• News - Support Eco-startups

    Help and support for eco-startups?

    July 28th 2017

    In the area of ecological and energy transition, help and support schemes for business are so numerous and varied that it can be difficult to choose one. Many, however, are reserved for companies already at the stage of commercial development or high turnover. But what about start-ups?

    At the national level, innovative projects can access support through Ademe, BPIFrance, Coface and ministries, including the Ecological and Solidarity Transition (MTEN). The Investment Program of the Future has recently opened up to SMEs and new emerging technologies with specific calls for projects. The regions also offer substantial financial and technical assistance. More broadly, the Horizon 2020 program and the EU Investment Fund are solutions that French companies do not necessarily think of, but which, nevertheless, are of real interest.

    For an innovative project leader, it is important to be able to share and exchange feedback. Hence the interest in the many existing networks ("Ecotech" clusters, specific associations, etc.) and, of course, PEXE, the network of French eco-enterprise networks. Many specialised incubators are being created, such as those linked to the ‘GreenTech Verte’ of MTEN. Participating in contests, prizes, trophies or hackathons gives an opportunity to increase visibility for a project. There are also opportunities for development through the open innovation initiatives. Finally, it is possible to be supported by an "accelerator" like the Hub Startup from BPIFrance, dedicated to companies that have reached the stage of commercial development.

    On the financing side, many investors can be approached, some - like Demeter Partners - are exclusively dedicated to green growth companies (see list on Several major accounts have created corporate funds (eg Electranova from Edf, Engie New Ventures, Aliad at Air Liquide, BIRD at Bouygues Immobilier or Ecomobility Ventures which includes SNCF, Orange, Air Liquide, Michelin and Total). Lastly, crowdfunding has recently seen a boom in the creation of eco-startups.

    Written by Hélène Bouillon-Duparc

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