Austin’s growing sister city relationship with Angers, France

SmartAustin has recently been excited by the opportunity to develop international relationships that can support business for our ‘smart cities’ startups, and which can be leveraged to attract international startups to Austin. In particular, we’ve been intrigued by various pro-startup gestures and efforts from the French government and have been pleased to learn about strong, related activities sponsored by the French-American Business Council of Austin, led by Liz Wiley, a local business attorney. We sat down with Liz to learn more about the budding relationship between Austin and its sister city of Angers, a rising French and European IoT center.

Opportunity with Business France at SXSW 2017

SXSW 2017
For the 4th consecutive year, Business France will showcase
some of the hottest tech Startups hailing from France
on the French Tech Pavilion at SXSW,
Austin, TX, from March 12th to 15th.

an innovative start-up with strong international potential
to increase your visibility in France and abroad and to build a network in the US
Apply online before December 16, 2016

Angers Week Press Release

Austin Angers Creative and Freestyle Language Center present:
A multi-venue, multi-disciplinary event highlighting Austin’s cultural exchange
with our sister city of Angers, France.
NOVEMBER 8-12, 2016

Festival adds Photography Exhibit “Austin & Angers in Pictures” at The Butterfly Bar Nov. 1-12 highlighting work from Angers & Texas artists.
Chef Casey Wilcox to host culinary pop-up Nov. 9th at Aviary Wine + Kitchen (recently returned from his second Austin Week in our Sister City).
SprATX hosts Meet & Greet with visiting Angers graphic artist SMOH on 11/8 — Jackrabbit Mobile at 1620 E 7th donates wall for Sister City Mural.
Angers artist VedeTT to perform live in KUTX Studio 1A on 11/10/16.
Angers artist Meduse joins Sound Dessert showcase at Stay Gold on 11/10/16.
Angers artists VedeTT and San Carol join Annabelle Chairlegs at Barracuda Austin’s King Khan & BBQ Show Official Aftershow on 11/10/16.

Monday, October 31, 2016 (Austin, TX) — Angers Week has recently added a 12-day photography exhibit at The Butterfly Bar (2307 Manor Rd) featuring the images of Paul Liaigre (Pilou, Angers), White Light Exposure (Austin, TX) and Caroline Ruffault, a culinary pop-up with local Chef Casey Wilcox (recently returned from his second Austin Week appearance in our sister city this past September), and confirms that local startup Jackrabbit Mobile will donate a wall at their offices (1620 E 7th St) for visiting Angers graphic artist SMOH and partners SprATX. In Angers Week music programming, VedeTT will perform at KUTX Studio 1A the afternoon of Thursday, November 10th, Meduse joins Sound Dessert showcase at Stay Gold on 11/10, and VedeTT and San Carol join the official aftershow lineup for King Khan & BBQ Show with Paint Fumes at Barracuda Austin on 11/10.

Austin welcomes creative delegates from its sister city of Angers, France to the Live Music Capital of the World to celebrate the cultural connection between our two cities. Angers Week takes place Tuesday, November 9th to Saturday, November 12th with programs, concerts and activities featuring French music, film, cinema, art, culture and technological innovation from Angers, France. Austin Angers Creative facilitates Angers Week and the French counter-festival Austin Week to present the unique collaborative exchange between the two cities to the greater public.

Programming for Angers Week includes Angevine musicians Cherry Plum, VedeTT, Meduse and San Carol, visual artists SMOH and Paul Liaigre, Chef & Owner Pierrick Le Drain of Un Brin Folk, Brewer Benoît Durand of Brasserie Angevine and Premiers Plans Film Festival Director Xavier Massé in collaboration with Austin-based artists including Devin James Fry, Project ATX6, Ethan Azarian, Kalu James, Little Mazarn, The ABGB brew-masters, Chef Lynzy Moran and SprATX.

Events range from daytime to evening, free or ticketed, 21+ or all ages. Participating venues include: Capital Factory, Cheer Up Charlies, Lenoir, Aviary Wine + Kitchen, Kitty Cohen’s, The Blackheart, The ABGB, Stay Gold, Swan Dive, Freestyle Language Center and Austin Film Society Cinema.

The Vortex & Butterfly Bar will host a family-friendly French “pique-nique” on Saturday, November 12th from noon to 7PM featuring all visiting Angers musicians, a photography showcase highlighting the “Austin Week” and Austin Angers Creative experience, children’s activities, food & drink specials, and Francophone community groups.

A full lineup and schedule is available at or Tickets for film screenings at Austin Film Society Cinema are available in advance at

“Angers Week” follows on the heels of the 2nd Annual “Austin Week” in central France, which took place this September (at the same time as Levitation France) and featured over 50 Austin-based musicians, producers, chefs and artists including Project ATX6, Kalu James, sculptural artist Amy Scofield, muralist Ethan Azarian, Texas films, cook-book author Tiffany Harelick, SprATX, Chef Rick Lopez of La Condesa, Chef & Owner Todd Duplechan of Lenoir, Chef & Owner Lynzy Moran of Baton Creole and Chef Casey Wilcox.

Traveling with Project ATX6 to document this unique cultural exchange with Austin’s sister city, KUTX’s Laurie Gallardo got a first-hand look into the life of a touring musician in the context of an international music festival:

Austin Chronicle Playback Reporter Kevin Curtin covered Austin Week, Project ATX6 and Levitation France during his time in Angers at the sister city festival:

“Angers Week” is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Our sponsors include Ville D’Angers, SACEM, French American Business Council of Austin and Freestyle Language Center, The ABGB and Cointreau. For additional information & press content, contact Festival Co-Director Samantha Phelps at or for general information, please connect with

Austin Angers Creative is a sister city exchange between Austin, TX and Angers, France fostering the collaboration and expression of ideas across artistic mediums through the development of art, events and educational opportunities. For more information:


IoT Tech Mixer

Thanks to our sponsor World First and Grable Martin Fulton PLLC’s Liz Wiley, French American Business Council of Austin (FABCA) cordially invites you to attend an IoT Tech Mixer TUESDAY NOVEMBER 8, 2016 AT CAPITAL FACTORY, 5:30-8pm, to kick off Angers Week.

Come hear about the Austin-Angers IoT connections and smart city platforms possible through the Austin/Angers sister-city relationship. Special guest speaker will be Angers-based Qowisio, an IoT company that recently opened an office in Austin. Register here. Space very limited!

We also will be sampling at this event a local Rosé d’Anjou from Château de la Roche Bousseau, thanks to Domaine de la Petite Roche near Angers.

For more about Angers Week, visit Austin Angers Creative on Facebook: AAC is organizing this fantastic celebration of French-American cultural exchange with our sister city, Angers, France. See also for more about Angers.

Liz Wiley
Honorary Consul of France for Austin

French Tech Austin – March 15

FABCA’s value proposition was confirmed by the overwhelming response to its French Tech Breakfast panel on Tuesday March 15. The fact we were oversold, and had people crowded into every corner of the conference room at the Cultural Arts Division offices for the City of Austin, proves there is a need for this type of content on the French startup ecosystem and how it compares with our own. The audience included the startups who won a juried competition with Business France to be at the trade show, investor and sales and marketing experts, engineers from Dell, a mechanical engineering professor from the University of Texas, and decision-makers from Austin Community College.
Christophe Daguet, leader of our French Tech Austin committee and FABCA Board member, and I moderated the breakfast panel. Austin Chamber of Commerce statistics show there are 46 incubators, accelerators, co-working and maker spaces in the Austin area, but we selected 3 of the most prominent accelerators for the Austin part of the panel: International Accelerator, Tech Ranch, Capital Factory—each with its own strengths. The renowned ATI (Austin Technology Incubator) and IC2 Institute also were in the room. Michele Skelding, Senior Vice President for Global Technology and Innovation at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, opened the panel discussion by highlighting the many changes in the Austin tech landscape since the bubble burst in 2001 and the diversification Austin had to embrace as an economic development policy to become the tech hub it is today. Local French entrepreneur Thierry Daupin gave a robust endorsement for Austin, describing the rapid growth of his own career and his startup’s fund-raising efforts in just his first year in Austin and calling his move to Austin as the best decision he ever made. Tech Ranch’s Kevin Koym described the hallmark of Austin’s unique style of entrepreneurship as based in the open and generous spirit of the hippie and musician culture of Austin; International Accelerator’s Angelos Angelou let us know about some immigration reform for entrepreneurs that should greatly improve non-U.S. entrepreneurs’ access to setting up subsidiaries or creating their companies here; and Capital Factory’s Ali Syed spoke about the entrepreneur-in-residence program and the Touchdown Austin program.
To outline various angles of the French tech sector, including the investment deals getting done these days, Grégoire de Padirac of Orange Digital Ventures outlined trends in funding, including the weakness in the angel investor network, and Orange’s creating a fund of 100 million euros for this purpose. He is one of the team of just 10 people who runs that fund with considerable independence. While Total and energy sector giants have been doing corporate venturing for some time, Orange has led the way with a model for how to stay on top of cutting edge technologies by tapping into the startup sector. Yann Bonnet – the Secrétaire général of the Conseil national du numérique—outlined tax advantages and public policies encouraging innovation, including the tax credit for anyone who invests in a startup. Roman Navalpotro of Paris’s NUMA described how NUMA’s highly selective process for cohorts in their accelerator program—only 20 out of several hundred are selected—results in seed funding within 6 months for the selected companies. NUMA has expanded its vision and model all over the world. I continued that conversation about NUMA and the Paris ecosystem the next day when I interviewed Roman and NUMA’s communications manager Tristan Lebleu, at the recording studies at Capital Factory.
The take-away: We have much to learn still about what is happening in France. The conversations will continue throughout the year. I am hopeful that a May trip to France will take place and allow me to visit with contacts in Nantes, Angers, Paris—and now Marseille—which will accelerate FABCA’s growth and importance as the Texas hub for French tech initiatives.

Angers Day 2015

In 2012, Angers, France became an official Sister City of Austin, Texas. A team of curious Angevins decided to visit SXSW that same year, to discover for themselves what opportunities existed in the Live Music Capital of the World. Inspired by the music, culture, growing film scene and the culinary industry, Austin Angers Creative was born; developing a community of chefs, musicians, artists, producers and Francophiles who work to exchange creative ideas, events and opportunities year round. Angers Day is a celebration of this partnership, focusing on the foundational aspects of our exchange: food, tech, film, music & of course, culture! .

Click here to see the agenda!

Eco Austin 2015

AUSTIN, Texas – October 13th, 2015 – At COP21, the Global Summit on Climate Change hosted by
France next month in Paris, world leaders are expected to agree on a global climate deal. To
contribute to COP 21, the French-American Climate Talks (FACTs) provide a unique opportunity to
raise awareness, compare approaches and develop a dialogue on climate issues. As part of FACTs,
TKUniverse: Eco (TKU: Eco) will focus on self-sustaining micro-communities, one of today’s hot topics
of the global warming debate.

This round table summit will take place on November 13, 2015, at the AT&T Executive Education and
Conference Center of the University of Texas at Austin. The Honorable Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin,
Texas and The Honorable Christophe Béchu, Mayor of Angers, the French Sister City of Austin, The
Honorable Sujiro Seam, Consul General of France in Houston, and Michel Salomon, President & CEO
of SM2D Inc., an Austin-based aggregator and facilitator of clean water and energy development in
micro-communities worldwide, will make the case of climate action across the Atlantic.

See the full press release here:

Click here to register!

2015 Lone Star Le Mans – FABCA Discount

Once again friends of FABCA will have a discount at the Lone Star Le Mans Race out at Circuit of the Americas. See below for a registration link and discount code:

Group Discount Link:

Group Discount Code:


The offer is $20 of a 3-Day General ticket. Normally $89, now $69 with your discount code.