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The New Winners of the French-American Business Awards

The competition created to champion the best French-American businesses and entrepreneurs in the San Francisco Bay Area has awarded 20 new winners this year. The victors include Facebook’s Fidji Simo, medical imaging company InkSpace Imaging, and Front, a cross-channel communications management app.

Eve Chaurand, president of the French-American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco which organizes the annual event, sees the French-American Business Awards (FABA) as a celebration of “the diversity of [the] French ecosystem” Northern California, while also encouraging “French-American success stories.” Fifty-eight nominees across 11 categories were put to a jury in San Francisco as part of the 2018 edition held on June 7.

This year’s Gold Award in the Woman Role Model category — a recent addition to the competition — was awarded to Fidji Simo, head of video, games, and advertising in news feed at Facebook. She is the world’s tenth most influential French person according to Vanity Fair. Luc Vincent, who directs the self-driving vehicle program at Lyft, won the Gold Award in the Leaders in Smart Mobility category. And in the same group, Gilbert Passin, VP of manufacturing at Tesla, received a Special Distinction.

The non-profit organization Code for Fun, which helps introduce young Californians to computer science, was awarded a Special Distinction in the Social Impact category. The winemaking company Oeneo, renowned for its range of high-tech cork closures, picked up the Gold Award in the Agribusiness category. And Allure System won the People’s Choice Award in the Startup of the Year category for its 3D modelling service designed for ready-to-wear fashion retailers.

The 2018 winners:

Category Woman Role Model
Gold Award: Fidji Simo (Facebook)
Special Distinction: Odile Disch-Bhadkamkar (Foundation Carnegie pour l’avancée de l’enseignement)

Category Social Impact
Gold Award: Alter Eco
Special Distinction: Code For Fun

Category Food Business
Gold Award: La Toque
Special Distinction: La Tourangelle

Category Agribusiness
Gold Award: Oeneo
Special Distinction: Laffort USA

Category High Tech over $30 Million in Revenue or Founding
Gold Award: Algolia
Special Distinction: Front

Category High Tech under $30 Million in Revenue or Founding
Gold Award: Dawex
Special Distinction: Hardware Club

Category Leaders in Smart Mobility
Gold Award: Luc Vincent (Lyft)
Special Distinction: Gilbert Passin (Tesla Motors)

Category Startup of the Year
Jury’s Choice Award: InkSpace Imaging
People’s Choice Award: Allure Systems

Category U.S. Investment in France
Gold Award: Zendesk
Special Distinction: Symphony

Category Wine
Gold Award: Atlas Wine

Category Giving Back
Gold Award: Jean-Noël Fourmeaux (VGS Château Potelle)