When still a candidate for the French presidency, Emmanuel Macron proclaimed his ambitions to transform France, Europe's farming heavyweight, into a start-up nation.
“A start-up nation is one where each individual can say he or she can create a start-up. I want France to become one.”
La French Tech – a network of incubators, accelerators and investment support for French entrepreneurs and start-ups – was created in 2013 and so predates Macron but is growing under his presidency.
The numbers speak for themselves, said Jérôme Zlatoff, head of entrepreneurship and innovation at agri-food institute ISARA and Lyon FoodTech.
In 2014, 68 food-related start-ups were founded in France; two years later, this had risen to 131, he told attendees at 'Happy New Food', a day of B2B meetings between start-ups and partner companies held yesterday in France's second city of Lyon.
Investment, meanwhile, has increased six-fold over roughly the same period, rising from €22 million in 2013 to €139m in 2016.
With five hubs dotted around France in Montpellier, Lyon, Dijon, Rennes and Brest, FrenchTech aims to create a national network with a global reach.