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For its 15th anniversary, EuraTechnologies reveals a study on its impact from 2009 to today

On the occasion of its 15th anniversary, EuraTechnologies conducted a study with EY on its impact from its inception to the present day, covering the business district created, economic development in this iconic location, as well as the creation of startups and jobs.
Press
Published by Maxime
June 27, 2024
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This study demonstrates the remarkable success of the incubator, a pioneer in its field, which, by rehabilitating a spinning mill, has economically revitalized the area and become a leading startup hub in France.

The transformation of a brownfield site into a business district

This former cotton spinning mill, built in 1896, once employed up to 2,500 people during its peak period, producing 3% of France's cotton yarn. Globalization eventually overtook the industrial revolution, and the Le Blan-Lafont building closed its doors, with the factory being abandoned in 1989. Twenty years later, under the initiative of Martine Aubry and Pierre de Saintignon, respectively Mayor and First Deputy Mayor of the City of Lille, the project to transform the site into a tech showcase was launched. Initiated by the European Metropolis of Lille, the Hauts-de-France Region, and the City of Lille, EuraTechnologies was inaugurated in 2009, bringing the premises back to life with the mission of supporting entrepreneurs and creating jobs in the region. It was a large-scale project rehabilitating 135,000 square meters and greening 60,000 square meters. This historic site has seen its surface area increase tenfold in 15 years, opening four additional sites in Lille, Roubaix, Willems, and Saint-Quentin. EuraTechnologies has thus expanded and become a true business district, hosting startups and many other entities seeking stimulation in a tech and innovation-focused environment. In an environmentally conscious rehabilitation perspective, EuraTechnologies was one of the first eco-districts labeled in France and the first in the Hauts-de-France Region. This once abandoned district is now one of the most promising in the Metropolis, where real estate prices have jumped 51% in 10 years.

An economically revitalized district

In 15 years, EuraTechnologies has facilitated the establishment of nearly 650 entities, creating more than 6,000 direct jobs within them. In this flourishing and attractive business district, 83% of these entities were founded in the last ten years, with 83% having set up their headquarters there. The EuraTechnologies district has thus become a crucial decision-making center in the metropolis. A wide variety of entities make up the business district, including sectors closely related to tech and innovation as well as sustainable, qualified, and well-paid jobs. The tech-oriented DNA of this business district naturally comprises 65% SMEs, but also 10% non-profits, particularly those focused on transitioning the unemployed and vulnerable populations to digital careers. It also includes several leading companies such as IBM and Capgemini. Finally, nearly 5% of the entities operate in the field of training and education (such as the Ecole du Numérique, Rocket School, Le Wagon, IBM's School of Large Systems and AI, Aston, Wild Code School, ISTC, ESCEN, Eurateach, AD Education, Headn, or AFPA). This zone significantly promotes professional mobility. The development of this district has occurred through the establishment of external companies that benefit from being in a tech environment, as well as startups directly supported by EuraTechnologies. This diversity creates strong links between everyone, fostering mutual success.

A creator of businesses and jobs

Since its inception, EuraTechnologies' core mission has been supporting startups aimed at creating businesses and jobs in the region. In 15 years, EuraTechnologies has significantly stimulated entrepreneurship by supporting over 1,300 incubation projects, resulting in the creation of 466 companies. The survival rate among these companies is a record 91% at three years (compared to 70% national average) and 70% at five years. EuraTechnologies has also supported 447 companies in acceleration programs between 2013 and 2023, helping them raise a total of 536 million euros. The incubator thus offers project leaders a quality program for startup creation but, more importantly, expertise to make them sustainable. This high standard has allowed EuraTechnologies to contribute to the creation of over 8,000 jobs in 15 years. With its 15 years of experience, the variety of fields in which the incubator operates is vast, allowing startups to grow. EuraTechnologies indeed offers a comprehensive program, including keynotes, workshops, and various coaching sessions. But the incubator's differentiation also lies in its location and its dense ecosystem, nurtured over 15 years. This space offers startups privileged conditions, including beyond comfort, a prestigious position to interact with potential clients and recruitment facilities due to the incubator's recognition. The ecosystem built over these many years connects project leaders with actors from different sectors, types, and sizes, thus providing startups with numerous resources. They can thus begin their entrepreneurial journey surrounded by experts, sometimes even mentored by them, as well as other project leaders deeply aware of each other's challenges, leading to emulation and great solidarity. It is also thanks to unique programs such as training in partnership with the Stanford University's Professional Center that EuraTechnologies marks its added value. This unique partnership in France, enabled by the Hauts-de-France Region, was established at the inception of EuraTechnologies and now has 300 alumni, some of whom are successful entrepreneurs who passed through the incubator.

A role in raising awareness and training future generations of entrepreneurs

Beyond its mission of supporting startups and thus creating jobs, EuraTechnologies has been committed to raising awareness about digital technology, tech, and entrepreneurship among young generations and people in career transition. In this perspective, the incubator offers a program named EuraTech Kids for children and young adults, aiming to acculturate them to digital technology in a fun way, through school, family, or association workshops. It has thus raised awareness among nearly 9,000 participants between 2017 and 2023, 45% of whom were girls and women—a significant share in a sector where they are underrepresented. These workshops not only raise awareness but also create vocations and thus degender tech-related professions. Through these offerings, EuraTechnologies trains future generations of entrepreneurs.

A pioneer since its creation, EuraTechnologies aims to remain positioned on several key axes already integrated into its strategy and thus perpetuate and grow the deployment of startups and jobs. The hub plans to create 3,000 jobs within four years. By addressing crucial issues such as environmental transition, cybersecurity, AI, and DeepTech, EuraTechnologies intends to continue its development and expertise.

About EuraTechnologies

Founded in 2009 by three historic shareholders, the European Metropolis of Lille, the Hauts-de-France Region, and the City of Lille, EuraTechnologies is one of the largest startup incubators in Europe and was named the top startup hub in France and 30th in Europe by the Financial Times ranking of March 2024. Through its five sites spread across the Hauts-de-France region, EuraTechnologies' mission is to support the development of digital businesses and entrepreneurs with a unique methodology and know-how, from idea to project, to international deployment. In 2022, EuraTechnologies raised 24 million euros to accelerate its development around four priority axes: employment and talent, state-of-the-art technological equipment and collaboration in research and innovation, environmental and energy transition, and international expansion.

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