The French Tech mission is proudly celebrating its tenth anniversary, marking a decade of commitment to start-ups in France. This adventure began in Grenoble, the vibrant heart of French Tech Alpes, a strategic territory for innovation and technology. At the time, the term “French Tech” was not yet in use, but rather “Quartiers numériques”. Jean-Pierre Verjus, a passionate researcher who pioneered the initiative in Grenoble back in 2011, likes to recall the modest beginnings of this adventure, highlighting the considerable advances made in such a short space of time.
The evolution of French Tech Alpes
The Grenoble region, already rich in digital assets, quickly emerged as a driving force for the economic development of start-ups. Today, French Tech Alpes is a well-established reality. It relies on a solid team that is actively involved in promoting and supporting start-ups:
- Romain Gentil, President,
- Tatiana Leroy, Director,
- Anne-Sophie Vernay, Development Manager,
- David Bousquet, Project Manager,
- Clara Gaillard, communications manager,
- Joran Courrieu, space manager:
The region boasts the status of:
- French Tech Alpes capital since 2019,
- Second French Tech capital in France after Paris.
The Grenoble cluster leads the region in terms of fundraising. Innovation is at the heart of its mission, as evidenced by its many initiatives. The digital campus, Territoires Solutions and the CoopVenture financing company demonstrate the cluster’s commitment to a certain ethic in digital business.
One of the major assets of the French Tech Alpes – Grenoble region is its concentration of deeptech companies, reaching 22%, three times the national average. This density of innovation puts the region in a good position to support responsible entrepreneurship. Grenoble’s key sectors are alternative energies, healthcare and green chemistry.
Internationalization as a priority
The recent study carried out by the French Tech mission in collaboration with the CSA institute reveals promising prospects for French start-ups over the next ten years. Internationalization appears to be a major priority, with 95% of start-ups planning to expand abroad.
The United States, an essential market, tops the list of preferred destinations, followed by Germany, Spain, the UK and Italy. This internationalization strategy involves signing contracts with foreign customers, opening offices abroad, and even acquiring foreign competitors. This trend marks a significant change from ten years ago, when France was more the country of origin for acquisitions.
In addition, French start-ups are turning to more exotic destinations, such as China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Middle East is proving attractive due to the abundance of financing focused on the ecological transition. French start-ups are increasingly present at international events such as Gitex in Dubai.
In a reverse trend, France could become a preferred destination for foreign start-ups. Poolside (an American company specializing in AI) is a good example of this trend.
French Tech becomes more and more industrial
The future of French Tech looks increasingly industrial. Some 34% of entrepreneurs plan to build factories in the next few years. The goal of 100 French Tech industrial sites by 2025 is a good illustration of this trend.
Profitability is set to become the main success criterion for 72% of French start-ups within the next ten years, surpassing social and societal impact (35%) and funds raised (6%). French start-ups, having benefited from government support, are keen to maintain this support, in particular by increasing public funding.
The 10-year review
So, after ten years of existence, French Tech is gearing up for exciting new challenges, becoming more international, diversifying industrially and putting profitability at the heart of its success model. The future promises to be as innovative as in recent years, and French start-ups will continue to be at the forefront of technology and entrepreneurship.
Mission French Tech, which reports to the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, plays a key role in supporting and growing French start-ups, both nationally and internationally. The “Ten Years of French Tech Week” celebrated this anniversary with a series of events designed to promote the Tech ecosystem and highlight start-up success stories. Open days, evening debates and webinars were organized to raise awareness of the varied career opportunities in Tech.
The future looks bright for French Tech, with French start-ups ready to conquer the world as they continue to innovate and prosper.
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