Deeptech in France: understanding and seizing opportunities

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Understanding the deeptech ecosystem, how it works, and the opportunities it represents has become a necessity for entrepreneurs, investors and even the general public. With entities like Bpifrance playing a central role in supporting these technological revolutions, it has become essential to shed light on the various facets of this particularly dynamic ecosystem.

When it comes to research, innovation and technology in France, one term comes up a lot these days: deeptech. But what does it really mean? Derived from the latest advances in scientific research, deeptech companies stand out for their potential to disrupt markets and provide solutions to the major challenges facing our society.

Definition: what is Deeptech?

The term "deeptech" refers to companies based on major technological innovations (known as "technological breakthroughs"), generally originating from research laboratories, and addressing major challenges in fields such as biotechnology, advanced materials, artificial intelligence and photonics.

These technology start-ups are characterized by strong links with scientific research, high R&D intensity, long development times and market access, high barriers to entry and substantial investment. Our aim? To create innovative solutions to societal, environmental and industrial issues, while establishing viable, sustainable business models.

Bpifrance's key role in the deeptech ecosystem

Bpifrance is a key player in the French deeptech ecosystem. Through a variety of financing mechanisms, the organization actively supports deeptech startups in their start-up, development and growth phases. With a total investment of around 700 million euros in nearly 200 companies by 2023, Bpifrance's commitment testifies to the importance of and confidence in the potential of these innovative startups.

The financing offered - a combination of grants, repayable advances and loans - enables companies to benefit from support tailored to their needs, promoting their development while respecting their independence and vision.

The keys to success for a deeptech start-up in 2024

Transforming a revolutionary idea into a viable commercial product or service is the major challenge facing deeptech start-ups. To achieve this, several factors can work in favor of bold entrepreneurs.

  1. First of all, in-depth knowledge of the target market and its needs means that innovations developed on a large scale can be adapted with agility.
  2. Surrounding yourself with a multidisciplinary team, combining technical, commercial, HR and entrepreneurial skills, also contributes to balanced, strategic decision-making.
  3. Last but not least, support from incubators, gas pedals, universities, SATTs and funding bodies is essential to secure the development and marketing phases.

Financing and support available for deeptech startups

One of the particularities of deeptech startups is their significant need for financing, especially in the early stages of development. Grants, public aid, venture capital and strategic partnerships are all options to consider. Structures such as Bpifrance, members of the Pôles Universitatires d'Innovation (university innovation clusters) and funds offer tailored financial packages, ranging from seed capital to A and B financing rounds, enabling deeptech start-ups to take the necessary steps for their development. Incubators and gas pedals also play a key role in providing the mentoring, resources and networks that young companies need.

Conquering the market: the importance of teamwork and innovation

Reaching the market and thriving is perhaps the ultimate challenge for deeptech start-ups. Competition is fierce and expectations high. To emerge, it's essential to combine a talented team with a commitment to continuous innovation. Human capital, combined with disruptive technology, forms the core of a winning strategy that not only conquers but also shapes the market.

Innovation is not just about technology; it must also be present in business approaches, business models and the way we communicate with our stakeholders. Successful companies in the deeptech sector are often those that have been able to continually renew their value proposition while cultivating a strong, agile corporate culture.

The deeptech adventure is distinguished by its ambition to solve complex problems and its potential to transform entire sectors. In the midst of a technological revolution, France, thanks to players like Bpifrance and a fertile ecosystem, is proving to be a fertile ground for the development of these companies of tomorrow.

For entrepreneurs, seizing the opportunities offered by deeptech could well be the key to long-term success, demonstrating once again the ability of research and human ingenuity to push back the frontiers of the possible.

Watch our video on the subject

It was co-produced with BPCE and MaddyNess as part of the "Course de fond(s)"series, which helps you understand all there is to know about financing innovation.

Dynergie, deeptech consulting and financing firm

At Dynergie, we're convinced that deeptech startups are a real lever for transformation in France. That's why we've made financing them one of our strategic priorities. If you would like to benefit from the support of our experts, please contact us via our contact page.


What is France deeptech?

France deeptech is the umbrella term for all the companies, initiatives and players in France involved in the field of deep technology. Relying on major technological innovations, often patentable and stemming from various fields of fundamental or applied research, these players are striving to create disruptive solutions to the major challenges of our time.

This dynamic ecosystem includes startups, research labs, investment funds and public institutions. Among them, Bpifrance and the French Tech initiative play a key role in supporting and stimulating the development of French deeptech companies.

These players collaborate and interact with the aim of transforming scientific discoveries into breakthrough innovations, capable of shaping our future. The ambition is to make France a major global player in innovation.

What is the deeptech plan?

The Deeptech Plan is a strategy set up by the French government in 2019, entrusted to Bpifrance. This initiative aims to support the emergence and development of deeptech startups in France, with the ambition of making France a leading nation in disruptive innovation. Initially endowed with 3 billion euros, the plan aims to give birth to more than 500 deeptech startups a year by 2030. The Deeptech Plan is based on a number of levers, including financing, support and the promotion of research. It is also designed to encourage job creation in the field of innovation and strengthen France's international competitiveness.

What are the main deeptech funds in France?

The landscape of deeptech funds in France is varied and dynamic. Among the major players are several investment funds that have made the strategic choice to invest in innovative sectors.

  • Omnes Capital is a notable example, with a €130 million fund dedicated to deeptech companies.
  • Jolt Capital and Supernova Invest are also well-known players in this field.
  • Other funds investing in the deeptech sector include UI Investissement, Iron Hands Capital, Elaia Partners and Innovacom.

The Direction Générale des Entreprises (DGE) has produced an overview of deep-tech venture capital funds in France. This document is a valuable source of information for deeptech entrepreneurs seeking financing.

What is the deeptech tour?

The Deeptech Tour is a joint initiative of Bpifrance and the French government. It is a tour of university campuses across France, designed to highlight and promote deeptech. The tour provides a platform for deeptech entrepreneurs, researchers, PhD students and students to present their projects, exchange ideas and forge partnerships. The Deeptech Tour is part of the French government's Deeptech Plan, which aims to foster the emergence of cutting-edge startups from research laboratories.

Other episodes in the "Course de fond(s)" series:

> France 2030: Navigating the innovation era with the right funding

> Bank financing: a key stage in a start-up's journey

> Keys to business success

Simon Ribola

Development and Partnerships Manager - Paris

I accompany innovative companies of all sizes in their search for and obtaining of public funding (BPI France, CIR/CII, ...). Equipped with a technical and financial background and a passion for new technologies, I am able to offer both technical and strategic support to projects.

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