For most French entrepreneurs living in the US, networking with other French startups isn’t necessarily a top priority. But the French connection is a network that can open many doors. Here is a list of some American organizations — incubators, accelerators, and shared businesses — with a French touch.
The French Tech Hub (San Francisco and Boston)
This French government-approved incubator was originally created by the Ile-de-France region and launched with pomp by François Hollande in February of 2014. Based in San Francisco (Dogpatch), it also has a branch in Boston’s Cambridge Innovation Center. “We have 77 clients who are French companies in the United States. About ten of these companies are housed in our offices. For the others, we have consulting meetings. We also sell the option of having a mailing address. The idea is not to build a Gallic village, though — most of our clients aren’t French,” explains Xavier Wartelle, the head of the company. “We also offer a free advising service,” he adds. Website.
ERAI (Philadelphia and Atlanta)
The Entreprise Rhône-Alpes International (ERAI) has two locations in Atlanta and Philadelphia that help French companies get started in the United States. The organization helps startups find office space and provides other services for entrepreneurs both locally and long-distance. “Currently, we’re helping 16 companies in Atlanta and 5 in Philadelphia. Our goal is to help startups decode the business world and to give them a framework that inspires them,” says managing director Laurent Van Soen. Website.
Spark-Labs (New York)
This incubator started by Christophe Garnier is in Union Square at the heart of lower Manhattan. Although their focus is on French and European businesses, Spark-Labs is open to all entrepreneurs. Their rates start at $550 per month per person and they offer advising services and support for French customers. Website.
Orange Fab (San Francisco)
In 2013, Orange created a startup accelerator in San Francisco. The businesses selected receive free housing for 3 months, access to different consulting services, and up to $20,000 in investment from Orange. Website.
Parisoma (San Francisco)
Founded by the Parisian PR Agency Fabernovel in 2008, Parisoma is directed by Stéphane Distinguin. This c0-working space brings together 60 companies from all sectors and organizes conferences and networking events. Based in San Francisco’s Soma neighborhood, Business Insider named the organization “one of the coolest places co-working spaces in the United States.” Membership at the open office space, which goes on a daily first-come-first-serve basis, is only $345 per month, and reserved desks are $595 per month. Website.