1. Ecosystem
    • Successful French entrepreneurs actively supporting the community
    • Strong networks of accelerators, incubators in French Tech hubs
  2. Global players
    • Strong CAC 40
    • Widespread media coverage of innovation
  3. Talent
    • Among the best engineers in the world, CTOs of the most famous groups
    • Talented and  dedicated researchers 
  4. Public support
    • Government backing and financing
    • Powerful public infrastructure
  5. Money
    • €5Bn tax credits for R&D per year
    • ~€20Bn yearly invested by Bpifrance in debt and equity,of which over €1Bn in innovation
    • ~€1B€ yearly invested by VC funds, of which 50% funded by Bpifrance
    • 200M€ to be invested by Bpifrance in accelerators
  6. International
    • French Tech Welcome Pack for foreign startups
    • 15M€ funded by the government to promote « French Tech » startups abroad
    • Bpifrance Assurance Export, the new French export credit agency acting in name , on behalf and under the control of the French State
  7. For more information 

KEY FACTS 

FINANCING :

1.       Over €200 million raised throughout crowdfunding

In 2016, French crowdfunding platforms raised over €233.8 million, up 40% from 2015 (€166.8 million). In all, a total of 21,375 projects were funded. (Baromètre du Crowdfunding 2016, Financement Participatif France – the French crowdfunding association)

 2.     Leading French crowdfunding players

Since 2010, Ulule has backed more than 17,000 projects, raising nearly €75 million. The platform has attracted more than 1.4 million members in 201 countries, with a project success rate of 67%, making it Europe’s leading crowdfunding site. Meanwhile on the KissKissBankBank platform, 1.1 million Kissbankers in 174 countries have provided €65 million in funding for more than 25,400 projects since 2010.

 3.     Surge in business angels

In 2015, more than 10,000 business angels invested €41 million in France (France Angels). Xavier Niel, founder of French ISP Free, is France’s most active business angel, investing in nearly 300 startups from around thirty countries through the Kima Ventures fund he co-founded in 2010. He is followed by Fabrice Grinda, who co-founded the Aucland auction site in 1999 and has invested €26 million in 170 startups. (Fundme/Challenges

2015)

 4.     France: Second in Europe for Venture Capital

France has consolidated its position within the European venture capital ecosystem, securing second place in Europe by deal numbers (486), hot on the heels of the United Kingdom. (CB Insights)

 

KEY INFO

1.     Great expectations for artificial intelligence

Thirty percent of French people think that government adoption of ‘smart’ technology could reduce waiting times, the number of forms to fill in (27%) and clerical errors (20%). Forty percent think that introducing artificial intelligence (AI) into the healthcare sector would lead to more reliable diagnoses. (OpenText survey, 2017)

 2.     An attractive research environment

France offers an active public and private research environment for AI that is attracting multinationals.

These include Fujitsu and Facebook, which have already embarked on shared research programs with national research institute INRIA. A recent French government report on AI listed 5,300 researchers. The ‘France is AI’ initiative supports and promotes AI in France.

3.     Recognized Excellence

In 2016, Facebook expanded its Paris-based AI research center, opened a year earlier. Mark Zuckerberg (CEO) said

France had one of the largest AI research communities in Europe. According to Mike Schroepfer (CTO), Paris has “the highest concentration of talented people all across Europe”. Fujitsu is currently investing €50 million in an AI center of excellence at the École Polytechnique.

4.     Promising startups

In 2016, virtual secretary Julie Desk raised €600,000, while student question and answer service Jam raised €1 million via the ISAI seed club. Big Data specialist Dataiku raised €13 million, and social data intelligence firm Linkfluence raised €12 million. Bordeaux-based startup Wiidii, which is developing a part-robot, parthuman personal assistant, is currently preparing to raise €8 million.

 

France a land of startups

1.     A champion in entreprise creation

France is a very buoyant market for net enterprise creation: the total number of active enterprises grew by 7.2% in 2014, through a net increase of 230,187 across the entire economy. The average 2014 growth figure for the EU-28 as a whole was just 0.9%. (Business France, 2016)

2.     A digital France

Startup revenues in France continue to rise, from €3 billion in 2014 to €4.2 billion in 2015, along with a 27% rise in employee numbers (EY, French digital startups survey, 2016). Paris came fifth in the European Digital City Index 2016, which ranks 60 cities across Europe for their attractiveness to digital entrepreneurs.

3.     A swift set-up time

In 2016, only 3.5 days were required to found a company in France, versus 4.5 in the United Kingdom and 10.5 in Germany. (World Bank, Doing Business, 2017)

4.     A cost-competitive location

The costs of business start-up procedures (GNI per capita) are only 0.7% in France – compared with 1.1% in the United States and 1.9% in Germany – and have remained