healthcare sector” explain Christelle Garier-Reboul, CEO of B.Braun, and Elisabeth Ducottet, CEO of Thuasne, who founded the club. Member companies come from France and Germany (sometimes both) and want to foster exchanges between both ecosystems to spur cross-pollination to seed innovations and inspiration.

 

Entrepreneurship inspirations from the whole world, for the whole world

With 100 workshops dedicated to international topics – from “Chile: the future of green hydrogen” to “How to innovate by focusing on China?” – Big7 offered business inspirations for entrepreneurs to better understand the opportunities that international markets represent. Big Angels Day was also the digital event to follow, with European and African business angels present to support the early-stage ecosystem. Virtual meeting between business angels and entrepreneurs, with some special tracks dedicated to women entrepreneurs, workshops around the topic and business angels’ networks in Europe and Africa, …

And if we’re talking about inspiration, Le Bang must be mentioned. All day long, 70 top speakers took the iconic Big’s stage to give their own vision of what is “to conquer”. Men and women from all over the world shared their own entrepreneurship experience. Some are more personal than others, such as Neïla Benzina, CEO of Wimbee Tech, who told her arrival in France and her first job experience in data analysis here: “I was 23, I had an oriental accent, and I came into this men’s world … I had to conquer and to prove that I belonged there”. From a very different horizon, Thomas Pesquet, French astronaut, also appeared on Le Bang from the ISS to mention space exploration. “Humanity has new grounds to conquer, space is no longer the terra incognita it was in the 1960s.” This last edition of Big has never been more … interplanetary.