Photo credit: VivaTech
Since VivaTech’s beginnings, we have acted as a powerful global catalyst for digital transformation and startup growth. And the core of these happenings occur when the right people meet at the right time, allowing conversations to start, ideas to be born and partnerships to be made. We have been a facilitator for these encounters, yet many stories of what VivaTech has brought to startups, investors, exhibitors and partners alike go unnoticed. Luckily, in the search for some inspiring VivaStories, we found a few pearls this year at VivaTech!
Company: la Vitre
Sector: Connectivity, IT
HQ: Nantes, France
Year founded: 2019
Who we interviewed: Romuald Boulanger, Co-founder
The Startup Story
Visiting satellite offices or collaborating with business partners across the globe used to only be possible through long business trips, costing companies time and money, and increased their carbon emissions. Then came along applications like Zoom, Skype, and Teams which allowed everyone to chat and see the faces of their collaborators and in turn enabled businesses to cut costs on travel and therefore emissions.
But, as many of us experienced during the pandemic, too many online meetings and a case of “zoom fatigue” is not ideal for business. One French startup envisioned a better way to have remote meetings before the pandemic even began.
La Vitre is a human-sized, stand-up screen that allows you to “teleport” anywhere in the world and connect with people instantly and on a daily basis. Their solution is placed in two different spaces to connect one locale to another. It can be used to conduct daily business meetings between separate offices, to connect speakers to an audience in far away events, allow experts to help clients in retail spaces, or even permit trainers to onboard multiple teams from different locations.
A true remote-friendly solution, la Vitre is helping quite the range of industries outside the obvious office solution: engineering, hospitality, manufacturing, restaurants – it has even connected fans to members of the Marseille football team while in the player tunnel of the Orange Velodrome minutes before a match!
Football players interacting with fans through la Vitre. Photo credit: La café du geek
Viva La Vitre
In 2021, a long year and a half into the pandemic, la Vitre attended VivaTech for the first time. For the IT startup, the event would be a place to meet with people: to meet new customers, talk to existing clients about new features, and also meet other startups.
“Because our solution has so many applications, we work with so many people – we’re an ecosystem,” said co-founder Romuald. “VivaTech is an amazing event and so vast that we can actually meet a lot of the players from so many different sectors in the same place. And it’s a place where our ecosystem can expand too!”
And expand they did. During the 2021 edition, la Vitre met another startup, Fosfor, who had a similar solution, a human-sized screen, called the Crystalbox. Their screen allows content to be projected in 3D and is mostly used for pre-recorded videos for retail or events, unlike la Vitre’s real-time chatting solution.
“We thought, why not put the two together? So we worked on that. We started the collaboration last March. We took our solution, la Vitre, and instead of putting it on a 2D screen, we put it in their holographic box. Now we can have live exchanges with the capacity of la Vitre, but you can see people in 3D,” Romuald elaborated.
Fosfor’s 3D holographic box at VivaTech in 2021. Photo credit: VivaTech
A solution bigger than its own stand
The following edition, in June 2022, la Vitre came back for round two at VivaTech. But they didn’t come back alone. In addition to their own startup stand, their solution was also present on three other stands, where other businesses were using la Vitre for different purposes.
La Vitre and Fosfor were now able to present their fused technology on their respective stands at VivaTech. But not too far away on another stand, you might have had your socks blown off by Magic Tech, a leadership conference exhibitor that uses technology and magic on stage to inspire crowds. They had la Vitre on their stand for multiple tech demonstrations. Lastly, another la Vitre customer used the solution to bring the engineers from their office to VivaTech in order to interact with the audience virtually.
La Vitre can solve so many solutions with its technology, it’s no surprise it was all over the place at VivaTech last year!
Magic Tech presenting on the Discovery Stage using la Vitre. Photo credit: VivaTech
A word to the wise
One piece of advice the startup’s co-founder would give to first-timers at VivaTech? “First, make sure you bring enough people from your team. There are so many people passing by, you need to be able to talk to them all. Second, wear tennis shoes. It might sound silly, but it’s in the details. You won’t regret it. Thirdly, plan to have a team doing all the background stuff like marketing, communication, and taking photos. You won’t have enough time to do it all. Lastly, rest up beforehand! It’s a long 4 days, but you won’t be finished when it’s over. You will have so many leads to connect with afterwards that you will have a lot of work to do even after the event.”
If you want to learn more about la Vitre’s solutions check out their website here.