French Tech this, French Tech that. Everythins seems to be called French Tech nowadays. Can you tell the difference between the French Tech Pass and French Tech Ticket? Let’s clear all of that up.
What is the French Tech?
The French Tech (FT) is a government led initiative to promote innovation in France. It came to be in 2013 when it became obvious that new technologies didn’t only come from researchers in labs but also from entrepreneurs. The government is not meant to intrude but to foster. The FT is state-supported, not state-monitored. The French Tech has now grown out of the “program” to be more like a “label”.
The French Tech only applies to startups and aims to produce jobs, innovation and to boost France’s influence abroad.
Many programs are linked to the French Tech and they all more or less have the terms “French Tech” attached. That makes it all the more complicated to sort them apart. Let’s take them one by one.
PASS FRENCH TECH
It’s a program to foster business developement and competitiveness of startups selected for their hyper-growth. Mainly those in the Industry, Digital, Biotech and Medtech sectors. Once within the Pass French Tech program, startups get full support in all areas to scale up. Competition is very tough to make it into the program, of course. Becoming part of the Pass French Tech is a major breakthrough for startups.
FRENCH TECH TICKET
Don’t you switch the pass and the ticket! The ticket is here to encourage foreign entrepreneurs and investors to settle in France. This is not for the French although one French national is accepted among the founders. The French Tech Ticket package is attractive.
- A 45 000€ incentive
- 12 months in a incubator
- Simplified procedure for spouses and children to settle in France
- Training and mentoring
- Dedicated help desk
- Assistance in settling down
FRENCH TECH VISA
The French Tech Visa is here to help FT startups to scale up by hiring foreign talents. A “Passeport Talent” is a 4-year residence permit for the employee and family. Visa procedures are simplified. Spouses get a working permit. But this attractive visa is only available for talents hired by Pass French Tech startups. Are you still following?
FONDS FRENCH TECH ACCÉLÉRATION
There are many private accelerators in France. The “Fonds FT Accélération” is a 200 M€ fund to foster the development of these privately owned startup accelerators in France.
FRENCH TECH AMBASSADOR PROGRAM
This program supports privately owned projects that promote, in a way or other, the FT ecosystem abroad. This can be events, tools (like a platform) or content. Support are in the form of funds.
FRENCH TECH HUBS
Part of the Ambassador program are the French Tech Hubs, commitees of FT entrepreneurs/investors abroad. There are currently 22 hubs worldwide: New York, Israel, Tokyo, San Francisco, Montreal, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Moscow, Barcelona, Dubai, Los Angeles, Milan, Beijing, San Paulo, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Taiwan and Vietnam. They host events and serve as liaison with local authorities/industry/entrepreneurs/business angels. They also help FT entrepreneurs settling down abroad.
BOURSE FRENCH TECH
A “bourse” is a grant. Here, a 45 000€ grant for startups that display a hyper-growth profile. This is to help with the initial spendings induced by their entrance in the market. The beneficiaries could be future candidates for the Pass French Tech.
FRENCH TECH DIVERSITÉ
As it turns out, the profiles of entrepreneurs are quite uniform. This is not an advantage. Whole parts of the French society are left out of the French Tech adventure. Mostly minorities. But good ideas are not to spring from designated neighborhood or background. The problem is, some would-be entrepreneurs, in unprivileged areas, tend to self-depreciate. They don’t make the first step. “I’m not made for this, it’s not for me” is a usual phrase. Besides, they don’t offer garanties for bankers who are relunctant to fund their startup.
French Tech Diversité seeks to address this issue and provide all with the support to make the leap of faith.
This support includes a 45 000€ fund, 12 months in a incubator, mentoring by a French entrepreneur in France and one from a Hub. Masterclasses and trainings in soft skills are provided.
This whole program aims to break the glass ceiling that prevents many minorities from joining in.
The French Tech is indeed an entire ecosystem that now has a life of its own and has managed to grow well beyond the initial goals. It has become a label of excellence worldwide. Thanks to the French Tech, France has dusted off the “old continent” profile and is now a major tech player.
Are you now up for a French Tech Quiz?