Ville de Marseille

Juin 2013 >

The digital economy boosted by Marseille start-ups

The digital economy boosted by Marseille start-ups

Both the Internet and social networks have changed our lives and habits to a point whereby new professions have appeared in a sector with a bright future. Here is a portrait of some start-ups that are placing Marseille in pole position in the digital economy and transmedia highway.

So Buzz Team. Photo So Buzz

With a passion for video games, reading, photography, and with new information technologies as common denominator, these young graduates or people with some initial experience are the ones behind some particularly innovative SME­s.

 “Over the past few months we have felt a sort of push, like a ground swell in Marseille. New transmedia companies are springing up all the time”, explains Thomas Demachy, member of the PRIMI (Pôle Transmédia Méditerrané) transmedia cluster. In 2007, he left the Parisian Titus Interactive studio to found IndeeGO Games in Marseille.

After three years spent at the Belle de Mai incubator, the video game programmer and his team joined the business development cluster. “We are counting on the net. The Media hub brings together cinema, television, multimedia”, adds Thomas Demachy. Sami Sarkis, a professional photographer, followed suit. He joined the Marseille Innovation business development cluster last April to meet up with potential clients and get his new company, Drone Pictures, off the ground. “I wanted to diversify and I got interested in drones and their creative potential. I can take shots even a helicopter couldn’t take” says Sami Sarkis.

Digital and paper reconciliation

Florian Olivier Koehret. Photo So Buzz

­Two Marseille-based SMEs are building bridges between the Internet and publishing houses.  
With Shangri-La it is now possible to choose between buying a book in a bookshop and buying the book plus the digital version for just one Euro more. “While the hard copy may have greater value, the digital version has other advantages like storage facility and content evolution” explains Florian Olivier-Koehret, president of Shangri-La.

Harald Benoliel, e-book publisher since 2012, agrees. IS Editions has already signed up with 22 authors and published ten books in three collections: Faits de société, Sueurs glaciales and Graines d’écrivains. This online bookshop also proposes a digital conversion service to publishing houses and writers. With Mon App, Marc Mesropian has chosen to position himself on the niche Smartphone apps market with local stores as his principal target. Mon App was founded nine months ago and already has 80 clients (restaurants, e-commerce…) and plans to recruit 6 people by the end of 2013.

So Buzz, the result of an encounter between two graduates from Saint Etienne’s Ecole des Mines engineering school and a professor of computer architecture, offers marketing services via the social networks, in particular Facebook. “Companies open an account via our platform and can benefit from tools, features and applications to launch challenges and referral campaigns,” explains Stéphane Boyer.  Although just 26, he already has a number of illustrious clients that include OM, Lagardère, Hyundai, Voyage Privé, MP2103…

Writing :