Daniela Musial-Lemberg
trade fair

Viva Technology has established itself as the world’s leading event for technology and start-ups. Around 150,000 visitors to the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre, plus 405,000 online visitors, 11,400 start-ups and 2,800 exhibitors were on site. Our colleagues Eric and Ralf noticed that there was a lot going on from the very large number of visitors, which was significantly higher than last year. The audience was very international as well as start-up and tech-oriented. The positive and very busy atmosphere spilled over to everyone and so people were busy networking, exchanging ideas and making new contacts. French President Emanuel Macron and start-up legend Ellon Musk also visited the fair.

The French-Germa Tech Lab 2023

KIT and thus the KIT-Gründerschmiede were part of the French-Germa Tech Lab 2023 at VivaTech. A total of 11 partners presented themselves at the French-German Tech Lab 2023: Technical University of Munich (TUM), Institut Mines-Télécom (IMT), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Arts et Métiers, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA), the Franco-German University/Université Franco-Allemande (DFH/UFA), the De Hub Digital Ecosystems, the Franco-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK), and the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland.

One focus of the programme was the strat-up pitches, which were very well attended. They were an ideal springboard for our start-ups to get into conversation and make new business contacts. Over 40 tech start-ups were at the start, including our four.

In addition, the start-ups used the countless side events to establish and expand international contacts.

Feedback from the start-ups

These four KIT spin-offs were there: MARA Solution, safeAD, inventife, and Kimoknow. How did our startups like Viva Tech, we asked.


Julius Kümmerl, Co-Founder of safeAD

“We were able to make some new contacts with potential partners and customers. Also, we were contacted afterwards by some investors who want to exchange ideas with us.”


What moment in particular stuck with you?
“Two moments in particular: 1. a request to give a pitch to an industry delegation and 2. a request to give an interview to VT News. Both moments that gave unexpectedly great opportunities.”

Max Lüders, Co-Founder MARA Solutions

„Es vor allem sehr cool, Investor:innen zu treffen, mit denen wir schon im Austausch waren. Sich außerhalb von Zoom von Angesicht zu Angesicht zu treffen macht doch immer noch einmal einen Unterschied zur digitalen Begegnung und das persönliche Verhältnis macht extrem viel aus. Teams, die nicht auf der Suche nach VC-money sind, sondern sich eher nach Business Angels umschauen, kann ich die VivaTech nicht unbedingt empfehlen.“


Welcher Moment ist besonders hängen geblieben ?
„Wir, die KIT-Startups und die vom KIT mitgereisten Mitarbeitenden, hatten ein, zwei schöne Abende in Paris auf den VivaTech Side Events bei guten Gesprächen, schönem Wetter und ein, zwei Gläsern gutem französischen Wein. Was will man mehr? 😉“

Philipp Kataliakos, Kimoknow

“Overall, our visit to VivaTech gave us the opportunity to make valuable contacts, expand our reach and strengthen our network. Not only did we benefit from the experiences and advice of other like-minded founders, but we also met some promising investors who can support us in our current phase.”


What moment in particular stuck with you?
“We participated in a pitch contest at VivaTech and received very positive feedback about it. That was our first pitch in such a short time, which definitely helped us once again to summarize Kimoknow’s communication to the most relevant.”


Robin Goebel, Founder & CEO Inventife

“Our motivation for attending the trade show: Ralf commented that it would be a good idea for us to attend Viva Tech in Paris this year. He said that it was the place to be and that it was Europe’s biggest startup fair and that we had to be there. And he was definitely right about that :-)”


What was the most memorable moment?
The general startup spirit, especially at the party like the German Startup Night. And of course Elon Musk’s appearance, even though we couldn’t meet him ourselves, but there you could really feel the startup spirit again.”

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