Applications are set to open for the French Tech Ticket, an initiative of the French government aimed at persuading international entrepreneurs in the startup or scaling up phases to take their businesses to Paris.
The programme is targeting entrepreneurs from all over the world who may or may not already have a business in France, offering fast-track residency procedures, prize money, free incubation, access to events and training sessions, a help desk to assist with red tape, lower prices on Air France flights, a Gold loyalty card and advertising for the startup via Air France.
Online applications for the initiative – which is being run as part of a wider pilot scheme with the aim of rolling out to other French cities next year – are set to open this month until September, with winners announced in December and entrepreneurs arriving in France in January of next year.
The French Tech Ticket is targeting innovative startups in the high-tech sector or elsewhere, based on a fast-growth model and across all innovative sectors, such as digital, medtech, biotech and fintech. Applicants can be foreign or French, but French project leaders must be members of a team that includes non-French nationals, with a maximum of one French person per team.
“The government’s intention when launching the French Tech Initiative was to underscore the fact that “showing how” and “knowing how” are two facets of the same goal for digital technology and innovation, both within France and abroad. We want this international reach to be materialised on a daily basis in French Tech cities through meetings and collaborative work between innovators and startup entrepreneurs from different backgrounds,” said Axelle Lemaire, Minister of State in the French Government.
“The aim is quite simply to encourage the most talented individuals to come to France to generate economic activity and create jobs. They will also help to bolster France’s appeal in the face of global competition and consolidate its position as one of the leading innovative nations” Lemaire said.
Lemaire said the decision to trial the scheme in Paris is based on the city’s status as “the European startup capital”, which in turn reflects the human and infrastructural capacity of the city.
“Paris is an appealing destination, but not just for tourists – the city has a network of facilities and initiatives that draw in entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world. We need to build on this appeal to make it both widespread and systematic,” Lemaire said.
“Paris, the European startup capital and the breeding ground for major entrepreneurial undertakings […] has substantial assets. These include a skilled workforce, facilities, telecom infrastructure and access to financing,” the Minister said.
“Paris is set to drive global innovation, bringing the country’s entire French Tech network with it.”