The European Startup Network (ESN) has joined forces with one of the most important startup ecosystems in Europe, France. France Digitale, an independent non-profit organisation will represent the French ecosystem in the network.

France’s position as a digital hub has strengthened rapidly in the last years. The volume of investment going to fund French startups in 2016 skyrocketed, amounted to €2.2bn, which is set to be surpassed by almost 40% in 2017 according to CB Insights. Ambitious initiatives like the worldwide network of La French Tech, launching the French Tech Visa, the opening of Station F, the world’s biggest startup campus in Paris, along with President Macron’s high ambition to put France on the digital map are all signs of a paradigm shift in the country. Having France on board of the European Startup Network is a promising and welcome move which will contribute to speeding up the pace of uniting European tech ecosystems.

This is increasingly important as startups suffer heavily from the absence of a Digital Single Market – having to overcome not only language and cultural barriers across the continent but also a myriad of legislative, regulatory and fiscal differences and problems. The European Startup Monitor as well as recent ESN data shows that the startup ecosystem is still highly fragmented and startups would benefit from a more unified framework as well as better access to (big) customers across country borders.

Nicolas Brien, Managing Director France Digitale: “We are excited to be part of the European Startup Network as we strongly believe in the power of unifying national startup ecosystems by sharing best practices and creating a strong voice for startups in policymaking at European level.“

Karen Boers, President of ESN: “The European Startup Network now unifies 24 national startup ecosystems, in order to create a common voice for European startups so that more can start, scale and succeed in the EU. With France as one of our major markets, we are most happy to welcome France Digitale into the network, allowing startups from all over Europe to explore and enter this key market as well as help French startups to scale across Europe in an efficient way.“

About France Digitale:

France Digitale brings together the champions of digital entrepreneurship: start-ups with strong growth plans and potential investors (venture capitalists and business angels). In 2012, France Digitale was born from two observations made by entrepreneurs and investors: A general misunderstanding of the economic and social potential of the digital landscape and the French economy’s inability to create new economic champions. Our mission is to transform France into a territory that is ripe for the development of start-ups, both within our borders and abroad. In concrete terms, France Digitale’s actions hinge on two main areas: Ramping-up the digital arena: community building, a feeling of belonging, networking, knowledge transfers, exchanges of good practices, and so on; Influencers beside French public institutions, major economic players, the media, and the European Commission.

About European Startup Network

The European Startup Network is a non-profit organisation launched in 2016 as a grassroots effort towards developing the startup ecosystem of Europe. By uniting national startup associations, leveraging their best practices and interconnecting their networks, ESN wishes to open up access to talent, expertise, funding and customers for all European startups.  European Startup Network (ESN) is uniting 24 national startup associations as of today with a joint representation of 25.000+ startups across Europe. The goal is to create a common voice for European startups so that more can start, scale and succeed in the EU, by providing real-time data analysis & crowd-sourced insights to support policy making; international go-to-market programs (4YFN, Slush) and tools & best practices to build strong(er) national ecosystems.