Great Minds Think Alike: French Innovators At Emtech

Alice Faure - 05/02/16




France is undergoing a start-up renaissance driven by a new generation of entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, designers, and other talented people we can call "innovators". It’s a new Start-up Republic, home to vibrant tech hubs and a hotbed of talent, impregnated with a strong entrepreneurial culture. The name of this movement is "La French Tech", a banner shared by French start-ups and the French government which supports them. Launched in 2013, the €200 million initiative supports French start-ups and places them under a single and powerfulbrand, both in France and abroad. In 2015, Business France was given the responsibility to promote the French Tech brand and initiative internationally. This means showing the world that not only is France an innovation hotspot, but that it is also going through a deep cultural and mentality change, making it more start-up friendly than ever. This catalogue is meant to break the myth of aclosed-to-foreign investment country of bureaucrats where innovation is stifled. France has always celebrated creativity, but in the past we were too shy about marketing and developing our ideas. Today, innovation is being unshackled from theory and encouraged to grow in the real world. While our English may still sound very French (and even that is changing!), we do speak the language of business and our start-up communities are thriving. We did invent the word "entrepreneur" after all… This is just a start. There is still much we can do to unleash the full potential of French creativity, but the ambition and talent are there, waiting to be unleashed as this silent revolution gathers pace. The following pages present some of the young faces behind this silent revolution. They are the ten winners of the French edition of the MIT Innovators Under 35, and they embody this generation of bright people trained in the best schools, who dream big, are open to the world and welcome the ideas of others. Their stories speak better than any graph, figures orcomplicated argument we could come up with. They show that France is breeding a new generation of entrepreneurs equipped to provide the most innovative solutions to world’s problems. See for yourself!

France has a track record in disruptive technology, from the Minitel service, a precursor to the internet, to the SIM card. Today’s start-ups bathe in the same pools ofcreativity and innovative research, and enjoy world-class digitalinfrastructure and a supportive business environment. For some years now, theFrench Tech ecosystem has shown an incredible dynamism, driven by a new generation of entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, designers, and other talented people. France is a new start-up Republic, home of vibrant tech hubs and talents impregnated with a strong entrepreneurial culture. The name of this movement is "La French Tech", a brand shared by French start-ups and the French government, which supports them. Our renowned tech know-how and talented engineers have turned into business-orientated entrepreneurs who think globally and dream big (in English!). While start-ups make headlines abroad, in France, new generation of charismatic entrepreneurs are inspiring others to follow their lead. Belying its reputation as a nation of bureaucrats, now 37% of all French people say they want to start their own business (source: Viavoice, October 2014). The rest of the world is starting to take note. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year, the French delegation created quite a buzz.

The aim is to showcase young talent and leaders in science and technology who are at the cutting edge of economic and social development. 2015 marks the third "Innovators Under 35 France" event, selecting and rewarding projects with the potential to have a real impact and positively affect millions of lives. The first two "Innovators Under 35 France" events have already distinguished 20 exceptional young minds working in a number of different technological fields. More than 150 applications were presented this year. We are proud to present the ten winners and their remarkable projects on the following pages. These bright young people, who have all benefited from an education system that is well adapted to train the best of tomorrow’s innovators, have found creative solutions to the world’s problems in a unique and unprecedented way.

About Business France

Business France is the national agency promoting internationalisation of the French economy. It is responsible for fostering international expansion and export growth among French companies, as well as seeking out and facilitating international investment in France. It promotes the attractiveness and economic image of France, its companies and its regions. It manages and develops the International Company Volunteering (V.I.E.) scheme.

Established on 1 January 2015, Business France was formed by merging Ubifrance and the Invest in France Agency. Business France has 1,500 employees in France and 70 other countries. It is supported by a network of public and private sector partners.

For more information on Business France, visit:

Créative France Créative France is the story of accentuating the ‘creative’, both literally and figuratively. It’s the story of a different approach, of the spark ignited by phrases and by words and images. It’s the story of an airliner that gains a second deck, of a coding school that becomes a nexus for learning, of a pastry that is coveted like a precious jewel. It’s the story of a strong visual identity that is at once bold, elegant, prominent, modern, dynamic, surprising, flexible and unifying. It’s the story of a creative, unconventional campaign that highlights our country’s full range of strengths, skills and savoir-faire. And for good reason – France is at the forefront of technology, design, industry and education, to name but a few sectors. It’s the story of France today: solid fundamentals enhanced by an outstanding ability to innovate and a constant push to break new ground. Equal parts pla


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