You may not think about France as the place you’d choose to move from startup from the CEE region, and your first choices would be London, Berlin or Amsterdam. But France is having a go at becoming a popular destination for entrepreneurs worldwide.
“Entrepreneur is the new France.” – announced Emmanuel Macron at his speech at Vivatech 2017 which is strictly outlined the policy a country following today. According to Macron, France should become a platform that makes it easier to become an entrepreneur and to attract more talents. You can feel it in the air at Vivatech with 50 000 visitors and 5 000+ startups all around the world while walking through the huge expo of startups and corporates presenting their ideas, inventions and openness. ‘Our aim is for Paris to become a major international hub for startups’ – noted Maurice Levy, the founder of the conference and Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Publicis Group. Together with Francis Morel, CEO of Group Les Echos, they organized the second edition of Vivatech which replaced long-standing Le Web conference and dedicated to collaboration between startups and global businesses.
The events like Vivatech give a possibility to see the picture of the ecosystem development in full with main trends like corporate innovations within retail, beauty and fashion, mobility and transportation. According to French Tech research, the leading spheres in the country are
- Deeptech: AI and Big Data with traditional French expertise and research in Mathematics. For example, such unicorns as Teads, inventor of outstream video advertising and Criteo, inventor of ad retargeting are a good example
- MedTech and BioTech startups, France is #2 in the World for biotech and #1 for medtech IPOs in the last 5 years.
- Sharing economy with famous Blablacar and platform for local producers and farmers La Ruche
- Internet of Things startups. According to the Financial Times 36% of all IOT startups exhibiting at CES 2017 were French
So what are the main things startup founder should know about France:
- The most famous incubators in Paris are Paris&Co, Numa and The Family. The world’s largest startup campus Station F will open soon and will host about 1000 startups in 33, 000 square meters. In total in Paris there are about 130 000 square meters of coworking spaces.
- Every startup could apply for French Tech Ticket and get 45 000 euro for the team without any loss in equity.
- In 2016 the venture capital investment in the country was $1.6 billion. It still lags the likes of Germany and the U.K. but has seen a lot of investors jump into the market. In contrast, according to KPMG report VC funding in Germany fell sharply to $1.9 billion in 2016, from $3.6 billion while the U.K is also experience a sharp drop after the Brexit.