French Tech Ticket Launched in a Bid to Make France the Next Silicon Valley
The French government wants to take the French tech startup ecosystem to the heights of global recognition by inviting entrepreneurs around the world to incubate and launch their startups in France.
French Tech Ticket winners will receive a residence permit, 45,000 euros in funds, and other resources needed to execute their startup idea. Applications opened on 21st June and will close on 23rd September, 2016. There is no fee or equity taken.
French Tech Ticket is managed by Business France, the trade investment commission for the French government. Managing Director at the Mumbai Office, heading the Department for South Asia - Tech & Services for Business France is Sylvain Biard. Business France is the focal point for promoting French companies and the French economy around the world. It helps French businesses explore and set up operations around the world while guiding foreign investors and companies interested in setting up in France. We speak to Mr. Biard to find out more.
“The program French Tech Ticket was set up to internationalize the French tech startup ecosystem,” said Sylvain. “In terms of tech, funds and a market, France has much to offer to entrepreneurs around the world. But only about 10% of entrepreneurs are from outside of France, we would like this number to be about 25%.”
Why startup in France?
France currently has the largest base of business startups in the world and about 6000+ tech startups. France has many cities/clusters driving innovation in specific tech sectors. For example, Paris has incubators, research labs and universities focusing on the tech across sectors; Toulouse focuses on aerospace innovation and Brittany focuses on telecommunications and media.
“Across France we have 200+ public and private incubation centres. In terms of funding available there are about 100+ VCs active in France and about 7 billion euros worth of private investment available from investors across France and Europe. Not many people know this.” In 2015, France’s fund of funds contributed 685 million euros to private VC funds for innovation through the French Public Investment Bank (Bpifrance).
If given the opportunity most Indian entrepreneurs would prefer to be mentored and launch in the US. “Yes, Silicon Valley is by far the largest ecosystem, it has about 45,000 tech startups. But this also means there is more competition, more risk. The US is also an expensive market to enter. Marketing and other operational costs are significantly higher than in France while wages for technical talent is about twice as much. Being based out of France will give you access to the 6th largest economy in the world and also is the gateway to the EU economy. It’s the largest market in the world with a 500 million people strong consumption market.”
More on French Tech Ticket
Speaking of the details of French Tech Ticket, Sylvain says this is the second season of French Tech Ticket. It is a one year program and will start early January 2017 and run till December 2017. Applications for the 2017 batch opened on 21st June and will close on 23 September, 2016. The screening process will last for 3 months and selected entrepreneurs will be announced toward end December 2016. The chosen entrepreneurs will receive a residence permit, 45,000 euros for the project over the course of the year, additional allowances for living and hiring professionals services needed for the startup like marketing, and space in an incubation centre to be selected by the entrepreneur from 41 such incubation centres across 12 cities. There is no fee or equity charged for French Tech Ticket.
Speaking of the first round of French Tech Ticket 2016, Sylvain says out of 723 applications received from about 100 countries, about 82 were from India. Most of the Indian applications were in the sectors of IoT, edtech, fintech, health tech, mobile and ecommerce, big data, aerospace, and surprisingly travel and tourism. Of the final 23 picked 2 were from India. These were Guesswork, a product recommendation engine for first time buyers online and Dymond CleanTech an eco-innovative electrochemical water treatment technique using diamond electrodes.
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