SEA startups: France wants you!
By Benjamin Cher June 27, 2016
- Global competition where winning teams will get funding, relocate to France
- First season saw 23 startups participate, this time 70 winning teams will be picked
THE French Government wants startups from South-East Asia to become part of its ecosystem, and has launched the French Tech Ticket competition to attract them.
The French Tech Ticket is a competition where 70 winning early-stage startups apply get to be hosted in one of the 41 incubators in France. The competition is open to startups from across the world.
A winning team can expect to get €45,000 (about US$50,000) in funding – without needing to give up any equity – and also get onto the fast-track for a French resident permit, a tailored programme of master classes, networking events, mentoring sessions, and a “soft landing pack” to relocate to France.
The competition aims to attract startups specialising big data, financial technology (fintech), and the Internet of Things (IoT), among others, according to Muriel Pénicaud, chief executive officer of Business France and French Ambassador for International Investment.
“French Tech Ticket Season 2 welcomes innovative projects from all over the world, including Malaysia and Indonesia,” Pénicaud told Digital News Asia (DNA) via email.
“France has a lot to offer in a number of areas and we are reaching out to entrepreneurs with startup projects in big data, fintech, the IoT, medtech and cleantech (medical and environmentally-friendly technology) and any other sector.
“Innovation is everywhere today, and our 41 partner incubators around France are ready to host startups in a broad variety of sectors,” she added.
Pénicaud also lauded the Singapore ecosystem, and said she hopes to bring Singapore startups to France.
“Singapore is renowned today for its thriving startup ecosystem – its high-level talent pool, dynamic financial sector and the Government’s focus on developing a smarter and greener city have all contributed to the development of fintech and cleantech startups,” she said.
“France also has a booming ecosystem, strong R&D (research and development) partners, and can offer access to the European market that can bring international success to Singaporean startups,” she added.
Teams that apply for a French Tech Ticket will have to choose three preferred incubators according to their field of expertise, according to Pénicaud (pic).
“If their application is successful, they will be assigned to one of the selected incubators based on their ranking and available space, so it’s really important to make the right choices,” she said.
Of the €45,000 funding, €25,000 will be allocated for professional services and €20,000 for personal expenses, according to Pénicaud.
These professional services cover communications, prototyping, outsourced development, and so on for their projects, for which they would need to provide supporting documents.
Startups will be judged on several criteria including entrepreneurial skills, project feasibility, and market potential in France among others, according to Pénicaud.
“All these criteria are equally important when assessing the potential success of a startup – startups will play a key role in driving the next phase of global growth,” she said.
“Asian startups and entrepreneurial talent are now becoming fully recognised on the international scene.
“The French Tech Ticket is a prime opportunity for them to expand their business and access the European market, while being immersed in a booming startup ecosystem.
“France is open to welcoming international talents and helping them to reach their potential,” she added.
Full details on French Tech Ticket Season 2 and how to compete can be found here. The closing date for entries is Aug 24, 2016.
Vive la France
Meanwhile, the ‘Soft Landing Pack’ will help entrepreneurs in relocating to France.
“It includes a ‘Welcome Guide’ detailing the local startup ecosystem and explaining how to do business in France, as well as more practical information about everyday life (accommodation, transport, food, etc.),” said Pénicaud.
“We also provide help and special offers to find accommodation, open a bank account, get French lessons, and much more—basically everything entrepreneurs need to enjoy the French way of life,” she added.
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