Eight French startups have reached unicorn status in the first half of 2021 alone, making it one of the fastest-growing startup hubs in Europe. Atlanta could play a unique role in creating even more “FrenchTech” in the near future.
Atlanta received accreditation by La French Tech, a French government-back initiative, last year, making it one of nine US cities on a specific mission to support fast-growing tech startups with a connection to France.
For Sebastien Lafon, President of La French Tech Atlanta and founder of Adapt1st, the initiative is about strengthening French startups building a presence in Atlanta, and vice versa.
“We’re putting Atlanta on the map when French companies want to evaluate their expansion into the United States,” he told Hypepotamus. “We need to make sure that [companies] understand that they have a very strong ecosystem here that they can leverage to achieve the goal…Atlanta is very well positioned to help grow companies in the United States.”
The French-Atlanta Connection
Atlanta’s connection with the French businesses runs deep. The French-American Chamber of Commerce in the city supports 600 companies looking to build in the Atlanta market, and the France-Atlanta event series has been running for 12 years.
Georgia Tech established its first international campus in Lorraine, France in 1990, and has since been growing partnerships with the country’s overall technology community.
On the startup side, Carbice, the nanotechnology startup run by Georgia Tech’s Baratunde Cola, was part of the First Atlanta-Toulouse Startup Exchange back in 2016, which Cola credits with helping to build Carbice’s office presence in the city.
Carbice joins 13 other startups that are currently part of La French Tech Atlanta. Others include AODocs, Cognira, and DashStylists.
New Home For FrenchTech in Georgia
Now, France is looking to further collaborate with the Atlanta startup scene through a strategic relocation of the French-American Chamber of Commerce’s offices.
The Chamber will move from the Consulate General of France to offices at the Innovation Center at Curiosity Lab in Peachtree Corners, the “smart city” just north of Atlanta.
The move, Lafon adds, is about strengthening ties between startup communities. “Overall, La French Tech Atlanta will be another pillar to support existing and blossoming Francophile startups, promote French Tech across the Southeast by broadening cross-Atlantic relationships and help future French startups to grow their business in the United States in the heart of Silicon Orchard,” he added in a statement.
An official grand opening for the new Chamber of Commerce will take place on September 9 in Peachtree Corners.