A scenic view of Paris. The River Seine runs from the foreground to the background. The Eiffel Tower is in the top left.
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10 tech influencers in Paris you should follow

8 Feb 2019

This month, we’re taking a closer look at what Paris has to offer the world of tech, including some of its biggest influencers.

France (specifically Paris) is working hard to solidify its standing as a major European sci-tech hub.

Given the uncertainty of Brexit, Paris is hoping to capitalise on the changing winds and be ready to be viewed as an excellent alternative to London.

While there have been huge efforts to develop its start-up scene and improve the visa process to attract more tech workers, there are a number of major tech players either based in Paris itself, or with strong influence in the city.

We’ve taken a look at just 10 to get you started if you’re interested in following the major movers and shakers on the Parisian tech scene.

Kat Borlongan (@katborlongan)

Kat Borlongan is a French entrepreneur who currently leads the La French Tech, a government-led taskforce built to bolster the French tech ecosystem.

Borlongan co-founded innovation consultancy firm Five by Five, which has built innovation teams inside a range of organisations, including Google.

She was also the Techstars entrepreneur in residence, director of the Open Data Institute Paris, a Google product strategy expert, communication strategist at the United Nations and member of the French government’s first Open Data Expert Committee.

Xavier Niel (@Xavier75)

Xavier Niel is a French billionaire businessperson, best known as founder and majority shareholder of Iliad, trading under the Free brand.

He is also co-owner of the newspaper Le Monde and owner of Monaco Telecom. Niel’s initial venture, World-Net, was France’s first internet provider.

Niel also financed the construction of start-up incubator Station F with €250m. It opened in Paris in June 2017.

Roxanne Varza (@roxannevarza)

As the director of start-up incubator Station F, Roxanne Varza is at the front and centre of the start-up culture in Paris.

Prior to her current role, Roxanne was the lead for Microsoft’s start-up activities in France and former editor of TechCrunch France.

Station F hosts start-ups, entrepreneurs, makers and founders so that they can meet, mingle and incubate ideas.

Mounir Mahjoubi (@mounir)

Mounir Mahjoubi is a French politician and entrepreneur serving as the secretary of state for digital affairs.

Previously, Mahjoubi was deputy general manager for BETC Digital. In September 2016, he founded the French Bureau, now known as Possible Future, a start-up that aims to accompany major groups in their innovation process.

Recently, Mahjoubi announced plans to propose a law against hate speech online to make the internet a “space of love”.

Anne Ravanona (@anneravanona)

Based in Paris, Anne Ravanona is founder and CEO of Global Invest Her, a platform and online community for early-stage women entrepreneurs that demystifies funding and helps them get investor-ready, to get funded faster.

A passionate women’s advocate with more than 22 years’ experience in global business, Ravanona is also a regular, acclaimed speaker at conferences worldwide. She aims to raise awareness, change unconscious bias and close the $300bn funding gap for women entrepreneurs.

Alexis Bonte (@alexisbonte)

Entrepreneur Alexis Bonte is the co-founder and CEO of gaming company eRepublik Labs, which is now part of the Stillfront group.

Bronte is also a venture partner at Atomico, advising on new investments in France, Spain, Portugal and eastern Europe as well as sourcing and accelerating growth in the games, blockchain and travel verticals.

Bronte is also the non-executive chair of the video and music social entertainment community Trilulilu.ro and music streaming service Zonga.fm.

Julie Ranty (@JulieRanty)

Viva Technology is an annual technology conference held in Paris, dedicated to innovation and start-ups, and Julie Ranty is the managing director.

The conference was founded in 2016 and last year’s event attracted more than 100,00 visitors and more than 300 speakers, including Mark Zuckerberg and Satya Nadella.

Ranty has been at the helm of Viva Technology since its inception and she was also the founder and publisher of Les Echos Start, a media company for young people.

Florian Graillot (@FGraillot)

Florian Graillot is a major investor in the Paris tech scene with a particular focus on fintech and insurtech.

Currently, Graillot is a VC investor and founding partner at Astorya.vc, investing in early-stage start-ups in Europe with a focus on technologies that could build the next insurance generation.

Previously, Graillot was an investor with AXA Venture Partners, Newfund Management and Affine.

Delphine Rémy-Boutang (@delphine)

Delphine Rémy-Boutang is a huge advocate for women in tech. She is the founder of The Margaret Foundation, which aims to give women back their place in the digital world.

She also founded the JFD Club, an exclusive women’s network that promotes entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and female innovation.

Rémy-Boutang is also the founder and director of The Bureau, a strategic consultancy firm in social media based in London and Paris.

Gilles Babinet (@babgi)

Gilles Babinet is a French multi-entrepreneur, having founded a number of companies including eYeka, MXP4 and Africa 4 Tech.

Babinet represents France in the Digital Champions group built by the European Union.

He is also the former president and current vice-president of the Conseil National du Numérique, a body advising the French Government on digital matters.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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