‘This is the place to be’ President Macron tells tech entrepreneurs [fr]
France’s new President Emmanuel Macron has called on entrepreneurs to take part in a “new wave” of tech industry development in France.
Announcing the launch of the French Tech Visa at the VivaTech conference in Paris on Thursday, President Macron told those assembled “...we are at the beginning of a new wave, and this is the place to be, to invest, to work, to invent, to become entrepreneurs, to become startuppers, an engineer, a researcher.”
The French Tech Visa programme is a simplified, fast-track procedure for startup founders, employees, and investors to obtain a residence permit known as the "Passeport Talent" or "Talent Passport" allowing them to live and work in France. Further information for New Zealand applicants is available on the French Embassy website.
Four New Zealand entrepreneurs are among those attending the VivaTech conference, with the support of the French Embassy in New Zealand’s Antipodes 2017 programme. A further seven New Zealanders received support to showcase their innovative digital projects at the Futur en Seine festival as part of Antipodes 2017.
President Macron also officially launched a €10 billion fund to facilitate innovation and give visibility to the financing of innovation in France.
“We want the pioneers, the innovators, the entrepreneurs of the whole world to come to France and work with us on green technologies, food technologies, artificial intelligence, and all the possible innovations.
“I want to be the country where new ability, new energy will be invented and developed,” President Macron said, adding “I will ensure that the state and the government act as a platform and not as a constraint”.
Key speakers at Vivatech include Alphabet Inc executive chairman Eric Schmidt, who told the conference Google had made a decision to invest more in France, which he said had considerable potential in the tech sector, and Alibaba chief executive Daniel Zhang.