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Bpifrance has many objectives with the companies it works with or invests in when it comes to expanding internationally and securing partnerships. Earlier, we looked at how the investment group has directed discussions between companies around Europe and across the Atlantic. There are numerous success stories in this regard, but they’ve all taken various different steps.
Acting fast and efficiently remains a large obstacle for French startups, explained Nathalie Trannois, account manager for international innovation. “The main challenge for French startups is getting the right connections abroad, partners and contacts in a very short time period,” she said. “They need to get in touch with the right people very quickly so they need to be connected to the right network and that’s the main issue.”
“They can meet when they have a real potential deal to make together. It’s a very difficult thing because we’re talking about issues for startups. To make an international deal takes time and that's what they miss the most,” said Laurence Faigenbaume, Ile-de-France European project manager.
Who are these startups and how are they approaching international audiences?
One of the companies affiliated with Bpifrance, RTsys, a manufacturer of underwater drone systems, has recently expanded its local facility in Brittany in preparation for its growing internationalisation and client base, which includes the defence sector. RTsys is expected to have revenues of €3 million this year.
Grenoble’s Smart’N’Blue is developing a smart shower head, Hydrao, and is entering the burgeoning smart home and IoT market with its sights squarely on the US. It plans to take part in an accelerator program based out of Boston in February and was also on display at CES in Las Vegas this month. It’s now seeking a second round of funding following a successful crowdfunding campaign on KissKissBankBank.
Lannion startup Ticatag has designed GPS-enabled smart tracking devices. The crowdfunded company raised €10,000 in October and one of its products, the Ti'Be, has been recently commercialised and will also be released in Spain, Portugal, England, Holland, and Luxembourg with more markets to follow.
Toulouse’s Gaiddon, meanwhile, finally brought its 3D mapping tool to market, following five years of research and development and will now seek more opportunities.
Bpifrance also highlights the need for an effective social media strategy for startups, especially those looking to garner attention from clients and potential partners further afield.
Featured image credit: Bpifrance / Flickr