Astronaut Thomas Pesquet touched down in New York City to celebrate French Tech! [fr]
Space age celebrities came to the French Consulate to celebrate French Tech NYC’s TechFest!
TechFest, the annual gathering of tech movers and shakers in the New York area, had a space age feel this year.
The event featured special and inspirational guests: renowned French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, space entrepreneur Laetitia Garriott de Cayeux, and Jeff Kluger, author of "Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13." They discussed together and with the public how entrepreneurs, like astrophysicists and astronauts, are driven by the desire to challenge common wisdom to and "reach for the stars".
The Consulate General of France and French Tech NYC have partnered together to host this networking event that took place at 7pm on December 14 at the Consulate, with the support of Bpifrance and PeopleDoc.
With more than 150 startups in New York, La French Tech is disrupting many key industries. TechFest provided a chance for talented entrepreneurs, insightful investors and tech visionaries to celebrate this momentum. French Tech entrepreneurs with success stories both in France and in New York were present, such as Jonathan Benhamou (CEO of PeopleDoc), Alexandre Winter (co-founder of Placemeter, acquired by Netgear and Techstars mentor), Frédéric Montagnon (co-founder of Secret Media and Legolas), and Matthieu Nouzareth (co-founder of Freshplanet).
Thomas Pesquet is one of the most well-known astronaut in the world for his six-month mission on the International Space Station (Expeditions 50 and 51). He has identified some of the most pressing technological challenges we are facing in explorating space and Mars: “Success is space and on earth requires innovation, risk taking, creativity and collaboration. As both an engineer and an explorer, I am proud of France’s long history of pioneering breakthroughs in science and technology, as well as our truly impactful partnerships on many levels with America. I am excited and proud to be part of an event that celebrates both.”
Laetitia Garriott de Cayeux, a space technology entrepreneur and Partner at Global Space Ventures. She and her husband are the owners of the Luna 21 lander and the Lunokhod 2 rover, making them the world’s only private owners of an object used on a foreign celestial body. As for her, French startups have played an increasing role in the global space Tech scene: ““We have entered a new golden age of space exploration driven by breakthroughs achieved by US start-ups like SpaceX and Planet, but we are now starting to see great innovation come out of a much more geographically diverse set of start-ups, including French space start-ups - like ThrustMe in which I am an investor - which have the opportunity to play a key role in shaping the future of the industry, from how microsats will revolutionize everything on Earth to how we take the next giant steps on our human journey into space. ”
As a senior writer at Time Magazine and author of the book that led to the award-winning movie Apollo 13 by Ron Howard, Jeff Kluger has seen the evolution throughout the years of how innovation has impacted space exploration : “Traveling to space has always been at least party about inventing our way there—designing and creating new machines and new technology before we can ever take a new step. We did that when we sent people to the moon and first sent machines to the planets, and we will need to do so even more if we are ever to get bootprints on the surface of Mars.”
Food and refreshments provided by Laurent Perrier and Chandon.