In previous years it’s fair to say that France has not exactly been a hotbed of entrepreneurship, despite actually coming up with the word entrepreneur. It’s perhaps not hard to see why when you visit. There is a general anti-business culture and talking about business or money is seen as beneath mainstream society. French students are also not well prepared for the real world. For instance, there are 65,000 psychology students in France – that is a quarter of the European total for that subject.
However, to think this is still the case is to completely miss the sea-change that is happening right now over last year and this.
Our recent TechCrunch Paris event was buzzing with entrepreneurs, and TechCrunch France has relaunched with a bang. Recent tax changes for investors are now supercharging the scene. Watch for a longer post on that soon from our France editor, Roxanne Varza.
So it’s fascinating to see that ISAI, billed as the French internet entrepreneurs’ fund, has announced the first closing of its “ISAI Developpement” fund, dedicated to early stage internet investments.
It will have €24m under management and brings together about 60 internet and software entrepreneurs under one umbrella to fund young companies and apply its collective experience, skills and networks.
The fund was founded in late 2008 by Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet (ex of PriceMinister), Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux (Virgin Mobile France), Stephane Treppoz (Sarenza) and Ouriel Ohayon (ex editor of TechCrunch France).
The fund will be led by Jean-David Chamboredon (ISAI CEO, ex-3i) and Christophe Raynaud (ISAI COO, ex- Paris Business Angels). It will invest between €0.5m to €1.5m in startup internet companies.
It’s a good time to be a startup in France.