Hello Tomorrow, Hello Paris!
We had the pleasure of visiting Hello Tomorrow in Paris on December 1 and 2. Arioso Systems had been selected and invited as one of the Deep Tech Pioneers, represented at this major international deep tech meeting. And I must say: Even though we’ve all gotten pretty used to doing business via Teams and Zoom, it felt good to meet people in person again.
But apart from that – was it worth it? Here’s a quick summary of my impressions:
The Global Summit – the “epicentre of deep tech”
The Deep Tech Days consist of The Global Summit and an Investors Day. The Summit calls itself “the epicentre of deep tech”. It features high profile speakers and panel discussions, presentations by start-up firms and a wide array of sessions that are surely supportive for anyone new to the start-up scene (like “how to pitch your idea” etc.).
The full deep tech universe was well represented, with a notable increase of firms active in the fields of green tech and medtech/pharma. Avionics also continues to be a trending topic. The CentQuatre, the event location in close vicinity to Gare de l’Est, hosted a rather mixed crowd of start-ups, investors, advisors, politicians, corporates, and research organizations – so start-ups and investors weren’t as much “entre nous” as on the first day, the Investors Day.
Investors Day: Great opportunity to make new connections
For me, the Investors Day was the more interesting part of my visit. It took place at STATION F – a very impressive location close to Gare d’Austerlitz. The former rail depot was transformed into the world’s largest incubator space in 2007.
The idea: investors meet with start-ups in 25-minutes 1-on-1 meetings. Time slots are generally arranged in advance. However, there is a 5-minutes break between the meetings, and it was also possible to use these for short introductions and arrangements of a meeting slot.
Due to Covid travel restrictions, not all 100 investors were able to show up in person and neither were all of the approximately 200 start-ups. Some meetings still happened online. But it was nevertheless a busy atmosphere, and I am sure many productive conversations took place.
For Arioso Systems, the event was a very good opportunity to connect with investors we hadn’t met before. I would have expected more US investors to show up as well. But the fact that mainly European investors attended may certainly still be due to Covid and therefore change in the future.
Bottom line: For European deep tech start-ups, The Hello Tomorrow Investors Day seemed to me as one of the most interesting events that exist, together with the Dresden High-Tech-Venture Days.
Record levels of VC also reaching Deep Tech?
After a lot of recent talk about the high levels of venture capital in the market and investors fighting for the best targets – was that a Paris experience as well? Let me put it that way:
Our Series A talks are on a very good way. The feedback we receive from investors is highly positive. They believe in the enormous potential of our innovation, and we feel confident.
However, in general, it must also be noted that deep tech still isn’t experiencing the same levels of attention as other tech firms. The investment horizon is longer and not all funds can take that on. But we also see that new funds for deep tech are being raised, and I am positive that a growing number of investors will discover deep tech firms as very promising targets.