The French government is placing bets in the country's startup ecosystem with the hope of persuading venture capitalists to take a deeper look at investing in France. In December, the government announced a $250m fund for startup incubators.
“The people who are difficult to convince are the VCs,” she said. “They still automatically think of London, sometimes Berlin and Stockholm. And then sometimes Paris. But they wouldn’t even imagine coming to Toulouse. For them, Toulouse is a nice place to go on holiday. They don’t realize they could combine business and pleasure here.” To draw the attention of venture capitalists, Lemaire has been holding monthly sessions in Paris where startups can pitch various government ministries. She invites VCs to show them not just the quality of French startups, but also the diversity: med tech, IoT, software, e-commerce. And she said the French government is in the early stages of planning a large, international tech event to draw investors from around the world to France.