• James Parry

All systems go for locally-based International Startup Festival at the Eiffel Tower in Paris “The Fr


Philippe Telio met with Eiffel Tower officials January 14 to ensure that all was clear for his Elevator Tour next Wednesday.

Despite the recent deadly attacks in Paris on the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, a kosher market and police, and while the search continues for possibly six terrorist accomplices in the shootings continues, Ste. Anne de Bellevue resident Becky Croll, and her team have no plans to cancel their Elevator World Tour in in the French capital next Wednesday.

The event, organized by 50 Partners and the Montreal-based International Startup Festival (ISF) will see up to 150 aspiring startup companies from throughout Europe - and one from Canada - competing for prizes of up to $100,000 while making their one minute pitch to potential investors in an elevator at the Eiffel Tower.

Said Croll, in an exclusive interview with Your Local Journal, “Despite the tragic events of the past few days, it is all systems go with not one cancellation on the part of the 300 people who will be participating.” Reached in Paris where he has been since December 26 meeting with the local startup community comprising investors, accelerators, startups, and community leaders, Philippe Telio, ISF founder told Your Local Journal,

“We met with the Eiffel Tower authorities yesterday and everything is still on track as planned. It is already a heavily secured building and, independent of last week’s terror attacks, the tower is equipped with airport level security systems. Responsible for what they consider to be the most valued monument in the world, they have always been very vigilant when it comes to security.”

Stressed Telio, “There has not been a single cancellation. There is no sense of fear in Paris. The French are standing tall and proud united against those that aim to attack their free speech. They are resolved to maintain their way of life, even under pressure from a few twisted minds. ”

From a personal perspective, he said it has been quite the experience to be in Paris over the past few days. “It is a very large city, so attacks in one part do not really effect other parts,” said Telio. “Of course, there is a mood of sadness for the families of the innocent victims. But above all the French are united.

Je suis Charlie is printed and hung on every street corner, in every office, and pretty much everywhere you turn. “I have experienced other attacks in other cities and what is special here is the clear sense of unity and solidarity in the face of attacks on liberty. A word held dear to all Parisians.”

Asked whether Paris is now returning to normal following this week’s massive public demonstrations, Telio replied, “It has to be said that Paris is never really a ‘normal’ city. But yes, things seem to be getting back to the status quo. It is far from a forgotten memory but, again, the French are resolved to continue to live their lives without fear and with pride. “And while the Eiffel Tower was briefly blacked out in a sign of national mourning for the victims of the shootings, it is now back to all its shining glory and will continue to shine well beyond us running our event next week.”

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