Fuelled by French Tech: An Interview with Adrien Barthel
ISSUE #65 – Adrien Barthel (pictured below), representative of La French Tech Singapore, and CEO of Singapore-based Sleek shares with us more about the initiative and the tech landscape in Singapore.
Could you introduce us to La French Tech Singapore? When and how was the French Tech created in Singapore?
La French Tech refers to all the people working for or with French start-ups, in France or abroad. We have three missions, namely to bring together the local tech community and federate it around monthly events; to be an point of entry for all French Tech affiliated companies, no matter where they are based; and to inspire aspiring entrepreneurs and get them going.
Every month, we gather our members and followers around a panel of entrepreneurs or top executives from digital companies. It’s all about sharing experiences and opinions. We ban white papers and sales-oriented speeches.
Eric Joubert, Emeric Le Bail and I created the Singaporean chapter of La French Tech in September 2016, as we were looking to satisfy our curiosity around tech, meet new people, and bring together the growing French Tech entrepreneur community. Around 80 people attended our first event, proving that there was a real demand for this exchange. We’ve then produced events in partnership with LinkedIn, Google, Unilever, Criteo among other big names, and many start-ups that shared unique stories.
How would you describe the growth opportunity in Singapore for the tech community?
Singapore is investing a lot in its ecosystem, be it through direct investment with its various funds, or through tax incentives on verticals that they want to prioritise, or by attracting global top talents into their labs. They have really cracked the code on how to attract innovators, entrepreneurs, funds and have them working together to go faster and higher.
We see plenty of initiatives, around cleantech, deeptech, edutech, healthtech, fintech, lawtech, regtech… Anything related to tech has its place in Singapore and there are investment opportunities, innovation facilities, and plenty of people working on exciting things within these spaces.
What are the next steps for La French Tech Singapore?
We were only three at the beginning, the team grew, some people left, some people joined as in every organisation, but we’re happy to serve a community of 500+ individuals, and 80 affiliated companies.
For us, 2018 is going to be super exciting as it is the year of the strategic partnership between France and Singapore. There will be an event every month with a specific theme, with start-ups and innovators coming from France to present what they are working on, and see how they can team up with local companies and innovation labs. As we all know, innovation is happening every day, but I believe this operation will help foster the link between Singapore and France, two prominent and innovative start-up nations.
Interview with Adrien Barthel, representative of La French Tech Singapore and CEO of Singapore-based Sleek
Published in FOCUS Magazine — Issue #1 2018 “Ready? Start-Up. Go!”