The New York City Economic Development Corp. and Paris&Co, the economic development agency of Paris, on Wednesday said they have created the NYC-Paris Business Exchange, providing New York-based start-ups with access to business opportunities in Paris and helping Paris-based companies expand their footprints in New York.
The program will help fashion, tech, arts, design, tourism, food and beverage, and sustainability companies overcome barriers that inhibit entry to foreign markets and builds upon both cities’ shared commitment to global entrepreneurship and innovation, the groups said.
The NYC-Paris Business Exchange was conceived last year during discussions between New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo to further support job creation, innovation and economic opportunity by building on the international standing and bilateral partnership between both cities.
“In today’s interconnected world, innovation transcends boundaries and cultures,” said Alicia Glen, New York’s deputy mayor for Housing and Economic Development.
Glen said the Business Exchange means New York will host the most cutting-edge companies from Paris and give them a taste of the city, while ensuring that New York’s emerging entrepreneurs are tapping into global markets and creating long-term business relationships.
“More than ever before, emerging businesses are thinking about how to operate across multiple countries as a means to grow their companies and tap into international talent and consumers,” said NYCEDC president Maria Torres-Springer. “The NYC-Paris Business Exchange will help start-ups unlock international business opportunities, providing a launching pad for New York City companies to expand abroad and for international companies to grow and create jobs in New York City.”
Jean-François Galloüin, chief executive officer of Paris&Co, said, “This unprecedented partnership between two large cities that are committed to developing innovative projects on their territory will further strengthen the links that unite Paris and New York and to foster economic exchanges between them.”
Companies participating in the NYC-Paris Business Exchange must demonstrate strong potential for international expansion, a proven track record of success in their local market and a well-defined business plan. Up to 10 companies from each city will be awarded six months of free office space in the partner city, as well as access to networking, potential investors and mentors. Selection will be based on a determination of which companies would benefit most from international expansion and the prospect for the businesses to sustain an expansion in the longer term.
NYCEDC is partnering with NY Media Center by IFP to provide office space for the chosen companies, and with La French Tech NYC to provide mentorship and support during their tenure. La French Tech NYC, an umbrella group launched in June that includes the French Embassy to the U.S., the Consulate General of France in New York City, the French economic development agency Business France, and the French American Chamber of Commerce, aims to give more visibility to New York-based French start-ups and help other French tech companies grow in New York. Air France, the Official Airline for the program, will provide round-trip airfare for the chosen companies.
Applications are due on Nov. 30. A Web site, nycparisstartups.com, has been set up as an information source. Winners of the exchange competition will be announced in fall 2015.