Hi-tech startups: Paris is Europe’s second largest hub

In late November, CBRE (an American commercial real estate consulting firm) released the results of a study on the attractiveness of European capitals for technology startups. Paris was ranked in second place.

Taking into account indicators like startup creation, patent applications, sectoral employment and occupied office space, CBRE experts presented leaders of the digital economy with their attractiveness rankings for European capitals. Paris received the silver medal (behind London but ahead of Berlin) with 12% of its office space (144,000 m2 or 1.6 million ft2) occupied by technology firms.

The central districts of Paris, in particular, are seeing an upswing: the highest number of transactions for startups were in the 1st, 9th and 10th arrondissements, which accounted for 36.6% of the total since 2015.

Entrepreneurs love Paris’ image

What’s behind these impressive figures? Besides the quality of the transport networkand the highly-educated French managers (particularly in mathematics and computer science), Alexandre Fontaine, Director of the Office Real Estate Department at CBRE Paris pointed to the quality of Paris office space. “These startups are seeking office space that allows them to recruit top talent. This means they are looking for properties in the city center, with an enjoyable work environment and an architecture that embodies the image and history of Paris.”

This appeal is augmented by the appearance of sites specially designed for the needs of digital startups. One prominent example is Station F (Halle Freyssinet), a new incubator that will open in April 2017, providing over 30,000 m2 (300,000 ft2) of additional space to Parisian entrepreneurs. Finally, while London attracts mainly web services and software firms, the French capital is home to a greater diversity of actors, including e-commerce, AdTech, FinTech, advertising and digital games. The entrepreneurs of tomorrow will certainly pick up on this difference!