Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, listens during a news conference in Athens, Greece (Photographer: Yorgos Karahalis/Bloomberg)  

Startup Street: Emmanuel Macron’s ‘Startup Nation’ Bet Is Paying Off

This week on Startup Street, French venture capitalist funds get in the En Marche! mood. Tech giant Oracle has picked up startups from Mumbai and Delhi for its accelerator program. And Karnataka is pumping investments for artificial intelligence and data science startups.

France Is Flush With VC Funds

Soon after being elected France’s youngest leader since revolutionary Napolean Bonaparte, Emmanuel Macron delivered an address at a technology conference in Paris where said he wants to attract new entrepreneurs, researches and startups for innovation.

“I want France to become a startup nation that works with and for the startups,” he’d said.

His push for a “country of unicorns” may have started to pay off.

A report by data analytics firm Dealroom shows that French venture capitalists have raised more funds than any other European country in the first six months of 2017.

French venture capital funds raised a record €2.7 billion till August this year. This is the same amount they'd raised in the entirety of 2016. France was followed by British VCs that raised €2.3 billion and German VCs with €1.1 billion funding.

One of the main reasons for this, according to Bartosz Jakubowski of EQT Ventures, is the “large, motivated” talent pool of French engineers.

“France produces a new wave of talented and ambitious coders, engineers and business guys every year,” Jakubowski wrote in a blog post on Medium. “This talent pool comes at a fraction of Silicon Valley’s cost, and with loyalty as a bonus,” he added.

This doesn't automatically lift-off France's startup space. French startups still might need support in being “more product and customer-centric,” Jakubowski wrote.

French entrepreneurs are often very techy, able to build complex algorithms and best-in-class tech, but may want to turn this into a better product.
Bartosz Jakubowski, EQT Ventures

Macron is keeping his pledge to startups. He has already put in place a new tech visa which gives a four year residence permit to entrepreneurs and their families. He also announced additional tax breaks for promoting investments in startups.

Oracle’s Choice Of Startups From Delhi And Mumbai

U.S.-based software major Oracle chose the first batch of startups from Mumbai and Delhi to be included in its startup accelerator program.

The startups include a mix of companies that focus on artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, automation, internet of things, machine learning, chatbots and virtual reality technologies.

(Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)
(Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

“Each of the new startups bring a unique proposition to their industry and come with high-growth potential,” said Sanket Atal, Group Vice President of Development, Oracle, in a media statement.

Oracle launched its Startup Cloud Accelerator program in 2016 with the aim to develop an environment that fosters “innovation and entrepreneurship.” Here are the latest batch of startups that it has bet on.

Mumbai Group 1

  • Disprz
  • doLoop Technologies
  • IPHawk
  • KiViHealth
  • Moneytor

Delhi Group 1

  • iNICU
  • RepUp
  • Original4sure
  • Digital Agents Interactive
  • ChatterOn

The accelerator program also selected the third batch of startups in Bengaluru. They include dressire, Riyaz, SafeHats, StatLabs and Teknospire.

Under this program, the startups get technical and business mentoring by the company and industry experts. This comes along with Oracle Cloud credits, access to a co-working space in the Oracle premises and access to Oracle’s customers, investors and partners, according to the website.

Karnataka’s Fillip To Artificial Intelligence Startups

Giving a boost to the development of artificial intelligence and data science technologies, the Karnataka government said it will invest Rs 40 crore for the construction of a “state-of-the-art tech hub” along with NASSCOM.

(Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)
(Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

The hub will be called the Centre of Excellence for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence and will operate on a private-public partnership model. The hub will act as mentor and guide for startups working on data science technologies.

Karnataka has been leading the IT revolution in India with the government playing a significant role in its development. This will be a continuation of those efforts, said a statement by the state government.

This Centre of Excellence is the logical next step required to provide the right fillip to areas of data science and artificial intelligence and give a head start to not just the state, but India as a destination to develop global product solutions.
Priyank Kharge, Minister of Information Technology, Biotechnology & Tourism, Karnataka

The investment is expected to create about 35,000 jobs for data science and AI professionals over the next five years, the statement added.

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