French Tech: An ambassador for French creativity and innovation


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development is actively involved in French Tech, an initiative to encourage the emergence of French start-ups, to help them to grow and expand internationally and to promote the French ecosystem abroad.

In 2014, 43% of turnover from French digital start-ups was earned internationally (source: Baromètre EY 2014 / France Digitale). To build on this, in 2015 French Tech upped the tempo to structure its international dimension.

Review of 2015, which confirmed French Tech’s key role as an ambassador for French creativity and innovation.

From Las Vegas to Le Bourget, a hugely successful year

In January

January saw a big start to the year for French Tech with the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a world-renowned electronics and technology trade show. France was the best-represented EU country there, with over 160 French companies on site, 10 of which received an award at the Innovation Awards

In February

The Ministry’s commitment to economic diplomacy and to supporting French start-ups was demonstrated by the launch or renewal of a number of specific programmes, such as Franci@Innovazione in Italy (in french) and the sixth year of the NETVA programme for the North American market, which opened its first agency in Toronto.

In March

At thefirst SME international forum (in french), French Tech was also held in high esteem, being one of the six priority export groups (in french) actively involved in supporting the international expansion of French SMEs.

From April to June

French innovation and start-ups were still earning plaudits, whether at French Innovation Week in Chicago…

… at the final of the Hello Tomorrow Challenge in Paris, in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, or at the French Touch Conference in New York.

This was an opportunity to take stock of digital technology in France…

or to award the first "French Tech Hub" label: after New York in June, Tel Aviv followed in September and then Tokyo in October.

Les entrepreneurs français à New York s'organisent et créent la French Tech New York !

Posté par La French Tech sur jeudi 25 juin 2015

Summer 2015

There was to be no summer break for economic diplomacy: 2015 also marked the first “speed dating” session between entrepreneurs and ambassadors. (in french)

On 25 August, IT and digital-technology entrepreneurs were at the forefront of the 39 sectors represented, as they alone accounted for 10% of registered participants. These meetings were an opportunity for direct, concrete and personal dialogue with the 170 ambassadors in attendance. Sectoral growth opportunities and ongoing calls for tender were discussed. This was an unprecedented operation during which no less than 1,700 15-minute meetings took place.

In September-October

The first “investment month” was an opportunity for around 50 Embassies to bring together investors and economic decision-makers to discuss French attractiveness.

As ambassadors for French attractiveness and innovation, the French Tech start-ups are naturally at the heart of the Creative France campaign launched in October by Business France.

The Creative France label intends to promote French initiatives and know-how in the area of creativity and innovation in various areas: technology, industry, fashion, food, science, arts, etc. Both major companies and start-ups are involved in the process. Whether they are French, embodying our creativity, or foreign, demonstrating our attractiveness, thousands of French SMEs and start-ups are at the forefront of technological innovation, inventing on a daily basis the products, services and solutions of tomorrow’s world.

At the end of year, when the time for assessments and reviews is drawing near, various international rankings set out the progress made in recent months in improving the attractiveness of our economy.

In September, France moved up one place (22nd out of 140) in the Davos Global Competitiveness Report and in October, it rose four places (27th out of 189) in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking. In November, with 10 French organizations in the Top 100, France was ranked 3rd in the Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovators list.

French Tech is also an asset in the area of broader mutual diplomatic initiatives: the programmes of the Japan-France Innovation Year and the Korea-France cross-cultural year were enhanced by the French Tech Tour in December.

Naturally, 2015 ended on a green note with COP21, where 21 emblematic start-ups from the CleanTech subsidiary became ambassadors for French Tech.

-* See the winning companies

French Tech has thus laid the foundations for speeding up and intensifying the growth of innovative companies to enable France to create more medium-sized enterprises, which are market leaders and job creators.

French Tech in 2016

The 2016 Consumer Electronics Show will take place in Las Vegas on 6-9 January. French innovation in the area of connected devices is now widely recognized, in particular due to the success of Withings, Parrot and Netatmo. Let’s hope that CES 2016 will be another opportunity to prove this!

The French Tech ticket enables 50 entrepreneurs from around the world to travel to Paris. More than 1,000 applications were received for this ticket, which aims to attract international talent with innovative business projects to France. The 50 selected entrepreneurs will arrive in France in January 2016.

Finally, the world’s largest business incubator will open in France in 2016! La Halle Freyssinet will host 1,000 start-ups in Paris.

Focus: Business France, the new agency serving France’s economic outreach

Business France, an economic agency created from the merger between the French agency for international investments and UBI France, was launched in early 2015. Its mission is to encourage the international development of companies established in France, to promote French exports and to develop the attractiveness of the national territory. One thousand foreign projects are set up each year in France, with Business France supporting almost half of them.

Business France thus played a major role in efforts to create more sustainable trade and investment, in order to help the French economic recovery, economic development of territories and job creation.