New York, Paris launch a startup exchange program to bring startups across the pond

by Taylor Majewski
October 20, 2015

Last week, The New York City Economic Development Corporation and Paris & Co introduced The NYC-Paris Business Exchange, a bi-lateral startup accelerator program between New York City and Paris. The unprecedented partnership between the two cities will provide New York City-based startups with access to business opportunities in Paris, while also helping Parisian companies expand to New York City.

A brainchild of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the program aims to push early-stage startups to expand to new markets abroad and build upon the diverse economies of both cities. The exchange program is hoping to attract startups that demonstrate strong potential for international expansion, a proven track record of success in their native market as well as a buttoned-up business plan.

Beginning this Fall, the NYC-Paris Business Exchange will accept up to 10 companies from each city into its program. The selected startups will be given free office space in their partner city, in addition to opportunities to network with potential investors and mentors. The program is especially geared toward small and medium-sized startups between one and six years old. As far as applications go, the exchange company is looking to accept companies that are trying to expand internationally and offer a service or product that would succeed in the host market.

While the program is open to businesses in all sectors, the accelerator will likely benefit tech startups the most.

“For now, we are keeping the application process open to all types of companies, but we are expecting that tech startups will be the most open and agile to expanding internationally,” said Amir Beshay, Project Manager for the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “Paris is one of the primary markets for expanding into Europe and New York is one of the biggest starting points for companies looking to expand into the U.S., so there’s a synergy between the two cities.”

The program’s six-month long duration will allow burgeoning tech companies to grow their employment base abroad and decide whether or not to permanently expand to a European market.

Companies relocating to France for the program will be housed in incubators run by Paris & Co., while Parisian companies participating in the New York program will be offered space in the Made in NY Media Center by IFP. A number of organizations will also provide the chosen French startups with support during their stay in New York, including La French Tech NYC, the Consulate General of France in New York City, the French economic development agency Business France, and the French American Chamber of Commerce. New York-based startups will benefit from the partnership with access to over 500 million customers in the European market, as well as the strong talent pool in France.

“This unprecedented partnership between Paris and New York aims to facilitate the circulation of startups, to push them to develop on new markets abroad earlier and in the best conditions. The programs proposed by each agency will help them connect easily to the respective innovation networks”, said Jean-François Galloüin, CEO of Paris&Co, in a statement.

Overall, this new program attempts to overcome barriers that inhibit companies from developing into foreign markets. The NYC-Paris Business Exchange is designed to curtail this challenge, as both Paris and New York City are committed to fostering global entrepreneurship.

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