Girls in Tech Paris Women. Technology. Entrepreneurship. Thu, 03 Oct 2019 16:33:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Girls in Tech Paris 32 32 “Putting power back into the hands of patients” – European AI for Health conference Tue, 01 Oct 2019 23:38:22 +0000 Artificial Intelligence raises both hope and fears in all areas and particularly in health. Hope because it proposes to address problems that have so far been left unresolved. Fears not only because it is a subject that is not very easy to grasp (the general public does not really know how it works) but also because it can decide for humans, in an arbitrary way. 

And when it comes to the patient’s free will, an essential dimension appears: Ethics Free will and dignity are key to the patient, in the face of the medical world and disease. AI makes these needs even more essential because they are a great help in healing. 

The round table “Putting power back into the hands of patients” of the European AI for Health conference (Paris September 5, 2019) presented 3 startups at the heart of this topic whose philosophy consists in co-defining solutions with patients in healing management. 

1/ Hillo builds a simple and comprehensive tool treatment decision for patients with diabetes. The startup reduces dosage errors by rationally monitoring all parameters related to the patient’s blood glucose level. It gives him a decision-making tool that indicates the right treatment to be administered. Stéphane Bidet, CEO & Co-founder, is now entering a crucial phase of its development through a test partnership with hospitals. 

2/ Synapse delivers scientific and medical accurate information through an AI-platform powered by Google Assistant to prevent errors in prescriptions. The tool is based on the interactions between the patient and the doctor during the consultation and adapts the right prescription to the real need. The machine learning process is fed with the help of patients who send photos of prescriptions and the feedback from doctors and pharmacists. Dr Clément Goehrs, CEO de Synapse has signed a partnership with the French Health Insurance. 

3/ ExactCure simulate effects of drugs according to the characteristics of the patients : gender, age, constitution, etc…Patients can use an app to avoid over or under dose, bad interactions between other drugs. It addresses chronical diseases such as neurodegenerative, belly, cardio vascular ones. AxactCure and works in partnership with researchers, doctors, pharmacists to model qualitative feedback. It aims at a step by step -go to market 

These 3 startups show that a fairer and more ethical treatment requires large-scale cooperation with the patient himself , who becomes an actor in his healing journey. 

By Dominique Hadria

Key highlights from the AI for finance conference Tue, 01 Oct 2019 23:23:51 +0000 Attending AI for Finance was the opportunity to hear strategic actors of the financial ecosystem discuss and debate what the finance of the future would look like with AI.  The event took place at Le Palais Brongniart in Paris on September 3rd. 

AI is not new. It is the cloud and the computing power that are game changers and make space for innovation” says Adina Grigoriu, CEO Active Asset Allocation. The Finance Industry  has made impressive progress adopting AI and comes naturally first as an industry when talking about data and AI. 

What are the main impacts of AI on finance ?

Customer experience comes first

From chatbots to augmented messaging, sorting and routing support enquiries, personalized UX and interfaces and natural language processing, AI impact is huge on customer.

AI definitely changes the conversation we have with our customers” says Claire Calmejane at Societe Generale. “It is a great help to better interact with the customers” says Aldrick Zapellini at Credit Agricole. Allianz group uses it to hyper personalize their answers. And Jean-Philippe Desbiolles VP IBM Watson Europe talks about “Customer Experience with embedded AI” or “AI with a Human touch”.  

Employee’s knowledge and effectiveness comes second

Saving time for employees and enhancing their operational effectiveness means reinvesting this time into more effective human relationships.” says Aldrick Zappellini, Directeur Data & Analytics at Credit Agricole SA. That is also true at Credit Mutuel Arkea. Virtual assistant, email analysis… : 35 000 employees are equipped with that kind of tools.

Followed by security, risk and compliance as well as processes. 

Fighting fraud, having the right signals emerged from data analysis is crucial for the ecosystem, interesting use cases are detailed later in this article.

RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is dead, “vive le RPA” with intelligence.” says Jean-Philippe Desbiolles, VP IBM Watson Europe. At the beginning, it was only automation with no intelligence. Now with AI, RPA enters a new era and may transform into RIA “Robotic Intelligent Automation” according to the software company Blue Prism.

Use cases

Round tables on the main stage and master classes have raised many interesting uses cases. I’d like to highlight the “Risk management All ladies Round Table” moderated by Emma Sezen, Head of AI for Finance, Start up Inside. It featured Adina Grigoriu, CEO Active Asset Allocation, Sophie Elkrieff, Chief Investment Officer Maif and Anne Lamotte, “My Future” Ecosystem leader at Allianz. Special kudos to them 🙂

In a complicated interest rate context, Maif uses “Active Asset Allocation” to diversify its assets allocations. Thanks to AI, the investment team explores new and creative investment opportunities. Before, it took 8 weeks to create an Asset allocation model for 10 asset classes, now it is nearly immediate. “It means we provide personalized asset management while cutting costs, that is a win win for us and our customers” says Sophie Elkrieff at Maif. 

Another common use case in Asset management is the “Stress Algorithm” : the objective is to bring investment losses to a very minimum. Predictive models are built with many parameters, each of them individually weighted.

Stress Algorithm are also used in Cybersecurity as mentioned in the AI & Cybersecurity Round Table. “First applications of AI in Cybersecurity is to identify the threats and wether the alerts are relevant or not. To really enhance human work, AI should be able to answer WHY this is a threat.” – David Sadek, VP Research, Technology and Innovation at Thales

#How ? What’s the perfect organization to scale AI projects ?

Datalabs, Cross functional teams, POC, Group Project, Customer clusters, what are the initiatives I saw.

Datalabs have a role to play in the acceleration of data initiatives and some organizations are coming back from localized POC. It is most of the time very difficult to transform a regional project into a group project as the requirements are too differents. “To be successful, a data or AI project should bring along all counterparts : CA Tech & services as well as a the User pole.” says Aldrick Zappellini, Directeur Data & Analytics chez Credit Agricole SA. 

A small cross functional AI team interacts with the 350 Data scientists of Societe Generale, spread in different locations. “A lot of initiatives are on a global level, we are working on scaling the projects” says Claire Calmejane from Societe Generale.

At Allianz,  the “My future” ecosystem led by Anne Lamotte focuses on forecasting and optimizing future revenues generated by the customers : savings, pensions. It also focuses on self service, making sure customers can access the performance of his or her contract anytime. 

More generally, while AI allows on most cases to modernize IT while leveraging existing systems, it does impact data lakes and infrastructures as most of the AI Apps are cloud based. 

A final word ?

“Involving AI in process is not about replacing people but investing in people to find the right place for everybody. The new keyword is Learning not Data.” says JP desbiolles, VP IBM Watson Europe.

AI for Finance is organized by “StartupInside” with an ambition to create and fuel sectorial AI clusters on Health, Industry, Environment and retail.

By Marina Detienne

AI for Health: A must-see event for professionals working in the health sector Tue, 01 Oct 2019 23:05:33 +0000 I was delighted to represent Girls in Tech Paris at the AI for Health conference and I would like to thank the Startup Inside team for the opportunity.

In my view, AI for Health is a must-see event for professionals working in the health sector. For the 2019 edition, there were more than 1000 attendees representing the diversity of the healthcare ecosystem: startups, research labs, tech leaders, hospitals and patient associations. The first edition of AI for Health was in 2018 and I was surprised to learn that the conference was set up in only 8 weeks.

Within the panel « Innovating in French medical care and the adoption of AI

technologies », Luc Soler Founder & CEO of Visible Patient spoke about the concept of augmented intelligence. His idea was to use technology to optimize all the processes and to add the human touch for verification purposes of the tasks performed by the machine.

I liked the vision of Jérôme Bourreau , Co-Founder & CEO of Anamnese which was the following :Nowadays, we are able to book a train, buy food and see the weather forecast at anytime of the day. However, if your baby is sick at 11 pm you could not do much at your home. In that context, his focus is to build an Artificial intelligence that question the patient the same that the doctor would do. That will then help the doctor to have in a glance what the patient may have.

During the master class stage “AI: New tool for inclusion?” with Charles Lenay, Professor at the University of Technology of Compiègne (UTC), and Corentin Voiseux , CEO at Hypra, I learned that two million people in France live with a visual impairment and most of those diseases are degenerative. After the announcement of their disease the patients are not reintegrated within the society. The Tactos system was presented. It is using tactile feedback via the exploration of a screen and must be seen not a substitution for the vision but as a supplement. The video below shows this device:

With it, patients are able to read bus lines for instance or a map. I was lucky to be able to try the Tactos system during a live demo.

In a nutshell, the AI for Health conference gives an exhaustive view of the latest available technological advances and is a great occasion to meet the experts from the health industry.

By Claire Behar

Machine learning, Big Data, and Algorithms, Oh My! Tue, 01 Oct 2019 22:57:24 +0000 These were my thoughts as I walked into a conference with limited knowledge in this field of tech. I was invited to represent Girls in Tech Paris at the AI for Finance conference by Startup Inside. As someone with an interest but no educational background in finance but a passion for tech, I was eager to attend the conference and learn how this form of technology is transforming an otherwise old school industry. 

Startup Inside group is a leading ecosystem of experts in Open innovation, AI and Intrapreneurship operating in four countries to help Fortune 500 companies in their digital transformation. They gathers actors of the European Artificial Intelligence ecosystem in Health and Financial sectors by operating the AI for Health & AI for Finance clusters. Startup Inside contributes significantly to projects with positive impact by supporting the AI for Good initiative.

The conference took place at Palais de Brogniart, a fitting venue considering it’s an old stock exchange building. I was happy to see a good ratio (but by no means equal) of women and men attendees. As for speakers, there were significantly more men but a notable amount of women were present as well. The agenda had so many interesting topics that I found myself switching between the two rooms to learn as much as I could about artificial intelligence and its impact on the finance industry.

AI In Finance

The term artificial intelligence has been around for half a century. Yet, only in the past decade has the hardware for computer processing improved to a point where we are beginning to expand the use of these technologies to different industries. Since the finance industry is quantitative in nature and has a large amount of data, it has opened up innovation in this field, especially in machine learning. The application of artificial intelligence in finance is continuously evolving but you can already find AI used in areas like customer relationship management, risk management, fraud prevention and process automation. 

While I sat through each keynote and round table discussion, I noticed a few trends in many of the speakers.

Customer First AI

It’s unquestionable that using AI in Finance is great for customer convenience and ease. Throughout my day, speakers emphasized the importance of putting the customer first while designing and implementing any artificial intelligence in your company. The benefits are many as machine learning can be used to predict customer behaviour, provide personalisation and is available around the clock. But with all those benefits, it’s important that researching and understanding your customers needs drives the design of AI in your company.

Value Added AI

We’ve all heard the fears of AI making many human jobs obsolete but during the conference, this idea was not echoed. Instead, I found that many speakers emphasize AI being put in place to add value to their employees and save them time to attend to more important matters. For example, instead of spending 5 hours reading a 300 page document, machine learning technology can scour the document and present the employee with a summary. This empowers employees to make informed decisions quicker while also freeing up their time to improve customer relationships.   

Ethical AI

In the midst of a digital transformation, it’s normal to be wary of new technologies and the buzzwords that come with it. Especially in the finance industry where incorrect or faulty implementation can have serious consequences. With this in mind, it was reassuring the hear speakers address these concerns and teach the audience ways to ensure AI is ethical in finance. Mainly, to establish trust with customers and employees through transparency, accountability, social responsibility, and reliability.

The Future of AI in Finance

Throughout the day, it was fun to see how the finance industry has adapted to the changing technological climate, and it looks like it’s embracing it with full force. While the finance industry will continue to improve the current AI technologies in place, it also looks towards implementing automated speech recognition and improving the insurance sector.  

Overall, the AI for Finance conference was incredibly informative and well-organized. It was great fintech has being embraced by the corporate world to solve old-school problems. I’d like to thank Startup Inside and Girls in Tech Paris for allowing me to attend and share my experience. I look forward to next year to see how much will change!

By Brittney Lau

Cheers to more women in SAAS!! Thu, 04 Jul 2019 01:51:32 +0000 Article contributed by GIT volunteer, Liz Ifaturoti.

Liz attended the SAAStr Europa conference as part of the GIT Paris invited community.  Thank you Deborah of SAAStr for this opportunity!


You want to have your dog walked? get your hair done? Control the temperature in your home?
Collaborate with team mates who are far away? Find a baby sitter or organize neighborhood activities?
SAAS to the rescue  software as a service; Instantly delivered, subscription based software has
permeated our lives, think of one service you need and there’s most likely a software solution for it. On
the contrary, the tech workforce is not nearly as gender equal as the tech industry remains largely male
dominated. Girls in Tech is a global NGO whose primary mission is to tilt the gender equality ratio in
favor of women in tech through awareness and outreach campaigns, networking opportunities for its
members and skills and coding boot camps for prospective female candidates.

SAAStr Europa took place in Paris last month and one of the hot topics evoked during the event was that
of Diversity and Inclusion. It might appear that these words are bandied about a lot in press publications
on STEM but the good news is some companies have decided to move from talking about these issues to
actually implementing change. The diversity and inclusion workshop that took place on the first day of
the event set the stage for spontaneous interaction about tackling the lack of diversity in the tech space.
SAAStr CEO  Jason Lemkin opened the discussion by reflecting on the company’s efforts
towards a more diverse industry, , SAAStr educates business founders on inclusion and diversity issues,
the complimentary tickets that were extended to the GIT Paris allowed for more women at the event,
invitations are also extended to minority speakers. He concluded with a call for help “anyone out there
with concrete ideas on increasing diversity in tech and at SAAStr, reach out”
Attendees discussed about concrete solutions like paid paternity leaves so mothers can return to work if
they so wish to, remote working opportunities to eliminate precious time that would otherwise have
been spent commuting and mentorship programs to help women climb the corporate ladder if that is
their goal. Obviously, child care solutions during corporate events like SAAStr was also a major point.

How about women who are already in STEM? women are more likely to abandon careers due to
conflicting work-life responsibilities. Some women feel the need to hide pregnancies or child care
related issues at work. Companies would do well to create policies that allow women focus on their jobs
without being scared of discrimination.

So how can you help ?
If your organization is in the SAAS space, take a look at the SAAStrs equality and diversity page , apply
and reach out to Jason with your ideas. Then check how your company stacks up against others on
Fairygodboss .

Finally, if you have women in your company and none of the above measures have been implemented,
forward them this article.

Girls in Tech panel @VivaTech: How to build an inclusive ecosystem for women entrepreneurs Thu, 06 Jun 2019 21:40:36 +0000 Article contribution by Girls in Tech Paris volunteer, Luana David

‘Inclusivity’, ‘diversity’, ‘equality’ – if you’ve been keeping up ever so slightly with the articles, posts or discussions about the challenges of today’s workforce, you would have come across these key words and not just once in a while.

Therefore, there is no surprise when one of the best known European tech conferences – VivaTech – opened its floor to discussions, panels and workshops on hot topics such as breaking the glass ceiling, preparing women to pitch to VCs and discussing how to make the entrepreneurial environment a more inclusive one for female founders.

Girls in Tech Paris dedicated a morning of panels to these topics, and I was lucky to get a front-row seat for one of them: ‘How to build an inclusive ecosystem for women entrepreneurs’.

The panel was moderated by Gwendolyn Regina (entrepreneur in residence for Entrepreneur First), who did not shy away from asking the tough questions to a very diverse panel of women and men who all had, in their own way, experienced the lack of inclusivity in the ecosystem. As part of the panel, Girls in Tech hosted Catherine de Vulpillieres (co-founder of EvidenceB), Seow Hui Lim (director of Startup Development Division for Enterprise Singapore), Dr Juan Carlos Ondategui Parra (co-founder and Wivi Vision), Cécile Villette (CEO & co-founder of Altaroad) and Zhilin Sim (regional director for Europe of EDB).

Whilst everyone experienced the lack of inclusivity in different ways, it stood out that not only did female founders feel disadvantaged from the start but that their male co-founders, such as in the case of Juan Carlos, also sensed that the ecosystem is inherently biased towards the gender of the founder. In his experience, VCs would prefer to email or talk to him, rather than to his co-founder wife, who was in fact the more experienced when it came to finance. Cécile agreed, making a very good point for her start-up, where the founding team is made up of three females, in a very male-dominated industry, and explaining how the fundraising process was inherently more difficult as raised eyebrows were common in meetings.

Catherine added in another solid point – accessibility to the ecosystem for female founders. While it might seem that the start-up ecosystem is buzzing with networking opportunities, events, workshops and what-not, the vast majority of those happen after working hours. This could automatically hinder a mother’s ability to be part of this whole community – as she would need to either plan in advance for someone to look after the kids or just not be able to give 3-4 nights a week to networking in the evenings and still spend time with her kids. Cécile pointed out how lucky one of her co-founders was, for having a husband who would take the kids in the evening, to allow her to work late or attend various events – but Gwendolyn made a very good point: why should that be lucky instead of it being standard? Why should childcare be so reliant on mothers while fathers would never be chastised for spending evenings at work?

The panel certainly highlighted some bigger underlying problems: despite all the talk of inclusivity and all that is aimed at making entrepreneurship a woman-friendly environment, there are some core issues that have not yet been tackled.

Whether it is that the majority of VCs still feel more comfortable addressing a man, or that suppliers and business partners would rather email the husband than the wife, or that childcare is heavily reliant on mothers despite all the efforts to achieve a 50/50 split – our society is still round-fencing women to be different types of entrepreneurs and assumes from the get-go that whatever it is women are up to, it is still men that can be trusted to handle it better.

So the next question naturally was: what can we do, as both men and women, to make this space a more inclusive one? What are the steps we can start to make, no matter how small, to make women feel included in the tech start-up ecosystem?  Seow Hui enforced the point that while the get-go is difficult, there have been moves made by governments and official bodies to empower and support women in their entrepreneurial journeys. Zhilin added that us, as individuals, should make a conscious effort to ask ourselves what we can each change in our day-to-day approaches and that he himself will be more attentive to the situations around him. Cécile and Catherine enforced the idea of including many women in their teams, as they already have and continuing to fight the good fight, for all the generations of women in tech to come!

[Career Development Bootcamp@Vivatech2019] The art of the Pitch Mon, 13 May 2019 22:54:25 +0000 Nous sommes ravis d’avoir Héloïse Lauret comme intervenante pour notre Career Development Bootcamp durant la conférence Vivatechnology 2019 pour la session “The art of the Pitch avec Claire Behar comme animatrice. Découvrez leurs parcours ci-dessous:

Héloïse Lauret, Partner chez Spring Lab

Born & raised aux US, Héloïse a gardé le meilleur des deux mondes : la capacité à rêver et imaginer que tout est possible à l’américaine, et le pragmatisme à la française.

Son envie d’entreprendre et de bousculer l’ordre établi l’emmènent d’abord chez BNP Paribas Cardif en tant que Responsable Innovation & RSE : un terrain de jeu qu’elle a su exploiter pendant 8 ans pour mettre en place un vrai processus de transformation ( démarches de créativité, hackatons, learnign expedition, eco-system d’innovation..).

Son besoin de liberté, de positivisme quotidien et de mener des projets à gogo lui font croiser le projet de Spring Lab qu’elle intégre en 2016. Et c’est là qu’elle retrouve ses racines : rêver ET entreprendre, imaginer ET faire.

Et partant du principe qu’elle dormira plus tard, elle s’est engagée au quotidien dans de nombreux projets : l’organisation des conférences « tribe to be inspired », au Conseil d’Administration de Les Premières, l’organisation du dîner en blanc,..

Claire Behar, Managing Director chez Girls in Tech Paris

Se définissant comme une “tech enthusiast”, Claire Behar a toujours eu pour objectifs l’excellence et l’innovation tout au long de ses études supérieures, ainsi qu’au sein de son parcours professionnel. Diplômée ingénieure de l’UTC puis de l’INSEAD, elle a travaillé pour le Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), le Groupe Casino, puis a été sélectionnée pour rejoindre le très sélectif Business Leadership Program de LinkedIn à Dublin en Irlande. Claire Behar a travaillé chez Workit Software, avec pour principale mission la mise en place d’un nouveau département Data Analytics et au sein de BNP Paribas Wealth Management en tant que Client Data Officer. Elle mène actuellement le projet Tulsy, une application d’e-santé sur l’aromathérapie en tant que Co-fondatrice et PDG.

Elle est très impliquée au niveau associatif au sein d’organisations tournées vers la diversité, le digital et l’entrepreneuriat: Managing Director de Girls in Tech Paris, Vice-Présidente de l’association des diplômés de l’UTC, elle est également Vice-Présidente Sponsors & Data Analytics de l’association des diplômés de l’INSEAD en France.

[Career Development Bootcamp@Vivatech2019] How to build an inclusive ecosystem for women entrepreneurs to thrive? Mon, 13 May 2019 22:54:11 +0000 Nous sommes ravis d’avoir Seow Hui Lim, Dr. Juan Carlos Ondategui Parra PhD, Gwendolyn Regina, Zhilin Sim, Cécile Villette, Catherine de Vulpillieres comme intervenants pour notre Career Development Bootcamp durant la conférence Vivatechnology 2019 pour la session “How to build an inclusive ecosystem for women entrepreneurs to thrive?”. 

Découvrez certains de leurs parcours ci-dessous:

Seow Hui Lim, Director of Startup Development Division at Enterprise Singapore

Seow Hui is currently the Director of Startup Development Division in Enterprise Singapore. Prior to that, she spent 5 years heading a team in the Corporate Planning Unit of then-SPRING where she helped to develop the organisation’s strategic map and KPIs with Balanced Scorecard and also represented Singapore at international fora on SME-related policies development such as ASEAN and APEC SME Workgroups. She was also involved in supporting SMEs’ growth in the Printing and Electronics Sector when she joined then-SPRING in 2008.

In Seow Hui’s current role, she works closely with partners such as govt agencies, VCs, investors, accelerators and incubators to grow the Singapore startup community. In recent years, Singapore’s startup ecosystem has grown significantly in terms of activity, vibrancy and diversity. Singapore was ranked 12 out of 20 cities in 2017, ahead of global startup ecosystems such as Toronto, Stockholm, and Sydney. Over the past decade, entrepreneurial activity in technology sectors has increased, with the number of tech startups in Singapore growing to 4,000 in 2017. Singapore has witnessed success and notable exits / acquisitions including Quantum Inventions (acquired by German automotive giant Continental AG in 2018) and RedMart (acquired by Alibaba in 2017). As Singapore turned towards an innovation-led economy in the new phase of growth, the role that startups play will gain even more significance. Enterprise Singapore will continue to grow the Singapore startup ecosystem into a global hub.

Dr. Juan Carlos Ondategui Parra, PhD. , co-founder of, Optometrist MSc, MPH.

Dr. Juan Carlos Ondategui Parra, PhD. WIVI Vision Co-founder. Optometrist MSc, MPH. Associate Profesor in Optometry at the Faculty of Optics and Optometry. Senior R+D Vision Scientist. Referee of new products for different companies within the industry. 25 years’ experience on Instrumental and Clinical Devices for Vision 3 books and 100 international contributions and more than 30 papers published in journals.


Gwendolyn Regina, Entrepreneur in Residence, Entrepreneur First

Based across Paris and Singapore, Gwen is an ex-founder, investor, market growth operator, and professional host. She has spent 13 years across the media and technology startup sectors in Asia and currently spends her time as Entrepreneur in Residence at Entrepreneur First, where she helps build, advises, and invests in deep tech startups. Previously as a founder, Gwen built and sold tech media startup, SGEntrepreneurs to Tech in Asia. She was also a founding team member of Thymos Capital, an early stage technology investment firm in Singapore with three exits to date. Gwen spearheaded Mashable’s expansion into Asia Pacific, launching its business in Southeast Asia, Australia, and China. An experienced public speaker, she hosted a TV documentary on the Internet of Things for the largest Asia Pacific broadcaster, ChannelNewsAsia. Gwen is an alumnus of the National University of Singapore, where she graduated from its University Scholars Programme doing liberal arts. She spent a year at Stanford University doing under the NUS Overseas College program. Apart from Paris and Singapore, she has also lived in Ho Chi Minh city and California. Gwen has been speaking internationally giving keynotes and moderating for 10 years across Asia, Europe, and the US. She speaks 3.25 languages, and you can find her talking physics, dancing, or doing adventure sports.

Zhilin Sim, Regional Director (Europe), Singapore Economic Development Board

Mr Zhilin SIM is currently the EDB’s Regional Director for Europe, based in Paris. Zhilin was from the EDB’s Nordics office in Stockholm from 2015 to 2017, facilitating economic cooperation between Singapore and her industry partners in the Nordic region. Prior to that, Zhilin was from EDB’s Precision Engineering division and contributed to Singapore’s initiatives in 3D printing, machinery and component supplier development efforts. Zhilin was also from EDB’s France and Africa Country Desk and supported engagement of industry and political partners from the above countries/region. Zhilin holds a Masters in Chemical Engineering from l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes, and has studied and worked previously in France and China.


Cécile VILLETTE, diplômée de Telecom Paristech (2005) et du MBA d’HEC (2016), a piloté de multiples lancements de nouveaux services et produits connectés chez Accenture et PWC, en France et à l’international. A ce titre, elle a acquis une solide expérience opérationnelle de l’ensemble du cycle de vie d’un produit connecté fiable, avec une maîtrise des coûts et des délais et une parfaite compréhension de la relation client et de l’analyse du besoin. Elle est PDG d’ALTAROAD qu’elle a créé en 2017 avec Bérengère Lebental et Rihab Jerbi.

Co-founder of EvidenceB (Edtech) in July 2017, Catherine de Vulpillières (alumni of ENS Ulm- Agreggation of modern litterature) has been for more than twenty years teacher in preparatory classes for the Grandes Ecoles (hypokhâgne and khâgne) as well in high school. She also co-founded the publishing house Editions Lampsaque, was a member of the jury of the external aggregation of modern litterature (2011-2015) and author of schoolbooks for 8 years (Editions Belin).

[Career Development Bootcamp@Vivatech2019] Fostering women leaders in tech: Breaking the glass ceiling Mon, 13 May 2019 22:51:57 +0000 Nous sommes ravis d’avoir Juliette Favre, Agnes Kwek, Catherine Ladousse, Kimiya Shams, Dr Jamie Soon -Kesteloot,PhD & Elisabeth Perrier comme intervenants pour notre Career Development Bootcamp durant la conférence Vivatechnology 2019 pour la session “Fostering women leaders in tech: Breaking the glass ceiling“.

Découvrez certains de leurs parcours ci-dessous:

Ms Agnes Kwek
Design Ambassador for Singapore (DesignSingapore Council)

Agnes is possibly the first Design Ambassador in the world, since October 2018. Based in Paris, Agnes aims to deepen design relations between Singapore and Europe plus North America. In particular, she helps global audiences discover Singapore’s unique culture and heritage by making Singapore design – for example fashion, furniture, lifestyle and architecture – known and accessible. But equally, she helps European and North American companies, businesses and start-ups from all industries (not just design) understand how they can plug into Singapore’s dynamic design and innovation ecosystem, in order to access the fast-growing Southeast
Asian market. Prior to this, she headed the DesignSingapore Council as its Executive Director from
November 2016 to May 2018. The Council is the national government agency in Singapore for all things design, and its vision is for Singapore to be an innovation- driven economy and a loveable city by design. Agnes and her team charted national policies and programmes for growing the design ecosystem, advised business and
government leaders on using design to transform their organisations, worked with academic institutions to strengthen design education, and helped design businesses grow. Agnes has a passion for the intellectual and humanitarian challenges that public service brings. She spent 17 years in the well-respected and rigorous Administrative Service of the government of Singapore. During this time, she gained much policy
and service delivery experience, not to mention networks, through 6 extremely varied portfolios: defence diplomacy, labour policy, community organisation and social welfare, public service transformation, and land transport.
However, her niche – and passion area – is in transforming organisations through design. Design became the clarion call for Agnes’ career when she witnessed the transformative power of design in creating citizen value and agile organizations, when she was leading the charge for developing innovation approaches for the government, at the Prime Minister’s Office. In 2011, she wrote an internal manifesto that articulated the Singapore public sector’s ambition to be citizen-centric, and firmly put design at the heart of public sector transformation. She set up the Singapore public service’s first in-house design team; it is estimated that today there are 30
such teams scattered around various government agencies in Singapore. In 2013, she was sent by the Singapore Government on a one-year attachment to a global design consultancy, IDEO (San Francisco) to live and breathe design. Back to Singapore in 2014, she helmed the transformation effort of the Land Transport Authority of Singapore, where for the first time, an engineer-heavy organization saw a transportation system not as sets of infrastructure, but rather as delivering a loveable transport experience to citizens.

Agnes graduated with a First Class B.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford, Lincoln College in 2000. She went on to do a M.A. in International Relations in the University of Chicago in 2001 – all of which has nothing to do with design. Agnes is a real Singaporean at heart – she is crazy about food.
She enjoys cooking for family and friends, reading cookbooks to relax, and making friends with vendors at the farmer’s market. To balance out all the food related stuff, she rock-climbs with her husband and kids.


Catherine Ladousse
Executive Director, Communications and Engagement, Lenovo EMEA

A graduate of the University of Aix en Provence, with a master in literature and philosophy, Catherine Ladousse also holds a diploma from the Institut Français de Presse, University of Paris II.
Catherine Ladousse began her career with the Association of Francophone Universities before joining the Communications department of Credit Agricole in Paris, then in Cairo. She spent 5 years in Mexico involved in cultural and philanthropic activities and back in Paris in 1991, where she became Communications Director & Customer Satisfaction at American Express Bank France. She joined IBM in 1995, first as Head of Media for EMEA PC division then as Communication Director for IBM France. She joined Lenovo EMEA in 2005 as Executive Director of Communications. She contributed to the creation of the global diversity program “Women In Lenovo Leadership” in 2007. Since April 2012, she is leading Corporate and Executive communications, events, social and digital media, sponsorship and diversity initiatives in Lenovo EMEA.
She is also co-Founder and Chairman of a Women company network, “Cercle InterElles created in 2001 and dedicated to reduce gender gap in tech company and increase the number of women ain particular in top management ” This network include now 14 member companies, in the Technology and Sciences fields. . She has been recognized by the French government in April 2017 as ‘Chevalier de la légion d’honneur”

Kimiya Shams
Legal Counsel at Devialet and Girls in Tech Board member

Kimiya Shams is an attorney with several years of work experience in international intellectual property law and corporate transactions. Having previously practiced at international law firms and companies in Sweden, France and the U.S., she is currently working as a legal counsel at a leading audio technology company based in Paris.

Originally from Sweden, Kimiya earned a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Stockholm University and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Stanford Law School where she specialized in Law, Science and Technology. She has also been enrolled at Harvard University and Oxford University where she has specialized in intellectual property law and economics.
Interested in the intersection of law, technology, fashion and business, Kimiya has in parallel to her academic and professional life worked as a writer reporting on the challenges of protecting intellectual property rights in the digital age. She has published numerous articles related to intellectual property law in various leading international magazines, among them Forbes Magazine, The Independent, The Business of Fashion etc. She is also the founder of Young Intellectual Property Practitioners (YIPP), an informal group that endeavors to bring together young intellectual property practitioners and to promote a global exchange on the development and administration of intellectual property regulation.  

Kimiya has throughout her career volunteered and worked with several NGOs and associations. She was priorly a Board Member of the Red Cross Stockholm where she chaired the communication group. She has done pro-bono work in Sweden and in the U.S. involving cases with undocumented female immigrants, victims of trafficking and unaccompanied immigrant children. 


Dr Jamie Soon -Kesteloot,PhD

MD, Girls in Tech Paris

Research innovation manager and Scientist by day, Women in tech community leader by night

Jamie Soon-Kesteloot has first hand experience on the frustrations that could await the journey of a young, skilled female professional in the world of Science and Tech.  This propelled her to volunteer for Girls in Tech as Managing Director, with the ambition to inspire and empower women (and men) via their activities. Thanks to her network, Girls in Tech Paris was awarded the “France-Singapore Year of Innovation” label, in honour of which an AMPLIFY pitch competition was organised in partnership with the Singapore Embassy in France and EDB.  This competition puts the spotlight on female startup founders who developed potentially high-flying tech ideas which might be of interests to Singapore, with the aim to help them take off their business in Singapore by providing the right network and guidance.

Born and raised in Singapore, Jamie adopted France as her second home in adulthood.  Armed with a Ph.D in Chemistry (Nanotechnology) and the desire to explore the world after Graduate school, Jamie pursued academic research in Japan and France, before switching to industrial research first at Saint Gobain and now at Essilor, where she manages technical innovation valorisation and protection in the R&D department.  The professional experience overseas sharpened her skills in the domain of nanotechnology, and broadened her cultural outlook.

OECD Forum 2019 : 20-21 May Sun, 28 Apr 2019 21:48:10 +0000

Dear Members,

Girls in Tech is pleased to be a partner of OECD Forum 2019. Come join us to debate a World in EMotion and reserve your spot now!

This year’s Forum, World in EMotion, will reflect on the fact that we are experiencing a great deal of social, economic and political change, upheaval and disruption, largely amplified by the dual forces of digitalisation and globalisation. People are still hurting from the worst economic, financial and social crisis of our lifetimes, and see no end to job uncertainty, high debt, weak pay packets, and widening inequalities. Anxiety about their situation is spilling over into politics, driving people apart rather than bringing us closer together. The Forum will explore ways to transform these increasing expressions of uncertainty and anger into collective commitment for positive action.

Over the past 20 years, the OECD Forum has grown to become a major international conference that debates the most pressing challenges confronting society.

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet with stakeholders from academia, business, civil society, and government to share your views and address some of the biggest global issues we all face today.

Should you be interested to attend, please click on the link below to obtain your free invitation by providing the following Partner Code: [GirlsinTechOECDForum] on the registration form by April 30th.

For more information:
#OECD Forum