On 29 January 2015, Emmanuel Macron, Minister of the Economy, Industry and the Digital Sector, and Axelle Lemaire, Minister of State for the Digital Sector, offered New Year’s greetings to La French Tech. The two ministers addressed a gathering of more than 1,000 people representing the full range of French Tech stakeholders. They hailed the achievements of the previous year and outlined their priorities for 2015.
“La French Tech has come a very long way in a single year!” remarked Emmanuel Macron. “2015 must be the year in which we go further and faster. We need to expand the ecosystem in order to shift French Tech’s focus to the outside, to the international scene and to major businesses. We also need to step up financing measures so that we are not merely launching start-ups but supporting them all along their path to growth. I am convinced that soon some of them will be the CAC 40’s most sought-after firms!”
After an initial year in which a network of start-up ecosystems across France was mobilized under an initiative that awarded nine “French Tech Métropole” labels, La French Tech will go into high gear in 2015 and move onto the international stage.
As Axelle Lemaire stated, “A large-scale presence of French businesses at the recent Consumer Electronics Show, international fundraising for several of our champions, and the success of French digital goods and services on world markets have propelled France to the forefront of global innovation. Now we need to outdo ourselves!”
Ministers Macron and Lemaire laid out La French Tech’s international three-part strategy:
The establishment of “French Tech Hubs” within major international innovation regions. French Tech Hubs will rally the French entrepreneurial ecosystem within these regions with an eye to stepping up the expansion of French start-ups wishing to set up shop and promote France’s appeal to local business leaders and investors. Similar to the approach taken for the “French Tech Métropoles”, a “French Tech Hubs” label will be granted by the French government on the basis of a project complying with a set of specifications (available starting on 30 January 2015 on www.lafrenchtech.com).
The launch of La French Tech’s International Appeal initiative. The goal of this programme, which has been given a €15 million budget, is to support projects, particularly private-sector ones, that highlight French innovation excellence. This will take the form of increased presence and visibility at major international events, for example, or attracting investors, entrepreneurs and influential opinion-makers to France so that they can see for themselves the rich diversity of the country’s ecosystems. Calls for projects have been published, and are available from www.lafrenchtech.com.
Implementation of the French Tech Tickets measure, announced by President Hollande at the October 2014 meeting of the Strategic Attractiveness Council. The idea is to attract young international entrepreneurs to France by providing them with residence permits, individual grants, premises in an innovation setting and customized support to help them get up and running. An initial group of 130 projects will be hosted during 2015.
“Start-ups think globally right from the beginning. The French government wants to provide them with tools to meet their needs – not to do their work for them, but rather to allow them to work better, faster, more easily and more effectively,” Axelle Lemaire emphasized.
In the words of Emmanuel Macron, “the French Tech spirit is an example for every area of the economy. It is able to get beyond labels, vested interests and business as usual, firms can work together in a stimulating environment and spur each other on, and there is an element of risk-taking – exactly what the French economy needs. "./.
¹Source of English text: French Economy Ministry.