Hey I felt like talking about French Tech here since I think you may be interested in what happens in a developed -yet European- country as regards start-up.
I am myself a young French entrepreneur located in Paris and I think it is the most interesting experience I've had in my life.
Nevertheless I also think it is necessary to explain a bit how it works there so as to make it possible for a more viable place for everyone.
Of course I am aware that most entrepreneurs in the world do not even have the luck to get those infrastructures, but still hey, I'm paying for a service, the service is denied, it's my right as a customer to complain about it, right?
Except that in fact France is a country in which the hierarchy is often reverted as regards customers, who are regarded as "people enjoying and benefiting from a service, so they should first and foremost be happy to be selected to be served by us".
For instance in our cases, we have noticed that the business incubators we were in, which often introduce them as "specialists" who will "definitely make a difference in the way you develop your business" are nothing more than a bunch of unexperienced people (sometimes younger than me) who have absolutely no idea of what our businesses are and, for the worse, have absolutely no interest into developing it. If you explain them that you actually lost money by staying at theirs, they will either try to "push your public funding forward" or tell you "perhaps your business is not good enough".
Whereas actually all you are looking for by entering a business incubator in a specialized field (in our case, entertainment) is that they help us to find customers (which is why we came here first).
This is all but a small ticket I'm writing there in prevision of a bigger (and less whining) article, so I'd be interested into getting your insights, and especially your questions, so as to provide more detailed answers and make something more accurate for everyone. Thanks!
Venture capital in Europe is dead. France is okay for now, but UK and Germany are fucked.
I was an intern helping VC's swift through shite business plans. I lost my job today and pretty drunk right now lad.
Actually yes, the point is that the business model of a public business incubator is simple:
1) Setting up locals for start-ups
2) Appealing them with "help", selling them locals.
3) Calling for public money because they have created an incubator and say they are "innovative".
4) From times to times give some insight to companies they incubate, or asking them to do things for the incubator.
For instance recently our business incubator requested us to do a thing which would cost between, say, 10K and 30K€. They told us they had "budget" and let us instruct the case. Due to our lack of experience we did not introduced the question of money first (which we should have).
We just learnt when getting to that topic, after a week of work, that their "budget" was "500€ and visibility".
And from what I have heard they have done that to all other companies within the incubator.
So to answer your question: no they have not done anything of that kind.
Moreover, they predate on our contacts, like recently they requested me to provide a list of "all journalists I knew" for incubators (and I happen to know a lot).
Yes actually it's related with how French people generally contemplate society as a kind of "administrative machine". People are not seeking their own happiness or wealth rather than social validation. A totally mindfucked logic in my opinion (and I'm French).
That's actually what I am working on (and I don't have to pretend so much actually since our business actually runs well).
Another tip is to "revert responsibility". Generally people in a business incubator will keep asking questions about your business, with questions like : "are you sure this is gonna work", to which I generally answer: "well of course not, otherwise I would not be a start-up, we're here to make unlikely things happen".
So the whole point is to actually start asking them questions about your business and their incubator. Since they never prepare your case, they will keep approving what you say.
Then when it comes to your requests you ask big requests and... They can't refuse now that they have said your business is all right.