Baer jetted over to France on Monday to rep the Fishtown-based design studio (which just set up a NYC office) in the French-American Digital Lab, an initiative of the French Embassy in New York and Business France, an agency of the French government for entrepreneurial support.
“Even though the program seemed geared towards startups, the focus on technology and culture seemed to make it a great fit,” said CEO and founder Josh Goldblum in an email. “The French American Digital Lab, which was created out of the French Embassy, was eager to connect US companies to major French cultural institutions and leaders. We were excited for the opportunity, we applied and were accepted.”
So what’s in it for the companies? The program’s description stated companies had to pay for transportation and lodging while in Paris, but it did include access to meetings with Paris-based companies and organizations like the Louis Vuitton Foundation, the Louvre, Havas and the Google Cultural Institute in the hopes of finding common ground. (Also included: workshops, mentoring sessions and a private tour of Paris City Hall)
One of the conditions for joining the program reads “Your priority must be international development within the next 12 to 36 months.” Though an office in Paris isn’t in the works just yet, Goldblum said there was interest in doing some more work across the pond.
“There are few cities we’d rather work in more than Paris,” said Goldblum.
As for Baer, he was kind enough to drop us a few lines from the City of Lights:
“We believe these preliminary discussions will help to introduce our proven approach to many of the organizations and will open up opportunities to collaborate moving forward. Historically there has been a bit of hesitation to introduce digital offerings, especially at some of the more conservative museums in Paris, but we are confident that technology will soon be as integrated into museums in France as it is around the United States. We also feel like their impressive collections can become more accessible to those who aren’t able to visit via the web and social media. Furthermore, the flight is only a bit longer than a trip to California from Philadelphia so the prospect of working in Western Europe is actually quite feasible.”