How France geared up to become a global innovation powerhouse

<strong>How France geared up to become a global innovation powerhouse</strong>

Over the last few years, France has geared up to become a global innovation powerhouse. The European nation has become an enigma in innovation and entrepreneurship and has turned into a haven for startups.

The western nation is now seeing itself as a self-proclaimed “startup” country that’s fueled by the rising success of hundreds of thousands of ground-breaking and new tech firms.

It has been creating policies and putting its funds into some strategic industries to encourage and globalize French-based startups.

Further, French President Emmanuel Macron has always reiterated his zeal to make France become a global leader in innovations. He wants France to assume the “leader for hyper-innovation.” 

To support the startups, the president pledged over £1.5 billion to promote research in the Artificial Intelligence field, with a focus on mobility and healthcare.

In his view on the French startups’ support, Fabrice Cavaretta, a professor of Leadership and Entrepreneurship, said, “France provides one of the best opportunity ecosystems in the world. Entrepreneurs have a broad choice of clusters to work within, those industries with the critical mass to reach excellence, such as fashion, food, high-tech, energy, and so forth.”

Cavaretta continued, “startups also benefit from exceptional success factors such as a rich heritage, outstanding human capital, and a world-recognized brand.”

In addition, startup ecosystems have grown in France due to the country’s free-market economy. France has been on the innovation bandwagon for the past five years.

Apart from the startup regulation mechanisms for growth, some players have been vital to expanding.

For instance, Bpifrance, a public investment bank, was established in 2012 to support startups and help them expand, prepare for future competitiveness, and help them develop an ecosystem that favors entrepreneurship. 

Bpifrance, alongside 42 regional branches in France, funded about 74,000 businesses and has offered £930 million in innovation grants.

La French Tech has been instrumental to startups’ growth in France

La French Tech is one of the supporting movements attempting to promote the French tech scene. It has been working since its creation in 2013 to make France become one of the greatest countries to grow and launch international firms producing forward-thinking services and solutions.

La French Tech works as an innovative movement that brings investors, startups, community builders, and policymakers together while acting as an instigator for startups to scale and grow in the country and beyond. 

Meanwhile, 2021 was a tremendous year for tech funding globally, including in France. This was seen in tech investment and the number of funds raised.

For instance, French startups raised €2.5 billion and €12 billion in 2017 and 2021. Also, 2 IPOs were worth more than €1 billion in 2021. This is more than several IPOs that have gained over €1 billion in the past 25 years.

Regional and local authorities support

Regional and local authorities are also supporting the startups. They see innovation as a strategic instigator for local development and economic growth. 

Several of them have executed specific policies to encourage innovative startups, ranging from seed investment to great guarantees.