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Paris Chapter 2021 Kickoff Event

March 8, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST

Registration is now open for 08-March-2021 Women in Big Data Paris Chapter Relaunch event.

Although the Paris chapter of Women in Big Data is at the heart of Europe, the organizing team has been focused on European growth and not able to pay as much attention to the local community as it deserves. Major events that were organized by the Paris chapter so far include: Machine Learning and predictive analytics MeetUp at SAP, speed mentoring event at SAP.IO foundry, and Viva Tech panel 2018 (summary in this blog post).

Covid pandemic introduced not only challenges, but also new opportunities and growth areas, and we decided to dedicate 2021 to a relaunch of the Paris chapter and finding new ways to bring value to the local tech community. One of the areas for development this year is creating new opportunities to connect, network and scale businesses for female founders in data technologies: big data, analytics, AI and adjacent areas.

The timing is right – Paris is the largest EU hub for tech innovation and entrepreneurship as measured by VC investments. The French startup ecosystem demonstrated high resilience in 2020, raising 4.35BN EUR (+9% YoY) and demonstrating higher growth rate than European average and gradual increase in the last four years (source: Idinvest). However, female founders globally suffered the most from the negative impact of the covid crisis, primarily as measured by decrease in VC investments and resulting challenges in business development and scaling (source: PitchBook US, October 2020).

Therefore building bridges between corporate tech ecosystems, founders and tech investors can bring additional value and create synergies for all these communities. Moreover, leveraging US origins and connections, Paris will join Silicon Valley chapter in organizing more events dedicated to entrepreneurship in 2021 (examples of Silicon Valley WiBD events 30-Oct-202015-Oct-202008-Oct-2020).

The 08-March-2021 event consists of three parts:

  1. Corporate innovation leaders.
    • Sebastien GIBIER Director IO, Paris. Fostering interactions and synergies between SAP and startups to impact the business of customers. Sebastien is the local relay of the SAP.iO Foundry – The SAP Accelerator. With 15 years of experience, he is an entrepreneur (launched the chain of stores “Rue de la Plage”, as well as a Tech start-up bepleez.com) and a specialist in the establishment of international Tech company in France (Vignette, Fast Search, Kronos).
    • Mihir Sarkar PhD MIT, Head of Data ENGIE Digital, Paris. Mihir Sarkar received a PhD from MIT in Media Arts & Sciences. He was a researcher at the MIT Media Lab where he studied Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Sciences, and founded and led the International Initiatives program to empower organizations and communities around the world to innovate and build solutions to solve their own problems through a Design Thinking and Lean Startup approach. Mihir founded two startups in Silicon Valley, then led the Product Management and Data Science teams at ROLI, a London-based startup. He has contributed to the development and adoption of several technologies such as voice control, audio compression, infotainment and telematics systems for automobiles, online multimedia content creation and remote collaboration on the Internet. Mihir currently lives in Paris and leads Data teams at ENGIE in order to support the journey towards zero carbon energy transition.
    • Rutie Adar Head of Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center Samsung Electronics. Rutie Adar has been heading Samsung’s Strategy and Innovation Center, Israel since 2013. She has been the main focal point for startups, mature companies and academia to explore potential collaborations with Samsung’s innovation platforms and some of these collaborations included Samsung Catalyst Fund investments. Rutie has been working in the consumer semiconductors industry during the past 30 years. She started her career developing image processing and parallel processing algorithms. Rutie has held various managerial positions in marketing, strategy, planning and business development.  She has B.S. and M.S. in mathematics and computer science from the Hebrew University Jerusalem and MBA from Tel Aviv University. In addition, she has B.A. in political science and international affairs and M.A. in political communications from Tel Aviv University.
    • Alexandra Prigent-Labeis Managing Partner Accellency. Alexandra is the founder and Managing Partner of Accellency. She has over 18 years’ experience in financial positioning, fund raising and sales strategy acrossasset classes ranging from private equity, private debt and real estate to venture and growth capital, structured finance and hedge fund strategies. She spent a decade at Goldman Sachs in solution sales and structuring covering institutional investors with a focus on strategic investments, ultimately as European head of Pension and Insurance Regulatory structuring for Credit and Equity. Alexandra has a particular interest in technology and innovative companies and advises tech funds and portfolio companies from Series A to IPO. Alexandra is a professor at HEC Paris and serves on the board of HEC Alumni. In 2020, she was named Franco-British Young Leaders. Alexandra was born in Paris, France. She graduated from HEC Paris with a Masters in Finance. She now lives in London with her husband and daughters.

High-tech strategy and innovation professional with 20+ years experience in data science, product management, and software engineering at blue chips and startups in USA, Europe, and Asia. Currently working on the zero-carbon energy transition. Mihir uses data and design to help organizations solve societal and business problems, and create novel human-centered experiences, from product-market fit to scale. Experience in artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics, mobile apps, web apps, cloud computing, embedded systems, digital signal processing R&D in sectors that include energy, health, finance, education, social media, consumer electronics. Mihir thrives on getting things done, building and managing teams, and accompanying organizations through change.

Alexandra is the founder and Managing Partner of Accellency, a consultancy dedicated to investor relations and capital markets, headquartered in London. She has over 17 years’ experience in financial storytelling, fund raising and sales strategy across asset classes ranging from private equity, private debt and real estate to venture and growth capital, structured finance and hedge fund strategies. She spent a decade at Goldman Sachs in solution sales and structuring covering institutional investors with a focus on strategic investments, regulatory capital and asset and liability management, ultimately as European head of Pension and Insurance Regulatory structuring for Credit and Equity.

Through Accellency, Alexandra has built a track-record advising global tech funds and their portfolio companies from Series A to IPO. Today tech and digital represent 50% of Accellency’s mandate. Alexandra serves on the board of HEC Alumni. In 2020, Alexandra was appointed by the Franco-British Council as one of the Franco-British Young Leaders working across their sectors to shape the future of the Franco-British relationship. Alexandra graduated from HEC Paris with a Masters in Finance. French-born, she lives in London with her husband and daughters.

  1. Panel with female founders.
    • Several female founders will talk about customer acquisition, fundraising, diversity in hiring for tech and business roles for their startups.  
  2. Networking.
    • Breakout rooms by topic will be open to facilitate additional opportunities to create new meaningful connections. 


  • Elizabeth IMM Analytics Product Expert and Customer Influence Engagement Manager at SAP and EMEA & MEE Regional Lead for SAP’s largest employee-led Business Women’s Network. Elizabeth describes herself as a bridge builder – whether to build understanding between customers and product development teams, or to remove barriers between the often siloed functions of the software business, she never hesitates to make use of her extensive network to bring people together to collaborate on solutions to the problems she encounters. Her perspective as a seasoned corporate citizen in France, and as an American, she is excited to help promote Women In Big Data as another bridge-building opportunity. We want to build a community for interested and talented individuals who have found their way into technology or who we hope will be inspired to start. She is convinced that there is room for everyone and the more we share, the better we will be able to break down the systemic barriers that make it difficult (but not impossible) to enter and thrive in a technical environment.
  • Cecile Boyeka Business Intelligence Consultant at Talan, an innovative company that intervenes in areas related to the digital transformation of large groups. Cecile has an international background in marketing strategy, communications and the consulting industry, with an MBA in Marketing. Additionally, she is a certified PRINCE2® Practitioner, Professional Scrum Product Owner and Scrum Master.Passionate about customers, technology, data analytics and diversity, she is a core team member of Women in Big Data Paris who believes that learning never ends and encourages women to be part of the change process of the digital world.
  • Anna Marchon Independent Fundraising Advisor, Board Member, former Intel Capital. Anna graduated from HEC Paris MBA with concentration in Venture Capital and Mergers & Acquisitions and the London School of Economics with concentration in Information Systems. Anna is working with series A-C startups scaling internationally, focusing on data technologies, deep tech, and ESG. She lived, worked and studied in the US, EU and Russia. Anna contributed to WiBD EMEA chapter growth since its launch in 2017.

Register for the event on EventBrite  and join Paris WiBD LinkedIn group.


March 8, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST