Bonjour! City of Paris launches travel startup incubator
Officials in the French capital have announced the launch of a startup incubator focused on “urban tourism”, named Welcome City Lab.
The incubator will be located in a renovated area of 1,000 square metres near Saint Germain. The plan is to host 40 startups and open meeting space to organize conferences, demos and meetups.
This will be the tenth incubator in the City of Paris, which is busily refurbishing public buildings to create affordable office space and support networks to help entrepreneurs get started.
The first founding partners are Aéroport de Paris and Sodexo Prestige (Lido, Eiffel Tower restaurants). The founding partners will have access to startups in order to monitor and pilot innovations, while other funding members will be announced before its official opening.
French funding scheme Oseo helps startups with funds and loans from Euro 30,000 to Euro 100,000.
The model features low rental fees and free or subsidized access to general services (lawyers, accountants and sector experts), but the incubator will not take equity in the hosted startups.
Numerous technical services created outside of the industry can make great applications in the travel sector, but often the two worlds do not collide.
With millions of global visitors, hotels, airports and some of the world’s best attractions, Paris is arguably an ideal playground to pilot and measure results for any travel startup.
Meanwhile, as part of the programme, talks are also ongoing with the city of San Francisco in order to help US startups expanding to Europe, and vice versa.
NB: Applications will be open through the month of April on the City of Paris website.
NB2: Eiffel Tower laptop image via Shutterstock.
Daniele Beccari is a contributing Node to Tnooz, and head of travel products at Criteo.
As travel technology strategist, he has helped startups and blue-chip corporations define and launch innovative solutions in leisure, corporate, online and mobile sectors. He also served as Vice President, Europe and B2B, at Isango! (now part of TUI), and previously as head of corporate products for the e-travel division of Amadeus.
He started his career at HP, working on what is known today as the Internet of things. An MBA graduate from INSEAD, Daniele can be found somewhere between Paris, London, Turin, San Francisco or Tokyo.
Daniele's views are his alone and not the views of his clients or employers.