A point out of the French Riviera invokes photographs of blue skies, crystal blue waters lined with palm timber, and the glitz and glamour of a resort vacation spot. Nicknamed Côte d’Azur (literally ‘Coast of Blue’) in French, the French Riviera is the Mediterranean shoreline of the southeast nook of France. There’s no official boundary, however it’s often thought-about to extend from Cassis or Toulon in the west to France–Italy border in the east, the place the Italian Riviera joins. From its vibrant buildings, medieval villages perched on mountain sides, lavender fields, luxurious yachts and villas dotting its ports and coastline, it’s straightforward to see why it is recognized the world over for its magnificence and as a playground for the wealthy & famous.
But have you learnt that the French Riviera can also be residence to a vibrant tech scene and a thriving startup ecosystem? With greater than 300 days of sunshine, a really cosmopolitan population, and proximity to most main European hubs, the French Riviera is quick turning into a tech and startup along with being a resort vacation spot.
Take a look at this overview of the institutions, organisations, startups, and main gamers that make up the Côte d’Azur’s tech and startup ecosystem:
Establishments and hubs for startups
French Tech Côte d’Azur (FTCA) is a collective motion that mobilises entrepreneurs and ecosystem players who contribute to the growth of startups within the region. It’s part of the nationwide ‘La French Tech’ collective motion and label. Its mission is to determine, help and speed up startups of the Côte d’Azur to make them ‘Tech Champions’. In numbers this mission interprets to 50 new startups eligible annually for an acceleration process within the next 5 years and 10 new ‘Tech Champions’ with worldwide affect in the subsequent 10 years.
FTCA intends to mobilise a whole territory overlaying Nice, Cannes, Grasses, and Sophia Antipolis, which generates more than 22,885 jobs in 1,684 corporations with a turnover of €4.2 billion. These territories have been creating and internet hosting digital technologies in sectors like sensible city, e-health, edtech, cybersecurity or related sport, with the current creation of the cluster ‘Côte d’Azur Sport Tourism’.
FTCA is in partnership with government establishments, tech hubs, incubators, accelerators as well as universities and buyers in the region.
Photograph by Ouuups. CC BY-SA 4.0.
Sophia Antipolis is the primary European Science Park, and is also known as the French ‘Silicon Valley’. It was founded in 1969 by Senator Pierre Laffitte, with the goal of ‘cross fertilization’ between researchers, academics, and industrialists. Thought-about as a hub for innovation, It now has 2,230 corporations, among which are startups, blue-chip corporations, and personal and public research institutions. The companies employ some 36,300 individuals from 63 totally different nationalities that co-exist with four,000 researchers and 5,000 students.
Sophia Antipolis improvement is ensured by means of partnerships with the Joint Union of Sophia Antipolis (SYMISA) and the Urban Group of Sophia Antipolis, Alpes Maritimes Division, the Chamber of Commerce and Business Nice Riviera, Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur and the town of Mougins. The Group of agglomerations of Sophia Antipolis (CASA), based in 2002, brings the know-how round 24 cities, including Antibes, Vallauris, Valbonne, Villeneuve Loubet, Biot, and so forth.
The primary sector in Sophia Antipolis is IT, representing 20% of corporations and 42% of jobs, and is the guts of Sophia Antipolis experience. Different specialties are discovered within the fields of well being, chemistry, life sciences, and the setting. In each sector, SMEs and startups co-exist alongside international businesses like: Amadeus, Cisco Methods, Dassault Techniques, Orange, Hewlett Packard, Nvidia, Intel, Symantec, Air France, American Categorical, Toyota, Samsung, and Huawei. Finishing the ecosystem are analysis institutes, giant faculties and international standardisation establishments.
The European Middle of Enterprises and Innovation (CEEI) is a hub created by the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis, meant to promote the sustainable institution of revolutionary corporations on its territory. Situated at the heart of the eco-valley in Good, the CEEI provides the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem beneath its roof – from office area, acceleration packages, fundraising and personalised teaching for startups and entrepreneurs, to help in scaling and partnerships with startups for companies and establishments, each in nationwide and international scope.
As a part of the French Tech Côte d’Azur’s ecosystem, CEEI additionally serves as a ‘pépinière’ (actually means nursery) the place concepts are explored and tested. So far, CEEI has supported and housed startups in the IoT, B2B platforms, cleantech and mobility sectors. It also helps startups and firms organise occasions resembling product and company launches and showcases.
Telecom Valley is the primary community of digital professionals on the Riviera. With greater than 160 members, representing 18,000 staff and 40,000 college students, the association has been working since 1991 and is considered to be a pioneer in the digital ecosystem of the French Riviera – overlaying St Raphael until Monaco, with a concentration of its activities in Nice and Sophia Antipolis.
For over 27 years, Telecom Valley has been promoting the ‘Azuréen’ – the digital ecosystem via its insurance policies of sharing and open innovation. Telecom Valley supports startups and young entrepreneurs by means of its Jeunes Pousses Challenge, which promotes scholar entrepreneurship, and its SoFab, a fabrication lab the place startups & entrepreneurs can prototype their products. Telecom Valley additionally facilitates collaborative tasks among its members.
Creacannes started its operations in 2014. It’s being developed by the Cannes Lérins agglomeration with the purpose of being an financial catalyst helping startups during their early years, sometimes through the first two years of their existence. Creacannes provides a versatile hosting, office area, and help buildings at charges which are to startups and young enterprises.
The business incubator is situated within the Bastide Rouge, the location’s historic building (a remnant of the Isnard farmhouse that was there originally of the 15th century), which gave its identify to the technopole at present being built. It occupies an area of approximately 800m2 that’s open to corporations from the audiovisual and movie sectors, video video games, design and net improvement. With its partnerships with neighbouring startup hubs and incubators as well as local universities, Creacannes hosts both startups and help buildings for the event of the latter. Creacannes and CEEI are both the ‘pépinière’ of the FTCA.
Essential incubators and accelerators
The Incubateur PACA-EST is a help structure for the creation of progressive corporations. It’s a enterprise incubator recognised and sponsored by the Ministry in control of Analysis, Europe, the PACA area, and the overall councils of the departments of Alpes-Maritimes and Var. Based and supported by the College of Good-Sophia Antipolis, the University of South Toulon-Var and INRIA Sophia-Méditerranée, its objective is the development of expertise and the switch of technologies from college laboratories and research organisations by means of the creation of revolutionary businesses and the creation of excessive value-added jobs in the region.
It helps and accompanies tasks ensuing from or in reference to French public research; for this it provides personalised help, coaching, and the allocation of monetary help and accommodation all through a minimum 24-month incubation period. The monetary help it provides to startups can be used to carry out market research, patent filings, prototypes, and so forth. Incubateur PACA-EST is sector-agnostic and helps startups and progressive corporations from any tech area.
Telecom ParisTech was the first French incubator. The incubator was based in March 1999 by Telecom ParisTech, which is among the prime French public institutions of higher schooling and research (Grandes Écoles) of engineering in France. The varsity has campuses in each Paris and Sophia Antipolis. The latter ensuing from Télécom ParisTech and EPFL collaboration and subsequent establishment of a faculty named EURECOM situated in Sophia Antipolis.
The incubator in Sophia Antipolis specialises in huge knowledge, machine studying, IoT, AI, VR, robotics and blockchain. The incubation period is for 18 months during which the startups have access to ParisTech community: its professors, laboratories, ex-students, and more.
BA06 Accelerator supplies tailor-made coaching and help programmes to help progressive corporations increase their enterprise, access their market, and prepare them of their seek for financing. BA06 is a non-profit association, based by entrepreneurs with greater than 160 members made up of entrepreneurs, private and non-private buyers, financiers, principals, accompanying specialists in addition to many actors in the innovation chain (competitiveness clusters, incubators, incubators, entrepreneur associations, and so on).
This wealth of expertise and expertise from its personal members is what BA06 brings to the companies it supports. BA06 doesn’t grant capital or financing to the startups it accelerates but are remunerated by a hard and fast month-to-month charge and a proportion of turnover achieved at the exit of the accelerator programme. BA06 is predicated in Good’s eco-valley.
Allianz Accelerator is Allianz France’s accelerator dedicated to huge knowledge, the sharing financial system, IoT, wearables, and e-travel. Situated at the Allianz Riviera in Good, it helps the growth of progressive, promising startups by offering them an intensive five-month acceleration programme. Startups are provided the good thing about a community of mentors and specialists, backers and major buyers reminiscent of Bpifrance and Idinvest Partners, and given structured assistance of their improvement. The startups may additionally be provided a strategic partnership with Allianz or a chance to test their answer on the worldwide stage because of the Allianz Group’s international presence in additional than 70 nations.
With a purpose to be selected, startups have to supply an revolutionary services or products that’s associated to huge knowledge, IoT & wearables or the related stadium. They should have the potential for vital progress and a robust motivation to scale-up their operations.
Created by Crédit Agricole PCA Regional Bank in partnership with the CCI Nice Côte d’Azur, The Village by CA goals to boost the financial system of its territory via local help for innovation.
The Village by CA is devoted to open innovation and a meeting place for startups, SMEs, giant firms, institutions, and so forth, to advertise cooperation and innovation.
Additionally it is an actual group that brings collectively 27 startups in the fields of tourism, health and well-being, housing, power and the setting, agriculture and agribusiness, info know-how and large knowledge. The accelerator is a part of 18 network of accelerators created by Crédit Agricole PCA Regional Financial institution that is unfold all through France and outer French territories.
Fintech Startup Spotlight: Quantilia
Quantilia is a web-based portfolio analytics platform devoted to institutional buyers corresponding to personal banks, household workplaces, and pension funds. The platform manages institutional portfolio knowledge, uses AI algorithms, and presents an software for the visualisation of knowledge and calculations. Quantilia builds dashboards adapted to the exact wants of every shopper to enable them to succeed in their financial and extra-financial goals, while remaining according to regulatory framework and complementing the organisation of the shopper’s business.
Based mostly in Good, Quantilia was founded in 2017 by three co-founders – Florian Garivier, Laurence Fauchon and Guillaume Subias – who crossed paths 12 years in the past while working in the funding banking business. In September 2017, it acquired a €2 million seed funding round led by Serena and Bpifrance.
As we speak, Quantilia is partnership with over 120 asset managers and investment banks. It has over 300 knowledge sources and two million plus every day calculated time collection. It provides two solutions: one which analyses a shopper’s present funding portfolio (Quantamental), and another that analyses market tendencies (Market Screener). General, Quantilia now supplies a wide range of efficiency analytics tools, both correct and reasonably priced, whereas nonetheless remaining evolutive and scalable. For instance, the Market Screener can help portfolio managers in detecting developments and outliers and determining how these elements will impression their businesses. Its quantamental tools are capable of assist portfolio managers maintain monitor of each single piece of data with only a click on, saving time and effort while producing superior results time after time.
In addition to these solutions, Quantilia is now gathering hundreds of securities and operating in-depth ESG (environmental, social, governance) analysis by way of their specialised companions. ESG refers to 3 central elements in measuring the sustainability and ethical impression of an funding in a company or enterprise. Quantilia ESG Portfolio Analytics aims at bringing ESG into the core of the portfolio administration software filling the gap and allowing institutional buyers to take a look at their performance analyses, also from an ESG viewpoint, offering a extra well-rounded perspective.
Quantilia was granted an Innovation Award for its R&D to facilitate quantitative strategy investments for its shoppers internationally in 2017. It positioned third within the category ‘Greatest WealthTech Startups Worldwide’ at the Geneva WealthTech Forum 2019.
Quantilia’s goal is to develop into a pacesetter for tailored analytics and knowledge providers in Europe among institutional buyers.
“Quantilia is pleased to work with clear-sighted financial actors who perceive that their success rests on a better use of huge amounts of knowledge,”stated Florian GARIVIER, Quantilia’s CEO and co-founder.
SaaS Startup Spotlight: Wildmoka
Based mostly in Sophia Antipolis, Wildmoka is a stay clipping, modifying & publishing platform provider. Wildmoka’s solutions empower content house owners and rights holders to ship their reside content in entrance of the most important digital and social audiences as shortly as potential. The platform allows them to face the viewers’ demand for growing video content material over the online, cellular and social, allowing them to extend their fan engagement, grow their viewers, and develop new monetisation models.
Wildmoka was based in 2013 by Cristian Livadiotti and Thomas Menguy. It now has operations on three continents (Europe, US, and Australia), and is shifting ahead with business enlargement and market presence in main business occasions internationally. It really works with shoppers throughout virtually all media verticals, from sports activities to news to entertainment and have engaged with some corporate enterprises and authorities verticals. Present clients embrace major media corporations reminiscent of NBC Sports activities, NBC News, France Télévisions, CANAL+, FOX, Orange, beIN SPORTS, MBC Group, Altice (BFM & SFR), the Worldwide Tennis Federation, to call a couple of. Along with its headquarters in the South of France, the corporate has 5 workplaces on three continents (Europe, US, and Australia).
In February 2018, Wildmoka raised a Collection A investment of $eight million led by enterprise capital investor Alven with participation from present shareowner Apicap. This investment in Wildmoka brings its complete investment acquired to $10.2 million, from its seed spherical in 2016.
VCs, enterprise angels and banks providing investments
The SBA is a gaggle of enterprise angels that is based mostly in Sophia Antipolis however function Internationally. Its member business angels make investments their personal funds in startups with progressive products, providers and business models that carry the potential to disrupt a market sector. The business angels transcend financial help and actively join the startups to their professional network and international startup ecosystem of buyers and material specialists.
Sophia Enterprise Angels has 30 members with numerous backgrounds from 10 nations all working collaboratively to focus on progressive startups from numerous sectors like fintech, biotech, ICT, power, IoT and way of life, to call a couple of.
Angels’ Bay Invest brings together round thirty lively men and women from totally different backgrounds and nationalities, typically from the world of entrepreneurship, investing in startups and young corporations with robust potential for progress and market disruption. It’s based mostly in Sophia Antipolis know-how park and is a part of the France Angels national federation and Angels PACA regional coordination. It’s properly related to the local, national and worldwide ecosystem of incubators, accelerators, and different business angels’ golf equipment.
Established in 1997 as AGF Personal Equity, Idinvest Partners was an Allianz subsidiary until 2010, when it turned an unbiased company. With over €5 billion underneath administration, Idinvest Companions is a serious player in mid-market personal fairness in Europe. Idinvest is headquartered in Paris however has a robust presence all all through France and notably in the French Riviera via its partnership with local gamers like Allianz Accelerator.
It has developed several areas of experience, together with fairness investments in younger, revolutionary European corporations. Its portfolio of corporations consists of Withings, Criteo, Dailymotion, Viadeo, Pretty Simple, and Sarenza.
Bpifrance is a public investment financial institution which helps businesses from the seed stage to inventory change itemizing with loans, ensures, and fairness. Bpifrance accompanies and helps businesses of their progress, innovation, and export activities in partnership with UBIFRANCE and Coface. It has additionally been establishing ties between major teams and mid-caps and startup corporations. As part of these actions, Bpifrance labored with Allianz France on the launch of its new accelerator in Nice.
With 42 regional workplaces, Bpifrance helps national and regional policymakers to realize three objectives: enhancing regional economic progress, collaborating in France’s industrial renewal, and creating the market leaders of tomorrow.
Néo Enterprise is Caisse d’Epargne’s offering for startups and revolutionary corporations. The financial institution’s financing and help system are designed to satisfy the help and funding wants of those corporations is accessible in all of its 110 regional centres in France.
Every centre has innovation enterprise managers devoted to understanding and supporting startups at each stage of their improvement. The service does not simply embrace financing options but in addition connecting the startup with local and regional gamers in the ecosystem – from incubators, accelerators, universities, establishments and different buyers. When it comes to bank help, Caisse d’Epargne gives an entire vary of providers, from bank to day-to-day financing options.
The neighbouring Monaco
Monaco is a microstate, a principality that borders France and is usually thought-about as part of the French Riviera. Generally known as a tax haven, it counts amongst its residents family workplaces, ultra-high internet value individuals (UHNWI), and high-profile business executives and house owners. Monaco’s financial system is primarily geared in the direction of finance, commerce, and tourism, but just lately it has started to diversify into tech and the digital financial system.
In 2017, the principality co-founded with Monaco Telecom and Xavier Niel, the MonacoTech incubator. The MonacoTech startup programme does not have a collaborating curiosity in the startups it incubates, and the length of incubation is tailored to the needs of the startup. It provides normal incubation help like administration, internet hosting on its premises, in addition to entry to its community of mentors, consultants, buyers, and repair suppliers.