Clara Chappaz: “Thanks to start-ups, France will regain its digital sovereignty”

At the start of Emmanuel Macron’s second term, the director of French Tech is opening up prospects for the French technology sector in a complex international situation.

After a long period of prosperity, the tech sector is experiencing a global financial crisis. What are its repercussions in France?

In fact, during the first quarter, fundraising dropped 7% in the US and 20% in Asia. For its part, France is holding up very well, the amount raised in the 1st half of 2022 is almost three times higher than the amount raised in the 1st quarter of 2021. However, this international situation has made some foreign private investment funds more cautious . So some fundraising and startup valuations are likely to be less spectacular in the coming months than they were last year.

Does this situation also create opportunities for French technology?

Yes, essentially on two points. The French Tech 120 companies will create twice as many jobs as last year, and this international crisis allows them to covet profiles abroad, while the talent shortage is very strong in the sector. On the other hand, this situation creates opportunities for the acquisition of foreign start-ups, as we saw recently with Vestiaire Collective, which acquired one of its foreign competitors.

Read too:
Cédric O: “The Next 40 made start-ups exist in the eyes of the general public”

France emphasizes the development of industrial start-ups. What are the initiatives, and do they also concern areas with little industrial fabric?

In mid-January, with Ministers Agnès Pannier-Runacher and Cédric O, we opened a one-stop shop to target industrial start-ups to the right audience (to finance land, study regulatory issues, etc.). This branch is open to any start-up with an industrial project. We’ve almost reached our 2022 goal, which was to support 100 start-ups.

These companies are based throughout the territory (including 11% in the Occitania region, which is part of the Top 5), and in very diverse sectors: mobility, clean technology, agri-food, health… Five of them come from the Montpelier area.

We see a strong dynamism of entrepreneurs towards ecological innovation

How does French Tech support green technology, which brings together environmentally friendly technologies?

We are convinced that start-ups have their place in this essential struggle that is the ecological transition. Thus, with the Ministry of Ecological Transition we launched a program to support twenty of the main start-ups in the sector, Green20, of which we will announce the winners of the second season at the VivaTech fair, next June.
This program is aimed at structures whose innovations are the most promising. Last year, they mainly concerned greenhouse reduction, waste processing and air quality.

Is this sector dynamic?

We found that 10% of French start-ups are active in greentech. Half of them are under five years old, so we can predict that this is a topic that entrepreneurs will increasingly take a stand on. In the last two years, green technology has exceeded €1 billion raised per year in France. This shows strong dynamics in the sector, driven by strong public interest in the ecological transition.

Read too:
Cédric O: “Greentech is as essential for the environment as it is for the economy”

Will French Tech support other industries?

We will create thematic programs to support start-ups operating in other sectors, identified as strategic in the France 2030 investment plan: health, deeptech, quantum… We already launched the Agri20 program in February, to support start-ups working in the food industry .
Our logic is to support start-ups in a specific sector so that they can later integrate the Next 40 and French Tech 120 rankings, our programs that distinguish the biggest and most promising of them, all sectors combined.

What do you expect from Emmanuel Macron’s second term on the issue of start-up development?

French Tech is changing scale, we must continue to support start-ups, which innovate and create jobs in all territories. To provide solutions in critical areas such as health, space, ecological innovation, it is also necessary to bring together innovation players of all sizes, who have not necessarily worked together until now, to achieve France’s true digital sovereignty.

Expected in Montpellier

Clara Chappaz announces her coming to B2B Rocks, a major technology conference that will take place in Lavérune, near Montpellier, on June 9th and 10th. Its objective is to bring together technology players in the online applications sector, working between companies (B2B, business to business).

B2B, an essential sector

“B2B is an essential sector for the development of French activity abroad assures Clara Chappaz. France has deployed international successes there, such as the Montpellier Swile unicorn.” Note that one in two startups in the French Tech 120 ranking, which ranks the top 120 in France, has B2B activity.

B2B Rocks will be associated with the 2022 edition of the Montpellier Capital Venture annual meeting, organized by Métropole. The latter allows local structures to seek resources from international investors.

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