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.

ESN data shows that the startup ecosystem is still highly fragmented.

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.

"We strongly believe in the power of unifying national startup ecosystems."

Nicolas Brien, Managing Director France Digitale expresses his argument for joining the ESN, “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.“

“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," explains Karen Boers, President of ESN. "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.“

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