Big Dossier: The start-up movement, between effervescence and uncertainty

Innovative idea, strong development potential, exponential investment and growth… The start-up makes you dream… From the effervescence of marketing to the reality on the ground, the (new) start-up movement is part of the digitalization of lifestyles. Driven by innovation, integrating a digital approach, leaping on the tools of Digital, sometimes moving away from reality to plunge into the virtual, beyond the concept of marketing, start-ups have their own functioning, their limits, and are full of agile methods to implement within their ecosystem, especially Bordeaux. The Bordeaux economy is between the international impulse and the attractiveness of the capital. Thus it has its say at the heart of the innovation market.

The Start-up as a watermark, an international impulse

The concept of start-up is not new. However, it has endured for many years, driven by the sirens of Silicon Valley, from the top of New York skyscrapers to the Londonmist (1). In this ranking, the French capital is rather in eleventh place. It is one of the most dynamic start-up ecosystems” in the world.

In a European context, France and Paris are nevertheless in a good position, valued by many corporate headquarters, world-renowned research centres, and even the largest university centrein Europe (2).

Political and economic will not in line with international expectations

There is certainly a strong political will in favour of entrepreneurship and innovation in France. However, the rise of French startups is sometimes impeded financially. Indeed, few business angels mark the French entrepreneurial ecosystem, compared to the United States or even London.

Thus, it is estimated that they represent only 1.7% of French GDP against 4.4% in the United Kingdom. France is estimated to have up to 10,000 business angels, while the United States values more than 265,400. Concretely, this represents respectively one per 6,600 inhabitants in France against one per 1,200 inhabitants in the United States. This represents a total amount of 41.2 million euros compared to 20.1 billion dollars in 2015.

Moreover, French legislation does not facilitate foreign investment. This is due to an attractive tax policy only for relatively small amounts. The tax deduction is 50% for investments up to €120,000 per year).

Diversified funding under public leadership

Beyond these disparities that we regret, the potential financing of start-ups tends), diversify and grow. For example, French Tech has an investment capacity of nearly two hundred million euros by 2020. Under the impetus of BPI France, the objective is to promote the development of private accelerators. Today there are more than three hundred of them on the territory.

Operating in the form of a stock exchange, mainly, in order to support the growth and emergence of start-ups. Thus, nearly 2000 scholarships have been awarded. For example, between 2014 and 2016, they represent an amount representing forty-six million euros.

These grants also help promote the French start-up movement abroad. It exists in particular with the “French Touch Conference”, led by Gaël DUVAL. The aim is to create bridges and synergies between the French start-up ecosystem and the international market. In 2018, it took place in San Francisco last January. The next seditions will be held in Paris in May and in New York in June.

Gradually, the share of financing relative to foreign investment funds tends to increase. It would have gone from an average of 25% four years ago to 35% today. The main driver of financing, however, remains state aid, among which we can mention the research tax credit (CIR) – 50% to 75% of start-ups according to the (3),the Competitiveness and Employment Tax Credit (CICE), and to a lesser extent, the Innovation Tax Credit (ITC).

Just under half of these start-ups use JEI status. This means Young Innovative Company. This status makes it possible to considerably reduce the social burden with regard to the investments made in research and development. The panorama of statutes and aids that promote the development of start-ups in France is struggling to make itself known. Without specific support from business experts (innovation consulting…), it is most often delicate and risky to set up.

Recruitment is a tricky imperative

In addition to financing difficulties, France is facing the development of its start-ups. It is confronted with a reality on the ground as to the human resources available. Indeed, the vast majority of the workforce recruited within start-ups hold a master’s degree (68%). However, very few have a PhD (3%), which limits the possibilities for growth through innovation. There is a need for development and recruitment. The most interesting profiles are often “caught” by large foreign structures already well established. On the other hand, renowned brands are also a factor of attractiveness as well as the salaries offered. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Ubisoft… All of them settle, develop in France and seek to capture the most qualified human resources.

The most sought-after profiles include functions related to marketing and commerce. In parallel, it also brings together programmers and developers. The current context is placed under the sign of open source which is now “law”. French training and working methods have not completely absorbed the agility required to evolve in these countries…

Innovation is a national priority in order to (re)become an influential global player. However, to date, the CAC40 is not overwhelmed with young digital companies… According to Nicolas Colin, Professor at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, the triptych “capital, know-how and rebellion” does not innervate French start-ups(⁴). Thus, the meeting of the three elements is a factor of success. If the know-how and the disruptive will are present but the funds do not follow, innovation-revolution dies at the embryonic stage. The know-how and funds are present, however, a vision is lacking. It is that of the long-term strategic, of “rebellion” towards the existing order. We are in a way in an evolution of optimization and not innovation. So there is no creation – this is often the case for large companies.

In addition, the geographical positioning and the timing are factors to be taken into account. This is particularly the point of view of Jean-Paul Betbeze.

An economist and university professor, born in the Hautes Pyrénées, Jean-Paul Betbeze benefits from a global vision of the French economy and a close look at the Bordeaux economy.

Today, he is a member of numerous committees and boards. He is notably on the Cercle des économistes, on the strategic committee of France Invest (formerly AFIC), or on the Scientific Committee of the Robert Schuman Foundation and the Academy of Commercial Sciences. He also teaches economics at Paris Panthéon-Assas and acts as an economic advisor for Deloitte France et al.

After having been chief economist of Crédit Lyonnais and then of Crédit Agricole, he remains today a member of the Executive Committee of Crédit Agricole. He is also an advisor in economic analysis to the Prime Minister’s Office. He also works for the Economic Commission of the Nation, the Minister of Economy and the Office of the National Council for Statistical Information.

“When we talk about a startup ecosystem, we finally refer to an atmosphere.

There are countries, regions that live a more open time than others. The important thing today is to make sure that the French startup moment is also Bordeaux. For this moment to come, we must first have worked on a general impregnation, and it starts at school (in colleges, high schools, then IUT and colleges) in order to prepare young people.

A moment is never born spontaneously. It is a whole set of factors that react together.

Today, in order to live the intersection between the Bordeaux and the national moment, we had to work on the preparation, take advantage of our mistakes, and develop the financing methods. All this building an ecosystem as mental as it is technical.

We also need to unify the vision that the landscape has taken: there are not people who have ideas on the one hand and others on the other. France is a country that has a problem with inequality, but we create startups to succeed. And today, we are succeeding faster and more globally than ever before. The mechanism of success goes very fast. We must therefore follow the movement and not just wait for it.

Basically, it is an interconnection mechanism: we have experienced the technological revolution where technicians and scientists are integrated into the process.

In Bordeaux, which is, for example, a large medical centre for neuroscience and also important with regard to the Law, one could imagine interconnections with startups to start from the strong point of the territory and strive towards greater efficiency.

It doesn’t make sense to do “off-the-ground” innovation.

A favourable ground must be given politically and educationally: Alain Juppé seems to be open to innovation and stimulates this dynamic even in schools.

We must take into account that France has relatively few innovation centres: after Paris, we have Lyon and Bordeaux in particular. The Bordeaux Metropolis is the meeting between an economic “size” but also an intellectual maturity. As with the startup, innovation is the result of a long preparation. To date, we are operating in a competitive environment, initially supported by Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and the creation of the competitiveness clusters in 2004

The main difficulty lies in the way the poles deal with the issue of critical mass (the cross between the number of companies, young people, universities, etc.). Bordeaux benefits from a rare phenomenon because all this happens and spreads.

The main thing is movement. The key, then, is to remain open and allow innovations to develop. Success is on the face of it faster than before because major innovations are often immaterial and, with the internationalization of services, exporting ideas becomes relatively easy.

Regarding the competitiveness of start-ups (outside the price), we can talk about the competitiveness of ideas, proposals and innovations: in this area, France has no real gap. It is this spirit of openness to the meeting that also allows this competitiveness.

Having said that, let us not be naïve and believe that we can launch an idea without preparation and protection. Before opening up to the meeting, we must ensure that the idea is sufficiently protected and not forget that “the bigger ones are bigger” and therefore have less difficulty getting the upper hand.

When you are part of an ecosystem, it is still important to get closer to other companies and to rely on the large subsidiaries of the place to develop. Failing that, the start-up moment will remain a lonely moment with no future.”

Between specialization and impulse, the appeal of the Capital

On the national territory, start-ups are still at the top of the capital. A historic international exchange point, Paris favours the emergence of start-ups, supported by investors, to establish themselves as well as to export.

Paris, “start-up in and out”

The French Tech Ticket program currently concerns nearly a hundred international start-ups, and more than 230 entrepreneurs. In order to promote the establishment of foreign start-ups in France, a tailor-made integration program that has notably extended to more than forty incubators in labeled metropolises, including Bordeaux.

On the other hand, nearly two hundred French start-ups were present at the last CES Las Vegas, when only a small forty had made the trip four years ago. there is a real deal of visibility, and beyond that, of investment opportunities.

Among the companies that export, Nouvelle-Aquitaine is doing well. SimforHealt is a Bordeaux startup. It is among the “four e-health innovations” at CES 2017. This year, she was at the side of HTC VIVE to exhibit and present a multi-user virtual reality simulator.

In addition, BPI France ranked SimforHealth among the 2000 most innovative French companies in 2016. That same year, the company raised 5 million euros(⁵).

Nevertheless, Parisian hegemony remains strongly present, when we know that among the forty or so Parisian incubators are the Europe’s largest(⁶), with the Cargo, a space of more than 15,000 m2 with some fifty hosted start-ups, a beautiful playground, and also the largest incubator in the world, in capacity, with The F-Station, for more than 1000 start-ups on 34,000 square metres.

To date, Paris has recorded more than a third (35%) of the 9,400 start-ups listed in France. On the other hand, it represents 68% of investments in start-ups (2015 figures).

An organized and readable ecosystem for project owners

Cyril Noa Nadeau holds a double degree (master of business administration, specialty in marketing and business development) at ESC Pau and the UCLA Anderson School of Management in Los Angeles, obtained in 1999. He then joined Canal+. Two years later, TF1, before leaving the world of television in 2007.

He then co-founded Nanomakers. It is a start-up in the manufacture of nanoparticles. It aims to improve the performance of materials and fight against the depletion of natural resources. A great success that allows him in 2014 to leave the reins to investors who believed in the project.

At the same time, still inhabited by the world of audiovisual production, he created Eyedea!prod, a start-up specializing in the production of content and the design of new programs for the international.

In May 2015, he became Business Unit Director for The 360 Consulting Group. He supports start-ups, either in the making or already created. The latter have issues of fundraising, organizational structuring, management, business plan, or even SME growth policy.

“I arrived in Bordeaux a year and a half ago by the attraction of the Bordeaux Metropolis, thinking that I could continue my business of supporting start-ups in Paris. A rather complex situation because of the availability that project owners need, including issues of urgent need (roadshow, investor meetings), express preparation, and physical coaching.

In this sense, I decided to refocus my activity on Bordeaux. Quickly faced with the difficulty of entering the Bordeaux market, due to the requirement of recommendations and networks, I was quite surprised by this state of events, which I did not remember twenty years ago, when I left the territory of Bordeaux. With the national and international opening of the city, I expected upheavals but it turns out that moral security is still as important.

Figures from startups in France Bordeaux Business

The second difficulty is the economic structure and the support on the Bordeaux market. There are many players (French Tech, Bordeaux Unitech, the various incubators…) and each claims a speciality. However, in reality, the mesh is quite complex and not very noticeable, so getting to position yourself as an external consultant and facilitator is relatively difficult.

I accompanied a Bordeaux startup for more than nine months, however this proved inconclusive, because they were two people with a rather Hollywood vision of start-up editing (fundraising…). Subsequently, I met other startups with a symptomatic behavior: the economic context does not listen attentively to the Bordeaux projects, and does not seem to offer them a sufficiently precise accompaniment for their financing, at least not first-line, if only to be able to collect love money or priming to set up the first bricks. Not all reception cells in Bordeaux work on this initial brick. More often than not, the collaboration is informal and “we’ll see when it works”.

In France, we have a culture of supporting startups that is done through a very defined chessboard. Some offer sums of money, such as Incuballiance on Paris: state incubator, with public funding reserving an envelope of 60,000 euros per project, these projects come from Polytechnique, HEC, CNRS, CEA…

I think there is a lack of structure in the Bordeaux world that would give projects a little more chances to exist properly. Indeed, on conventional structures, “project managers” are not necessarily the most suitable people, because they are generally not multi-competitive, do not necessarily have a strategic vision and are “moving”. A real “knowledge complex”, however, you can not know everything so it is better to have a real pool of experts.

In the reasoning to create a place with project managers redirecting to a pool of experts able to give professional advice, I would like to bring in local business leaders to feed a toolbox to answer specific needs and questions in the problem of each project.

With the current model, projects experience a lot of infancy and wasted time except that time is a crucial parameter in order to position themselves in a market before a potential competitor. To this day, I would like to create a hybrid between coworking, mentoring, consulting capital, pool of experts…

To get accurate answers on individual project issues, help companies become relevant, as well as provide clarity, especially on investor relations.”

In addition to this reasoning, we do not tackle the main pillar of the support of startups, that is, the couple carrying project/project. Sometimes the instigator is not the one who can carry the project because it is not made for it. It is better to share the slices of a big cake than to have a huge slice of a non-existent cake.

Not everyone has the vocation to become a leader, it is not a sinequanone condition for starting a business.

It is important to understand that the management of a company does not cure an ego problem. You have to work on what you’re good at and be honest about the project itself.

The dynamism of the Bordeaux microcosm

Within the Bordeaux entrepreneurial ecosystem, several elements define the economic specificities of the territory. They complement cultural and historical specificities. According to Ariane Ducamin(⁷), “universities and large schools, the pool of skilled and specialized labour, companies specialising in a field, financing and support, intervention and government support” can be taken into account.

The rise of coworkings, incubators, accelerators, nurseries…

We cannot talk about the Bordeaux entrepreneurial ecosystem without taking into consideration the number of private and public actors. Their purpose is to support the development of businesses. Among them, we can find historical actors on the territory. There is in particular the University Bordeaux Montesquieu or Bordeaux Technowest. Bordeaux Unitec, which recently merged with agence Aquitaine du Numérique, is also a player.

In addition, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region is boosting the ecosystem with the “Digital Start-up” program. She takes on this responsibility with the ADI – Development and Innovation Agency or the Bordeaux Gironde Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

It is the entrepreneurs themselves and many private actors who are at the initiative of support structures. Among which we find Héméra, Le Village by CA or INSEEC Incub…

An impulse generated in particular by the French Tech label in 2014. Labeling that energizes the existing ecosystem, revealing digital, agro-industrial or collaborative ambitions.

It must also be said that in recent years, coworking spaces have flourished in dynamic cities. If before the concept seemed intriguing, today it is democratizing. The COVID-19 epidemic has also accelerated these changes. This has democratized coworking spaces a little more. Following an unstable economic context, economic actors are turning to a more flexible organization. They target coworking spaces. However, among the diversity of the offer, it is worth taking time to do your research and find the ideal space. Coworking spaces offer different offers and services. Between private offices, open space, landline, nomadic station, there is a choice.

In Bordeaux, with all the coworking offers available, it can be tricky for a company to find the right location or the right contract. Offers are flourishing, and more than ever, delta time is an imperative. To find your way around quickly, it is better to call on an expert. Specialized support may be necessary. This is what https://workin.spaceoffers, in order to easily find the space adapted to your SME or large accounts. Coworking experts establish specific specifications to define the needs as accurately as possible. The goal is simple, to save time while providing clear visibility of offers. In addition, one of the advantages of the solution is to offer support without fees. Finding a coworking space becomes as simple as that. All you have to do is enter your criteria and entrust your research to the experts!

Bordeaux specificity: a network market

However, despite the dynamism of the structures and the players, Bordeaux still remains a market of “networks”.

David Ducourneau is one of the co-founders of the Hemera accelerator, which positions itself as an accompaniment structure for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs.

He has been an entrepreneur himself on several occasions since he was 25 years old. He found himself faced with a number of difficulties. Difficulties that company founders still have to face. It starts with the encounter with the market and the need for financial funds. Today, he has joined the family business, Sport Adventure, which he has been running since the summer of 2016. Héméra was born from discussions in the Bordeaux Entrepreneurs office. They aimed to go further in helping the local ecosystem. There was also the desire to support startups by providing feedback on mistakes and successes. The ambition is to enable them to pass the steps as quickly as possible.

“To join Hemera, you need the combination of several key elements such as a good team with complementary skills and an ability to work together over the long term, as well as a good project that meets a market expectation.

In Bordeaux, the creation of companies is much more dynamic than in 2010 when I started my own company. At that time, there was not much to accompany the entrepreneurs, it was quite complicated and everything was happening in Paris. Today, the dynamics on startups are much stronger and a network of mutual aid is organized. As a result, Parisian funds are looking much more at the regions than before and Bordeaux is gaining places.

At the international level, France is increasingly observed, on the other hand, these eyes remain focused on the capital.

Despite the technological and innovative projects developed by startups, the fabric of French SMEs lags far behind digital. Among the assignments I was able to carry out with companies, I found myself confronted with some companies where with the employees had no email and where the 40,000 references sold were not computerized … Without being a school case… Yet, between a tense market and the digitalisation of end-users, French companies are in need to meet these needs and to computerize at a minimum the company.

In the culture of a traditional company, there has often been no transition in tools, much less in methods when even employees have passed the milestone. At the same time, there has been a general change in dynamics since now, for example, the return on investment is less important on the media than on social networks and Google. All this development must be transcribed within companies.

Hemera’s idea was to provide some startups with a network of mentors and create a value-creating bilateral exchange. We are thus able to accompany them on legal, accounting, marketing issues…

Beyond the team and the marketable product, entrepreneurs must have begun their commercial conquest before seeking help to increase this turnover tenfold, for development assistance and marketing. Often, in their idea of starting a business, their ambition drives them to want to go fast and far. However, for a society to function, they must be able to remain “down to earth” to deal with traditional problems.

Startups that die, there will always be. As everywhere, in the midst of all the companies that are created, there is a percentage of failure. Hemera is there to maximize the chances of success but entrepreneurs remain masters on board their business.”

Eric Dubois graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science in Paris.

He then worked in B to B sales as a salesman. The latter has worked internationally, mainly in a startup in London for 4 to 5 years. He was also involved in partnerships and negotiations with major accounts and SSII.

For nearly ten years, he has dedicated his activity to consulting around the startup economy. It addresses open innovation, digital transformation, meetup… It is also working to develop a platform to determine the level of maturity of open innovation in structures.

“In my experience, even large companies don’t really have a clear vision of what they can do in innovation. Many hire data scientists without really knowing why. They use it to market innovation without necessarily going into depth.

Today, for startups and the innovation economy, the funds raised are growing significantly and far exceed those of other European countries. However, the median volume spent by large French groups on startups remains modest: about 600,000 euros, or only 0.1% of their expenses.

In France, within the large groups, the time is cold. There are huge potentials, but a certain lack of ambition and rather short-term strategies are holding back the whole. Take, for example, Kelkoo, a French price comparison company founded in 1999. At the time, Chappaz was appointed CEO of the company and was mandated to sell it to Yahoo and a Japanese actor. The company was clearly of interest to foreign companies, but the CEO, as co-founder, hoped that Kelkoo would remain French. Where the company could have been sold to foreign distribution companies, in particular to become part of a digital approach to retail, Kelkoo will have been sold to Yahoo.

Today, other models are to be explored, such as the competition alliance, the idea of working with the competition to preserve larger interests. A concept implemented by Blablacar, SNCF and Transdev to try to counter Google on transport. These three entities have agreed to make open data, i.e. share their data and exploit it, so as not to leave the ground to the GAFA. A generally positive way of working, with a long-term vision.

There is still a lot of work to be done, we are only at the beginning of the digital transition and open innovation, which must also be driven by the big accounts and ETIs.

Now France is starting to catch up, especially against England in the context of Brexit. This does not prevent Google and Facebook from remaining very present in London.

What we can regret is the fact that the French have not taken the measure of the speed to adopt. At European level in particular, each country is working in its own interest, but it is utopian to think that without European harmony, it will be possible to oppose the GAFA economically, the unified markets with billions of users in the United States and China. Why not develop innovative specialties by European country? One thing is for sure, new models are to be invented.”

Infographic YOOMAP Relations large groups and startups Bordeaux business

Yoomap is the leader in innovation management software. Created in October 2013, it currently supports some 60 major groups, such as Total, EDF, BPCE…, in their relationships with startups.

It offers two software programs. On the one hand, the SMI (Idea Management System) is a collaborative idea box. On the other hand, SURM (Start Up Relationship Management). It is a qualified database of nearly 70,000 startups. At the same time, it offers challenges via an online platform and Innovathons. They take the form of team-building. The objective is to have the teams work on acceleration and innovative development spread over three to four days.

The approach is to facilitate the relationships of large groups and startups in order to accelerate the innovation of large structures. Yoomap simplifies procedures. Indeed, the goal is to overcome processes that take time. Especially since today to innovate you have to go fast and be at the right time on the right markets. Large groups thus gain in responsiveness by limiting hierarchical exchanges. This is also encouraged by the lack of mobilization of qualified and specialized resources.

Customers invest in the innovation process by participating in the improvement of software. They are part of the financing of startups. For example, during the Innovathons, projects worked on with coaches and professionals are presented to a jury. The latter chooses the idea that will be accelerated with the budget allocated for innovation by the Major Groups.

Keys to success: Coaching

The Firsts incubator is part of the National Pioneer Network. Dedicated to women’s entrepreneurship, its mission is to support women who have an innovative project to create their society and launch their business. The Firsts have been taking place in Bordeaux since the end of 2011, in the camp in Darwin.

Christine Panteix, Director of the association, is in charge of the missions of representation to financiers and partners, the search for financing, the management of employees. She also coordinates the support, the team of consultants and the workshop organization.

“Today, the Firsts incubator supports some 20 new projects. In Bordeaux, there are a lot of support structures: incubators, accelerators, nurseries. Some are even thematic. This creates a diverse ecosystem of actors who work in good intelligence but poses a problem of legibility for project owners in particular.”

“When they arrive, project carriers are in a hurry to create and want to go very fast. Soon enough, they feel the value of an accompaniment over several months. Generally, they think to start the business in three to four months but on average it is rather about ten months. The specificity of the Firsts is also to accompany them to take a real position of entrepreneur. Often, they engage in medium-sized projects, the incubator teaches them to see bigger. As a result, the business model often remains to work.

Regarding the profile of our entrepreneurs, the majority have been executives previously and take advantage of a move, a layoff, or a change of life to launch a project that makes sense and carries their values.

In my experience, one of the first learnings that entrepreneurs receive is compromise. Let’s take the example of selling accessories: it is common for the founder to want to highlight a 100% French creation, however to start selling, the price must be acceptable, in which case manufacturing in Portugal can be interesting, without distorting the project, quality or ethics.”

In a more global context, in an economic crisis, entrepreneurship is an opportunity. However, few entrepreneurs are then forced to create jobs. Today, Bordeaux attracts a lot of Parisian eyes with its dynamism conducive to the creation of a business. Businesses can receive a lot of help from communities. The political and economic will clearly shows that we want to attract businesses.

Regarding the success or failure of projects, it is difficult to general. Indeed, each one is unique. However, some anecdotes can still give a vision of the difficulties. The observation is quite marginal. I have known a few project leaders who had overestimated the Nouvelle-Aquitaine market and not attacked the national and international markets enough. As a result, the business started too small and they had to stop. We also have the factor of family decisions that come into play a lot. It is present especially when a spouse does not find a job and the family decides to return to Paris.

In general, people are not disappointed with Bordeaux if they can identify all the players and understand how the Bordeaux ecosystem works. What is complicated is to find the right structure and the right network right away. Today, with FrenchTech directories, we can identify actors fairly quickly. However there is still a plethora of them and we can quickly get lost. Nevertheless, all these actors know each other. They can therefore refer people to the relevant structures according to the types of projects.

Another key to success seems to be to understand that you have to sell as quickly as possible. The goal is to meet your target, discuss, refine, bounce back and improve the concept. Today, we tend to see a lot of projects that require R&D. Therefore need funds passively and quickly. Except that starting to move quickly to start selling quickly to a beta product or a first version allows both to finance yourself at least in part and to do an empirical market study too and adapt its product as you go. It is more or less easy depending on the project but the bias we are making is that fundraising should only be considered if it is strictly necessary because it is more interesting to sell yourself.

While these findings are valid for all types of projects and entrepreneurs, there is also a specificity for women in Bordeaux, with a favourable ecosystem and where most actors also want to have more women entrepreneurs.”

Beyond the marketing tribulations, the Bordeaux ecosystem is a breeding ground for the emergence and development of start-ups, it is an undeniable fact. Of course, France is not (yet) deploying all the attractive factors of foreign investors, in particular, and the Paris capital is currently draining most of the growth opportunities.

However, the Bordeaux territory is so far the object of a spotlight which it is interesting to benefit from, boosted by political, economic and associative wills. Opportunity does not mean smokescreen… Only well-thought-out, well-constructed initiatives with adequate support will be born in a sustainable way; especially if they take the time to fully understand how the Bordeaux ecosystem works, its rules.

The structure of the upstream project is a key element of success. In addition, if not in the first place, innovation can certainly be accompanied, but if it does not find its market, the difficulties will not be overcome.

To last, to last and above all, with the best chance to take off, an imperative: to understand and target its market. The costs of conquering a new market, or a market that is not yet mature, are indeed prohibitive at the regional, and even national, level.

Finally, the start-up spirit must not dissociate itself from the entrepreneurial dna. Above all, success is not to “find an investor” but to become a true business leader. Where the Bordeaux opportunity is a formidable lever not of simple “test” before national deployment, or even international, but of real launch locally, or regionally, with a receptive market, where visibility is almost immediate, far from the Parisian hubbub.


  1. Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2017, Startup Genome
  2. “Start-up: facing London and Silicon Valley, Paris is no match”, IFRAP Foundation, 07 December 2017
  3. 50% of startups with less than 5 million turnover, 68% of those with between 5 and 50 million euros in turnover, and 75% of those with more than 50 million euros in turnover
  4. “What is an entrepreneurial ecosystem?”, The Family
  5. Presentation of SimforHealth on its website
  6. “Start-up: facing London and Silicon Valley, Paris is no match”, IFRAP Foundation, 07 December 2017
  7. Thesis M.II Planning and Development of Territories, included in “Which ecosystem for startups in Bordeaux? Invest in Bordeaux, October 16, 2016

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