Friday Inspiration #14: The Booming French Ecosystem

Friday Inspiration is a selection of the latest innovative ideas we would like to share with our community every week.

The release of Bloomberg 2018 Innovation Index motivated this focus-article around the French ecosystem. Gaining two ranks, France reached the ninth position, ahead of tech-savvy United States of America. If the Index displays “productivity” as the leading factor in this advancement, this week’s news showcase other components behind the increasing leverage of the French ecosystem.

An innovation-supportive environment: #ChooseFrance

Following the #ChooseFrance Summit on January 22nd, several tech companies announced their desire to strengthen their ties with France.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the opening of an AI research center in Paris and the creation of Google Hubs with French local partners like Rennes’ tech hub. Plus, their current Parisian office will expand to meet their recruitment objectives.

France will be the fourth European country to host Microsoft data storage centers. Three of them would be based in Paris while the fourth one in Marseille, announced Carlo Purassanta, President of Microsoft France. The group also plans to open a college specialized in AI in the heart of its French headquarters.

Facebook committed to investing €10million in its French AI research facility. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, also announced the creation of two education programs that will provide digital training to 65,000 people by 2019. One of them is the campaign “She Means Business” which aims to give to 15,000 women digital skills and help them to start their business. The second one concerns 50,000 job-seeking people, with the hope that the education program will smooth their integration in the job market.

Other big groups also announced future investments. The series of declarations from multinational companies contribute to French attractivity and the country’s goal to build long-term business partnerships with international actors.

France attracts foreign talents

Founding-father of the iPod and Founder of Nest, Tony Fadell chose France to build a new life, to enjoy the entrepreneurial-friendly environment and support young tech talents. He first came to France eight years ago to meet with Xavier Niel, the Founder & CEO of Iliad and Founder of Station F. Back then, he was already fascinated by the project of Station F, the tech school Ecole 42 and the development of startups in Europe and France. Moving in the city of lights eighteen months ago, Fadell highlights the promising tech environment of France and is delighted to help this dynamic and young ecosystem to grow. Last year, Tony Fadell launched Future Shape, an investment and consulting fund in Paris and the world’s largest accelerator: Station F.

French talents contributing to the foreign ecosystems

If France warmly welcomed foreign talents, its experts also successfully invest and contribute to the development of foreign ecosystems. A recent article listed the successful international careers of French talents. Among those, Fidji Simo, VP Product of Facebook, who launched the video format on social networks, or the “Facebook Live” option. The list just got longer with Jerome Pesenti, who was this week appointed the vice-president of Facebook AI department. He will be in charge of the AI strategy and the scientific management of AI research.

The former VP of Facebook AI Yann Lecun and Jerome Pesenti are former speakers of La French Touch Conference New York.

As we want to promote French talents inside and outside the tech ecosystem, this article features French entrepreneurs who successfully launch their business abroad. The publication showcases non-tech companies that develop and promote the French savoir-faire abroad. Among those entrepreneurs, Arthur Becker opened la Franchuteria bakery in San Pedro, Chile six years ago. From baking bread for himself, he started his business who now counts eighteen employees and recently expanded into a cafe.

This goes to show the excellent education provided by the French system and the desire to learn from and collaborate with other international ecosystems.

Naturally, our hope is to see the development of the French ecosystem – locally, nationally and internationally – driven by a skillful and diverse workforce, encouraged by business-supportive policies, and animated by dynamic international partnerships.

The news about the French ecosystem made us smile and motivated us to pursue our goal: to build the bridge between France, Europe, and other international ecosystems.

International collaboration Source: Carleton International


Have an inspiring weekend! 😊

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