Paris: a thriving and ambitious startup scene

Paris is currently ranked as Europe’s sixth best city for startups. Parisian startups employ over 135,000 people and have attracted billions of euros in funding. The city has over 250 co-working spaces, an increasing number of incubators and will soon host the world’s largest incubator. A welcome program has also been launched for foreign startup companies to make it easier for them to establish themselves in France

Paris with Eiffel Tower

Photo: Think Stock, Paris with Eiffel Tower

A thriving startup scene in Paris

Paris was ranked as the 6th best city for startups in Europe by the European Digital City Index 2015, due to the “well-developed venture capital industry and several world-class research institutions, together with an increasing number of co-working spaces and accelerators”. The highest ranked cities on the list are London, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen, respectively, indicating a strong Scandinavian presence among the best EU startup cities.

According to 22,143 startups employ over 135,000 people in the city and have attracted EUR 2.36 billion in funding. The city’s success stories include the web advertising company Criteo valued at USD 2.6 billion, the car sharing system BlaBlaCar valued at USD 1.6 billion, and the music streaming Deezer that is currently raising USD 1.1 billion in funds, according to Bloomberg. The Parisian incubator “Halle Freyssinet” will host 1000 startups on 30 000 m2 when it opens in 2017, making it the world’s largest startup incubator, according to

The European Digital City Index 2015 pinpoints that Paris is ranked by CITIE as a frontrunner city in terms of policy environment, ahead of San Francisco. However, “adoption of many digital technologies is slower in France than in several other European countries. In addition, living in Paris is quite expensive, providing a further obstacle to some entrepreneurs”.

French Tech

“French Tech” designates all the players that make up the French startup scene and is also an ambitious public policy that aims to put France among the big “startup nations. The French Tech initiative was launched by the government in 2013, as successful startups will create economic value and jobs in France. Included in the French Tech initiative is an investment fund of EUR 200 million  to the accelerators of private startups, and EUR 15 million to enhance international attractiveness.

Welcome package to attract foreign startups to Paris

The French Tech Ticket is a program for foreign entrepreneurs to establish and develop their ideas and startups in Paris, in very favorable conditions. For the 2017 edition, around 180 foreign entrepreneurs with 70 startups will be selected to join one of 41 French incubators, of which 21 are located in Paris. The French Tech Ticket welcome package includes EUR 45,000 of funding, 12 months of free office space in an incubator, mentoring, master classes, networking events and two demo days with investors.

Applications can be submitted in the period June 21-August 24 2016 on Selected entrepreneurs will start the program in January 2017.


Paris&Co is the city of Paris’ agency for economic development and innovation. Paris&Co promotes Paris’ innovation ecosystem internationally in order to attract foreign investors, support startups and organize business events. Paris&Co assists more than 350 foreign companies with establishing in Paris each year, incubates 200 startups and leads more than 200 business events.

Paris&Co’s theme-based incubation programs focus on digital publishing, innovation in tourism, innovation in sports, e-health, food, digital, cultural and creative industries, smart cities, tomorrow’s real estate, social entrepreneurship and finance.

Upcoming startup events in Paris in 2016

October 6, 2016 : Smart Mobility Techmeeting to find solutions to Paris’ booming smart mobility market whichrepresents 41 million trips each day, a 17% traffic increase in 10 years.”

October 13-14, 2016: Hello Tomorrow Challenge 2016, a global startup competition for promising science & technology startups.

December 8, 2016: Sports Techmeeting organized by Paris Region Enterprises

December, TBA : LeWeb is an internet event for digital innovation

More information?
Please contact Katharina Qvale at Innovation Norway’s office in Paris for more information about opportunities for startups in France.

Telephone: +33 1 56 59 20 40

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