Created in 2005 by the Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States, the YEi (Young Entrepreneurs Initiative) program Start in France is an annual competition run by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in several countries.
In partnership with Business France, RETIS Innovation Network and Paris&Co, this program targets young, innovative technology companies who wish to explore and connect with the French innovation, research and development ecosystem.
This year the program welcomed 29 laureates from 5 different countries: South Korea, Taiwan, South Africa, Italy and the United States. Participants benefited from an all-expenses-paid, customized week in France from 13 - 17 November 2017.
The prizewinners first spent two and a half days in Paris attending training workshops delivered by key research players in France. They then participated in a series of customized one-to-one meetings, and finally joined in a networking event in partnership with Paris&Co’s Club Open Innovation. For the next two and a half days, our laureates visited regional innovation ecosystems selected according to their specific needs. For each company, regional partners coordinated presentations on local technology initiatives, and set up select meetings with regional experts and potential business partners.
The goal of the program is to help foreign entrepreneurs build technology partnerships with French innovation players. That is why Paris&Co has partnered with Start in France for the past three years. Our international teamprovides logistics support and accompanies these laureates while in Paris: coordinating with local innovation ecosystems, building a personalized calendar of meetings in the Paris region, and making space available to accommodate participants and experts for certain training sessions.
For more information on the program and prizewinners, please visit the YEi website: www.yeifrance.com and twitter @yeiaccelerator