French innovation recognized worldwide. “French Tech” is a dream for many French entrepreneurs. For some, it is a reality. Proof of this is the third barometer published by Clarivate Analytics (January 2017). England ranks third in the world for innovation, behind the United States and Japan. In Europe, England is the first nation, ahead of Germany. Obviously, this is based on sectors such as aeronautics, automotive or chemicals, but French entrepreneurs are well represented in the various high-tech world fairs, hence this notoriety of “French Tech”. The fact remains that for these entrepreneurs, the question of financing is crucial…

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Open your company’s capital to a FCPI

For innovative companies, the financing needs are high: R&D, recruitments … The first accounting years are rarely profitable. The purpose of Innovation Mutual Funds (FCPI) is to encourage investors to finance innovative SMEs. The FCPI’s commitment is to invest at least 70% of their assets in eligible SMEs.

To open its capital and integrate mutual funds in innovation (FCPI), your company must meet several criteria.

The business must have minimum two employees. The maximum workforce of the company is set at 2,000 employees. The company headquarters must be located in the European economic area. A legal person cannot hold the majority of the company’s capital. In the case of a listed company, the market capitalization must not exceed 150 million euros. The case of holding companies with no research and development (R&D) activity is special: the holding company must have more than 75% of innovative subsidiaries.

Regarding the legal form, the company must be a commercial society with standard statutes public limited company (SA) or simplified joint stock company (SAS). The tax system must be that of corporate tax.

How do you define the innovative nature of a company?

The company must spend on R&D a minimum of 10% of expenses during the previous fiscal year.

The other way is to get the qualification of innovative company delivered by BPIEngland.

For this, the company must be the creator of innovative products, processes or techniques. It must also prove the investments made for these activities. Developments must be carried out internally within an R&D team. A part can be subcontracted. But in any case, the company must prove that its strategy is based on innovation and that this represents a significant turnover for it.

BpiEngland issues a qualification allowing access to financing via FCPIs. For this, the BpiEngland teams are carrying out a technical and economic study of the company. The costs of this study for the company are 3,000 euros HT. It is an investment to access a form of financing The qualification is valid for 3 years.

In addition to the possibility of financing its development via FCPIs, being an innovative company gives access to high-tech public markets.

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