La French Tech aims at:
1. Stimulating, dynamizing and federating the french startup ecosystem.
2. Creating an international brand to attract international startups and scale ups.
Competition / programme to attract promising international startup teams to France, and at creating a unifying brand for French entrepreneurs around the world.
To further its goals and popularise the brand, La French Tech’s strategy involves three activities:
1. Giving greater visibility to the existing startup ecosystem. Cities that have strong entrepreneurial activities are labelled as ‘Métropole French Tech’ with each given their own dedicated website. The activities of those hubs are also organised through ‘thematic networks’ which further increases the reach and relevance.
2. Directly supporting startups. The French Tech Acceleration Fund invests public funds to support private startup accelerators. The Pass French Tech uses objective measures to identify startups in a ‘hyper-growth’ stage and provides them with simplified and quick access to necessary services that will help them with their expansion; in the past two years, more than 100 startups have benefited from this programme.
3. Connecting the French startup ecosystem internationally. Twelve cities, from San Francisco to Hong Kong, host French Tech Hubs, where subsidiary teams help French startups to establish a foothold in foreign markets. The French Tech Ticket programme also attracts highly qualified international entrepreneurs to France by offering a fast-track visa process, office space in an incubator, mentoring, a stipend and administrative support. In 2016, more than 1,400 entrepreneurs applied, of which 50 were selected.
Read the full French Tech case study in Nesta's ‘Idea Bank’ for Local Policymakers.
La French Tech initiative is state-supported.
Any English-speaking foreign entrepreneur (max three people per team - only one French national) can submit their innovative startup project. Originally, the project had to be built and developed in France and founders must be based in France and work full-time on the new company.
In 2020, Minister Cédric O announced the removal of restrictions on start-up visas that require eligible employers to be based in France. In other words, the French Tech Visa now also works for foreign companies operating in France which can now hire talent for their offices in France via the fast-track visa process.
Many entrepreneurs credit La French Tech with promoting a clear French startup identity and raising the profile of entrepreneurship in French media.