Apizee was in early January in Las Vegas for the CES 2018, the global stage for innovation. Between business meetings, futuristic discoveries and unexpected encounters including one with the French Secretary of State for Digital, Mounir Mahjoubi, Rémy Granville from Apizee shares with us his experience of CES 2018.
Interview of Rémy Granville, Apizee VP Sales & Marketing, made by French Tech Brest +.
Why did you attend the CES this year and what did you expect from your visit?
This first participation had the triple objective of meeting the decision makers of major French accounts, to test the appetite of the investors by exposing the first elements of our fundraising project, and finally to get our bearings in the show, in order to return in 2019 with a specific expansion plan in the US.
Is the French Tech impact real and profitable for French startups?
French Tech at CES is nearly 320 French startups present in 2018. While walking in the alleys, you can wonder if the official language of Eureka Park is not French! The representation of French startups is really impressive, and we feel that this situation has been particularly encouraged and coordinated by the “French Tech” dynamic. For French startups, belonging to the “French Tech” ecosystem, promotes openness and collaboration. Vis-à-vis the international networks, the press, the prospects and the investors of all origins, the brand is also recognized. The interlocutors say “OK, it’s a French startup, it has been selected to belong to this ecosystem, it’s a first real guarantee”. The label simplifies the interactions by lowering the first barriers. Then,
it’s up to us to demonstrate our value proposition, which remains the main point.
What would be your advice for startups who would like to go to the CES for the first time next year?
I see two options: the first, what Apizee has chosen this year, is to make a first visit in order to explore, get your bearings and understand the CES. The place is huge, the events overlap, the number of stands is frightening. Without experience it’s pretty confusing.
The second would be to prepare at least 6 months in advance, with very clear objectives, and to get help to prepare the communication and your presence with specialized networks and by exchanging with startups of the same profile as yours having already participated. If you take a stand, it’s important to have striking images and demo equipement … there are so many choices that you really have to try to stand out by catching the eye right away!
Following your participation at CES, what are the stakes and expectations for Apizee on 2018?
As mentioned above, our purpose for this first time was to discover the CES, and was not intended to develop a specific action plan. That said, we will follow the business discussions initiated during our stay in Las Vegas. Some follow-up appointments are already arranged with major French accounts. We will also adjust our message to investors following feedback. Finally, during the second half of 2018, we will fine-tune our international strategy. Given the current backdrop, the US option is at the top of our target list. If we confirm this choice, we will return to CES in January 2019 with a special US action plan and the will to succeed!