The French Minister of Finance asked Margalit to establish Margalit Startup City Paris – an international innovation center based on the model he established in Jerusalem and New York, as a step to making Paris the international technological hub of Europe. The two agreed on the creation of a package of incentives and benefits for Israeli startups and hi-tech entrepreneurs to choose France as the main destination for expansion in Europe.
French Finance Minister, Le Maire: “Cooperation between France and Israel is of strategic importance to the process of making Paris the international technological hub of Europe, especially after COVID-19. We intend to promote significant moves in taxation, and investment in technology as well as providing incentives and assistance for Israeli companies to build cooperation”
Chairman and Founder of JVP and Margalit Startup City, Erel Margalit: “I welcome the aspiration of the French government, under the leadership of Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire and top French economists, to establish the Margalit Startup City International Innovation Center in Paris, with the aim of turning Paris into the next ‘innovation springboard’ of Europe” Innovation entrepreneur and investor, Erel Margalit, chairman and founder of JVP and Margalit Startup City, visited Paris this week (May 3-6) for a series of meetings and consultations with French economic leaders. During his meetings included Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, Secretary of State for the Digital Economy Cedric O, and top French economic figures, Dr. Margalit discussed among other things, the establishment of an innovation center in the French capital, based on the Margalit Startup City model already established in Jerusalem and New York.
On Wednesday, Margalit met with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. In their meeting held at the Minister’s Office in Paris, the two discussed economic-technological cooperation between the two countries. Minister Le Maire defined the cooperation between France and Israel as being strategically important to Paris’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and the desire for the city to emerge as the international technological hub of Europe. He added, that he was keen to promote taxation and other incentives and assistance for Israeli companies to see France as a major target for expansion in Europe, as well as encouraging IPOs of Israeli companies on the French stock exchange.
Le Maire noted that Israeli hi-tech had proven its ability to build international “unicorn” companies. He added it was important to France that Israeli tech would play a part in the process in France as well, he said, “we intend to support you because we need investors who know how to produce the next unicorns of the world”. Le Maire stressed that Margalit Startup City’s international cyber center, which Dr. Margalit established at the beginning of 2020 in New York, was an excellent model for the international hub that the French Government sought to establish in Paris, as a center of attraction for startups, investors, researchers and companies around the world. Le Maire also noted that France intended to work with Germany, Italy and other EU countries, and stressed that Paris stood to be the main city in Europe after London left the EU. In a meeting with the Secretary of State for the Digital Economy Cedric O, it was agreed to establish a joint team of ministers, government representatives, leading French business figures, together with JVP and Margalit Startup City leaders to examine ways to promote cooperation between Israel and France in the fields of fintech, cyber, AI and foodtech.
Chairman and Founder of JVP and Margalit Startup City, Erel Margalit: “I welcome the aspiration of the French government, under the leadership of Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire and top French economists, to establish the Margalit Startup City International Innovation Center in Paris, with the aim of turning Paris into the next ‘innovation springboard’ of Europe. The establishment of the Innovation Center, based on the model we established in Jerusalem and New York, together with the benefit packages offered by the French government to encourage investment, will open a new chapter in the cooperation between Israel, France and the European Union, particularly in the period following the corona pandemic.”
Alongside meetings with political figures, Dr. Margalit met with the heads of France’s major banks including, Rothschild Bank, BNP PARIBAS, Crédit Agricole, as well as investors and senior executives of the French economy, including the French Government Innovation Fund – BPI France, the heads of the automotive giant Peugeot and others. In his meetings, he discussed with them strengthening the economic-strategic cooperation between the two countries and promoting innovation as an engine of growth in the post-COVID period.
Margalit also met with the leading organizations in the fields of entrepreneurship and technological innovation to discuss the possibility of establishing an international innovation center in Paris, based on the model developed in Jerusalem, Beersheba, the Galilee and New York. The model aims to establish cities as centers of economic development – attracting young, talented people from all over the world. According to the plan, the Margalit Startup City Innovation Center in Paris will be connected to a global network of innovation centers in Israel and the United States, and will focus on the fields of cyber, fintech and AI. This center will serve as an engine of economic growth and will promote cooperation between France and Israel. Margalit’s visit is taking place while France continues to face the Corona crisis and its economic consequences. The number of COVID patients is on the rise, and this is the first week when France has loosened part of the restrictions imposed on the country. In this context, some of the discussions with top French officials focus, among other things, on the promotion of technological innovation as part of the country’s economic recovery following the pandemic. About Erel Margalit:Erel Margalit, founder and chairman of JVP and Margalit Startup City, is an international entrepreneur and investor, as well as one of the chief architects of the “Start-Up Nation”. In 1993, he founded Jerusalem Venture Partners, a VC fund, which focuses on building international companies. Under Erel’s leadership, JVP created more than 150 companies, facilitated 12 IPOs on NASDAQ, and orchestrated over 30 start-up exits. Erel has raised over $1.5B from the world’s leading investors, and JVP continues to be ranked as one of the top performing funds in the world. After building JVP’s high-tech ecosystem In Jerusalem, Erel established innovation centers in other regions of Israel including a Cyber Center in Be’er Sheva, Foodtech Center in the Galilee, Digital Health Center in Haifa and an International Cyber Center in New York. Erel’s entrepreneurial success focuses on regional and socio-economic development. Margalit Startup City establishes innovation centers that connect tech/business entrepreneurship with social and cultural entrepreneurship. Each innovation center creates an ecosystem focused on a particular area, drawing cooperation between the various players in the region. Over the years, Margalit Startup City’s Centers of Excellence have created tens of thousands of jobs and changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Margalit’s regional development initiatives also target Israel’s younger generation, through “Margalit Startup City in the Community,” an NGO he founded together with his wife Debbie. The organization aims to reduce social and economic gaps among youth by offering educational and leadership development programs. “In the Community” has served around 40,000 children and youth over the years, with the help of about 800 volunteers working across the country.