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18 February 2021

French Tech: fostering the emergence of the technological leaders of tomorrow

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On February 8, the French Minister of the Economy and the Secretary of State for Digital Transition unveiled the new composition of the Next40 and French Tech 120. The two French Tech Next40/120 programmes were launched in 2019, and will now benefit from increased support from the State to boost the emergence of world-class technological leaders.


The ambition of the French Tech mission is defined on its dedicated website as ensuring that “the global players in the technology of tomorrow -those who create jobs and influence our lives- are French”. This is precisely the aim of the French Tech Next 40/120 support programmes: to bring together 120 start-ups under the banner of “most promising newcomers” to help “make France the leading digital ecosystem in the European Union”.


Precise criteria and higher level of selection


To be included in these two programmes, start-ups had to be selected on different criteria that are highly targeted and more selective than last year: fundraising (from €20 to €23 million), turnover growth (from €8 to €14 million) and regional location (at least 2 start-ups per region, and also for Overseas France, to strengthen the development of territorial ecosystems),

At the end of the selection, 120 start-ups joined these programmes which, as the dedicated website explains, actually targets “promising French start-ups that have already reached a certain stage of maturity, confirmed by their investors and/or turnover”. By joining the French Tech Next40/120, say the organisers, “these will follow in the footsteps of French champions such as Mirakl, Blablacar or Ynsect”.


A comprehensive support programme


Joining this programme grants companies the benefit for one year of a scheme specifically designed to support them in their growth phase. They are provided with several means of development: 

- Access to a network of more than 60 French Tech correspondents within the State, responsible for “meeting the needs of start-ups, whether financial, administrative, fiscal or regulatory”;

- Enhanced visibility, thanks to “operations of influence, communication and presence in official delegations abroad”;

- Belonging to the “community of members of French Tech 120 to encourage the sharing of experience, mutual aid and business between start-ups”.


Revamped profile for the 2021 class


As to the profile of the 120 participants, the Ministry of the Economy notes that between the 2020 and 2021 promotions, the list was renewed up to 25% with 30 new entrants.

Start-ups of the 2021 promotion employ about 37,500 people, including 26,000 in France, a figure much higher than last year (17,700). In 2020, despite the health crisis, these companies have created 10,000 new jobs in all French regions, a sign of the dynamism of French Tech.

This vitality is also expressed by the typology of these companies: the ministry notes that in 2021, start-ups with an industrial dimension are the first sector represented (27%). They are followed by those in the health sector (23%, as in 2020) and the Fintech sector, i.e. the start-ups that use technology to rethink financial and banking services (15% compared to 16% in 2020). 


French Tech, a unique ecosystem


French Tech is a unique ecosystem that brings together start-ups, investors, decision-makers, etc., with the aim of making France one of the most attractive countries in the world for entrepreneurs and innovative project leaders. Support schemes, such as the French Tech Visa, help international entrepreneurs and talents from all over the world to join the French tech ecosystem. 

In nearly 100 cities around the world, French Tech communities are committed to making this ecosystem shine internationally and enabling the development of new opportunities, including for alumni. 


Know more about the project: 


Photo credit:  © La French Tech


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