Four Atlanta startups have been chosen by the City of Atlanta for this year’s Atlanta International Startup Exchange program, a one-week exchange to Atlanta sister city Toulouse, France. Executives from ThingTech, Loupe, TC Poly, and Blind Tiger Communications will travel to France from September 30 through October 7 to meet with French investors, business executives, innovation leaders and other founders, all in the hopes of kickstarting their own international expansion.
As part of the Exchange, now in its third year, four French companies will also travel to Atlanta to take part in meetings and activities during Atlanta Startup Week and the Venture Atlanta conference. Both sets of startups are covered with round-trip airfare, accommodations, dedicated co-working space and ground transportation.
Atlanta and Toulouse have been sister cities for over 40 years. The southern French city is known for its strength in aeronautics and space — it’s the home base for aviation giant Airbus, which last year launched its drone tech startup subsidiary, Airbus Aerial, in Atlanta.
The Atlanta startups will attend the EmTech Europe conference while in Toulouse, a global technology conference put on by MIT Technology Review.
“In today’s global economy, it is vital for startups to gain early access to international markets,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “In fact, companies exporting beyond our borders grow 20 percent faster and are less likely to go out of business.”
In the past two years, the Atlanta International Startup Exchange program has exchanged 14 companies in total. Atlanta startups that have participated in the Startup Exchange include Partpic (acquired by Amazon in 2016), Babylogger, Carbice, Qoins, Vayando and Volantio.
The program was awarded the Sister Cities International Economic Development Award last year.