The West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance (WCE Alliance) is currently a private initiative promoting and facilitating entrepreneurial initiatives, and helping startup, small and medium companies uncover new market opportunities in North America.
This initiative came to life as its founder conducted his high tech career on a global scale in innovation clusters such as IBM's Poughkeepsie/Fishkill Development Center in New-York State, Innovation Valley in Grenoble, France, and California's Silicon Valley, and now applies his expertise and experience with high value added services to organizations and companies from California, the USA, Chile, and France (more to come).
In that, its founder is another witness that California is not only Silicon Valley, France is not only Paris, and Chile is not only Santiago; the decentralization of innovation is today a reality across these States, and as the shape of the global economy evolves, we all know that we need to adapt and grab opportunities that are offered for us to thrive.
Leveraging a strong expertise in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), entrepreneurship and business development applied to BioTech, CleanTech, HealthTech, HighTech, Industrial Control and Smart Manufacturing, our mission is to provide high value added Business Development and Management Services to foster inter-cluster exchanges and partnerships in innovation and entrepreneurship among California’s Counties, and with regions in foreign countries.
Visit of SoNumérique, high technology company from Normandy, France
From April 4 to 9, Marie-Pierre Besnard, CEO of SoNumérique, came to meet with local economic development organizations in the Sacramento area, and with the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) at the State Capital.
SoNumerique is a young company from the region of Normandy in France, with strong references in France for its expertise in Smart Digital Territories.
SoNumerique is also a member of the "Transaction Electroniques Sécurisées (TES)" competitiveness cluster (Secured Electronic Transactions) in France, and represented "Normandy French Tech" at the 2016 CES show in Las Vegas, NV.
"Our visit in the State Capital (Sacramento) and our meeting with GO-Biz was a strong eye-opening experience, and shed light on the dynamism of the whole state of California, way beyond the Silicon Valley." says Marie-Pierre Besnard, CEO of SoNumérique, and PhD in Virtual Reality applied to Human Sciences from the University of Caen (UniCaen) in France. "Bridging the California Innovation Hubs (iHubs) to France through Smart Digital Territories is definitely a forward looking opportunity that SoNumérique is very well positioned to address, for both the region of Normandy, the TES competitiveness cluster, and for the whole country of France in general."
A Smart Digital Territory is the transposition of a geographic space, the elements of which are usually far apart, into a digital virtual space where the distances are reduced to the access of its elements, thanks to the communication infrastructure that sustains it.
An internet web site is the most known Smart Digital Territory, and new digital technologies are now coming along to expand it into a whole new user experience, that SoNumérique has mastered for several years now.
Smart Digital Territories are an important part of the project of opening up the California Innovation Hubs (iHubs) to international clusters, for which the West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance initiative collaborates with the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).
"The perspective of having a French high technology company involved in the definition, the development and the deployment of the iHubs Smart Digital Territories, is a strong vector of the bilateral collaborations between California's iHubs and France's regional innovation clusters, among which SoNumérique, the TES cluster and the region of Normandy, are showing here their strong leadership towards a global market outreach." says Hervé Auch-Roy, Founder of the West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance initiative.
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A meeting was held on March 2nd, 2016, gathering the WCE Alliance, representatives of the California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), of the California Innovation Hubs (iHubs), and of several regions and organizations in France, to introduce the various parties that would be involved in such a project.
After the presentation and a series of Q&A, all parties expressed their high interest in moving forward with the development of a platform as an international extension of California innovation clusters (California Innovation Hubs - "iHubs"), with the goal to foster economic activity and job creation through bilateral collaboration along Higher Education, Technology Transfer, Professional Development, Entrepreneurship and Startup incubation, Business Development, and Investments.
The West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance initiative, which has been performing the groundwork since July 2014, will become a registered corporation (legal entity to be defined), with its headquarter in the Sacramento area, relocating from the San Diego area where it all started. A secondary office is envisioned in the Temecula Valley to address the Southern California iHubs and their resources.
California-France Innovation Clusters Initiative
Pursuing the deployment on a global scale of the California Innovation Hub (iHub) program the California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development ("GO-Biz") and the WCE Alliance entered in talks for the deployment of an initiative between innovation clusters of California and France.
The California-France Innovation Clusters Initiative, driven by the Founder of the West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance initiative, aims at establishing and developing bilateral collaborations between the California Innovation Hubs (iHubs) and innovation clusters of France ("Pôles de Compétitivité", "Régions de France"), along Education, Technology Transfer, Entrepreneurship and Business Development.
For more information, visit the California-France Innovation Clusters page.
2015 BioLatAm Conference - Santiago, Chile
At the invitation of ProChile, the institution of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile in charge of promoting exports of products and services, the West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance initiative (WCE Alliance) conducted a workshop and participated in the "Creating innovation and entrepreneurship in biotechnology ecosystems for internationalization" forum at the 2015 conference for BioTechnologies, held in Santiago, Chile on November 16 and 17.
The presentation, made by Hervé Auch-Roy, focussed on Information and Communication Technologies applied to BioTechnologies, and provided valuable insights about how to keep ITC people in the loop while the biotechnology project moves along.
Chilean Economic and Business Delegation visit in Temecula Valley
The West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance initiative (WCE Alliance), in partnership with the Economic Development Corporation of Southwest California (EDCSWCA), the City of Temecula, the California State University of San Marcos (CSUSM) in Temecula, and ProChile, organized a visit in Temecula Valley on September 17, 2015, for the Chilean Economic and Business delegation made of representatives from ProChile in the USA and Chile, together with five Chilean companies operating in the CleanTech, Wearables, E-Learning and IT industries looking into expanding on a global scale.
This visit, at the initiative of Hervé Auch-Roy, founder of the West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance, was part of seminar organized by ProChile in Los Angeles, during which Mr. Auch-Roy provided a workshop "How to sell in the U.S Market: Entry strategies for SMEs and International Trade in Services."
The event was a true success according to all participants; it allowed government Officials from ProChile, and Executives from the visiting Chilean companies, to discover Temecula Valley’s wealth of opportunities in Education, Entrepreneurship, Business Incubation, Business Development and Tourism, while the WCE Alliance, EDC Southwest California, the City of Temecula, and the California State University of San Marcos at Temecula, set the stage for a fruitful and long lasting relationship with ProChile and Chilean industry players.
"We are so glad that Mr. Auch-Roy recommended us to visit the Temecula Valley as part of the pre-internationalization seminar organized by ProChile in Los Angeles." says Rodrigo Mladinić Dragičević, ProChile Trade Commissioner in Los Angeles, California. "The Temecula Valley, with its complete ecosystem of Education, Entrepreneurship, Business Incubation and Business Development, is a real and cost effective option for Chilean companies aiming at developing their operations in North America. Besides, the Temecula Valley seems blessed with a very high quality of life, while maintaining access to worldwide markets and all the resources that Southern California has to offer."
"With its central location in Southern California, Temecula Valley is a place to seriously consider for foreign companies that want to develop their activities in North America." says Hervé Auch-Roy, Founder of the West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance initiative. "Temecula Valley hosts all the ingredients of the recipe for success in Southern California, from Education with CSUSM at Temecula, to Entrepreneurship with TVE2 incubator, to Economic Development with EDC Southwest California (EDCSWCA). Organizing this visit in such short notice with the help of the EDCSWCA , the City of Temecula, CSUSM at Temecula, and Paulson Mfg, demonstrates the highly dynamic attitude of
Temecula Valley towards international outreach.
This event will help pave the way to a long lasting relationship between these organizations and the West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance initiative towards a global outreach."
33Entrepreneurs Accelerator Pitch Contest at the Résidence de France in Beverly Hills
As part of La French Tech of Southern California, the WCE Alliance was invited to participate in the pitch contest organized in Los Angeles on July 27, 2015 by 33Entrepreneurs, the Bordeaux area startup accelerator, during its 2015 USA Tour that took them troughout the USA, from East to West Coasts.
Several local food-tech, wine-tech and travel-tech startups conducted their pitch to investors and in front of an audience of close to 150 people, gathered in the garden of the residence of Mr Christophe Lemoine, newly appointed Consul General of France in Los Angeles.
The 33Entrepreneurs tour selected several such startups along the way, for them to participate in a final selection for a three months immersion in Bordeaux, France.
Meeting with the California State International Trade Advisor and the Political Advisor to the Consul General of Israel
The WCE Alliance met , on July 6, 2015, with Abigail Browning, Special Advisor for International Trade at the Office of the Governor of the State of California, and Dillon Hosier, Political Advisor to the Consul General of Israel of Los Angeles, for a presentation of opportunities in Southern California.
The meeting was held at the City of Murrieta, and followed by a visit of the Innovation Center and the Co-Hive co-working space.
Ms. Browning introduced an extension of the California Innovation Hub (iHub) program, to be publicly announced in the next few months.
"Southern California is on the path of an extraordinary growth, in multiple industries." says Abigail Browning. "The implication of Information and Communication Technologies in almost every industries represented, or coming, in southern California, is opening up many opportunities for international trade and collaboration with many countries, and we are committed to supporting these initiatives."
"Israel is well known for its high technology and our highly skilled engineers keep reinforcing this every day." says Dillon Hosier. "These partnerships with the State of California and with local organizations will be key in the development of our industries, and will also benefit the local southern California economy."
Meeting with the Consul General of Chile and the Trade Commisioner
The WCE Alliance met twice in June 2015, at the City of Murrieta and then at the Consulate General of Chile in Los Angeles, with Mr. Jorge Tagle, Consul General of Chile, and Rodrigo Mladinic, Trade Commisioner, for a presentation of opportunities in Southern California.
These meetings were a follow-up of another meeting help with Mr. Tagle at CalState San Marcos University in February 2015.
While Officials presented the City of Murrieta, the Innovation Center and the Co-Hive co-working space, discussion were initiated for collaboration between the WCE Alliance and Regions of Chile for internationalization opportunities with the whole Southern California region.
"Southern California is indeed a wealth of opportunities for Chilean companies." says Mr. Jorge Tagle, Consul General of Chile. "While we've only scratched the surface of this highly creative and fast growing region, we are looking forward to bilateral collaboration with the WCE Alliance."
"Chile's high technology is developing fast.", says Mr. Rodrigo Mladinic, Trade Commisioner. "Our mission is to continue developing those partnerships, especially in southern California, and we're happy to work with Mr. Auch-Roy, who's expertise and network in ICT industries will certainly help in economic and business development.".
Meeting with the Consul General of Finland and the Commercial Attaché
The WCE Alliance joined The City of Murrieta, on May 26, 2015, to welcome Mr. Juha Markkanen, Consul General of Finland in Los Angeles, and Mr. Jussi Salonen, Commercial Attaché, for a presentation of the the City of Murrieta and opportunities in Southern California.
While Officials presented the City of Murrieta, the Innovation Center (under remodeling) and the Co-Hive co-working space, discussion were initiated for collaboration between the WCE Alliance and Regions of Finland for internationalization opportunities with the whole Southern California region.
Messrs. Hervé Auch-Roy (left) and Juha Markkanen (right)
Sharing a glass of California wine with the Finnish Delegation in Murrieta, California
Visiting the Innovation Center and the CoHive in Murrieta, California
Meeting with the Ambassador of France, the French Minister Counselor for Foreign Affairs, and Representative of the French CEA-Leti organization
The WCE Alliance participated, on April 28, 2015, to a breakfast-debate with Mr. Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France in the USA (Washington, DC), Mr. Philippe Bouyoux, Minister Counselor for Foreign Affairs at the Embassy of France in the USA (Washington, DC), followed with individual meetings.
Mr. Araud and Mr. Bouyoux were in southern California to assess the implication of members of the French community in the high technology industries, and get a better feeling of the potential of the region for the French government to invest in French entrepreneurship.
Mr. Bouyoux presented the French Tech Hub labelling program, developped by the French government, aiming at facilitating the international expansion of French startups, and increase the visibility of the French startups community known as "La French Tech".
As the Founder of the West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance, and a Technology Expert for the Office for Science and Technology (OS&T) at the Embassy of France of the USA, Hervé Auch-Roy emphasized the importance and value of highly skilled French individuals contributing to bilateral French-American projects, and promoting the "French Tech" touch by deploying their skillset and professionalism, aiming at developping the economy based on innovation through bilateral collaboration.
As anticipated, the debate was very constructive, and the presentation, by the WCE Alliance, of the California Innovation Hub (iHub) program of the State of California, drew a lot of attention from these two officials of the French government, as well as from the whole audience, made of high profile French entrepreneurs and researchers from the Los Angeles area.
Applications are now open for the 2015 Young Enterprise initiative program
The Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the USA is now ready to receive applications for their 2015 Young Enterprise initiative (YEi) program.
Please contact us at email@example.com for further details and to get started with your application.
The Young Enterprise initiative (YEi), started in 2006, is a French Government funded accelerator program to help US entrepreneurs grow their business in France and in Europe.
It provides an intensive training in Boston, MA, and Paris, France, and a one week immersion in France, that will allow laureates to benefit from an extensive customized business network and connections to the best resources in Europe.
Presentation and meeting at BIOCOM San Diego
Mathieu Charleux, of MD101 Consulting in France, presented "Strategies for expanding your Medical Device & Diagnostic business in Europe", during a breakfast meeting organized by French Bio Beach and hosted at BIOCOM in San Diego, California.
MD101 Consulting is a French consulting service provider specialized in medical devices, with insights in relulatory requirements in France and in other European countries.
"Our customers come to us to get a reliable source of information and certification of their medical devices for French and European markets." says Mathieu Charleux, Business Development Director and Consultant at MD101. "Our knowledge of the medical industry and connections to local and regional institutions are key success factors in getting foreign companies expand their business in France and in Europe."
Among the attendees were also representatives from the French South Bio Alliance (Jacquie Berthe, President of the EuroBioMed Competitiveness Cluster, Mathieu Vis of Provence Promotion, Céline Jacquet of Team Côte d'Azur), and Morgan Jacquat, Business Development Manager at Invest In France, providing us with the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the French entrepreneurial eco-system.
From left to right: Matthieu Vis, Céline Jacquet, Jacquie Berthe, Hervé Auch-Roy (photo credit: Mathieu Charleux)
From left to right: Céline Jacquet, Matthieu Vis, Mathieu Charleux, Jacquie Berthe (Photo credit: French Bio Beach)
Congratulation to the five French startups selected to participate in the 2014 NETVA immersion week in the Silicon Valley: DelairTech, Klearia, Mathym, Stilla, and aPSI3D.
As part of the immersion week in the Silicon Valley, aPSI3D was provided with free coaching and business development services by the WCE Alliance, which was also invited to participate in the Tech Pitch session as a member of the jury. “I was impressed and very satisfied with the services provided by the WCE Alliance prior to the immersion week” said Jacques Favre, Founder and General Manager of aPSI3D. “Our new presentation material and new pitch made me a lot more confident while presenting to an American audience, and the Alliance’s network was very instrumental in opening the door to local companies executives where I could present our technology.”.
“The Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the USA maintains a very high standard of Excellence with the NETVA program, and we rely on highly skilled contributors to provide services and workshops” said Philippe Perez, Science and Technology Attaché at the Embassy of France in San Francisco. “Through the services provided by its founder Hervé Auch-Roy, the WCE Alliance proved to be a contributor of choice, and we were delighted to have him part of the team before and during the immersion week.”.
New Technology Venture Accelerator (NETVA)
The NEw Technology Venture Accelerator (NETVA) aims at building the global leadership of the French High-Tech Start-ups through an intensive entrepreneurial training and business development week in Boston, San Francisco, or Washington, DC area.
The “Doing Business in France” forum was held on September 25, 2014, at California State University, San Marcos, under the auspices of Pr. Klaus Schryen of CSU San Marcos, and Ted Langs of GBC International Bank.
The forum was great success, with presentations from Gilles Bonkoski, of the San Diego French American Chamber of Commerce, Hervé Auch-Roy of the West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance, and Rémi Malahieude of Rilynn Insurances, providing valuable cultural and business insight to more than 80 attendees.
“We were very pleased of the participation of all three presenters, who provided a lot of valuable information.” said Pr. Schryen. “The high interest of the attendees during and after the forum is a token of the high quality of the information provided, while all three presentations were very entertaining, keeping the audience engaged all along.”.
“France is definitely a place to reach out for business, with numerous industries addressed in many
regions of this beautiful and talented country.” added Ted Lang. “We’re looking forward a continued and fruitful cooperation with our long time cultural and business ally.”.
Many thanks to Carrie Smith who did a great job organizing the event!
Our visits and presentation to several startup incubators and economic development agencies across California, shed light on a high interest for the platform concept of the WCE Alliance being implemented.
“While the idea of fostering entrepreneurial talents and opportunities with Europe, and more specifically with France, has been in our mind for quite some time, we’re happy to see it materialize.” said Doug Lynch, Executive Director at the Goleta Entrepreneurial Magnet incubator in Goleta, California. “The platform is just launching, and yet it already starts burgeoning with a first potential partnership emerging between one of our startup at the GEM, and a Santa Monica based startup providing a complimentary technology. We’re looking forward for more, as the platform is opening the door to highly talented regions over in France and in Europe.”
“Our wall and ceiling crawling robot is drawing a lot of attention, and by introducing us to the RTLS technology of the Ireland based company DecaWave, we see a great opportunity to even enhance the value of our solution.” said Toby Reaper, Business Development Director at TandeMech startup in San Luis Obispo, California. “Along with its network, the platform brings a wealth of technology and business expertise, and we are looking forward investigating further this opportunity, with the support of the WCE Alliance which introduced our two startups to each other.” .
Among the organizations which expressed a high interest in the platform:
- Goleta Entrepreurial Magnet (Incubator), Goleta, California
- Hot House at California Polytechnic University (Incubator), San Luis Obispo, California
- Ventura Ventures Technology Center (Incubator), Ventura, California
- Open Source Makers Lab (Incubator), Vista, California
- The Hatchery (Incubator), San Diego, California
- BioTech & Beyond (Incubator), Carlsbad, California
- City of Vista, California
- San Diego Economic Development Council, San Marcos, California
- UCLA Office of Intellectual Property, Los Angeles, California
- Huddle Campus at California Lutheran University (Incubator), Westlake Village, California
- Ventura County Economic Development Collaborative, Camarillo, California
- Bank of the West, San Francisco, California
- Incubateur Régional d'Aquitaine (Incubator), Talence (Bordeaux), France
As an Expert Member of the Selection Committees of the Office for Science and Technology at the Embassy of France in the USA, Hervé Auch-Roy participated in the pre-selection of 20 American startup companies, out of the 82 candidates applying to the 2014 session of the Young Entrepreneur initiative (YEi) program.
Tough choices to make there, as the vast majority of the applicants presented highly innovative solutions.
“We are thrilled to see so much interest in our programs [Note].” said Jean Jacques Yarmoff, Attaché for Science and Technology. “The USA has always, and will always be, a highly valuable ally for innovation and business, and we are looking forward expanding our reach to more American and French startups across both countries, with the help of our partners.” .
Many thanks also to Oscar Castanon who did a tremendous job organizing the event!
Young Entrepreneurs initiative (YEi)
The Young Entrepreneurs Initiative, YEi, is a non-profit program managed by the Office for Science and Technology of the French Embassy in the United States, that has already supported over 40 innovative US entrepreneurs, almost a quarter of which have actually settled in France and, in one way or another, developed an innovative activity.
“The West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance (WCE Alliance) was created to fill a void left in the current offering for high technology startups and small companies alike aiming at deploying on either side of the Atlantic: "Match Making" between California and western European innovation clusters for technology licenses, startups-to-startup partnerships and business development.
While startups are usually created around resolving a problem or answering to a need for a specific market, they often miss market opportunities that additional product features, enhanced performance, or partnership would open up.
The WCE Alliance aims at allowing research centers, startups, and incubators to identify complementary solutions provided by, or complementary markets addressed by, other research centers, startups, and incubators, that will open up the door to new opportunities and increased valuation.
The WCE Alliance concept is a mix of Technology Watch and Business Development, currently focusing on France, and also reaching out to other western European countries, in order to broaden its offering to Californian clusters as the initiative gains momentum and increases its resources.
Pardon our dust, as our web site is under construction; please feel free to give a try to our Match It! online tool, and let us know what you’d want to see us improve there.
While it’s difficult to know why a company succeeds, it’s important to identify the corrections needed in the case of “deferred success” (we banned the term “failure” from our vocabulary a long time ago).
Entrepreneurs try and fail, but they always learn and try again.
This project is open to all, and I invite you to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for any comment or question that you may have.
We’ll take pride at answering to the best of our ability and knowledge, and at providing the best service that you are entitled to. “