[RECAP] LeWeb 2014: Silicon Valley in Paris

By Simona Colletta, Media Relations Specialist – Paris

Launched in 2004 to deepen the connection between big companies, startups, visionaries, and leaders in technology, LeWeb is Europe’s greatest internet conference and, in just ten years, has become a must-attend event worldwide. Business Wire was proud to be the official news distributor of LeWeb 2014 which had 3500 visitors, 300 journalists and 70 bloggers all from 80 different countries attend this year’s conference.

LeWeb 2014

The conference is seen as a passport for corporate success. Every year LeWeb organizes a startup competition, with winners of the past editions having earned between 500.000 and 1 million euros during the year following the event.  This year there was something new about the startup competition: a pre-competition was organized in four European cities (Paris, Barcelona, Berlin and Stockholm) with the winner in each city chosen to participate in the Paris final competition. This year’s winner was Jukedeck, which automatically creates cheap, free-access, unlimited music. Its CEO Ed Rex astonished the audience by rapping his pitch in front of the judging panel.

An apple a day… does it keep the e-doctor away?

This edition of LeWeb was dedicated to the theme of Digital Health. Fred Wilson, a famous American investor (Twitter, Soundcloud, Foursquare, etc.), predicted that in 2015, successful and innovating companies will appear in the health sector. The potential impact of digital help could revolutionize the industry for medical staff and patients alike; therefore investments in this sector keep growing exponentially. As LeWeb conference called it – Digital Health would be “the reinvention of Healthcare.”

Doctor Daniel Kraft, a Harvard-trained physician-scientist, inventor, entrepreneur and innovator (with over 20 years of experience in clinical practice, biomedical research and healthcare innovation), delivered one of the most significant speeches of this year’s conference.  Doctor Kraft gave an interesting perspective of tomorrow’s patient, who he says will be equipped with sensors in order to follow and measure his/her health day by day. He said, “With connected health, you will become your own health’s boss”.  Kraft believes the individual will be more responsible and autonomous, and he/she will share information with his/her doctor, just as he/she now shares pictures or music on social networks. Business actors such as Apple, outside of this sector until now, will start to conquer the territory with, for example, the Healthkit, now available on iPhones.

Nicolas Huchet

Nicolas Huchet and BionicoHand

While there were many attention-grabbing speeches and products and projects, one stood out in particular. Bionicohand is a French project that aims to make accessible “the construction of a prosthetic upper limb at a low cost, due to standardized parts and open sources, easy to repair and therefore accessible to people with limited financial resources. This project wants to open new opportunities for emerging countries that do not have access to such equipment.”

Bionico’s CEO, Nicolas Huchet, presented the project. Nicolas’s arm was amputated when he was 18 and he was equipped with a myoelectric prosthesis, which allowed him to open and close a pincer. This was a good first step toward autonomy, but today there are many high-tech solutions that allow for the opportunity to better simulate human hands in motion. The problem is that high-tech prostheses can cost up to €65.000 and they are not covered by French social security. So Nicolas decided to build his own prosthesis using 3D printing technology (with the help of a local Fablab). That is how Bionicohand was born in 2013. Its mission is to give the same opportunity to others, who can download the plans for free.

Stay connected

LeWeb is a great occasion for co-working and networking. It gives companies the opportunity to be known in this “cruel” technology world and, at the same time, gives the private individual the opportunity to learn about technology and tech trends, even if they are a new to the techspace.

With all of this amazing information being shared at LeWeb, Isn’t it a good reason for visiting Paris next winter?

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