France's growth-stage program was built to provide unprecedented support for the 120 fastest growing companies in France.
Pooling resources from accross the various government agencies, ministries and public service departments, this program is intended to simulate growth and create opportunities in France, following the global success of our top startups.

01

OVERVIEW

Launched in September 2019 by the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, the French Tech 120 program illustrates the French government’s desire to become the best possible support for the French Tech ecosystem.

The French Tech Mission brought together some 50 French Tech Correspondents within administrations and public services capable of supporting the growth of startups. The list of services, intended to grow continuously, covers five categories: international development, financing, access to the market, recruitment of talent and support in all relations with the administration.

Some examples: The URSSAF sets up a dedicated account manager and tailor-made services (notifications on payment deadlines, reminders for exceeding thresholds …). The Banque de France offers preferential financing conditions. The General Directorate of the Treasury offers market access insurance, covering in the event of failure the investments undertaken to conquer a new market abroad.

02

BENEFITS

Startups joining the program receive priority support from ministries and public services. The goal is to speed up their growth and help them to become global leaders. For one year, the 120 companies (of which the Next40 are a subset) get access to a swath of advantages too long to list here. The short version: 

  • 3 wishesFrench Tech 120 can go into Aladdin-mode and request up three things of the French tech Mission and its Correspondents throughout the year. Within the limits of legality, of course. “We have to hire 30 people within a month, we bring them from the United States, Singapore and Rio, can you help us with the visas of their families?” No problem. Etc. 

  • On top of the 3 wishes, unlimited access to a range of services offered by 45+ ministries, government agencies and public services, designed to meet the needs and speed of startups in hyper-growth. Our growing catalogue is split into 4 categories: international development, funding, go-to-market and support with government-related issues.

  • Increased visibility, through influence, communication and presence operations in official delegations abroad.

  • Bizdev opportunities with the state, thanks to accelerated referencing of public buyers (Ugap, State Purchasing Department, Ministry of the Armed Forces, National Center for Space Studies, etc.) and business meetings with them.

    • Support from a dedicated “Startup Engagement Manager,” to help them make the most of the program (including centralizing and accompanying exchanges with the administrations).

    Public services proposing an offer

    03

    WHO IS IT FOR

    Companies selected in the Next40 are automatically part of the French Tech 120 program. For the remaining 80 places, there is a call for applications. The application period for 2020 will open on the 23rd of October 2019 and end on the 29th of November 2019.

    With the support of Bpifrance, 80 startups (innovative and independent companies established in the past 15 years) will be selected based on objective criteria of financial performance and representative of all of French Tech’s dynamic territories:

    • Half of the startups will be selected based on their largest fundraising
    • the other half will be selected based on their hyper-growth (amount of turnover and growth).

    Each region will have places for at least two representative startups (overseas territories included) regardless of eligibility criteria: one chosen according to its fundraising and another chosen based on hyper-growth criteria, in order to highlight and to support the best startups of all ecosystems.

    The French Tech Capitals and Communities as well as the former French Tech Pass members are invited to nominate the best startups for their ecosystems. In all cases, the headquarters of all nominees must be located in France.



    04

    GET STARTED

    The application procedure is open until November 29th 2019:

    05

    LAUREATES 2020

    The winners of the French Tech 120 will be announced in January 2020. 

    06

    FAQ

    What is French Tech 120?

    The French Tech 120 program is a government-backed support system for 120 startups that have the potential to become global technology leaders. These companies are among the most promising in the country and are representative of the diversity of the French Tech ecosystem. 

    What is the difference between Next40 and French Tech 120?

    The Next40 is an annual selection that distinguishes 40 French startups that have the strongest markers of success in their potential technology leaders. Its members are automatically a part of the French Tech 120 program where they are joined by 80 other hyper-growth companies with high potential. All 120 startups enjoy the same government support and services that come with the program.  

    Who is the program for?

    The French Tech 120 program is aimed at innovative companies that have been established within the past 15 years, and that have not yet done an IPO or been purchased. Participants are selected according to objective criteria based on fundraising and turnover.

    Next40 members are automatically selected to join the French Tech 120 program. An additional 80 places are then filled each year.

    How to be a candidate?

    Companies that would like to participate in the call for applications must register before November 29, 2019 using this form.

    What are the criteria ?

    80 startups will be selected based on objective criteria.

    • Half of the startups will be selected based on their largest fundraising
    • the other half will be selected based on their hyper-growth (amount of turnover and growth).

    The eligibility criteria of the FT120 are based on those of the previous French Tech Pass program but have been modified to take into account the growing maturity of the ecosystem and the ambition of excellence held by the government.

    In order to highlight and support the best startups of all French Tech ecosystems, each region (overseas territories included) will have places for two startups regardless of the eligibility criteria: one chosen according to its fundraising and one chosen based on hyper-growth criteria.

    The French Tech Capitals and Communities as well as the former French Tech Pass members are invited to nominate the best startups for their ecosystems.

    “If I meet the criteria (either based on funding or hyper-growth), am I automatically admitted to the program?”

    No. The criteria set are eligibility criteria and not selection criteria.The 80 places will be given to the most promising companies based on the eligibility criteria. 

    What are the important dates to remember?

    Applications for the French Tech 120 program are open until November 29, 2019. The 80 awardees will be announced at the beginning of 2020. For the Next40, a new selection phase will open between June and August of 2020.

    What benefits do companies receive from the French Tech 120 program?

    The French Tech 120 is not just another logo to add to your website. Selected startups receive a year of government support in an unprecedented scale, with all state services being mobilized in a way specifically designed to benefit these 120 companies.

    The French Tech Mission has brought together some fifty French Tech Correspondents within the various government departments and public service offices that play a role in startup growth. The list of services, intended to continue growing, currently covers four categories: international development, financing, access to the market, recruitment of talent and support in all relations with the administration.

    In addition, laureates will be entitled to:

    • Three wishes. Like Aladdin, the awardees of the French Tech 120 can make three wishes during the year, to the French Tech Mission and its correspondents. Within the limits of the law, obviously. “We are opening an office in Shanghai next year, can we be part of the presidential delegation during Emmanuel Macron’s next trip to China?” Of course! “We need to hire 30 people this month and we are bringing people in from the United States, Singapore and Rio, can you help us with their family visas?” No problem! Etc.
    • Government contract opportunities, thanks to accelerated referencing with procurement officers (Ugap, State Purchasing Department, Ministry of the Armed Forces, National Center for Space Studies) and business meetings with them.
    • Facilities for experimentation, with the support of the government to establish a framework conducive to the implementation of tests.
    • Support from a dedicated “Startup Engagement Manager,” to help them make the most of the program (including centralizing and accompanying exchanges with the administrations).
      • Increased visibility, through influence, communication and presence operations in official delegations abroad.

      Do you have examples of how these benefits work?

      Some examples would be for URSSAF to assign a dedicated account manager and tailored services (notifications on payment deadlines, warnings when thresholds are exceeded, etc) or for Banque de France to offer preferential financing terms. The General Directorate of the Treasury might offer market access insurance, covering investments in the event that an attempt to open a new market fails. 

      These are just a few examples of how the government departments, agencies and public services involved can work with startups to meet their individual needs.

      Who will be my point of contact? Where will they be based? How will it work? 

      Each company within the program will have a dedicated “Startup Engagement Manager” who will organize regular exchanges to ensure that teams get the most out of the program. Their centralizing role makes it possible to simplify interactions with the administration in the framework of a privileged relationship. They will be based in Paris, within the French Tech Mission (Ministry for Economy and Finance)

      They have several missions:

      • identifying the needs of laureates vis-à-vis the state, through a form filled at the beginning of the program by startups, and from additional information exchanged throughout the year.
      • proposing an annual roadmap designed to meet the different needs expressed by the startup
      • mobilizing interlocutors within the State who can respond to needs, centralizing  information and sharing proposed actions.
      • where appropriate, putting companies in direct contact with the ministry or public service concerned by the request.

       

      How long does the program last?

      The duration of the program is one year, and is renewable. More precisely, Next40 members benefit from September to September, while the other 80 startups benefit from January to January. Re-selection processes for both groups will be opened a few months before their respective deadlines.

      How much does it cost to participate in the program?

      The program and the support it comes with is totally free for the selected startups.

      What happens to the French Tech Pass in all of this?

      This initiative replaces and optimizes the French Tech Pass which was created in 2014 and was used to test and validate specific support methods for startups.

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