French Tech Cape Town launches new French Tech Labs in South Africa

French Tech Cape Town announced the launch of French Tech Labs – an Incubator and Accelerator structure for French and South African start-ups – in Century City on the 16th of November.

FTL Launch

Cape Town – November 16th, 2016.

On the 16th of November, during AfricaCom, French Tech Cape Town will celebrate the launch of its brand new 400 sqm  incubation and acceleration structure French Tech Labs, dedicated to the development of French and South African Tech businesses. This cocktail dinner will gather 150 guests both South African and French key Tech players, including public figures like Provincial Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde, Consul of France in Cape Town Xavier d'Argoeuves, and Wesgro CEO Tim Harris.

Since its launch in February 2016, French Tech Cape Town , supported by major French Tech players such as Orange, Dassault Systemes, Schneider Electric and Gemalto, is an increasingly powerful force in the Cape Town Silicon Cape Tech community, aggregating hundreds of start-ups to large companies, joining in an effort to cooperate and co innovate in South Africa. With a community of more than 2 000 key Tech actors, the network has been growing through monthly events and the dynamism of its initiatives at the local, national and international scale (with programs such as French Tech Ticket, Development and Digital Africa Days, Start-up Challenge Digital Africa…). Thanks to the joint efforts of the French and South African Tech communities, those successful initiatives embrace the acceleration of innovative technology ventures, supporting the digital skill development at the local and national scale. French Tech Cape Town aims now at expanding from being not only a networking platform but also to include a physical location dedicated to entrepreneurs and start up incubation and to the development of disruptive businesses and services. 

FTL Launch - Cocktail

Building on the established success of its core Cape Town component, Methys Labs, French Tech Labs will be a home base for digital entrepreneurs, providing in-house development engineers, business mentoring, coaching, business development, funding and access to an international network of 22 international French Tech Hubs around the globe and thousands or small to medium size tech players. be an integrated hub for innovation related to the digital industry. The initiative is kick started by a R5 million investment in Methys, to be completed by sponsors and South African partners expected to further expand the capacity of the Labs within the next few months, with a focus on black entrepreneurship. Ultimately the goal of the hub is to create sustainable jobs and profit generating ventures in South Africa, having the ability to scale up internationally.


About a dozen start-ups, including award winning Powertime, Energy Intelligence and Paygenius are already in the French Tech Labs portfolio and embrace the key focus areas that will be addressed by the Labs, reflecting the specialization fields of the founding members of the French Tech Cape Town ecosystem: Smart City, Smart Home, Smart Commerce, Smart Media, and Smart Education.

FTL Launch - Alan Winde

Alan Winde, Provincial Minister of Economic Opportunities, said: “French Tech Labs is a very exciting investment for our region, and I am confident this facility is going to provide a powerful platform for the development of tech and innovation. The French ICT sector is among the largest in Europe. Through the French Tech Lab, our entrepreneurs will now to able to tap into this world-class expertise. In this way, this initiative will allow South African and French tech start-ups to access key networks to develop their ideas. I’d like to thank French Tech and Methys for their continued business confidence in our region. You have a proven track record of setting up successful start-up ventures here. On behalf of the Western Cape Government, I would like to commend you for your commitment to accelerating our tech sector, and your contribution to driving jobs and growth.”

FTL - Tim Harris

Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro, commented “Wesgro welcomes the news that French Tech Cape Town launches the Disruptive Incubator South Africa French Tech Labs. The French community in the Cape has made an outsized contribution to tech entrepreneurship and innovation in “Silicon Cape”, and we are thrilled that this contribution is today going further, with the establishment of a physical location dedicated to the development of local start-ups. The launch of a new incubator, combining French know-how and South African innovation, will scale up the development of the local tech ecosystem and help to drive investment, trade and technology transfers between our region and France.”

FT L - Xavier  d.

Xavier d’Argoeuves, Consul of France in Cape Town, said “Since the French Tech Cape Town ecosystem has been approved by the French Government on the 29th of January, its initiatives have been increasingly dynamic, gathering both South African and French entrepreneur communities to create a leading innovation ecosystem in Africa. The launch of the French Tech Labs marks today a new turning point in the exchanges between France and South Africa regarding innovation and the digital industry.”

FT Launch - Christophe Viarnaud

Christophe Viarnaud, co-founder, Chief Executive Officer of Methys and Lead Ambassador of Cape Town French Tech, added “Over the past few months, French Tech Cape Town has developed successful initiatives and scaled up its capacity from the core 6-year-old Methys Labs structure, combining French and South African innovation. Today, French Tech Cape Town is pleased to announce the launch of a physical platform, French Tech Labs to support digital development in South Africa and welcome startups and new talents in our incubation and acceleration program. We are working very hard with the global French Tech Network, the French Tech Hub founding members, and our South African partners, to accelerate the development of these Labs to accelerate start up creation in the digital sector.” 

FT Launch - Justin

Justin Coetzee, CEO of GoMetro, commented “GoMetro is very happy to be part of the French Tech Lab in Cape Town. As a Cape Town startup looking to scale - the Lab gives us a physical space in our hometown to access the French digital market. French Tech Cape Town is a very effective economic bridge between Cape Town and French business.”

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Cap40 Business Awards Gala 2016

Cap40 Business Award Gala

Are you looking for co-founders, partners, coaches, core team members or even a job opportunity with the French business community in Cape Town? Please join us for an evening of creativity, inspiration and passionate conversations in one of the most prestigious venue in Cape Town.


Cap 40  is a free to access community focused on the links between the French business and the Western cape. This is a very dynamic hub of connection and knowledge resources. In this platform, both South African and French companies are able to share ideas and information to encourage business results. The French Tech CPT is naturally part of this wide network that grow more and more every year since its creation.


The Cap 40 Gala is an annual event which aims at promoting business or individuals for their outstanding performance and contribution to the French-South African business community in the Western Cape. 


The programme for this evening of festivities has a plethora of activities: from wine tasting of the best Cape Town farms products, to 3D printing demonstration, and of course pitch contests and a delicious diner prepared by the Radisson Hotel chef. This delightful event will certainly open your mind to new ventures!


Here are the different awards that will be given during the ceremony. Anyone that is matching criterias can apply. For the Young Entrepreneur of the year Awards, a pre-online voting will be organized on Facebook to nominate the winners.


Best Young Entrepreneur : This award will honor the women or men under 35 years old who creates the business that help our economy grow!

Best French Tech Initiative :We will prize the best tech product or service of the year. Apps, telecommunications, electronic, IT… Whatever your new digital business, show us how innovative it is!

Best Speaker of the year :  One of the Cap40 speaker of this year will be awarded for his relevant and fascinating interview.

Gout de France : You’re starting to promote our French tastes in the Western Cape? Our heritage, our cuisine, our wines … More than savored, it’s a patrimony that should be built-up and showcased.

Best Trade & Investment: You’re willing to build an international trade or investment network? The Western Cape needs to affirm its position as a global partner of choice. Stand up for your idea!


Who can apply?

· The business needs to have operations in the Western Cape.

· The business should not be able to raise funds easily from traditional banks or funding agencies because of the risks involved and early stage of the project.

· The business should be at the idea or pre-revenue stage.


How to apply?

Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Go to this Facebook page for more details!

French Tech : Go to this page!

Gout de France: Go to this page!


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Start-up Challenge Digital Africa


The Agence Française de Développement and Bpifrance, in collaboration with the French Tech, have launched a digital innovation competition open to African and French start-ups working for development in Africa: Start-up Challenge Digital Africa

Applications may be submitted until 15 November 2016 via the platform #DigitalAfrica

Paris, 11 October 2016 - For the first time, the Agence Française de Développement, which for almost 75 years has been funding development projects in Africa, and Bpifrance, have joined forces to launch the "Digital Africa Start-up Challenge", an innovation competition to promote the development of digital start-ups in Africa. African and French start-ups have until 15 November 2016 to submit their applications in the fintech, health, environment-energy and agricultural sectors.

What motivated this challenge? 

Africa is more and more connected, particularly due to the rapid adoption of mobile telephony, and has become a continent of digital innovation. The development of mobile payments and the increasing adoption of smart phones and broadband Internet are among the many factors that now enable digital entrepreneurs to propose new products and services in all economic sectors. The dynamism of digital ecosystems has led to an increase in the number of technological hubs, co-working units, laboratories and incubators, of which there are now more than 300 on the continent. 

Given this context, the AFD and Bpifrance wanted to pool their experience in the financing of digital innovation and development. The "Startup Challenge Digital Africa" should encourage and support new players in the digital economy, accelerate the sharing of know-how and facilitate the emergence of new solutions for development

Four sectors have been chosen for their dynamism and potential impact for development of the continent:

  • fintech 
  • health 
  • environment/energy 
  • agriculture


What are the rewards for the winners? 

A jury will choose two start-up winners, one African and one French, in each of the four sectors (i.e. eight startups). Another two start-ups, one African and one French will be selected by online voters. In all, 10 start-ups will thus be rewarded. They will be invited to come and present their project and meet partners during the 27th Africa-France Summit, to be held at Bamako on 13 and 14 January 2017

Prizes DA

How to apply? 

African and French entrepreneurs should submit the key elements of their entrepreneurial project online before 15 November 2016, and must indicate in which of the four categories they wish to compete, namely fintech, health, environment/energy or agriculture

A qualified jury and two renowned sponsors 

The jury will be made up of qualified African and French personalities and representatives of the AFD and Bpifrance. The Digital Africa Start-up Challenge is sponsored by two influential entrepreneurs in the world of technology and innovation: 

Karim Sy - an entrepreneur based in Dakar Founder of the Jokkolabs network (the 1st African collaborative working space) 

Gilles Babinet - a French entrepreneur, Founder of Africa4Tech First chairman of the French Digital Council France’s “Digital Champion” and one of the European Commission’s Digital Ambassadors

The AFD and Bpifrance 

Rémy Rioux, Director General of the AFD claims: "Digital technology may be an incredible accelerator of sustainable development in Africa, on condition that each entrepreneur is able to benefit from the innovation springboard. The Agence Française de Développement wants to accompany this wave of transition, which offers new trajectories for growth, by supporting southern entrepreneurs whose projects are promising for the continent and by promoting interactions between northern and southern entrepreneurs. This is why the AFD and Bpifrance decided to work together to launch this competition." 

The Agence Française de Développement (AFD), a French public financial institution that implements French government policy, acts to fight poverty and stimulate sustainable development. The AFD, which is active on four continents via a network of 75 offices, finances and supports projects that improve the living conditions of populations, while supporting economic growth and protecting the planet. In 2015, the AFD devoted €8.3 billion to fund projects in developing countries and overseas French territories. 

Follow AFD on Twitter: @AFD_France 


Nicolas Dufourcq, Director General of Bpifrance, declares: "The technological leaps occurring in Africa and the emergence of a young middle-class have created exceptional development opportunities for African and French companies. We are proud to participate in this competition, which is in line with our actions for promoting the internationalisation of companies and cooperation with the African continent." 

Bpifrance, a subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts and the French state, a trusted partner of French entrepreneurs, supports companies from start-up to flotation on the stock exchange by granting loans, acting as guarantor and by investing. Bpifrance also provides support services that reinforce innovation, external growth and exports, in partnership with Business France and Coface. Bpifrance offers companies a complete range of financing for every key stage of their development, and offers that are adapted to regional specificities. 

With 47 regional branches (90% of decisions are taken in the regions), Bpifrance is an economic competitiveness tool at the service of entrepreneurs. Bpifrance acts to implement French government policy and Regional policies in order to achieve three objectives: 

  • reinforce the growth of companies; 
  • prepare their competitiveness for the future; 
  • contribute to the development of an ecosystem that favors entrepreneurship.

In Bpifrance, companies have a powerful and effective partner, who follows their development closely in order to meet all of their needs for financing, innovation and investment.

Follow Bpifrance on Twitter: @bpifrance

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Development and Digital Africa Days 2016

Development and Digital Africa Days 2016 - an opportunity for African start-ups to meet key tech actors in France.


The Development and Digital Africa Days will take place from the 26th to the 28th of October 2016 in Paris. Organized by the French Directorate General for Enterprise - supporting the development of the Private Sector - in collaboration with La French Tech - French powerful start-up ecosystem around the world - they are a Forum for French and African Best Tech Actors to discuss and encourage the Digital Development in Africa. 4 African start-ups - 2 South African and 2 Ivorian with the cooperation of the French Tech Abidjan  - will be selected to have the chance to meet investors, leading firms and public institutions in France. 

The Development and Digital Africa Days are opened to African Start-ups willing to develop partnerships with French firms from the Digital Industry. The applicant start-ups must operate on the following sectors: digital content, digital economy services, digital infrastructures, e-government services. They have 2 weeks - deadline on the 4th of October 2016 - to apply and have the chance to be selected to scale up their business in France.

Are you  a South African start-up willing to develop your business in France ?

Apply now and seize the opportunity to pitch and network with the Best Public and Private Digital Experts in France!

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“La French Tech” Supports Digital Skills Development in Africa

French Tech in collaboration with Orange Business Services (OBS) organizes an event on “Digital skills development in Africa” on 15 September 2016 in Johannesburg.


Today, Johannesburg seeks to become one of the leading cities in the digital sector in South Africa. One of the key points of the city’s strategy is to implement numerous innovation programs. Considering the established French entrepreneurial ecosystem already active in Cape Town, French Tech wants to take part in the digital development of South Africa’s economic capital.


French Tech is becoming an increasingly powerful force around the world, aggregating thousands of companies, ranging from start-ups to large technology groups, to work together to co-innovate. French Tech has already implemented several digital skills development initiatives in Cape Town through the French Tech Cape Town Hub launched in January 2016.


From the French Tech Ticket – a program allowing South African start-ups to accelerate their development in France – to the French South African Tech Lab – an upcoming incubator dedicated to South African tech start-ups – the French Tech Cape Town initiatives embrace the development of French and South African innovative technology ventures, creating jobs and opportunities at the local scale. The success of those initiatives is the result of the joint efforts of a community composed of French and South African Tech actors.

Event Jobourg

This event is an opportunity for French Tech to share with the tech community in Johannesburg digital skills development initiatives led by the French Tech community in South Africa:


·         Business incubators and accelerators (including Methys Labs, Digital Lab Africa, Far Ventures and Eco-connect/Le Comptoir de l’Innovation)

·         The coding school Wethinkcode

·         The French South African Institute of Technology (F’SATI)

·         Over a dozen French Tech start-ups


The event is a forum for French and South African tech communities to discuss how to fully utilize the capacity of the French Tech ecosystem to work with the unique South African engineering talent and innovation skills to incubate and accelerate digital projects.

Elisabeth Barbier, Ambassador of France in South Africa:

I am delighted to see that the French Tech Hub in Cape Town is expanding its activities in Johannesburg thanks to a dynamic community of French and South African entrepreneurs who take advantage of a leading innovation ecosystem in Africa. This success will also encourage business and youth talent exchanges between France and South Africa, in innovation and especially in the digital industry.


Yannick Decaux, South Africa Country Manager, Oranges Business Services:

 Since the launch of the French Tech in South Africa, Orange Business Services has worked closely with the community to support the development of digital technologies and business opportunities in innovation. Orange is present in 20 African countries and provides business network services in all 54 African countries. More than one in ten Africans are Orange customers. We are investing for the long term and plan to continue playing a major role in the digital transformation of the region, from providing infrastructure and access to communications services through to developing new models that will help the region grow.


Christophe Viarnaud, Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer of Methys and Lead Ambassador of French Tech Cape Town:

We have been working very hard over the past few months to create a team to lead the initiatives of the French Tech in South Africa and to develop our capacity from the core 6-year-old Methys Labs structure. Today we are pleased to announce two milestones. Firstly, we received a record number of South African applications for French Tech Tickets, and we’ll take two South African start-ups to Paris in October. Secondly our Cape Town Labs will open in November, an additional 400 square meters office facility dedicated to digital innovation in the Century City precinct to welcome tens of start-up and digital entrepreneurs in our incubation and acceleration program. We are in discussion with SEDA to develop an incubation partnership.

christophe Viarnaud
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