Feedback on the San Francisco Forum

The San Francisco Forum of the American Foundation Friends of Alliance CENTRALE LYON – EMLYON took place on October, 10th to 12th 2014. The focus of this event was entrepreneurship.

Its objectives were first of all, to enable the participants to meet and to get to know each other, then to listen to high-quality speakers who wanted to share their entrepreneurial and professional experiences, and finally, to present the achievements of the Foundation within two years of existence.

Highlights from the Forum

Startup challenge

The biggest achievement of the American Foundation was the Startup challenge, which final phase took place during the Forum. The three final contestants presented their entrepreneurial projects. The audience voted for the best project and attended the award ceremony – awards funded by the American Foundation.

Again, congratulations to Guilhem de Marliave and Timothée Penet of the Elistair project for winning the competition, and Geoffroy Reiser and Rémy Taglang of the Food Novate project and Raphaël Azot of the YoFitness project for being equally ranked at the second and third places.

Startup Challenge results

Thanks to the success of the challenge at the Forum, the American Foundation is pleased to announce that a second edition will take place in 2015! Once more, it cannot wait to be astonished by the quality of the projects presented.

Mentoring program

Through the mentoring program, led by Vincent Payet (EMLYON00) and Marie-Hélène Steinman (EMLYON95), the 17 projects which applied to the Startup Challenge, 2014 edition, are each followed by a mentor, alumni from École Centrale de Lyon or EMLYON Business School.

Other projects

As a conclusion of the Forum, the participants gathered around round-tables and brought up some new ideas for the Foundation such as the writing of white papers on special themes, increasing the number of testimonies from alumni, encouraging alumni to visit the campus of Ecully and to meet students… Those projects can only be created thanks to the commitment and the support of the community of the Foundation.


The purpose of the Foundation is very specific: support strategic projects of both schools along a strong entrepreneurial principle and a global mindset. Its ecosystem is made of the schools, the members of the community of the Foundation, and students of the campus. The participation of both schools’ Directors and of the President of the Science & Business Alliance in the San Francisco Forum does prove how much its action is supported and appreciated in Ecully.

Those are all very promising and enriching projects. The American Foundation hopes to see its community again in New York at the fall 2015 for its next Forum!