The first class of French Tech 2030 welcomed at Ecole Polytechnique
Sixteen start-ups from Ecole Polytechnique’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem took part in the seminar for the first class of the French Tech 2030 program, which took place on Tuesday, September 26 at the École Polytechnique, in the presence of Jean-Noël Barrot, minister for Digital Transition and Telecommunication.
The seminar brought together the program's 125 winning companies and their governmental and institutional partners. The event provided the business leaders involved with an opportunity not only to exchange views with the representants of public institutions but also to share their experiences with one another.
Conceived as part of the France 2030 plan, the French Tech 2030 program, whose winning companies were unveiled by the French President Emmanuel Macron last june, aims to foster the emergence of start-ups in strategic and industrial fields such as the ecological transition, digital technology, healthcare, agriculture... It offers comprehensive support for one year, with a particular focus on financial and regulatory support.
It complements the French Tech 120 program, a government initiative providing public support for fast-growing start-ups with the potential to become global technology leaders. Announced in February 2023, the 4th class of French Tech 120 will receive dedicated support for one year.
Ecological transition and health
"With this program [French Tech 2030], we wanted to design the second decade of French Tech that you re the first to embody," told Jean-Noël Barrot. He drew-up the typical profile of this new generation of entrepreneurs : "In general, a woman, a PhD or a researcher, at the head of a deeptech company, and drawing inspiration from scientific discoveries in laboratories. A company that tackles the major challenges of our century, such as the climate transition and health."
Indeed, the fields most prominently represented among the selections for the French Tech 2030 program are the ecological transition, accounting for 38%, followed by health (20%), digital (19%) and agriculture (14%). Almost a third of the entrepreneurs taking part in the program are women.
Innovation and entrepreneurship in the public interest: the choice of Ecole Polytechnique as the host for this inaugural seminar was a natural one, as highlighted by Laura Chaubard, acting president of the School, and Bruno Bonnell, the General Secretary for Investment in charge of France 2030, the 54-billion euro investment plan for France.
"The history of Ecole Polytechnique is intimately linked to progress and innovation, as expressed in its motto, For the Nation, for Sciences, and for Glory," said Laura Chaubard in her welcoming address.
Over the past decade, École Polytechnique has significantly shifted its focus toward innovation and entrepreneurship, with the establishment of the Drahi-X Novation Center, a 5,000-square-meter incubator dedicated to innovation. This center encompasses two start-up support programs and a prototyping space.
Among the 16 start-ups founded or led by X alumni or supported by the Drahi-X Novation Center are biotech company DNA Script, medtech firm Ganymed Robotics, foodtech-agritech venture Ynsect, nanosatellite specialist Exotrail and Accenta, a provider of solutions for decarbonizing buildings.
An exceptional entrepreneurial ecosystem
"Ecole Polytechnique is also the Engineering School most represented among the founders of the 26 French unicorns, with six of its alumni having founded one of them", stressedLaura Chaubard. The Institut Polytechnique de Paris, of which École Polytechnique is a founding member, plays a significant role in French innovation, offering support around 100 start-ups a year, most of them specializing in deeptech.
A ranking published by the French newspaper Le Figaro underscores the exceptional ecosystem fostered by the School. École Polytechnique comes out well ahead in the ranking of Engineering Schools that have contributed to the development of leaders in the most promising young technology companies in the French Tech 120.
In fact, 25 X alumni are featured among all the founders or co-founders, meaning that more than one in 10 promising start-up founders is an Ecole Polytechnique’s graduate. Le Figaro based its ranking on the LinkedIn profiles of the 229 founders and co-founders of the 122 companies within the French Tech 120.
"This School is science at the service of the State since 230 years," emphasized Bruno Bonnell. "Today, we are called upon to recognize that we must align our top entrepreneurs with the State’s mission, entrepreneurs who will enable us to successfully transform our nation", he added, specifying that all the public players involved in French Tech 2030 were committed to supporting the winning companies in their endeavors.
Throughout the day, a series of workshops and plenary sessions covered a range of topics including international expansion of innovative products, the public sector’s role as an engine for growth, and the development of industrial projects...