Founder of RAOUL, a media relations and e-influence consultancy

September 2017

After 20 years working in communication agencies specialised in new technologies, constantly rubbing shoulders with entrepreneurs, Sibylle de Villeneuve set up Raoul in 2013.

At the time, her client Annie Combelles, founder of Inspearit and a mentor on our mentoring programme, strongly encouraged her to take the leap. When Roaul celebrated its 3rd anniversary, Anne introduced her to Martine Liautaud and invited her on the WIF programme. Sibylle was supported and counselled by her mentor Eve Magnant, VP at Publicis Group. It meant that Sibylle could discuss her business challenges, her development options and her management style, at any time and in total confidentiality.

In July, and again thanks to the Foundation, Sibylle took part in the 2017 Women Executive program at Stanford, an intensive week of study and discussions with 30 women entrepreneurs from around the world (12 countries represented). During the week on the campus, participants gain insights from the best lecturers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

The program alternates theoretical input with workshops that enables participants to test out new ideas, but also to discover different cultures and new ways of working.

In the end, a common denominator emerges: the power and courage of the women, their ability to discuss ideas and support each other, and finally the lack of confidence that often prevents them from reaching higher. Living the experience together forged strong bonds and fostered a powerful international network.

Inspired by her week at Stanford and motivated by meetings in the Californian tech ecosystem, Sibylle de Villeneuve now intends to contribute to promoting France in the much anticipated but also feared development of Artificial intelligence. She will help Gregory Renard set up a French Think Tank with researchers and entrepreneurs. Advocating ethics above all, the body will set out to raise the general public’s awareness of AI issues, to encourage institutions to train students in the IT professions, and to support organisations in making the transition.

At the same time, Sibylle continues to reinforce her team (a dozen consultants today) so she can support the best French tech start-ups.

To learn more about Raoul agency, click here.

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