France Looking to Spearhead European Tech Revolution
Since the election of Macron as the French leader, technology and innovation have been a major part of the countries’ desired identity. Traditionally French culture has been less concerned with entrepreneurialism and innovation, with students often citing professions such as the civil service as their ambition, rather than being a startup entrepreneur.
In recent months however the government has been putting more and more money into supporting entrepreneurs, and have bought into effect new laws and procedures to make tech companies more prosperous throughout the countries. Macron is now considered a major supporter of the startup scene, and entrepreneurial output from the country is beginning to reflect that.
Take the widely covered Station F in Paris for example. This former train depot has been turned into a home for startups, 3,000 desks available for entrepreneurs, and enough office space to house 1,000 new companies. Clearly the emphasis in the capital is changing, and this feeling is beginning to permeate the rest of the country. France has always been well known as a popular tourist destination and home of the best food and wine in Europe, but it seems the country now wants to be seen as a European (if not global) hub for technological innovation and modern entrepreneurialism.
Of course, this is easier said than done – particularly given the startup prowess of the likes of London, California and New York. But France is certainly moving in the right direction, and is now pulling in significant funding from across the globe. This year French tech companies have raised over $2 billion, and the capital has seen the second-highest number of VC deals in Europe over the last three years.
There is no question that France is on the up when it comes to entrepreneurialism, and with Macron at the helm this startup-led revolution is only likely to continue. But can France really position itself as a global tech hub, as their leader so readily admits to targeting? Only time will tell.