Following on the recent announcement that Berlin would be one of five “landing pads” for Australia’s national Tech strategy, France has announced that the German capital will become a Tech Hub as part of a broader innovation strategy.
The aim is to promote the start-up ecosystem in France as well as French entrepreneurs abroad. For the latter, French tech hubs have been established worldwide and are already in twelve international cities including Tokyo, New York and London, but also Abidjan, Montreal and Moscow. Berlin will be an important addition to the list, and confirmation of the importance of the city for the European start-up scene.
The French Minister of Digital Affairs, Axelle Lemaire, announced at IFA 2016 that Berlin will be one of the international locations for the French Tech Initiative. Officially, the Ministry of Economy will announce the new hubs from 17 candidate cities in mid October.
“The idea is to rely on the French community abroad to help entrepreneurs to think internationally.” Lemaire told the online magazine Usine Digital.
The idea is not to be “playing off rivalries between Paris, Berlin or London,” but “rather to bring the German and French ecosystems and investors into contact, to enable the companies to go where the conditions are most favourable fast for growth.”
The French Tech Hub in Berlin will be supported, on the one hand, by official agencies such as the French Embassy and Business France and, on the other hand, also and above all by representatives of French startups in Berlin, such as: Alex Hue, CEO of Oppex and member of the network “French digital”; Ulrich Schmitz, CTO for Electronic Media at Axel Springer AG; David Barret, director of 4Seed Investments GmbH; and Investor Gunnar Graef (German Ventures).
The headquarters of the initiative is to be built in the middle of rainmaking Loft Berlin, an incubator and co-working space.