On the one hand, city rents are rising. On the other, some older people are lonely. To make sure that no room remains vacant, Parisian start-up Colette is banking on solidarity. It connects people under 30 (students and young workers) looking for accommodations with hosts over 60 who have a room to let. Since its launch in January 2020, Colette has already brought together 30 pairs of young and elderly people between July and September 2020.
Through its dedicated subsidiary RATP Smart Systems, and following its acquisition of Mappy last November, RATP Group will soon offer a Mobility as a Service (MaaS) application to large cities and regions, adapted to their constraints and local circumstances. A decisive step in moving from the all-car, solo-driving era to the age of low-carbon mobility that combines public transport, carpooling, car sharing, self-service bikes, electric scooters, and so on.
Using several transport modes to make a journey has become commonplace. But some services can turn out to be expensive for the lone passenger, at certain times of day for example, or in some poorly-served areas. A 2021 prize-winner from RATP Group’s start-up accelerator, the “Jaamme” app allows trips to be grouped between users, by combining shareable transport modes and thus reducing the cost. It covers the various public transport hubs and links them with other forms of transport. Night owls, passengers whose usual lines are closed for works, residents of areas sparsely covered by public transport, thus have a new accessible offer, with optimised journeys at an optimised cost.
Since the 1970s, urban food waste has been sent far outside the city for incineration or landfill. The socially responsible company Les Alchimistes had the idea of setting up micro-facilities for collection, sorting and composting in the heart of cities, to create local recycling loops. These short (less than 15 km) and environmentally-friendly chains link “producers” of bio-waste (professionals – such as restaurants, supermarkets, schools, hospitals – and individuals), Les Alchimistes’ electromechanical composters, and urban gardeners and farmers, always on the lookout for rich and 100% natural organic compost. Today, 7 million people in seven regions are already composting thanks to Les Alchimistes, which hopes to have approximately thirty sites by 2024.
Women need to feel safe to move freely around the city. Initiatives in this direction can be found almost everywhere in the world. In Quito, the capital of Ecuador, measures to combat sexual harassment in public places have reduced this problem on public transport. In particular, the city has trained 600 operators to support and assist victims, strengthened security standards on trams, and developed an app and dedicated emergency number for reporting sexual harassment. In Morocco, women who travel on public transport can use “WIP” (Walk in Peace), an inclusive safety app developed by RATP Dev’s Casaroc lab. The solution adopted in Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) is a bus reserved exclusively for women and children, the Meri Seif Bus.
You may have tested it without knowing it, simply by taking a metro or bus that is participating in the trial conducted by RATP and sponsored by Île-de-France Mobilités. A prize-winner from RATP Group’s start-up accelerator, in the “Covid Resilience” category, the Liquid Guard® solution from start-up Nano-Désinfection guarantees disinfection of surfaces for a year, without using chemicals. What is the secret? Sprayed onto contact surfaces (grab bars, handles, etc.), it deposits a “varnish” of nano-needles that destroy viruses, bacteria and fungi, much like a pin bursting a balloon.
“With VivaTech, France is asserting itself as a key country on the global innovation map.”
What are local authorities looking for at VivaTech?
J. R. What they are looking for is a showcase for their local ecosystem, an acceleration in business through access to majorgroups and the opportunity to meet new investors. Each region has its own specificities. Île-de-France invests substantially in quantum technology, biotech and sustainable and connected construction. The southern region of France specialises more in blue tech (technology that increases performance while reducing polluting emissions), green tech, safety and health, while the Occitanie region addresses topics relating to positive energy.
VivaTech created Afric@Tech in 2017. What motivated this choice?
J. R. We were struck by the continent’s dynamism and its ability to innovate very quickly and frugally, making use of mobile phones to win over users. There is a lot to be done to connect this great ecosystem with investors and strengthen economic cooperation.
Is tech still a male bastion?
J. R. The numbers speak for themselves: women manage only 10% of start-ups, and only 5% of funds are invested in start-ups headed by women. We are therefore committed to changing this. 40% of speakers at VivaTech are women. We created the Female Founder Challenge to give 10 women of different nationalities the opportunity to connect better with international funding.