On 12 April, Paris opened registration for the international competition “AI Challenge Paris Region 2018”. The AI Challenge will dedicate a 1 million euros award to 3 selected leading start-ups, attributed in October 2018. The competition is open to any French or international start-up willing to settle in France. Paris region will assess candidates on the basis of their business model, their team, and of course the quality and the potential of the product.
This initiative from Paris region is a strong signal to promote the French capital’s attractivity as a new European hub for AI and innovative start-ups. Paris is indeed #1 European market for stock, bond and insurance products, as well as for technology stock exchange. And it is now becoming a leader in private equity and venture capital: private equity amounted for 16,5 billion euros in 2015, an increased of 12% compared to 2016, and Paris is already #2 market in venture capital after UK.
Start-ups are more than welcome in Paris. It is the 5th digital city in the world (European Digital City Index) and the home for more than 4 00 start-ups. It also hosts the largest incubator in the world, Station F, and a new Fintech incubator, the Swave, which offers an alternative to the City in London. International giants already trust France’s spirit of innovation : Samsung and Fujitsu already announced the creation of AI R&D hubs in France.
Nordic start-ups are also doing great in AI, with start-ups offering AI solutions for a wide panel of sectors, including industry, medicine, management, art or architecture. Some key represents of the Nordic AI tech scene where present at the Nordic AI summit held in Norway in last October, such as Mito, Zenrobotics, Watty, Elliptic Lab, Biomediq, or Spacemaker. In 2017, the Nordic AI Festival held in Copenhagen presented the thriving Nordic AI ecosystem, and shed light on the necessity to build strong collaboration and knowledge-sharing between main European hubs, also beyond the Nordic region.
The AI Challenge is therefore an exclusive opportunity to build synergies between French and Nordic AI environment. Paris look forward to welcome innovative Nordic start-ups that will be part of the French AI adventure !
 The Nordic.ai initiative is an example of successful collaboration between AI hubs from Stockholm, Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Helsinki and Oslo.