France woos technology venture capitalists

France courts venture capital money by wining and dining investors and showing them what the country has to offer.

François Hollande, the president of France, hosted an event for technology venture capitalists to convince them that France and its businesses are ripe for investment.

Twenty venture capitalists including guests from US-based Andreessen Horowitz and Accel Partners attended the event that saw them being exposed to the very best France has to offer. They were waited on at the Élysée presidential palace, fed the very best wine and food and given a tour of the Versailles Château.

Emmanuel Macron, the country’s economy minister and former Rothschild banker, spoke to the assembled guests along with Hollande urging them to consider France as a good location for their investments.

Macron said: “Young people, migrants, startups and entrepreneurs have something in common – the are full of energy, they are not part of the system and they want to change the world. Our responsibility is to enable them to take risks and change the world here. Until now, regulations were not adapted to do that.”

Hollande, addressing the visitors in the Élysée palace's gold decorated ballroom, said: “A lot of money was poured into French innovation. In just the third quarter of this year, €1bn ($1.1bn) was invested in French startups.”

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