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Tech Leaders in the Making Between France and Korea with Fleur Pellerin

The French-Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the French Tech Community Seoul were honored to host a Special Luncheon, featuring a keynote presentation by Mrs. Fleur Pellerin.

Former French Minister of Culture and Communication, and former Minister of SMEs, Innovation and Digital Economy, Fleur PELLERIN is one of the most influential Business women between France and Korea, as the head of Korelya Capital.

During this special luncheon hosted in Seoul Dragon City Hotel, more than a 100 participants joined us to listen Fleur Pellerin talk about "Tech Leaders in the Making between France and Korea"

Answering questions asked by our moderator Bosun Kim, co-president of the French Tech community Seoul and co-founder of Asiance, she told us about the challenges faced by French and Korean innovative companies, to highlight the keys for success, strategic alliances and mutual learning in face of common issues. From Korean start-ups to large companies, she gave insight on their interest and opportunities to invest in France.

In front of a large audience composed of French and Korean CEO of companies and start-ups from all fields of activity, journalists, the French ambassador to Korea HE. Fabien Penone, the former French of SMEs, Innovation and Digital Economy talked about France’s promising sectors for Korean investors. In 2018, 13 investments projects from Korea were made in the Hexagon against only 4 the year before. A rise that Mrs Pellerin intends to develop faster and on the long run.“When I speak to potential Asian investors, they still have some misconception about our economies. I would like to increase the interest of Korean investors in Tech: France attract a lot of investors in the IT sector and I think we can have nice synergies between our two countries.”

She also gave advice to Korean start-ups on how to approach the French market “Look for money that can bring you value: it’s not just financing, it’s people that can open doors for you and answer to practical questions”. And her opinion on Korean large companies: “Innovation is at the doors […]. Keep an eye on what is happening in the ecosystem”.  

Fleur Pellerin also spoke about Korelya Capital’s future, which raised EUR 200M of funding by Naver in France. “Korelya helps [French] companies with potential to become leaders and help them to grow their business in Asia. The second fund I’m raising will start in Korea and will try to help Korean companies develop their business in Europe.

Finally, Mrs Pellerin was asked about the geopolitical trade tension between the United States and China: “I have a feeling that we are heading towards a deglobalization. Innovation now is heading towards application that will be very different and sometimes unacceptable in one region and ok in another region. France and Korea (and Europe) will have to define another zone for ourselves where we can do business together and that’s a solution and an opportunity”.   

We warmly thank our sponsor the Yellow Sea Free Economic Zone (YESFEZ), whose commissioner Seong-Tae Hwang gave an introduction on their activities. Situated on the West coast, the YESFEZ is a cluster aiming at attracting high-tech industry close to Pyeongtaek port, a Northeast Asian logistics hub, which is directly connected to major ports in China. Its region features representative global Korean industry such as Samsung-Godeok Complex, Hyundai-Kia Motors, Ssangyong Motor, and Hyundai Steel.

 

Fleur Pellerin's biography

Mrs. Fleur Pellerin is co-founder and Managing Partner at Korelya Capital, a Venture capital fund management company created in 2016, based in Paris, which raised EUR 200m from Naver Corporation. Before founding Korelya Capital, Fleur was a member of the French government for 4 years (2012 – 2015), most recently as Minister of Culture and Communication. Previously, she was Secretary of State for foreign trade and prior to that the Minister of SMEs, Innovation and the Digital Economy. 

In these roles, she worked notably on fostering the digital ecosystem by creating the FrenchTech brand, reforming the tax environment to make it more profitable for entrepreneurs and investors, and consolidating the financing of innovative SMEs (creation of crowdfunding regulatory framework, creation of large public venture funds, reinforcement and creation of R&D and innovation tax credits, etc.). She also worked on numerous aspects of public policies regarding cultural entrepreneurship and creative industries, including the modernization and digitization of the tourism industry.

Before working for the government, Fleur Pellerin was a civil servant at the French Court of Auditors for 8 years. She graduated from ESSEC Business School, the Paris Institute of Political Studies(SciencesPo) and ENA (National School of Administration).

Fleur is also a board member of listed companies KLM and Schneider Electric. She is President of Cannes Series Festival, and is also board member of several NGOs or cultural institutions such as Foundation of Louvre Museum, Institut Montaigne think tank and France Digitale.

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