Why Paris & Partech Shaker are the Best Places to Grow your Business in Europe Right Now

After opening the first mentorship-driven accelerator program in France last year, Techstars partners (again) with Partech Shaker to offer alumni a place to grow their businesses in Europe. With Partech Shaker’s Europe Made Easy soft-landing solution, the startup campus’ team will definitely make it easy for Techstars alumni to develop in the best possible conditions!

Paris has become a remarkably relevant place to launch and develop tech companies both at the early pre-launch stages and later on.

The first reason for tech companies to go to Paris is the quantity of business opportunities. Paris is the number one business region in Europe. The city of love is also the city with the highest GDP in Europe, the world’s third highest concentration of Fortune 500 headquarters (before London) and is first in Europe for R&D capability and expenditure.

What about tech companies? Well, let’s listen to John Chambers, Cisco : “France is the Silicon Valley of Europe” or Sheryl Sandberg : “France is home to some of the most innovative technology companies in the world.” Paris has become the number one region for developing startups in Western Europe, with the highest number of VC deals and more than 10,000 startups. There is also a growing number of repeat entrepreneurs willing to reinvest and mentor.

The second reason is tech talent, especially in engineering. French tech talents are among the best in the world. Partech Shaker comes in as a facilitator to leverage Paris’ two key factors of success: business network & talent.

Launched in 2014 by the leading tech investment fund Partech, the campus offers top-of-the-range office-as-a-service with panoramic rooftop in central Paris. But location and lifestyle are just the first bricks, as Partech Shaker also leverages its powerful network of partners to boost residents’ growth. Large enterprises in almost every industry, leading tech companies and the most prestigious schools and universities are part of the network, along with the Techstars’ alumni.

In 2016, Partech Shaker decided to attract more foreign companies: it now facilitates contact with curated experts in every field a company needs to address when opening operations in a new country (lawyers, funding and tax experts, headhunters and a bank). Today, about 40 percent of residents are non-French companies, who have chosen Partech Shaker to either develop their business, build a tech team, or both. Among present and past residents are Cambridge Blockchain, Dropbox, HotelTonight, Hired, Liftoff, Made.com, Pinterest, and Techstars’ alumni Zify.

Partech Shaker welcomes an average of 25 teams simultaneously, with no time-restriction or program to follow, but a network to leverage, for the price of a lovely office in central Paris. Techstars’ alumni will also benefit from a special offer as we share the same motto: Give first!

Julien Quintard Joins Techstars as Managing Director of the Techstars Paris Accelerator

In 2017, Techstars announced the opening of an accelerator program in Paris. I am very excited to join Techstars and take over as Managing Director for Techstars Paris accelerator program.

Techstars represents all the values that I believe in and that I cherish in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, most notably mentorship. I believe Paris’ ecosystem can benefit a lot more from Techstars. I would love for Techstars to act as a magnet to get the most successful entrepreneurs to give back to the community by helping the new generation of entrepreneurs. Paris has a lot to offer as well when it comes to entrepreneurship. France is known for having extraordinary schools and research institutions. The new generation of college graduates are no longer looking for settling in a large corporation and spending their career there. They want to take risks and change the world!

A Life Experience

I created my company, Infinit, out of my research at the University of Cambridge. Back in France, we met with a few people who helped us get started but the ecosystem was nascent and it was very difficult to find entrepreneurs with expertise. The first years were very difficult and we made a lot of mistakes.

But everything changed when, in 2014, Infinit was selected to join Techstars in NYC. I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy. The program took a lot more energy than I was ready to give. But I learned so much! There, we met so many experienced entrepreneurs (SquareSpace, Kickstarter, Github, Foursquare, Digital Ocean etc.) who became our mentors and helped us even long after we had left the program.

That is Techstars’ true value: a network of like-minded people giving their time and energy for you to achieve your dream. Even long after your company exits, you are still part of a large family that will always answer positively when it comes to helping other entrepreneurs: Techstars is for life!

Give First

Following my experience in the NYC accelerator program, I started mentoring other entrepreneurs in Paris following Techstars’ credo #givefirst. Mentoring was as beneficial to me as it was to the entrepreneurs. I’ve learned through their challenges, discovered markets and most importantly met amazing people who eventually became friends. In short, I became a better entrepreneur thanks to them.

Even though it sounds idealistic, I can attest that I wouldn’t be Managing Director today if it were not for it. After selling my company to Docker in 2016, Techstars called me. It happened that my name had been circulating: fellow entrepreneurs had recommended me, other had vouched for the value of my mentorship and so on. This would never have been possible if I had not started helping other entrepreneurs in the first place without expecting anything in return.

French Revolution

Although France has a reputation for heavy bureaucracy and is still perceived as hostile to success, the truth is that France is also one of the best places to start a company. There are so many unfair advantages: grants (CIR, AIMA, etc.), innovation-specific benefits (JEI) and loans from the city, region and government, not to mention now easier processes to get a VISA through the French Tech. So much that even the government has its own incubator developing innovative online services for the country while corporations invest massively in innovation.

Techstars is right at the center of this revolution. On one end, Techstars just completed its first ever french program dedicated to intrapreneurship. This program, called Techstars Corporate Innovation Bootcamp takes the best teams of our corporate partners for six weeks to develop their business ideas. On the other end, and most importantly, these companies (Air Liquide, FDJ, Accor Hotels, Groupama, Total, Gefco and Next 47) work with Techstars through the city program with the goal of partnering with the Techstars startups. Not only are those corporate partners ready and willing to work with startups but they are dedicating massive resources to make that happen with Techstars’ selected companies.

What’s Next?

As Managing Director, my job consists in finding the best 10 companies to join the program. Quite a challenge given the quality of the companies applying that keep raising the bar. We are especially interested in companies tackling challenges in artificial intelligence, blockchain, security, hardware, energy and transportation. We are looking for companies that leverage the growing amount of information at our disposal to take better decision, remove biais etc.

Another very important aspect of my day-to-day job will be to help/assist/mentor the companies joining the program. Even though I have my fair share of experience in technology, strategy, marketing, recruitment, product, partnership etc. I am far from an expert in all of those areas. This is where Techstars’ networking effect takes all its dimension. Should you need more expertise, an introduction to a prospective client or else, I will connect you to the right person from Techstars, being in Paris or somewhere else in the world so that you can always do more faster!

If you have a team, an idea, a project, an existing business and would like to take it to the next stage, feel free to read the application toolkit and apply to Techstars Paris’ next class that will start in September 2018. Note that we will be hosting an AMA on the May 3rd, 2018, register here to join it.

As for me, you can find me on LinkedIn or Twitter. Looking forward to meeting you in person.

Learn More About the Techstars Paris Accelerator Partners

AccorHotels is a world-leading travel & lifestyle group and digital innovator offering unique experiences in more than 4,200 hotels, resorts and residences ,as well as in over 10,000 of the finest private homes around the globe. Through a heartfelt mission: to make every guest Feel Welcome.

Topics of interest 2018:

  • AI for customer relationship – hyper personnalisation.
  • Big data
  • Cybersecurity
  • Autonomisation
  • AR / VR
  • IoT
  • Social network of services (daily services, management of employees and planning)
  • Blockchain (validation of contract, crypto money)
  • Prop tech – Data management (management and performance of buildings, privacy and storage)

Employees: 250,000 in 95 countries

The world leader in gases, technologies and services for Industry and Health, Air Liquide serves more than 3.5 million customers and patients. Oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen are essential small molecules for life, matter and energy. They embody Air Liquide’s scientific territory and have been at the core of the company’s activities since its creation in 1902. long term. I

Topics of interest 2018:

  • Data analytics
  • Administrative tasks
  • Customer excellence
  • Asset management.

Employees: 65,000 in 80 countries

FDJ is the French national Lottery and Sports Booking leader. 4th lottery group in the world, FDJ  develops and operates 5 ranges of games : draw games, fast draw games, scratch cards, interactive digital games and sports betting. With €15,1 billion of stakes and 26 million players in 2017, FDJ guarantees the accessibility of its games with a distribution network of more than 31,000 points of sale, a website and applications for smartphones and tablets.

Topics of interest 2018:

  • Customer experience
  • AI for customer management
  • Customer Interface
  • Payment solutions
  • Digital ID
  • Data driven marketing
  • AR / VR

Employees: 2,100

GEFCO Group – Global player in industrial logistics and European leader in automotive logistics. GEFCO designs and implements flexible and smart supply chain solutions in more than 300 locations.

Topics of interest 2018:

  • Flow optimisation analytics
  • Applied Data
  • Real-time external transport-related data
  • Blockchain technology
  • IoT –  Intelligent trackers and connected sensors

Employees: 13,000

Groupama – Insuring tomorrow with confidence. The group’s identity is built on Groupama’s agricultural origins and its territorial roots anchor it in the everyday reality of its members and customers. Global insurer with operations in France, Southern and Eastern Europe, and China. (€13.6B in combined premium income; 13M customers).

Topics of interest 2018:

  • Operations Automation (RPA, AI …)
  • Data-driven products
  • Insurtech
  • RegTech
  • IoT

Employees: 32,600

Next47 is a global venture firm created by Siemens that invests in, and partners with, entrepreneurs who think big and build industry-defining companies. With offices in Boston, Beijing, London, Munich, and Palo Alto, Next47 gives startups unparalleled access to one of the world’s largest portfolios of customers in the areas of industry, energy and infrastructure as well as domain expertise in the deep technologies that impact those customers.

Total is the world’s fourth-largest oil and gas company, as well as a major integrated player in low-carbon energies. Backed by nearly a century of history, Total discover, produce, transform, market and distribute energy in a variety of forms, to serve the end customer. Total is committed to energy that is affordable, reliable and clean, in compliance  with the highest safety and environmental standards.

Topics of interest 2018:

  • Customer Relationship
  • Data
  • AI
  • Voice
  • IoT
  • Energy Services

Employees: 98,000

Techstars Roadshow: Techstars Paris Meet-up and Alumni Night

Applications for Techstars Paris are open!!

Come join us at Techstars Paris space, meet the Manager Director, some of our founders and staff.

Techstars Paris Accelerator 2018 to focus on data-driven transformation of entire industries

This global theme includes a wide range of technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, blockchain and token-based economies, applied to administrative tasks, customer experience, customer and asset management, cybersecurity, intelligent objects, and many others.

Techstars Paris Accelerator is looking for startups that can leverage the use of data in the real world of our corporate partners.

Two New Corporations Partner with Techstars Paris

In 2018, the Techstars Paris Startup Accelerator is made possible by its supporting corporate partners AccorHotels, Air Liquide, FDJ, GEFCO, Groupama, Next47 and Total.

Techstars Paris Accelerator corporate partners represent several hundreds of thousands of employees in over one hundred countries; their accumulated market cap and annual revenues are in the hundreds of billions USD.

They not only provide access to fantastic mentors and industry experts, but also access to resources and business opportunities through commercial partnerships for the startups in program.

For the founders selected for the Techstars Paris Accelerator, it’s a unique opportunity early in the life of the startup to have access to C-Level executives of such amazing companies.

In 2017, during Techstars Paris Demo Day, 11 commercial partnerships had been initiated between the startups and the corporate partners of Techstars Paris Accelerator. These partnerships also present an opportunity for startups that participate in other Techstars Accelerator programs across the globe. Techstars is the worldwide networks that helps entrepreneurs succeed; this applies to connecting startups and partners, no matter what program they are involved with.

We are very proud to have GEFCO and Next47 join Techstars Paris Accelerator for its second year.

GEFCO designs and delivers smart, flexible solutions for complex supply chains. GEFCO Group is the European leader in finished vehicle logistics, and a top 10 global supply chain partner. GEFCO offers truly integrated solutions through its global, multimodal network.

With 300 destinations across five continents, GEFCO’s global network of experts push back boundaries and respond with agility to the most demanding supply chain challenges. GEFCO customers benefit from unrivaled expertise in a growing range of 10+ business sectors.

GEFCO will provide to the startups in program:

  • Opportunities to run pilots in most relevant Country Operation with relevant facilities and motivated talents
  • Strong logistics and supply chain business expertise
  • Flexible and responsive work environment that will nurture win-win partnerships

Next47 is a global venture firm created by Siemens that invests in, and partners with, entrepreneurs who think big and build industry-defining companies. With offices in Boston, Beijing, London, Munich, and Palo Alto, Next47 gives startups unparalleled access to one of the world’s largest portfolios of customers in the areas of industry, energy and infrastructure as well as domain expertise in the deep technologies that impact those customers.

We are currently accepting applications for the Techstars Paris Accelerator.

Don’t miss your chance to apply! The deadline to apply is May 13, 2018.

Techstars Roadshow: Sigfox Workshop in Techstars Paris

Are you a Startup with a project in IoT? Or are you simply interested to learn more about the opportunities offered by IoT?

Do you like pizzas?

This workshop is made for you! You will learn the basics about the Sigfox Network, some use cases and meet startups that are using Sigfox. You will also discover how the IoT is transforming the business models and all the opportunities that it brings. Open to anyone: technical or business peeps, students, hobbyists or professionals

Techstars Paris Accelerator 2018 Applications Are Now Open

For its second year, the Techstars Paris Accelerator is looking for startups that can leverage the use of data in the real world. The program focuses on the data-driven transformation of entire industries, including AI & machine learning, blockchain & token-based economies, customer experience, customer & asset management, cybersecurity & intelligent objects.

Techstars Paris Accelerator is looking for entrepreneurs from all over the world, ready to accelerate their companies in Paris’ thriving startup ecosystem. The three month program will take place in our space at the Partech Shaker from September 10 to December 5, 2018.

In 2017, six out of 10 companies selected for Techstars Paris came from outside of France; in 2018 we’re very happy that Techstars Paris Accelerator has been selected to be part of the French Tech Visa program.

Joining the French Tech Visa program will give Techstars Paris Accelerator an edge to recruit great, talented teams from all over the world.

The French Tech Visa is a simplified, fast-track procedure for international tech talent to obtain a residence work permit known as the “Passeport Talent” in France.

For the second year, I am the managing director of Techstars Paris. I’ll be working alongside Program Manager Queta Gonzalez to meet with startups in different cities around the world, from New York to Tokyo, and all over France. We’re excited to connect with the best startups for the program.

What it’s like be part of Techstars Paris Accelerator

From February 19th to May 13th, meet the Techstars Paris Accelerator team in events and office hours all over the world. Find us in a city near you!

Five Global Techstars Programs Open Applications

Now Accepting Applications to Five Techstars Accelerator Programs Around the World

Techstars has opened applications for five more mentorship-driven accelerator programs in Berlin, New York City, Oslo, Paris and Toronto. Don’t miss your opportunity to grow your business– join the Techstars worldwide network with more than 10,000 mentors, partners, investors and founders. Take the next step and apply now.

The following programs are now accepting applications:  

Three Months, 1,500+ Mentors and a Network That Lasts a Lifetime

The Schedule:

  • Applications Open: February 19, 2018
  • Application Deadline: May 13, 2018
  • Programs Start: September 10, 2018
  • Demo Days: December 5, 2018

Applications are still open for 17 other Techstars global accelerator programs. See the full list here.

Have More Questions? Meet the People who Make it Happen.

Techstars managing directors want to meet you. They’re on the road hosting information sessions and office hours. Here’s a list of all the stops on the Techstars Roadshow where you can sign up for in-person meetings and interactive, online Q&A programming to learn more about specific programs.

Making a Zero Waste economy possible at Techstars Startup Weekend Paris

Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills or incinerators.

We got the chance to talk to the team behind Techstars Startup Weekend Paris, about their motivations to host this event with the thematic of Zero Waste. Here’s what they shared:

1. What was your thinking behind doing a Startup Weekend, Zero Waste edition? What did you want to achieve?

I saw a lot of Startup Weekends and love the people, the state of mind and the magic happening there. But despite the fact that we are at the heart of the innovation, I saw few projects and people deeply concerned about sustainable development. I wanted to help changing that, so we formed a team of awesome organizers and we built this edition.

“Zero Waste” is a concept that most people understand immediately, it’s a fast growing movement, and a perfect way to get people concretely interested in sustainable development.

Behind the Zero Waste philosophy there is a new way of consuming and living. This more sustainable way needs a new sector full of initiatives and businesses that starts to flourish : the circular economy sector. We deeply believe that there is a lot of business opportunities coming with the rise of circular economy. We wanted to help people and projects going in this sustainable direction.

2. How did you ensure that the theme of circular economy and zero waste was a philosophy throughout your event?

We started by making this event zero waste itself ! The idea was to show that it is possible to have an entire event hosting more than 100 people without producing almost any waste.

We then tried to involve participants in this, explaining it to them in advance and asking them to take their own pens and their own cloth table-napkin, because we won’t provide disposable ones. We also explained a bit more the concept of circular economy, and made a conference about it a week before the SW.

Finally we looked for sponsors that have real interest in sustainable development, because for now almost all companies practice green washing, but very few started to take the problem seriously.

3. What was your highlight from the weekend? What was most challenging?

We were very happy to see the quality of the ideas on the Friday night’s pitchs. All the ideas proposed by the participants were also totally in the circular economy philosophy.

The participants were very interested about sustainable development and the projects developed during the weekend were highly qualitative. I found it awesome to gather in the same place a lot of people and energies interested in the same goal.

Everything went very well, and we didn’t really had challenging parts at the end, even washing the dishes in team for 100 people was quite fun!

4. Do you have any top tips / best practices for anyone who is keen to host a more environmentally-friendly Startup Weekend?

Of course 🙂 Regardless of the Startup Weekend’s theme, you can organize a Techstars Startup Weekend without generating almost any waste. For us it was actually easier than I thought.

I wrote an article with more information about how we did it, and am available to help or to receive more tips. 2 coming Parisian Techstars Startup Weekends will already adopt a zero waste approach to their organization, and I hope much more will go the same way afterwards.

For sure we’ll organize a second edition of Techstars Startup Weekend Zero Waste in Paris, and I hope that others cities will tackle the same theme full of potential!

If you want to organize a Techstars Startup Weekend event, apply here.

Techstars Paris: Demo Day is Here!

After months of searching for the best startups around the world and screening hundreds of applications, on September 11th this year, we welcomed ten teams into the inaugural class of Techstars Paris Accelerator: BeSafe, Eyelights, Hydrologistics Africa, Lovys, Miuros, Pomp, SnapSwap, Terramanta, Wakeo and Zify.

Today, we are excited to have them pitch on the stage of the biggest startup campus in the world, Station F, for Techstars Paris’ first Demo Day.

What Happened in Three Months

During 86 days, the ten teams took part in more than 1500 meetings, workshops and mentoring sessions in the heart of Paris’ tech scene at the Partech Shaker. More than 180 mentors gave their time to provide feedback, coaching and insights in the true Techstars spirit of #givefirst.

Every day, thanks to our six corporate partners AccorHotels, Air Liquide, FDJ, Groupama, Renault Group, RCI Bank and Services, and Total, our startups had access to industry experts, new opportunities, and partnerships.

Every Thursday, the startups took part in workshops on Growth Hacking, Fundraising, Taxes Strategies, Financial Modeling, and Design to help them do more faster.

Every week we had Founder Story sessions with amazing entrepreneurs such as Olivier Mathiot (PriceMinister), Renaud Visage (Eventbrite) and Jeremy Charoy (LALALAB) to share their tips and tricks.

In three months we experienced 12 CEO Breakfasts, 12 CTO Lunches, 12 KPI Review Meetings, 120 Deep Dive Meetings together…and more than 50 dinosaurs given out for big and small victories. Today, the founders and CEOs are going to take the stage to present their businesses, pitch their products and share their vision.

The Techstars Paris Family

With startups coming from different continents and different cultures, the inaugural Techstars Paris class is made up of more than 19 nationalities. They left their homes, families and countries to scale their companies for 13 weeks. But it wasn’t all business; every Thursday we hosted Highs & Lows and Family Dinners to share the good and the (not so) good moments.

Today is the last day of the 2017 program. We’re proud to have them pitching in front of an audience of more than 350 people, including 150 investors. But it’s not the end, it’s just the beginning…Because Techstars is for life.  

Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Thank you to the Techstars Paris team, our mentors and our corporate partners for making this all possible.