France Digitale: The French lobbying association for the startup Ecosystem

Jun 13, 2012
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JournalduNet[FR] reported today that the lobbying association France Digitale has just been created in order to promote the startup/tech ecosystem. The association is presided over by venture capitalist Marie Ekeland, a partner at Elaia Partners, and Marc Menasé, President of Meinvest. The association will reportedly be made up of entrepreneurs and other investors, as well. The association’s first goals will include reforming the TEPA law,improving the advantages offered to JEI (“innovative young entrepreneur”) in France, and, notably, reforming the FCPI (France’s most common form of investment vehicle).

The association is organizing a launch event on the 2nd of July, although the location of the event has not yet been disclosed. Eric Carreel, President of Sculpteo, and Emanuele Levi of 360 Capital Partners are reported to be Vice Presidents of the association, and Fleur Pellerin is said to be heavily involved in the assocation & will be present at the July 2nd event.

The French government has been on the mind of a lot of startupers since the elections last month. Fleur Pellerin, minister of the digital economy, has been making her rounds at conferences and events, promising everyone that she supports startups; this lobbying association may be the substantial kick in the butt that the French government needs. The entrepreneur support system in France is bad, the VC ecyosystem in France is broken, and this country still puts out the best engineers in the world. Imagine what could happen in the government gave startups five years of trust and support?

ISAI GM Jean-David Chamboredon also mentioned in the JDN article that ISAI is “on board,” which doesn’t surprise me as JDC has been very active in promoting the French startup scene – most recently he called out the French government for refusing VISA renewal on a prominent French Entrepreneur.