FrenchFounders and BNP Paribas to host the 2018 Startup Tour Grand Final September 26th in New York City

FrenchFounders, a next generation Business Club, and BNP Paribas, a leading European Bank, will host the 2018 Startup TourGrand Final on September 26th at The Pierre Hotel in New York City. 

Earlier this year, more than 180 startups applied to be part of the Tour, and 40 of them were shortlisted to pitch in front of the juries of six major business and innovation centers: Miami, Montreal, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Paris. In 2018, the competition became transatlantic by opening its doors not only to French entrepreneurs wishing to develop in North America, but also to American entrepreneurs wishing to establish themselves in France.

Last year, the winner was Thibault Duchemin, co-founder and CEO of AVA, an artificial Intelligence solution with the mission to make the world 100% accessible to people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Below are the 9 startups that will compete in the Grand Final:

French Finalists developing in North America

  • Los Angeles: Louise-Marie Marguet, CEO, EmoJam
  • Miami: Anthony Ginter, Président, Waterdiam
  • Montréal: Xavier Peich, Co-founder & CEO, SmartHalo
  • New York: Mohamed Haouache, CEO, The Storefront
  • Paris: Clémentine Piazza, CEO, InMemori
  • San Francisco: Teo Borschberg, CEO, OTO Systems Inc. 

American Finalists establishing themselves in France

  • Dana Farbo, CEO, Augmate
  • Joshua Haas, Co-Founder, Bubble
  • Mayur Saxena, Founder, Droice Labs

These startups will present in front of a jury composed of investors, decision-makers and experienced entrepreneurs, including:

  • Catherine Flax, CEO, Pefin
  • Diane Yu, Co-Founder & CTO, FreeWheel (Comcast)
  • Elaine Paik, Vice President & Corporate Treasurer/Global Head of M&A, Colgate Palmolive
  • JéromePesenti, VP of AI, Facebook
  • Kevin P. Ryan, Chairman & Founder at, Workframe, AlleyCorp, and more.
  • Nathalie Kosciusko Morizet, Vice President Cloud & Cyber Security North America, Capgemini
  • Marine de Boucaud, Chief HR Officer, AXA
  • Matthieu Baret, Managing Partner, Idinvest Partners
  • MickaëlOhana, Managing Partner, Bandsintown Group
  • Roger Spitz, Head of Technology, Media & Telecom M&A Advisory Americas, BNP Paribas
  • Sarfraz Maredia, Regional General Manager, U.S. & Canada Operations, Uber
  • Valérie Hermann, President Global Brands, Ralph Lauren

In addition, the ceremony will open and close with two roundtables on Climate and Cybersecurity. This year’s Startup Tour has also received the CO2-Neutral certification by CO2logic. For more information on this certification, please visit:

The Grand Final will see four awards presented to the most promising startups:

  • French Prize – a package worth over $100,000
  • American Prize – assistance for the startup in France, supported by Business France, Paris Region (PRIME) and BNP Paribas
  • AAGEF Prize – a package worth $6,000 providing access to exclusive mentors from French grandesécoles
  • People’s Choice Prize – a package worth $3,500 providing access to French Founders member mentors

 Benoit Buridant, Co-founder and CEO of FrenchFounders, said: “The startups have all been selected for their innovation and their potential to evolve or disrupt their sectors of activity. This year, the expectations were very strong and the motivation of the selected startups was significant. The access to a powerful and substantial business network is what makes this competition different.”

Geraud Haissat, Head of the Multinational Corporations Group at BNP Paribas, added: “BNP Paribas is delighted to co-host the Grand Final, and is excited to provide support, guidance and counsel to all the finalists. They will benefit from the bank’s international network, as well as our expertise in the development of startups.”

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