/ Case Study

Nouvelle Aquitaine Region in France Partners with Altios to Help Launch Startups in the U.S.

The Nouvelle Aquitaine region partnered with Altios to provide international services to startups. The Boston Learning Expedition, organised by Altios, gave four startups access to the city’s ecosystem.
Summary
In the French region, the Nouvelle Aquitaine wanted to help local startups expand into international markets, so it looked to Altios to provide global development services and open doors to important contacts. The Boston Expedition, organised by Altios, provided four French startups access to the region’s impressive tech ecosystem.
Background
The Nouvelle Aquitaine, the largest region in France by area, is well known for its wines, aeronautics and tourism industries, and its central city, Bordeaux. Located in the south-west of France, it is the third fastest-growing regional economy in the country with a GRP of €158 billion. As a dynamic centre for investment in new technologies and startups, the Nouvelle Aquitaine has a well-established ecosystem encompassing major universities, incubators, accelerators, business angels, and France’s national government program, French Tech. With a focus on developing local startups, the region has programs tailored to each stage of business development, with the more than 100 projects supported each year. Going even further, the Nouvelle Aquitaine is helping regional businesses and startups accelerate international development through innovative programs such as Booster, created in 2018. The program provides local companies access to services dedicated to developing in the U.S., Japan, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. The Booster program aims to educate on all aspects of expanding to a new market.
Challenge
For many of its local startups and businesses, access to the American market is a challenge due to cultural differences, varying ecosystems, understanding of legal and regulatory requirements, and networking. The regional government sought an external consultancy firm with experience and knowledge in the market in order to serve businesses looking to expand in the U.S. better. Beyond consultancy services, the local government wanted to ensure that the selected consultancy firm would provide on-the-ground network and entry-points for local companies interested in U.S. expansion.
Solution

The Nouvelle Aquitaine selected Altios due to its strong global presence, its experience in helping companies set themselves up in new markets, and its knowledge and network in the U.S.

Altios provided a full set of consultancy services on strategy development, talent acquisition, and office and manufacturing location and setup. For building a further bridge to the American market, Altios organised and accompanied regional startups to the U.S.

For the first trip, Altios and the regional teams selected Boston due to its strength in innovative technologies, established startup ecosystem, collaborative network, and world-renowned universities MIT and Harvard.

Boston is an excellent location for tech companies entering the U.S. market for the first time due to a qualified pool of talent, investment funds, and network of incubators and accelerators
Altios
The trip, labelled the Boston Learning Expedition, provided an overview of the Boston ecosystem and highlighted the opportunities for tech companies in the area. The delegation from the Nouvelle Aquitaine included representatives from four startups, French Tech Bordeaux, the International Chamber of Commerce, and government groups. The selected startups – A3i, ThinkDeep AI, Ullo and Flovea – along with the regional delegation met with Boston AI and biotech firms, as well as economic development agencies, incubators and MIT. During the two-day tour, meetings with Boston AI startups Neurala and Balyo and biotech firms Enterome and Voluntis took place, along with incubator LearnLaunch, and the co-working, ecosystem-builder CIC in Boston and Cambridge.
Result
Through several organised meetings with key actors in the Boston tech ecosystem, the startups and regional delegates of the Nouvelle Aquitaine gained valuable insights on critical differences between the two markets and opened doors to contacts within the city and the surrounding areas. The four startups met with key players within the university and governmental and private sectors, providing a greater understanding of the opportunities and a deeper understanding of the criteria to succeed in the U.S. The Boston Learning Expedition tour helped the startups better prepare for future expansion within the U.S., develop contacts within the ecosystem in Boston, and gain insights into the funding and fiscal incentives available. Altios’ network with key players in the Boston area provided the perfect backdrop on how bringing together the right players—businesses, institutions, and cities—is instrumental for expansion.
Nouvelle Aquitaine
The Nouvelle Aquitaine, the largest region in France by area, is the third fastest-growing regional economy in the country, with a GRP of €158 billion. A dynamic centre for investment in new technologies and startups, the region has a well-established ecosystem encompassing major universities, incubators, accelerators, business angels, and French Tech centres. In 2018, the region started its Booster program to aid local entrepreneurs to expand internationally.
Challenge
To better serve local businesses looking to expand in the U.S., the region sought an external consultancy firm with experience and knowledge in the market.
Solution
The region selected Altios to provide international expansion services and access to the U.S. ecosystem. Altios organised a two-day trip to Boston, where four regional startups met with key players in the city’s tech ecosystem.
Result
Regional startups and delegates met with key players within the university and governmental and private sectors in Boston. Participants attained a greater awareness of the tech ecosystem, made key contacts, and gained insights on funding and fiscal incentives available.

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