French Deeptechs Unite For A New Force In Tech Lobbying

In a bold move, over 100 French startups, venture capitalists (VCs), and research institutes have banded together to form a unique organization aimed at amplifying the voice of the deeptech sector in France and across the European Union. This newly formed coalition, known as “France Deeptech”, is set to become a significant player in shaping tech policy and fostering innovation within the EU.

The collective, featuring prominent players such as quantum computing startups PASQAL and Alice & Bob, spacetech pioneer The Exploration Company, and cybersecurity leader TEHTRIS, has caught the attention of the tech world. By joining forces with influential French deeptech VCs, research labs, and the public bank Bpifrance, France Deeptech is positioning itself as a major influencer in the legislative sphere. The organization’s vision extends beyond France; it aims to eventually include startups and VCs from other European countries, enhancing its impact at the EU level.

France Deeptech’s mission is clear: to bridge the gap between various stakeholders in the deeptech sector and policymakers at both the French and European levels. In collaboration with France Digitale, an established lobby group for European startups and VCs, France Deeptech is dedicated to advocating for policies that bolster deeptech startups.

The organization has pinpointed four major challenges currently facing the sector. These include enhancing funding access for French deeptech startups, which are estimated to require around €12 billion in investments between 2024 and 2026, fostering stronger connections between academic research and the industry, easing regulatory constraints, particularly in burgeoning fields like foodtech, and expanding the role of startups in public procurement.

To tackle these challenges, France Deeptech has formed working groups consisting of entrepreneurs, VCs, and academics. These groups are tasked with developing three policy proposals for each identified challenge over the next six months, ensuring a collaborative and comprehensive approach to policy-making.

Moreover, France Deeptech plans to host various meetups, connecting startups with large industrial entities, and conduct data-driven analysis to pinpoint sector-specific pain points. This strategy is aimed at identifying areas where governmental support can be most effective.

Membership fees fund this initiative, and although the total budget remains undisclosed, the organization is on a path to expand its team, indicating a robust operational framework.

The formation of France Deeptech comes at a crucial time for European deeptech startups. Despite the general funding difficulties faced by European startups, deeptech ventures have shown remarkable resilience. Data from VC firm Atomico reveals that investment in European deeptech companies is expected to exceed $20 billion by year’s end, accounting for a significant 44% of the total capital invested in European startups in 2023. This impressive figure not only demonstrates the growing interest in deeptech but also highlights the unique challenges faced by these startups, such as high R&D costs, lengthy development cycles, and complex regulatory environments.

Michel de Lempdes, managing partner at French VC Omnes Capital and president of France Deeptech, emphasizes the need for both financial and strategic support for deeptech startups, given their unique complexities. His vision for France Deeptech is not just to provide a platform for advocacy but also to offer tangible support that addresses the specific needs of the deeptech sector.

In conclusion, the formation of France Deeptech marks a significant step forward for the deeptech industry in France and potentially Europe. By uniting a diverse range of players under a common goal, this organization is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of technology innovation and policy. As it navigates the intricate landscape of tech lobbying, France Deeptech is setting the stage for a more collaborative, innovative, and supportive ecosystem for deeptech ventures across the continent.