HEC is a leading academic business institute in Europe, offering a complete and unique range of education. Passionate and ambitious students from HEC Paris have organized HEC SEED, an international entrepreneurship forum, which has also become the biggest business student forum in France.
Last year’s reflection has given me and two others the confidence to visit Paris as the representatives of EVA. On top of that, I was glad to hear that the hosting university could accommodate us at their campus in 13ème arrondissement of Paris. The apartment was bright, spacious and furnished; I brought two packs of waffles to show our appreciation, which came out to be a very good idea.
It is no surprise that entrepreneurship has become the choice of many business school graduates recently. It is of significance for the young entrepreneurs to create and operate a successful start-up.
There were about 300 participants at the forum on April 2nd, to network and participate in presentations, workshops on the topics of a variety of fields including discussions on marketing and strategy, sales pitch, how to choose the right people to work with, and also workshops on financing.
Due to the vast amount of seminars and discussions, there weren’t many students in each workshop, which allowed more communication among students and the guest speaker.
Guest speakers were mostly successful French entrepreneurs, with the international backgrounds, full of knowledge and ideas, smart, communicative, and especially, able to speak English.
Nevertheless, after talking to some other international students who came to Paris for this event, it seemed that not everyone was a fan of doing business in France. The reason could be that most of the companies here are purely French, all the sheets, posters are in French only, some of the representatives could not talk English.
But overall, the event offers students a different perspective regarding start-up environment and business culture, in particular, for those who have the interests doing business in France. Surprisingly, I noticed that there is a change domestically in France, a change of being more connected and international. Perhaps les parisiens still continue to be proud of their language, independence, or maybe even les clichés français, French politicians, and évidemment young entrepreneurs, are increasingly seeking to tie the French future to the continued development of the European Union.
Next year there will be the third session of the HEC SEED, and hopefully, another team of EVA will be joining, and perhaps to even pitch ideas.
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