PARIS — Michael Bloomberg, CEO of Bloomberg L.P., and Emmanuel Macron, former French Minister of Economy, Friday came on stage together here at a two-day conference called the Hello Tomorrow Summit, “where the greatest minds in science and entrepreneurship meet.”
An audience consisting mostly of French entrepreneurs in technology and science, was here to learn “American style” startup-pitches, to exchange ideas, exhibit prototypes, and participate in discussions about artificial intelligence, mobility, DNA, space, energy and agriculture.
The Bloomberg-Macron panel was a special draw for participants eager for tips about making their startups successful.
Bloomberg and Macron share a few things in common.
Both have been popular politicians. Bloomberg is the former 12-year mayor of the New York City, Macron France’s economic minister.
Macron’s star power in France was particularly evident among the entrepreneurs here, thanks to his business-friendly policies he pushed while he was in office, championing the “digital economy” and promoting new enterprises. Macron left the Ministry last August, reportedly to launch a centrist bid in the 2017 presidential election in France.
In the private sector, Macron is a former investment banker, Bloomberg is one of the richest men in America and the founder of the Bloomberg News service, among other businesses.
Both eager to share their opinions, Bloomberg and Macron talked about innovation, differences between public and private sectors, and the government’s role in working with startups.
Bloomberg had choice words for millennials who, he said, ask only about “what’s in it for me.” He said a company who gives you a chance to work initiates “a social contract” that obligates you to sticking with the company through good times and bad.
Macron continued the theme by stressing the social responsibility of entrepreneurs. “When you start up a company, the fatality rate is high. When you close startups, you are killing jobs,” said Macron. It’s one thing to promote innovation, but it’s entirely another how to deal with the consequences when innovation fails. Citing the recent Brexit vote, Macron asked: “How do you speak to [economic] losers about the importance of innovation and globalization?
Following is a snapshot of what the two discussed on the panel today.
Continue to page 2 on Embedded's sister site, EE Times: “Bloomberg in france advises startup crowd.”