Malaysia’s startup scene gets a dose of French | Digital Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur joins the global network of Tech, opening up collaborative opportunities between local and French startups.

French Tech is an initiative by France’s Government to push its brand of innovation and entrepreneurship abroad.

In a press statement, the French ambassador to Malaysia, Frédéric Laplanche, explains it would engage local players – whether investors, incubators, media, public organisations or talented individuals – to work with French startups and entrepreneur communities around the globe. 

The initiative also targeted international talent, with French Tech Ticket aiming to attract international entrepreneurs while French Tech Visa will fast track the entry of founders, tech talents, and investors coming to France.

“We are convinced that Kuala Lumpur is a very attractive and promising place for entrepreneurs and innovation and we have made it our goal to encourage and foster the networking of talents, developing opportunities and creativity between France and Malaysia,” he said, during the initiative’s launch at his residence. 

French initiative here will also serve as a platform for French and Malaysian startups to explore the Malaysian market, connect to larger tech players, seek funding and participate in incubation or scaling up activities organised by both countries’ agencies. 

The initiative will start with the French Tech Tour Asean 2018 accelerator that will bring 10 emerging, high-growth French startups to develop their business in the region.

The one-week acceleration programme will be held in Malaysia and Singapore, from Sept 17 to 21.

Also present at the launch were newly minted cabinet members: Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment minister Yeo Bee Yin and Youth and Sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman. 

The French Tech communities have set up in 35 cities beyond Kuala Lumpur, including San Francisco, Sao Paolo, London, Moscow, Dubai, Hong Kong and Tokyo. 

The community is made up of over 10,000 French startups

France’s President Emmanuel Macron, a former investment banker, has been pushing to turn France into a startup nation though better access to funding for startups, more attractive taxes and a tech visa programme to draw foreign expertise.

Investment tracker Dealroom research found that France’s venture capital firms raised about 2.7bil euros (RM12.8bil) in 2017, overtaking Britain’s 2.4bil (RM11.38bil).

However, in terms of IPOs and sales, Britain was ahead.

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