Orange Fab launches pioneering accelerator Fab Connect(ai)

19/06/2018, Paris, 13:11 GMT

Orange Fab, a leading platform for connecting innovative startups with corporations, has announced the launch of Fab Connect(ai) – a Silicon Valley acceleration program designed to identify and support early stage startups with resources for empowering smart connectivity.

Fab Connect(ai) is being launched in collaboration with prominent partners, including Google Cloud’s Startup Program, NVIDIA’s Inception Program, Microsoft IoT & AI Insider Labs, LAB IX Flex Ventures, Publicis Groupe, Groupe Seb, Michelin, Valeo, Ping An Technology and Lumi.

Fab Connect(ai) has created a deliberately crafted ecosystem of resources for seed-stage startups who are building the bridge between AI and ubiquitous smart connectivity. The platform will offer the combination of artificial intelligence, networking technologies, chipsets, and sensors, which will realize the unfulfilled promises of the intelligent enterprise, smart home, AI-driven factory, and smart city.

Orange Fab created Fab Connect(ai) based on the observation that existing ecosystems are too fragmented to work together. There are complex operating environments, with distinct technology providers and multiple stakeholders, and Fab Connect(ai) partners collaborate to bridge these gaps and provide entrepreneurs with an integrated network to better facilitate the rise of smart connectivity empowered by AI.

Startups that participate in Fab Connect(ai) will have access to a network of seed-stage investors and corporations providing technical resources and real-world business challenges. Multinational corporations have a new opportunity to link their networks together through Fab Connect(ai) to source external innovation. Each season of Fab Connect(ai) will focus on a unique technology topic of strategic interest to all participants. The first season will focus on startups working at the intersection of AI and IoT.

“Fab Connect(ai) is one of the first accelerator programs to align capital with global growth opportunities sustained by such a network of partners,” noted Georges Nahon, CEO of Orange Silicon Valley, the home of Orange Fab. “Our goal with Fab Connect(ai) is to identify the most promising startups in AI & IoT, a domain of growing importance for Orange and our Fab Force members.”

“Fab Connect(ai) is the only global initiative designed to empower AI with the benefits of smart connectivity, from a collaborative and global perspective, and with an extensive network of influential partners,” said Denis Barrier, co-founder and CEO of Cathay Innovation. “As a global venture capital fund deeply committed in the fourth industrial revolution, Cathay Innovation believes that this approach can be helpful for the rise of a Super AI able to foster the next wave of digital transformation.”

“Fab Connect is a disruptive global acceleration experience. It connects the next generation of Industry 4.0, AI and smart connectivity startups with world class industry leaders to help them disrupt their space. Fab Connect is building bridges between startups and innovative corporates, which we are familiar with at Iris Capital, thanks to our Venture initiative built in partnership with leading corporate partners, and we look forward to supporting this unique accelerator,” adds Julien-David Nitlech, Partner at Iris Capital

To learn more about the program and apply to Fab Connect(ai) ’s inaugural cohort:

About Orange Fab

Orange Fab, an Orange Silicon Valley initiative, is a platform connecting innovative startups to corporations for proof-of-concept projects, distribution, or investment opportunities utilizing our onsite team of industry analysts, online content platform, CVC network, and thought leadership events.

About Orange Silicon Valley

Orange Silicon Valley (OSV) is the San Francisco Bay Area presence of Orange, one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators. We actively engage with San Francisco and Silicon Valley and participate in the disruptive innovations changing the way we communicate.

About Cathay Innovation

Cathay Innovation is a global venture capital fund, created in affiliation with Cathay Capital Private Equity. It was founded around the shared conviction that supporting digital entrepreneurs by providing them with a platform bridging 3 continents – North America, Europe and China – constitutes a particularly powerful value-creation strategy. As a multi-stage fund, Cathay Innovation partners with visionary entrepreneurs, committed to driving change through technology. Such transformation is accelerated by leveraging Cathay Capital Private Equity's extensive network with corporates and solid experience in operational excellence. Cathay Innovation has offices in San Francisco, Paris, Beijing and Shanghai.

About Iris Capital

Iris Capital is a European venture capital funds’ manager specialized in the digital economy. It fuels entrepreneurs at various stages of maturity, from early-stage to growth equity. With its deep sector specialization and extensive experience acquired over 30+ years, as well as the backing of its corporate sponsors, Iris Capital provides active support to its portfolio companies, through its presence in Paris, Berlin, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Dubai. IrisNext, Iris Capital’s new fund, includes for its first closing industry leaders such as Orange, Publicis and Valeo, joined by financial investors and institutions such as Bpifrance and BRED Banque Populaire. Iris Capital investments include, among others, companies such as Agorize, Armis, Careem, iAdvize, Kyriba, Mojio, Netatmo, PlaceIQ, Scality, Shift Technology, Talend, Unu Motors and Zeta Global.

[ Download the press release Download (475.9 kB) ]( Fab Connect 180618.pdf)

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