French startup accelerator TheFamily has a new board member, entrepreneur-turned-academic Vivek Wadhwa. He has been involved with many different research centers, including at Singularity University and Duke University. He’s also well-known for his book Innovating Women: The Changing Face of Technology and is a strong tech diversity advocate.
He’s a columnist in many different mainstream publications, as well. Finally, he’s co-created Start-Up Chile, a government-sponsored program for foreign entrepreneurs. Program members get a grant, a visa and a bit of mentorship to spend a few months in Chile and see what it’s like to build a startup in this country.
TheFamily is a Paris-based startup accelerator. It takes a very minor stake in tech companies and helps them scale. It also runs entrepreneurship classes — Koudetat has generated quite a lot of revenue for the company for the past few months.
TheFamily has also been evangelizing government officials and executives working in big public French companies and running a few successful meetups to help shape the tech ecosystem.
“I spent a lot of time over the last two years in South America. Now I am going to focus more on Europe,” Wadhwa wrote in a private newsletter. “I have just joined the board of the coolest entrepreneurship accelerator there, TheFamily. I am very impressed at what they have achieved over the last two years, and how they are transforming the local culture.”
TheFamily co-founder and partner Oussama Ammar told me that the French company is going to hold board meetings every three months in the Silicon Valley now. And of course, the accelerator expects to get access to Wadhwa’s network, as well. Wadhwa is also going to hold workshops in France.
Eventually, TheFamily hopes to have some kind of presence in the Silicon Valley. While it won’t accept Silicon Valley-based startups in its acceleration portfolio, TheFamily is willing to make a few investments in selected companies.
“For example, we invested in [redacted] and ROSS Intelligence in the Valley over the last few months,” Ammar told me. “These companies are important pieces for the evolution of our local ecosystem. Helping them grow faster in Europe is very helpful in order to make our local ecosystem stronger.”