The German automaker chose a novel French startup to showcase the “future of mobility” at VivaTech

Volkswagen came to the 2018 edition of Viva Technology with one eye fixed on the future and another on talent working to make that future happen. In the months leading up to VivaTech, the German automaker had launched Volkswagen We, a “digital ecosystem” designed to optimize links between humans, transportation and the environment.

Volkswagen then invited startups to participate in a contest organized around the “future of mobility”. The winner, Zouzoucar, was chosen from among 150 finalists to attend VivaTech May 24-26 and participated in the booth hosted by Volkswagen We. Zouzoucar is a novel ride-pooling service for kids conceived in the French city of Tourcoing. The Zouzoucar app, which went live in mid-2018, helps parents plan rides to and from school, birthday parties, after-school activities and so on. The kids are driven around by people they know and trust, specifically their own parents or parents of their friends. Barely a month after VivaTech wrapped, Zouzoucar was invited to participate in Volkswagen’s incubator program housed in its Gläserne Manufaktur (“Transparent Factory”) in Dresden. With a 15,000-euro stipend, a chance to benefit from Volkswagen’s expertise, and a shared working space with five other international startups at the Dresden incubator, Zouzoucar is out of the starting gate with a bang.

“This has been a real shot in the arm” for business development, says Fabien Compère, co-founder of Zouzoucar. “Within a few months, this extremely stimulating and challenging environment has enabled us to broaden our horizons, beef up our business model and diversify our potential sources of revenue, all of which makes us a more serious candidate for fundraising. “Thanks to a boost from VivaTech, we have really been able to shift into high gear,” he adds. “Rather than running after seed money, today we are preparing a round of fundraising that will allow our financial partners to take an active strategic and marketing role and be part of the company’s future.” You're a startup too, and you'd love to live a VivaStory just like Zouzoucar? You should definitely participate in VivaTech 2019 Challenges. Subscribe to our newsletter: we'll let you know when Challenges open.