San Francisco Mayor comes to Paris to strengthen ties between the two Digital Ecosystems

Mar 21, 2013
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SF Mayor Ed Lee and Paris Myor Bertrand Delanoe

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee came to Paris this past week and met with Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë to exchange ideas with innovators and develop stronger ties around the Smart City theme. His trip, cataloged extensively on Twitter, included meeting with representatives from La Gaîté Lyrique, Autolib, and, ultimately, Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë. The visit comes just a few months after mayor Delanoë visited San Francisco, during which he met with the likes of Twitter, and set a great tone for 2013 in terms of business connections between Paris & the Silicon Valley. Paris was one of two cities that Ed Lee visited (the other being Cork, Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day).

The theme of his trip seemed to be to learn about Paris’ implementation of smart city concepts, including university facilities converting into housing facilities, Paris’ all-electric car-sharing system which, according to Ed Lee, is growing at 15% per month. The trip was coordinated with participation from well-known Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway, as well as well-known Cap Digital President & Fabernovel founder Stéphane Distinguin, who works both in SF & Paris.

At the end of his trip, the Paris mayor’s office announced that Paris & San Francisco will be working together to progress the two cities’ digital savvy, which concretely includes working with & supporting France’s INRIA and UC Berkeley’s CITRIS in a joint program around the theme.

“It is essential that we help Parisian startups to develop in California, where they will find capital and access to the US market, which is essential for growth and job creation in Paris. Conversely, Paris must become a destination for Californian Startups who want to come to Europe” – Deputy Mayor of Paris Jean-Louis Missika

Paris may be a long way from being the first place tech startups think of when they consider opening an office in Europe, but it’s good to see the two cities’ mayors working today. Mayor Ed Lee called San Francisco the “Paris of the West” – Perhaps Paris may still become the San Francisco of Europe.