When first starting out as a startup, making a profit or securing funding is all entrepreneurs are thinking about. But once they have their project off the ground running, they might dare to dream a little bigger: reaching unicorn status. Unicorns, or businesses that have reached a valuation of $1 billion USD, are becoming more numerous every year across just about every sector. While there is no secret sauce as to how each of these businesses make it big, listening to important players in their ecosystems might just reveal some hidden gems of information.
This is why we compiled a list of the must-see speakers at VivaTech 2022 who are part of the inner workings of top unicorns around the world. Scaling up, growing sustainably, and opportunities for investment are among the themes of what they’ll talk about on stage.
Who: Gwendolyn is the Investment Director at BNB Chain Fund, Binance, a platform for buying and trading crypto currencies, based in Hong Kong.
Unicorn status: Binance was the fastest ever startup to reach profitable unicorn status, now valued at $4.5 billion.
Why we should have a listen: Gwendolyn founded a tech media startup, SGEntrepreneurs, worked as an intrapreneur at Facebook, has been a keynote speaker across Asia, Europe and the US, has experience as an investor, business angel, media presenter, and much more.
What: She will talk about Web3: How Blockchain is Ushering a New Era of the Internet
When: Thursday, June 16th at 10AM on Stage 3.
Who: Lawrence is the CEO and founder of Tier Mobility, a self-service rental company for electric scooters and bikes based in Berlin, Germany.
Unicorn status: Tier Mobility is now valued at $2 billion USD.
Why we should have a listen: Lawrence started his own video game trading platform when in highschool, which became the leading platform for refurbished electronics. Then went on to found Tier Mobility to address the issues of carbon emissions in the mobility sector. Tier was the first climate-neutral company in micro-mobility.
What: He will talk about Urban Mobility Reimagined.
When: Wednesday, June 15th at 10AM on Stage 2.
Who: Thomas is the CEO of Vinted, an online second-hand clothing and accessory exchange marketplace based in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Unicorn status: Vinted is Lithuania’s first Unicorn, valued at $4.5 billion.
Why we should have a listen: After expanding to several countries, Vinted had to come back to its roots in order to grow sustainably. Thomas started as a Strategy Consultant, and eventually became CEO of Vinted in 2016, leading Vinted to its unicorn status in 2019.
What: He will talk about Can We Reconcile Hyper Growth and Sustainability?
When: Wednesday, June 15th at 2PM on Stage 2.
Who: Jeronimo is the CEO and Director of Deezer, a platform for streaming music and podcasts, based in Paris.
Unicorn status: Deezer is one of only five unicorns in the music industry, valued at $1.4 billion.
Why we should have a listen: Jeronimo became the youngest European CEO on the NY Stock Exchange in 2017 when Spark Networks went public and was nominated two times for CEO of the Year at the Digital Masters Awards.
What: He will talk about IPO vs. Acquisition: Is There a Better Exit Strategy?
When: Thursday, June 16th at 3:25PM on Stage 2.
Who: Romain is the CEO of Exotec, which designs revolutionary robotic systems for the supply chain and is based in Lille, France.
Unicorn status: Exotec was France’s first industrial unicorn, valued at $2 billion.
Why we should have a listen: Romain had ten years of experience as a robotics architect, engineer, and robotics designer before shifting his attention to focus on automating manufacturing processes and founding Exotec.
What: He will talk about Are the “Roaring Tech ‘20s” Already Over?
When: Wednesday, June 15th at 4PM on Stage 2
Who: Ellen is Head of Europe at Watershed, an all-in-one climate platform to measure carbon footprint, reduce emissions, fund carbon removal, and report on progress based in London and San Francisco.
Unicorn status: Climate tech unicorns only make up 4.3% of all unicorns worldwide. Watershed is valued at $1 billion.
Why we should have a listen: Before joining Watershed in January 2022, Ellen helped scale large technology businesses like Stripe and Visa.
What: She will talk about Clean Tech: Transitioning to the Circular Economy
When: Thursday, June 16th at 11:25AM on Stage 2.
Who: Rodolphe is the CEO and Co-Founder of Spendesk, a platform and all-in-one spending solution designed for finance teams to make spending decisions – based in Paris.
Unicorn status: Valued at $1.14 billion, Spendesk was the 5th company to become a unicorn in France just in the month of January 2022, but it was also voted as best fintech to work for in 2021, proving that sustainable growth also comes down to team dynamics and company culture.
Why we should have a listen: Rodolphe became an entrepreneur straight out of university with his first business, Wozaik, and was COO at Drivy before starting his next business venture of Spendesk.
What: He will talk about Resourcefulness: Doing More with Less.
When: Thursday, June 16th at 2:40PM on Stage 2.
Who: Sébastien is the VP of Metaverse & Web3 at Ledger, a platform for buying and exchanging crypto currencies and growing a crypto wallet, based in Paris.
Unicorn status: Ledger became a unicorn in France in 2021 and has secured around 15% of all cryptocurrencies globally. Valued at $1.5 billion.
Why we should have a listen: Sébastien has over 20 years of experience heading international businesses across France including roles such as Managing Director of Alibaba France, Global Accounts Direct at Google, and Business Development Manager at Amazon.
What: He will talk about How Do NFTs Unlock Value? As well as Metaverse Economics: Unlocking Business Opportunities.
When: Thursday, June 16th at 12PM on Stage 3 and Friday, June 17th at 3:20PM on Stage 2.
Who: Stanislas is the CEO and co-founder of Doctolib, an online healthcare portal to book and manage online consultations, prescriptions, and care, based in Paris.
Unicorn status: Doctolib is France’s highest-valued unicorn at $6.4 billion.
Why we should have a listen: Stanislas co-founded Doctolib with the ambition to make healthcare accessible to all and improve the daily lives of healthcare professionals. It soon became one of the most talked about startups in the healthtech industry, leading to its unicorn status today.
What: He will talk about the future of healthcare.
When: Friday, June 17th at 5:20PM on Stage 1.
Who: Kağan is the CEO and Founder of Gorillas, an app to order groceries online, based in Berlin.
Unicorn status: Gorillas became the fastest startup to reach unicorn status in Europe in 2021 and is now valued at $1.3 billion.
Why we should have a listen: With experience as a co-founder and entrepreneur in several adventures leading up to its creation, Kağan scaled and grew Gorillas into the number one app for grocery delivery and has expanded into 60 different cities in just over a year and a half since its start in 2020.
What: He will talk about Markets to Watch: Delivery
When: Thursday, June 16th at 4PM on Stage 2.